Testimonials

Robin Ruth Photography · Women on the Wall · Femography · Ecofemography

 

Robin Ruth Photography

Her black and white photos of my family have been hanging throughout my house for years. It's nearly impossible for me not to get any comments from anyone that comes to my house about the person that took the photos. Robin definitely has the eyes to capture just the right moment and the true essence of her subjects.
- Poopak


The beauty of Robin
Ruth's portraits is the experience of an inner truth revealed through light, shadow,texture, and the depth of feeling she conveys. She stops that second when the soul self is expressed and captivates the looker Into an ethereal moment where a oneness of spirit is recognized and regained.
- Emily


Robin is the most patient and calming photographer. She never rushes you or seems stressed. I have 4 children, and doing a family session causes me great stress, but not Robin!!!!! She also knows just when to take the picture, and what to tell you to do to relax.
- Elizabeth


Being photographed by Robin was a unique experience. Her love for art, her ability to see my inner and outer beauty even before I did, helped me to discover another side of myself.
- Carmen


It was windy. I went to touch the water and just be in it. And actually I don't even know when Robin began clicking pictures--it was that natural and transparent. When I saw the proofs I could not believe my eyes! It was me in my pure essence. It was raw, powerful, and legendary. I never thought of myself like that in a picture. It was the me, which is the "inside" of me, there outside in a picture. Never has anyone clicked a picture of me like this.
- Rehka


Robin put me immediately at ease when she started to photograph me. Her calming and peaceful personality and her soft spokenness helped me relax into being who I am..........I felt like a school girl again, playing and laughing in the nature with my best friend.
- Parand


Working with Robin has been transformative. She created an atmosphere of complete acceptance, trust, and relaxation so that I could unfold before the camera. I have never loved photos of myself as much as the ones Robin has taken. She has a gift for capturing the unique beauty at the heart of every woman. Sitting with her afterward to view my photos was where the transformation of my self-image occurred. She took photos that I actually loved looking at and by extension grew to accept and love myself more. She held my hand through the treacherous terrain of the inner critic and with her guidance my critic calmed and became vulnerable enough to allow me to embrace myself as I am, and to witness myself as more than I thought I was. Robin has a gift for capturing your beauty and the heart and compassion of a friend to support you in seeing it.
- Kimberly


Looking at my photographs is like I've met somebody I've never known before and it was a very nice experience. It was the facial expressions that Robin were able to catch, that's just genius I think, and there was nothing put on about it, there was nothing like, smile now, one, two, three, cheese.
- Rebecca


I felt very comfortable and connected to the experience which took me out of my head. Robin also inspired a great deal of confidence in her ability as a photographer: I appreciated her explanation of why she doesn't use digital.
- Anea


These pictures, I can say for the first time, that my critic had no voice.
- Anoushka

 

 

Women on the Wall

I was reminded of something that was said on my grandson's class picture when he was in kindergarten; it was a quote that said, "My face holds the history of my people and the feelings of my heart", and then little pictures of all the kids in the class were around the edge of that paper, and I just treasured that; I thought it was so special. I was reminded of that quote as I looked at my pictures; to appreciate the larger sweep of what you see in a face. Robin helped bring that to life for me directly.
- Una


It had never occurred to me in a conscious way that a picture of my face or body is a legacy, that was a whole new thought. It gave me a whole new way to appreciate what that means, especially as I am writing my parent's biography right now and this is a very important thing for me to consider. I am also aware that there were a number of pictures of my mother over the years that were taken of her too that we're all very happy to have. My dad's mother, I have no idea who she was or what she looked like because my dad had no pictures of her. So, I have no idea of what she even looks like.
- Satomi


The thing I worry about the most is "is it ok to make myself the focus of a photograph? What does it say about me that I am wanting to or willing to be literally the only person in the photograph? I want to get to a place where I really believe that I am beautiful and what other people think doesn't change how I feel about myself. I am inspired by wanting to set an example for my daughter. Robin has talked about how her mother's generation, and even in our generation, how rarely women have photographs done of themselves, and all of the reasons for that. I hope to set an example for my daughters of being proud of my body.
- Anea


 

 

Femography

I feel that I am coming into this space where I accept myself in all my manifestation forms. They are all one, just one, with different appearances and at the same time, just one.
- Malena


In some of my pictures I was wearing something more revealing and because I cover up a lot I don't have many pictures of myself without a sweatshirt on or whatever. So at first it was "Ahh, this is what my body looks like" and just the shock value of seeing it and getting used to it. Then I became more accepting because after awhile when you look at yourself that much it becomes less shocking.
- Pearl


Living with my portraits up in my home I have become more accepting of the ones I didn't like in the beginning. I've just sort of accepted that the picture is another "me", maybe not the most favorable look, but that too is who I am and that's OK.
- Poopak


