the freedom project

02.01.11

I have had this project in my heart for well over  a year. I’m not claiming it’s original or hasn’t been done before, but I will say with confidence is that it was born from a place of my heart that I cherish. A place of purity and devotion. I cannot draw, I do not own a paint brush, but I have my camera.

I love my country.

I do not love the direction she is headed. More than anything, I would love to see her brought back to her former days, more along the lines of what our founding fathers had intended.

There is always hope. There is another generation and I consider it an honor to raise up my son to be a man who respects God, his elders, and his country. To know what it stands for and why it needs protecting.

The other day my son told me “he wanted to be in a battle” and to “be a hero”. Of course, as his mother I wanted to yell,“stay safe, no!”. But I kept my fears to myself — we need a nation of men and women who are weary of “safe”.

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“Where will our country find leaders with integrity, courage, strength—all the family values—in ten, twenty, or thirty years?

The answer is that you are teaching them, loving them, and raising them right now.” — Barbara Bush

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{ About the Images Below }

These images are dedicated to my God, first and foremost, and to my country. A love-song, in imagery form, as to what it means to be an American. Dare I say a Patriot.

Lastly, my prior military husband helped me with this session and we were sure to protect and respect the flag during the shoot.

© 2011 Skye Hardwick – Do not use without permission

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“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heavenand will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14

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Stay tuned for more images from this series.

If you are in the San Gabriel Valley  CA area and would like to have your child a part of my Freedom Project, please drop me a line. Especially from those who have a loved one who is currently serving our country.

Furthermore, to the Photographers who may be reading. I am writing an article for my Soulographer Inspiration Blog about connecting your heart to your images using this series as an example. Keep watch for that one!

If you enjoyed this post, I’d appreciate it if you would share it with others who would enjoy it.

Until then.

- Skye xoxo



  1. elizabeth pellette on 02.01.11

    these are so amazing.. love them

  2. Jenna on 02.01.11

    beautiful work. i love seeing your heart and passion. :)

  3. Cynthia on 02.01.11

    Love this! I am in the San Gabriel Valley and would love to have my son participate! We don’t have any close loved ones serving, but respect and appreciate those that do. And love God and this country!

  4. Jenna on 02.01.11

    beautiful. i love seeing your heart and passion. :)

  5. Christy on 02.01.11

    Stunning! what a beautiful project to honor God and country.

  6. Natalie Clayshulte on 02.01.11

    These are beautiful images. Thanks for sharing a bit of your heart.

  7. Pam Godfrey on 02.01.11

    This project could n’t be any more awesome!! Love, love, love it/ I would love to have some like this of my 10 yr. old boy. He wants to join the military when he grows up.

  8. Nicole Hammontree on 02.01.11

    As usual, these are stunning and so you! Always eye candy, and today heart candy as well. :) thank you for sharing.

  9. Mary Beth on 02.01.11

    beautiful set, these are just stunning, you sure know how to work that light. and your son, so handsome!! did he enjoy this? my boys would love it.

  10. Kristin Cook on 02.01.11

    Wow. These images are just breathtaking. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  11. amie hansen on 02.01.11

    wow! what a work of art and so inspiring! what a gift to give to yourself and others!

  12. jen on 02.01.11

    these are absolutely beautiful in every way.

  13. Bernadette Hair on 02.01.11

    Really well done, Skye! What a wonderful series. Like I said earlier, my husband is on his 12th deployment since my son was born (he’s 7) not counting trips in between and we are soo weary of them – your photos are uplifting. Only wish we lived in your area – I can’t think of anything I’d like to do more than to have you take pictures for us. Wonderful job.

  14. Hilary Bracher on 02.01.11

    LOVE the new pictures! Just a small thing, but at the end of your blog post you quote a Bible verse and have”Stay tuned for more images from this series” in the quote, like it’s part of 2 Chronicles 7:14. I don’t think God minds, but you might want to fix it. :)

  15. Dianne Kinzenbaw on 02.01.11

    These are absolutely beautiful Skye!

  16. Jen on 02.01.11

    Not only do I admire and love your artistry, I respect and honor you for publicly acknowledging your faith and patriotism. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Kim Armstrong on 02.01.11

    I have not been able to stop thinking about the image of your son running up the hill with the flag since you posted it on your fb page. Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who is still moved by the symbolism of our American flag. My 2 year old and I were traveling on a long trip last week, and I was overcome with pride for our country as we made our way across the Midwest. We pointed and gazed at the vibrant red, white and blue that waved back at us. OUR children are the future, and with women like us that take pride in our land and our God we will surely lead this country to a better place.
    Thanks for the nostalgic images- they are MORE than just beautiful!

