July 11, 2016
It began with a Prince quote, pulled from the Rolling Stone archives in the days following his untimely death. “I learn from women a lot quicker than I do from men… you’re supposed to know what it means to be a man, but now what do you know about what it means to be a woman? Do you know how to listen?”
This insight from the Purple One ignited the idea for The Wild Morning, an in-progress photo and poetry project by local photographer Dave Puente and local writer Brittany Chaffee.
The concept for a photo series capturing humans as they begin their day had been rolling around in Puente’s brain for years. The idea to frame his idea between the pages of a book materialized when he joined forces with Chaffee over a now-symbolic morning coffee.
The Wild Morning project is on a mission to personify the raw honesty and vulnerability of the early morning hours through real women and their stories. The dawn — not unlike the women who wake to greet it — are inspiring, unapologetic, complex and real.
The dynamic duo wanted to start with the women who have inspired their own lives, and have already featured some of Minneapolis’ most poignant and inspirational women. Local media powerhouse Jana Shortal, radio darling Falen Bonsett Lambert and recent author and longtime soul-stirrer Nora McInerny Purmort are just a handful of women to receive the Chaffee/Puente treatment.
All were given the same instructions: simply wake up and open the door. No makeup. No wardrobe. Just exist in your morning. While Dave snaps away, Brittany deftly spins poetry inspired by wherever the conversation wanders. Their goal is to include 30 to 40 unique women in the final book.
“Women from all walks of life are approaching us to be a part of the project for reasons we never imagined,” said Chaffee. “It’s humbling to have women come to us looking for a way to slow down, reflect on their true selves, or to simply heal.”
Local Minneapolis publisher, Wise Ink Publishing, will publish The Wild Morning in the spring of 2017 — perfectly timed as spring is the first peek of dawn after a long, dark winter. But for now, you can follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Here’s a sneak peek at one of my favorite entries.
The Wild Morning is currently exploring ways to give back to survivors of domestic abuse through financial support and education. Stay tuned for updates and to follow the women of The Wild Morning here: