The Eva Effect

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Erin Griffith / Community Voices

“My favourite part about doing The Eva Effect project is getting to meet all these amazing new people, their dogs and hearing all of their heartwarming stories. I love dogs SO much and getting to knock on someone’s door for a session and have my main subject greet me with so much excitement and enthusiasm brings me incredible joy. This project has truly changed my life and I am grateful to see just how many people believe in it and in me.” - Erin Griffith

During last November’s Real Life Conference, I was greatly inspired by Kristi Odom’s talk: “The Power of Personal Projects”. I’d honestly never thought I was ‘allowed’ to do a personal project if I didn’t even have a stable and accomplished photography business running yet… but seriously though, who made up that rule?

I got home from Real Life and, running on the adrenaline I had gained from my experience there, signed up for both Dana Pugh’s pricing course and Kirsten Lewis’s year long course “Visual Storytelling for the Commercial Photographer.”

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Knowing that in Kirsten’s course, I would be required to work on a personal project, I decided to get a head start: I spent a morning in January re-reading the notes I’d taken during Kristi’s talk, brainstorming and making lists of the things that brought me the most joy.

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It didn’t take long to admit to myself that what brings ME the most happiness in life is my dog, Eva May. She has changed my life for the better in so many ways. I then thought, I can’t be the only one who loves my dog so much that some days, my love for her brings me to tears.

That same day, January 22nd, I posted a model call on Facebook to see if any of the women I knew would be interested in having their photo taken with their dog. I got an overwhelming response and within the next week I had already photographed six women.

Once the project started rolling, I knew that it was going to be about so much more than just pretty pictures of women and their dogs. This is a project about the relationship between these women and their dogs, about the myriad of emotions they bring to one another. This project is about giving them a platform to tell their stories.

As humans, we have created a very special bond with canines. As women, I feel that our relationships with our dogs are unique and special in a way that’s unlike any of the relationships we share with our partners, our children or our other pets. The more stories I’m hearing from women who’ve reached out to me, the more confident I am, that all their stories need to be told.

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Since this project has started, the level of interest has been incredible and I have been contacted by women from across North America. They have told me their stories over email, by text and even by phone. The Eva Effect has taken on such traction that, on April 22nd, only 3 months after its launch, I flew to Florida for a week long stay with Anna Nguyen where I booked as many sessions as I possibly could!

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I am more passionate than ever about this project: It is SO dear to my heart. In the hopes of multiplying my travels over North America to tell these women’s stories, of furthering both the extent and reach of this project, I’ve even begun the process of applying for grants and fundraising campaigns. These will be able to fund the ultimate goal of the Eva Effect; to publish a book by the summer of 2020.

These women’s stories have touched my soul: they have brought me to tears, have made me laugh, they are raw and real and I feel immense gratitude that people are opening up to me in such ways. I want to be able to share, in print, the best stories from this project. I know, in my heart, that this book is going to come to fruition because I’ve never felt so passionate or driven about anything else that I’ve pursued in my life.


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Mary Moore