To celebrate the conclusion of our first year of the Maine Women's Project, we are turning the camera on our photographer and the co-creator of MWP, Kari Herer. Beyond co-launching this initiative, her role as photographer has been pivotal. Kari possesses a rare talent for capturing the true spirit and personality of each woman we feature. Her photos are not just images; they are stories of resilience, strength, and beauty. As a single mom and an award-winning photographer, Kari exemplifies the very essence of what we aim to showcase in the project. I'm excited to feature Kari, bringing her from behind the camera to the forefront. Her story is one of triumph, creativity, and unwavering dedication, and it's an honor to share it with all of you. Since you see her in front of the lens this month, it's important to share that Kari's 14 year-old daughter was this month's photographer. Her talent is already extraordinary and it's a testament to the importance of both sharing opportunities with our next generation and learning from their creative might.
Here is Kari Herer in her own words...
My name is Kari Herer. I'm a photographer.
I take photographs for a living, but I would love to be known for teaching people how to see differently. I believe that through the act of taking photographs we can connect, reflect, and make change. For over 25 years, I have been given different photography assignments, but The Maine Women’s Project has become my favorite. I’m so honored to be a part of it and can’t wait to see what this next year brings. I’m committed to building a community that combines generations of photographers and - hopefully - brings some visual stories to this project.
When I think of Maine and Portland, I think of talent. Andrew Wyeth’s paintings are a testament of the beautiful light that falls on Maine and our waters. Mainers are good with their hands and great at creating. Maine delivers inspiration.
It's tough for me to choose the Mainer who most inspires me because there are so many people who I have been inspired by. The more I learn the more I’m blown away by the driven women that have lived in Maine. One woman who has made the biggest impact on my Maine life is Kate Simpson. She has made me a better person. I’m inspired by her knowledge and her ability to give. She is creating community around resilience and breaking down barriers while doing it. I can’t wait to see what she builds.
Right now, Maine has a lot of challenges that are extremely critical, especially housing, lack of diversity, and increasing drug addiction to name a few. Working in my industry - photography and film - I would say I have it pretty darn good. If I had to expand on the challenges I already named, I would say that sometimes Mainers don’t get taken seriously. Many times I have heard that talent has been flown in from “away” when we have so much to offer in the film and photo industries right here in our home state.
Maine's greatest asset is our honest, hard working people. You know who you are!
What are some of your favorite places?
My favorited places to eat, drink and shop include The Frites Shack, Maine Craft Distilling, Blanch and Mimi.
Little Jon Preserve is my favorite outdoor spot. Parking is very limited which keeps it quiet and great for trail running or a walk with the dog.
What are your thoughts on what makes women’s leadership unique and how Maine women can work together to create impact?
When women support other women, change happens. Over the past year I have seen this Maine Women's Project group start, smolder, and burst into action. I can’t wait to see what happens next year.
How did you decide to make Maine home? Nowhere else felt like home.