Dorie Hagler is a long form documentary photographer and activist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Glamour, People, New York Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Denver Post, Chicago Tribune, Viewfind, New Mexico Magazine, and many others. In 2016, in response to a nagging thought that would not go away, Hagler founded me&EVE - a visual feminist movement highlighting the extraordinary stories of ordinary women. Hagler’s work has been exhibited in both solo and group shows in galleries and museums throughout the country. She is a frequent speaker and teacher at Adorama in New York City and recently launched a bi-weekly column on the Adorama Learning Center website called “Women with Cameras.”
Dorie and I are kindred spirits in a lot of ways, especially when it comes to our passion projects: for her project me&EVE and for my 33K Task List Project. Both set out to connect with and change the conversation among women. me&EVE is one part photojournalism, one part portrait, and one part sharing of stories by women, in 10-minute increments. It’s a fascinating project! In this episode, Dorie and I talk about what happens in those 10 minutes, the transformation she sees amongst the women she speaks with and what she has learned from the experience to date.
Dorie has this underlying thread of intentionality that comes through in her work and comes out in our conversation. She shares how she is taking time for self-care, in light of the emotional and important work that she's doing in the world.
This episode is Inspiring (with a capital I) and empowering for all you frazzled femmes out there. Get out your smartphones and start listening already.
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Quotes + selected highlights from the episode
All of this wisdom is from Dorie herself (with some minor edits for readability).
[00:16:49] I know I'm feeling a lot, but I try to focus it and move those feelings from what I'm thinking or feeling in my heart. And instead, direct all of the energy through my eyes. Later I go through all of the shocking, sad, or depressive thoughts.
[00:21:36] Our global visual archive is very skewed to one gender - male. It's not that I think that women should take all the pictures. It is far harder to understand the experience of women if we’re always being photographed through the eyes of men. So, one of my passions is trying to increase how many women are taking pictures. I pick stories where I get to focus on women and photographing women.
[00:26:20] It's about whether you have something to say, whether you have something to share, and how passionate are you about it.
[00:29:57] I always say that this project [me&EVE] was lifted up by women who wanted to see it happen as much as me.
[00:30:25] I ask everybody the same question. What's fascinating is how different everybody's responses are.
[00:31:04] I realized, “Oh my god,” the activism is in those 10-minutes that I'm spending with someone, when I'm looking into their eyes, and asking them that one question.
[00:34:53] I realized that I could die that day, happy, because I knew I had made a difference.
[00:51:23] People trust me because they see I’m trustworthy. People share with me because I care. And, I do care.
[01:04:28] I walk away grateful that this is what I do with my life. I'm able to meet these women and share in these moments with them. I walked through my world knowing I have very few regrets. I've gotten to see, connect, and live in a way that a lot of people don't get to do.
[01:05:09] I do need to decompress. I exercise, I run, I do yoga, I do paddle board. I'm learning to surf. I love to dance.
[01:12:53] Being more mindful about my schedule increases how much I enjoy my life and my kids.
[01:15:53] The first half of my life I chose cynicism and negativity. The second half of my life, I am choosing joy.
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