Watassa Photography Stands Up to Political Oppression with Portrait Project

Syn: Goddess of Denial/Defense/Refusal

Emily Alt of Watassa Wedding Photography has launched a fundraiser aimed toward the empowerment of women, and the project as a whole will be a form of artistic activism in this current political climate. The project, I am Syn, is about refusing to normalize the abuse or disrespect of women. 

I Am Syn is about "women from all across the country coming together and showing ourselves and others that we are more than just a gender checkbox." 

Emily explains:

We are mothers, lawyers, business owners, doctors, scientists, police officers, writers, educators, thinkers, doers, believers, hopers, and, most importantly, fighters.

The project is meant to show women who:

  • deny powerlessness. 
  • deny being grabbed or groped. 
  • deny living in fear.
  • defend their bodies.
  • refuse to normalize rape culture. 
  • refuse powerlessness. 
  • embrace ferocity.
  • embrace independence.
  • embrace strength. 
  • embrace hope.

Regardless of how you demonstrate your feminism and activism on a daily basis, you can participate.


The Details

100% of the proceeds from these events will be donated to Grand Rapids Planned Parenthood, the Grand Rapids YWCA or the ACLU. All these organizations support women's rights and work tirelessly to protect them. 

A $100 donation is suggested, but anyone can participate, regardless of giving ability.

For your participation in the I Am Syn Project, you'll get the following:

  • 30 minute private portrait session
  • 5 digital prints of yourself as Syn
  • Self written "I am Syn" statement to be included in the album for our congressional women leaders along with your portrait of choice
  • Celebratory dinner, drinks, and closing conversation with fellow Syn Women (optional)

Will Emily Come to Me?

Emily WILL travel to you as needed. So get a group of people together who are interested, let her know, and she will come to you!

Her tentative travel schedule so far is as follows:

Grand Rapids // January 22 // Waiting list

Chicago // January 29 // 10 spots open

Portland // February 11,12 // Needs 4 more women to book 

Grand Rapids // February 19 // Can book 10 spots

Grand Rapids // March 26 // Can book 8 spots

Sedona/Phoenix Area // March 31 -April 4 // Can book 10 spots

Los Angeles/San Luis Obispo // April 5-8 // Can book 8 spots

Chicago // April 23 // Can book 10 spots

NYC // April 28 // Can book 10 spots


Sign Up!

Emily sums up her inspiration for this project: "I have no shame in believing as strongly as I do that the election of Donald Trump is a step backwards for our country. I do not mince words when I say that I believe he will execute the downfall of integrity, kindness, and acceptance of those who live on the marginalized edge of society. I fear he will make great changes for women's health, LGBTQ rights, and public education reform. I found myself talking with women from all across the city, and country, and finding that so many of them felt just as I did — gobsmacked and terrified. I am Syn became an outlet — a way for me to channel my beliefs that women are independent and strong and powerful and creative and intelligent and WORTH IT."

Are you Syn? Sign up using the form on the I Am Syn project page!

You can read more about Emily's inspiration here. Follow the project on Instagram: @iamsynproject