Two years ago, a few strangers came to Ohio to meet in real life. Until that day, they learned about each others’ families through photos and emails. But after that first meet-up, the friendship rooted even deeper. And now we’ve vowed to make it an annual trip. A couple months ago, Carmen started a Facebook group to discuss our 2012 meet-up. It’s one place to cover the 2012 details, but really it’s a place to spew our anger or humor that’s not appropriate for regular FB (Grammy doesn’t need to read our stuff. We have some class.). One night while discussing all that junk, we decided the web was missing something. We couldn’t find a place that truly celebrated the filthy glory of life (side note: Yes, there are plenty of filthy places online. We weren’t talking porn that night). You can find hundreds of websites that focus on the beauty of ordinary moments. It isn’t hard. Google it. Our main gripe with those sites is that they all feel squeaky clean and homogenized. Nothing felt honest. After a string of comments, we decided to create this missing oasis. A few weeks ago, Overexposed + Underdeveloped got a foundation on a string of snarky comments from women wanting more.
All of the contributors at O+U have a common goal: to express our lives as honestly as possible. Sometimes the tone might be anger, exhaustion or frustration. But mostly we hope you find humor and support with our posts. I think you’ll be able to relate to an author’s point because we aren’t cookie cutter versions of each other. We’re all different. Some of us are SAHM’s and others are Working Moms. Some have babies while some of us are parenting adult children. We’re teachers, homeschoolers, unschoolers, professors, and public school goers. We’ve got mothers to boys, mothers to girls, and mothers to girls and boys. Some women have recently found their strength and there are women who never lost it. One or two of us might prefer whiskey while the others love a cold beer. Some of us are morning people and others don’t get moving until the evening. We’ve got Americans and Canadians. We’re married and we’re divorced. Some of us cuss in our sleep and others have to be tipsy to let a bad word fly. We’re different.
Most important, we respect those differences because they don’t define us. Our similarities are why we fell in love with each other. We’re all mothers who ferociously love our children. We know life can be incredibly difficult but we find it’s easier when supported by a loving community. We all believe that photography is essential to our journey and that life should be experienced at its fullest. Finally, we believe being quiet and passive about life isn’t an option. Our similarities give us a mission and a mutual respect for each other. That’s our strength as group.
What can you expect from O+U? Let me tell you what it isn’t first. It isn’t a Mommy blog. Parent your children the very best you can. This isn’t a Photography blog. Want to learn about aperture? Google it. This isn’t a blog to help women build their self-esteem. Throw a rock and you’ll find your version of Oprah. Here’s what O+U is. We’ll talk parenting, photography, and general badassry because that’s what we do. But will we promise this info can make your kids listen, improve your photos, and make you stand taller? Hell no! That’s a big promise. We do promise you’ll get an honest and different POV, stunning photographs and a few kick-ass moments. Do what you want with the info: laugh at it, shrug it off, or test run it in your own life. Basically we’re using O+U to share juicy nuggets from life, mistakes we’ve made, and some photos. Comment. Tell us what you like or what you hate. Let’s talk about life. You have no idea how fantastic we are at chatting.
Each month, we’ll focus on a theme. Without a theme, we’d be all over the place. You don’t want us running amuck. That’s really dangerous. First month? Mornings. It’s a new day. I’ve showered. The kids are out of the house and I’m ready to hit the road. I’ve had my cereal and fifth cup of coffee. But before I get to work, it’s time to share these voices. Read our profiles and come back tomorrow.
*I had to show proof of a shower. Friends & family need this info. They probably don’t believe it, but I swear I showered this morning.
Really, Ma. I showered!
Fine. I showered last night. But I showered.
*Plus that bowl is empty and was staged for the photo. I did shoot it in the morning. And it was used for my kid’s breakfast. I had cereal for lunch that day out of the same filthy bowl. So it counts as a futuristic honest photo… I told you we’d be honest over here. Filth-buckets full of honesty. Who puts up a picture of her filthy hair if she isn’t a smidge of a filth bucket? An honest one that’s who.
*But the shower was used. Promise.