And now that I have lived with my portraits I feel like I have integrated them and I can see the beautiful side of them. Definitely there's beauty to each one of them. I feel more accepting. I am going to be who I am and show who I am and it doesn't matter if I have these little bulges here or wrinkles there. It's beautiful. It's part of who I am. I do not question my body parts any more.
- Maria Elena


I had the pictures close to my mirror so when I am getting ready to go somewhere, instead of just looking at myself in the mirror and hearing all those critical thoughts come up, I would look at my pictures. It is hard to say something bad about yourself and see this picture of you in the forest! I still have negative things that come up, but it is such a constant positive empowering reinforcement of what I am thinking I look like versus having this beautiful portrait right there.
- Allison


The first time I saw my prints I was like OMG, my body is not as good as I want it to be. I had never seen my body at an angle like that or so far away. I don't see the back of me, the side of myself, so after a few days I was like: these are really beautiful pictures I am glad that I did it.
- Sarah


My body image has actually improved by looking at my photographs. There was a point where anytime I was dressing I would reflect on the photographs on how I look so I would feel beautiful as I was preparing myself. Because I was thinking about the photographs they were a confirmation that "yeah, you are beautiful".
- Sandie


I used to look at other people's standards of beauty, but now I have my own standard and my standard of beauty is me now. It's about an inner energy that radiates outward. When I am dressing in the mirror, the image that comes to me is the image I see in these pictures. Sometimes you know when you look in the mirror and go Ugghh! Now I remind myself I am the same person in the photograph. And so I smile. These photographs have become my new reference point.
- Shonell


Going through this process I could see this relationship of my inner image of myself and my outer reality of myself. I could see that what I saw in the photos didn't match what I saw inside. I worked with those contrasting images just to see where I am with both of them and make friends with them both in a different way, in a new way. I really appreciated that process. So I was happy to be able to have that opportunity and become more aware of my comfort level with what I see relative to what I think is there or what I would like to have there that isn't, and all of that.
- Una


Having the pictures for several weeks on my wall helped to make peace with who I am and how I look.
- Carmen


My body image has changed in a lot of ways going through this process. I had this tendency of weighing myself every day and worrying about the food I ate. So somewhere, me becoming comfortable with my own body has shifted something inside that I'm not becoming fat. Now however I eat, whatever I do, I'm not feeling fat in my body, and that I feel is really powerful. And because of that I feel very comfortable in my body.
- Anoushka


I have made friends with the discrepancy of my inner image and my outer appearance, and I really appreciate how this has been a gift for me.
- Satomi

 

 

Ecofemography

Spiritually being at the ocean is always a powerful experience for me. It makes me realize how insignificant I am in front of this infinite being. And it just helps my spirit soar high—forget about worries, writing papers, going back home, conflicts, everything disappeared in that moment of being there. In fact, the feeling was like being with a good friend at the ocean—getting to know each other. Robin took care of everything. It was a magical evening and a magical feeling!
- Rehka


Nature disarms me and I identify with the trees, flowers, water, rocks and clusters of growing things complimenting one another—the beauty of character in "oldness." I relate, identify with all the stages of growth and decay, and it reminds me that all is in order—divine planning. I surrender to that in humility and deep gratitude.
- Satomi


I think after awhile when I looked at the photos I was a lot less critical. On a spiritual level I definitely feel I moved from focusing on what I look like, what every little part of my body looks like—or my face in every picture—to kind of this overall…more seeing the pictures as what my experience was when I was there, and also as seeing them all more as different aspects of my personality and myself. I moved from this very detail-oriented criticism to this more expansive point of view.
- Pearl


So even when I see the pictures now, I can concentrate on myself and look at myself because everything is so safe around me. And of course it is beauty around me in the pictures, so it is easier for me to see beauty in myself. And I felt that way the day we took the pictures. There is no other way than being natural and being with beauty in nature. So it is easy for me to transport myself to the beautiful setting and feel beautiful by looking at the pictures.
- Melita


I see the physical me in my portraits but they are reflecting something more beyond that. It's the light that each one of us has. That's what I see in my portraits Robin took. The light that was once to manifest itself but was obscured by my shadows. The light of the soul, the light of the spirit that I have always had and was not capable of bringing out and letting it shine all the way. I am so thankful for Robin doing this. When I came to this realization I cried and I had to write it down.
- Malena


What I enjoyed most about the photography session was being outside in such a beautiful setting. The walk out to the location of the shoot was very calming and put me at ease for the shoot. The sights and smells of the forest setting were comforting, and I enjoyed interacting with the natural habitat. I felt as though I was a part of the scenery and was more comfortable having my picture taken than I normally am. The natural, outdoor scenery definitely made me feel more happy and relaxed, especially when taking more daring pictures that showed a lot of body and skin. I found it surprisingly easy to show so much body and skin; I didn't want to hide anything. Being in nature helped to calm any fear or nervousness that came up for me during the shoot, since I felt as though I were part of something beautiful and bigger than merely a self portrait. I can't imagine being in a more comfortable setting.
- Allison


