One of the highlights of our content here at The Layers Project Magazine is our Profiles.
We photograph and interview Jewish women, to talk about their challenges and triumphs, and give them the space to take control over their personal narratives. We give women the opportunity to share their experiences, in their own words. The stories are matched with images integral to the storytelling process. We give our profilees, 100% creative control over their stories- from the way the story is written, to the images we use. It is our priority that each woman feels that their story is told exactly the way they want to be represented.
We choose applicants who are ready to share their stories. They have processed the experiences that they want to share, and are interested in becoming a kind of advocate for their cause. Our profiles are read by thousands of readers, and therefore be ready to make a big impact. It requires vulnerability, and a preparedness to be real.
To apply for a profile- click this Google Form Below. If we are interested in working with you, we will reach out.
Testimonials From Profilees
“I was eager to share my story with Shira and The Layers Project but also extremely nervous. Shira put me at total ease as she documented my journey and my family. It was so cathartic but also I had hundreds of people reach out to me after who told me how much my story affected them which made it all worth it. I love reading all of the stories and seeing The Layers Project’s incredible images, to remind me daily of other peoples struggles and see what I can take away from them myself. It was an honor to be part of something so amazing.”
Check out “Abbie’s Story: Anything For You”
“Doing The Layers Project was important for me because I feel that many people feel alone, and through reading these stories you feel a sense of community, connection, and validation. After completing the project so many people reached out who felt the same and the comradery was very reassuring and comforting.
I think the other thing The Layers Project does is bring awareness. I think that no matter what you see from the outside without actually being that person you can not understand what is going on on the inside. This project literally peels the layers away until you can see the rawness. It allows people to see the real story, to see the private and sacred details and emotions that so many bury deep down.
The best part of The Layers Project is definitely working with Shira. Shira is really amazing at what she does, not only as a photographer but even more so as a social worker. Shira coached me through the whole process. She listened. She helped me put my thoughts into words, without ever putting words in my mouth. She guided me and help me realize things that were core issues. She was kind, warm, and compassionate. Once I agreed to participate she kept me on task, and on my timeline without being too pushy. She was able to capture photographs and match them up to the segments artistically.
Shira was honest about how public whatever I write about was going to be. She reiterated a dozen times, how thousands of people will see this, and always made sure I was okay with it. She never pushed me to publish anything I felt uncomfortable with no matter how many more hits it might get.
Overall, it was a very meaningful experience.”
Check out “Golda’s Story: Atypical Blessings”
“Working with The Layers Project to share my story felt like a combination of fear and freedom. I was truly afraid to share my story. I did not want everyone to know about my health issues, I did not want everyone’s pity, I did not want that attention. I wanted everything to just be “normal.” And yet as soon as I shared my story I felt a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. I never could have imagined how opening up about my kidney disease would make me feel so supported and loved by both people I know and people I have never met but who reached out to me through Facebook. Shira Lankin Sheps made the telling of my story a comfortable, supportive and eye-opening experience. Shira made sure that I told my story the way I wanted to, from the amount of information I shared, to the language used, to the pictures that accompanied the posts. Each step of the way Shira said, “this is your story, it needs to reflect you and how you are feeling.” This constant reminder was truly empowering, enabling me to continue through the process of opening up and sharing. It enabled me to own my story.
Perhaps the greatest part of sharing was realizing that I was “normal,” that I just had an issue to work through, something that many people have to do on a daily basis. So many people reached out to share their own personal stories with me. They found comfort in connecting with someone who could understand what they were going through. With each email and message I received, I felt the same way. I went from feeling alone to being surrounded by so many people who could understand what I was going through. I am so grateful to Shira and Rachel Hercman and everyone involved in The Layers Project for this truly
Check out Aliza’s Story: The ultimate gift
“Being interviewed and featured for The Layers Project was something I was a little hesitant to do. Sharing my deepest thoughts about one of the hardest times in my life was scary. Shira handled the telling of my story and me perfectly. She asked me to just start talking, and sharing. We spoke for over an hour (although it felt like ten minutes) and I was totally comfortable the entire time.
Sharing turned out to be so healing for me. Speaking about my babies gave them voices, gave them validation in this world. My closest, oldest friends and family certainly knew about the losses – but had never heard me speak about the losses or my babies in such detail. My newer close friends didn’t know so much about it and were shocked but also appreciative to know this part of my life. The reaction on Facebook, Instagram, through texts and even in person was amazing. At one point Shira said, “You are finally getting the comfort from the world that you deserved at the time.” She was right. I tried to respond to every comment because they were so precious, courageous, and special. I have been stopped at weddings, and the playground and the supermarket by strangers who recognize me and thank me for sharing. Some women have told me that they miscarried at much as 40 years ago and never told a soul until they read my story. They never allowed themselves the space to grieve until they read about my grieving.
Shira has given women a space to be real, a space to share, a space to connect. She is the true hero in this story. Her sensitivity, her compassion and above all her intellect has opened up the world to this special space. I am so appreciative to The Layers Project, to Shira for this opportunity – it has most definitely changed my life!”