Professional photographers in Edmonton and Calgary have teamed up to launch a unique fundraiser that raises money for some of the most vulnerable women in Alberta.
The project, entitled “The Women”, is in support of women who have been sexually exploited or are victims of human trafficking.
In exchange for a donation of at least $50, a professional photographer will take portraits of women that they can keep. All the proceeds from the donations will go to both the Centre to End All Sexual Exploitation and the International Justice Mission Canada.
Julie Rohr is one of the photographers and organizers of the project. She was eager to find a way to raise awareness about the issue of sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
"I started to think if, about as a photographer, I could gather more support from other women who, like me, want to to donate to this cause,” Rohr said.
“We could get more and more women on board until we have made an impact financially, and also just raising awareness that there are people who have been sexually exploited in your own city.”
Claudia Steele decided to have her photo taken with her daughter.
“The thought of being anywhere in the world and just being able to be taken from whomever you are with and being exploited,” Steele said. “The whole idea is a frightening thought.”
After just 50 photo sessions, “The Women” has almost half of its $10,000 goal.
Rohr adds that the project is not limited to women — men can get their photos taken as well.
Photos will be taken until the end of February in both Edmonton and Calgary. The photos will be on display at the Art Gallery of Alberta in March.