Nature absolutely and completely altered my experience of being photographed. There is no way Robin could photograph me like this in a studio or even in the privacy of my home. Emotionally, as soon as I am on a beautiful beach I am on top of the world. The beach is my element, so I was happy as can be! Physically, upon arriving at the beach I was relieved. First the sound and the smell of "les embrues" immediately put a smile on my face. The sunset light invigorated and calmed me at the same time, and the feel of the sand under my feet appeased my tired legs. Finally, splashing in the cold water was just divine. I simply felt rejuvenated. My spirit was lifted by all the beauty surrounding me and the kindness of the women accompanying me.
- Margot


I learned that doing the photo shoot was a lot of fun once we got into it, and I was not as self conscious as I thought I would be. Being on the beach where water is my element helped a lot; it brought out a radiance in me, and I think Robin being the photographer helped a lot. I saw that all aspects of me, whether I am being serious, contemplative, giggly, all aspects of me are beautiful. I don't have to be concerned that my makeup is right or my hair is right, I just need to BE, and I will be beautiful.
- Shonell


I think the magnificence of Robin's work is that it is in nature. I just lost everything, I didn't care. It is a kind of universal emollient or bomb that cures everything.
- Rebecca


Although I was a little distracted by the cold and my feet hurting on the stones, I felt like I was in a place of beauty to which I was deeply connected. A place of comfort, love, and security. Robin was clearly in her element and made me feel comfortable and secure because what was a foreign place to me was very familiar to her and she held a grounded, centered place for me to move and play and let go of my inhibitions. For Robin to be that in tune with the light and her camera, and me, made me feel I was no longer in a foreign place. The sounds and smells and sights were so stunningly beautiful. I felt on every level that I was being given a gift not only to be there in that moment, but to capture it on film on the cusp of entering the 4th decade of my journey.
- Anea


Trust that the Ecofemography experience will produce a positive transformation. It is like moving into another culture where the standards of beauty are different. I would encourage anyone considering this experience to trust Robin and her expertise on a number of levels: to leave the standards and the voices of the day to day world aside and step into this magical place where the trees and the birds and the bugs think that you are beautiful in your most natural state. I feel very blessed, and it was a very important experience for me at a very important time, and I would highly recommend it.
- Becky


My portraits have become very sacred to me, and have attained a level of sanctity. They seem to be taking a form larger than my physical body. When I go into deep meditation there is a presence I feel, of which I see and feel in my pictures. I'm really grateful to Robin because I have no idea how she captured that. It's like magic.
- Anoushka


My day spent with Robin was as if I had six months of therapy in one afternoon. Our photography session brought us into the redwood forest and as we hiked and talked, we entered a sacred space so that the session felt like a ritual. Our photo session reminded me of a passage from the book, A Hidden Wholeness, by Parker J. Palmer where he says, "In the wilderness, I sense the wholeness hidden "in all things." Nature shows us the signs of a bedrock integrity that is eternal and beyond all doubt. When I return to a human world that is transient and riddled with disbelief, I have new eyes for the wholeness hidden in me and my kind and a new heart for loving even our imperfections." Wholeness is not about perfection. My time with Robin allowed me to feel free and uninhibited and to forget about the camera. Although I felt trepidation in seeing the photographs, something within me let go, and I was able to view my imperfections in a way that I hadn't before. I thank Robin and her special ability to help me to see my inner wholeness so that I could view the outer picture with more acceptance and grace.
- Julie


I felt as beautiful as the nature that surrounded me.
- Melita


Thesis Review:
Ecofemography: Photographing Women in Nature and the Inward Movement of Beauty

At once both thought provoking and emotionally engaging, Robin asks the questions that matter in this research, allowing the reader to dive into their preconceived notions of Body and Self as a woman and her clients/subjects a new window of discovery into their bodies as reflections of inner beauty. How do women come home to the Self, in body, mind, soul, and spirit? How do women counteract the attacks of cultural constructs and media oppression with the truths of an Embodied Self that is unique, vital, and beautiful? She redefines true beauty as the "Inward movement of beauty," integrating all aspects of self and dismantling dualistic slavery to external and societal (patriarchal) norms for female beauty. She also offers a viable means of reconstructing and re-visioning a more authentic feminine body image through the use of women's portraiture in nature and as adornment for the walls of their homes. Her precise and cogent application of research methodology provides a valid and valuable means to these ends. Research into the history of feminine portraiture and ecopsychology provide a grounded basis for her development of a thesis that creates a new modality for feminine evolution— Ecofemography. I find Robin's work a brilliant reflection of her inner transformation and her willingness to heed the call to "walk women through this process and kindly give them hope of feeling good in the bodies they are all so blessed to inhabit." It is also an important contribution to the Women's Spirituality canon.

BRAVA!
- Pauline Reif, M.A., M.F.A., and thesis committee member.


Click here to see Ecofemography Video