  18. Maggie Hendrix on 02.01.11

    I am so in love with this project Skye! I love your words. They encourage me that one by one, WE are raising a generation with a heart after God.

  19. Mary Schannen on 02.01.11

    These are gorgeous!

  20. Michele on 02.01.11

    Oh how I love anything and everything red, white, and blue! I love these photos so much and you are just amazing. Im not in San Gabriel, CA but rather Sacramento, CA. If you are ever half way up all the way up here let me know because I would kill to have my children in this series. Im going to have to check out the soulographer blog. My family blog is at http://www.michelesapples.blogspot.com. Cheers!

  21. Cathy Noble on 02.01.11

    stunning. just stunning. these images stir up so much emotion…such strength and hope.

  22. Becky on 02.01.11

    Glorious…we are certainly kindred spirits!!! These photographs are perfection!!!

  23. tamsen on 02.02.11

    gorgeous. love the Bible texts too. I feel so jubilant when I see others who also believe these words and are willing to share it with the world.

  24. Andrea on 02.02.11

    Dear Skye! I have been working on starting my photography business and have found your site somehow. Your work, not only as an artist but also as a business woman, was so inspiring. So much so, that I bought your Workshop Workbook. After all that, reading this post… You are my hero now! I won’t doubt again that there are artistic types who still care as much as you do (and I do) about our God and country. Thank you for your display of Courage. As some of us know, courage is the rarest of all good traits. Thank you, again.

  25. Andrea Brown on 02.02.11

    Skye…these photos are amazing. I love looking at your work, it is art. I am so glad that I found you on facebook which led to your blog. Have learned allot from you and your workbook.And your photo’s are so inspiring. Thank you.

  26. Diana on 02.03.11

    Amazing. These pictures send chills up my spine. My husband, a former Marine, and I both thank you for such a wonderful tribute to our God and our country!

  27. Jamie on 02.03.11

    I so love this series. My son is in the Army and serving in Iraq as a combat medic and this really makes me think of him. I think you should turn these into greeting cards. Amazing work!!!
    Huggles,
    Jamie
    http://www.prettyinpinkpixels.com/blog

  28. Prescilla on 02.03.11

    I love this series! The verse you added at the end is perfect.

  29. Sarah on 02.03.11

    Love. It. Breathtaking…my natural tendency to weep and grow sentimental when faced with the beauty of our flag rose up in full force upon viewing your images. Just beautiful!!!! The lighting, the angles, the composition…quite simply? Amazing.

    Thanks for sharing!

  30. letty resillas on 02.03.11

    Beautifull!!!!!, I pledge allegiance to the flag.

  31. Jackie on 02.03.11

    My fellow photographer friend sent me a link to this project bc I am in need of some inspiration. I too am a Cali photographer and have been for a few years now. But ever since the new year I feel like I’m stuck in a rut. I need to be reinspired with my craft again and this touched me very much. Thank you. I look so very forward to seeing more from this series and continue to be visually inspired!

  32. Brittany Burtch on 02.03.11

    BEAUTIFUL!

  33. Christine Lewis on 02.04.11

    Love this shoot. The pictures are amazing and inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

  34. Deborah on 02.04.11

    Wow-tears in my eyes, totally encouraged by your faith and respect. May God continue to bless you. Thank you for sharing your project.

  35. kristen on 02.09.11

    Your work is AMAZING! This project would be very special for my kids to participate. My husband is an Army vet, who comes from a family of vets – his dad, his grandpa, uncles, etc. It is because of him that I have become much more patriotic and our kids are too. They are 9, 7, & 5.

  36. kristen on 02.09.11

    ps – I live in the Inland Empire, so not San Gabriel, but hopefully close enough! Thansks!

  37. Elizabeth on 02.10.11

    these are some of the best photos I have ever seen…

  38. Abbie Torroll on 02.13.11

    These are absolutely beautiful. Your words and the pictures. I so wish I lived near you. Beautifully beautifully beautifully done….:)

  39. Susan on 02.15.11

    I say Amen to your Freedom Project and to you views and comments. Thank you for sharing the gift God has given you. You do what I only dream of.

  40. Alex on 02.20.11

    Wow! These are amazingly beautiful!! I love them, gorgeous theme!

  41. Lynda on 02.22.11

    These photos are stunning. We live in San Diego and would love to be a part of your project as my husband is an active duty Marine.

  42. Tammy on 02.23.11

    These are stunning. Well done!

  43. Cynthia Hutchinson on 03.01.11

    Love this, Skye! You are such an inspiration to me… your work is amazing!

  44. Sue Fowler Photography on 03.19.11

    SO love this series!! I so agree that we need to raise our children to be fighters for what is good and right, all things of God and not of this world!

    My husband and I are moving to Chula Vista (by San Diego) from Seattle to pursue ministry end of June and would love to meet with you and have tea!!! I too share a passion for God and photography!
    Check out our blog chronicling our journey…missionpossible40.blogspot.com
    Blessings to you and your beautiful, God inspired work!
    Sue

  45. Audrey Litfin on 03.31.11

    Amazing captures Skye, these are so inspirational and uplifting. I completely agree, I would love to see the world in a better place, simpler times w/ a stronger foundation around God.

  46. Stephanie on 04.07.11

    I just absolutely love this session! Such a patriotic and marvelous idea! Keep up the good work!

  47. Gertrude Bell on 04.08.11

    this gave me chills! I LOVE the heart behind this project & the photos are so inspirational & beautiful!
    thanks for sharing – can’t wait to see more!

  48. Ravynword on 04.21.11

    This blog posting is absolutely awesome. Keep up the blessed work that GOD has commissioned you to do, Skye. Bravo!

  49. Christin on 05.03.11

    Hi, Skye! Your purpose in this endeavor is a lovely one…that I admire and respect. I am on your boat. Blessings for you and your family as you make your vision for this project become a reality. God bless America!

  50. vic on 05.03.11

    beautiful

  51. Renee R. Dobson on 05.04.11

    Wow! I just found you online actually on a facebook ad I believe. Looking at your blog has made me lose my train of thought. The American Flag photos are very inspiring! I love all your work!!! I’m officially a fan of yours! I’ve been looking for inspiration and wanted to thank you for bringing that to me. :) Your new friend, Renee R. Dobson

  52. Ashley Warren on 05.14.11

    I adore this project Skye! Thank you so much from a military spouse. My husband is deployed right now and seeing your images really helps me! It has also inspired me to try something like this with my boys. I am running out of ideas for a 5 and 7 year old. Can’t do the cute stuff anymore. ;) Thanks again for your support!!!

  53. Amber on 05.18.11

    I just wanted to tell you how inspirational this post was for me. I have been sitting here quietly staring at my monitor for several minutes now. Beautiful:) I am an aspiring photographer (have a looong way to go) and your work truly motivates me to push myself.

  54. Sarah Wenger on 05.18.11

    Skye,

    I know this was posted a while ago but I just found your work on FB and I really want to thank you for the flag series. They are beautiful and as a fellow Christian I am glad to see other talented people not backing down from what they believe in. I am a new photographer myself and am really enjoying your work. They are visually stunning :)

    Sarah – from Michigan :)

  55. Teresa Russell Photography on 06.15.11

    These photographs moved me to thankful tears. Thankful for God’s blessing of America and being born here, but also thankful for parents like you who are training up the next generation of young men to love Almighty God and serve their country. I enjoy your use of your gift for the glory of God. It’s always a delight to come across a kindred spirit! Just purchased the Workshop Workbook and cannot wait to learn from you. God bless.

  56. Chelle Cates on 07.01.11

    I just had to share your Freedom Project on my facebook page. I am an aspiring photographer and have fallen in love with your workbook & your art. My brother is also a soldier in the US Army and served 4 tours in Iraq. I am so proud of him and your images truly touched my heart. I love all your work, but wanted to personally say how moved I was by these images.
    Here is my link: http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1398621244

    Inspired,
    Chelle Cates

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  58. Susan Reynolds on 07.18.11

    I am just IN LOVE with your series of the United States Flag photos. What beautiful photos you captured paired with your writing and scripture! They are STUNNING!!!

  59. Laura Viles on 07.22.11

    This is Amazing! The lighting and colors are awesome and I love the Bible verse at the bottom. :-)

  60. Kathleen Rohner on 08.17.11

    Your Project is so moving. With the 10th anniversary of 9/11approaching I was wondering if you are going to get these moving images out in our country. Children holding our flag to the Heavens!!! Amazing and so appropriate. Our country needs these images and messages like yours. God Bless you and your work ~

  61. Cheryl on 09.11.11

    Love these images.. :)

  62. Jennifer on 04.27.12

    beyond beautiful….as a child of God, a lover of my country, as a photographer, as a military spouse and as a mother of two boys this series and the love behind it makes my heart sing. so inspiring.

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  64. Janie Garcia on 06.23.12

    love , love, love what you did with the Freedom Project…

  65. Janie Garcia on 06.23.12

    very nice, love the lens flare …awesome

  66. Joya Apperson on 07.25.12

    Brought tears to my eyes, honestly. Blessings!