Meet Ashley Gurley | Portrait photographer and the lens behind The Found Project
My photography as a whole is focused on empowering women to feel seen and valued. The Found Project is an extension of that purpose, with a magnifying glass on rest. After taking applications from women asking about their restful activities, I selected participants based on both their passion and diversity of activity. The photographs were taken in a place where each woman felt most represented their rest.
In acknowledgement of true rest leading to the rediscovering or “finding” of oneself, which is the reason behind the name of the The Found Project, each woman wore a crown or headpiece and dressed in a way that outwardly represented their inner best self. Although the lighting, location, wardrobe, and editing of each image is unique, the overarching theme of finding oneself in rest is present in the entire body of work. It can often be difficult to convince ourselves to do the things that are best for us, and it was my goal with The Found Project to encourage women to both remember to rest for themselves, and to lead by example for the women in their spheres of influence.
About The Found Project
Rest can look like a lot of different things. It could be playing a sport, reading a book, creating a piece of art, or listening to music. For this project, we asked women in Knoxville to tell us why rest is important in their lives, what they do for rest, and how rest impacts their sense of self. We received some amazing responses and invited 12 entrepreneurial women to be featured.