North Texas Daily

100 Stories Project celebrates diversity and women of Denton

100 Stories Project celebrates diversity and women of Denton

100 Stories Project celebrates diversity and women of Denton
March 25
12:00 2021

It all started during winter break. AnnAnn Puttithanasorn, a 20-year-old Denton resident, organized a photoshoot with a group of diverse women to celebrate their differences and cultures. After connecting and networking with these women, Puttithanasorn realized that their five stories were not enough, and soon after the 100 Stories Project was born.

“Being able to appreciate and understand other people’s cultures is very important to me,” Puttithanasorn said. “Regardless of whatever ethnicity, race and background you’re from, we are all the same, we are all people and we all deserve to be heard.”

100 Stories is a project where Puttithanasorn interviews local creators who have atypical stories they are willing to share.

“I realized that there were a lot of people in their early 20s, maybe even younger, [who] are looking to start their own business, whether that’s photography or filmmaking or any other medium of art,” Puttithanasorn said. “I thought that doing this project would be a great way to connect with other creators and share their stories so people have a free educational resource where they can know where they can start or they can get some ideas for what they want to do.”

Puttithanasorn was born in Bangkok, Thailand, but grew up in Denton. After high school, she moved to New York to study music performance at Bard College. Her interest in photography has always been a hobby, but she began professionally doing it last year.

Puttithanasorn’s inspiration comes from her love for creating stories and connecting with people. On the other hand, her passion for equal representation and diversity comes from being an immigrant herself.

“I think, subconsciously, I am constantly looking for people who might not be as heard as others,” Puttithanasorn said. “I feel like there has to be more representation in any field, both women and minorities.”

Ana Midence, a makeup artist and Carrollton resident, was one of the five models Puttithanasorn photographed during her intial photoshoot. Midence said women photographers working as advocates for other women artists is important.

“As a modest Muslim, I felt more comfortable being photographed by another woman, and the unfortunate truth is that women who model have been preyed [on] by male photographers,” Midence said. “It’s important for talented photographers [like her] to be in the industry to advocate for women and provide a safe and creative environment.”

Ultimately, Midence hopes Puttithanasorn’s project encourages a deeper understanding of acceptance and tolerance among women.

“Hopefully [it] widens the definition of beauty in terms [of] women, for the younger generations to see themselves in art deemed beautiful,” Midence said.

The most important aspect of the 100 Stories Project to Puttithanassorn is finding a special connection with her subjects, she said.

Lillia Whittington, the first interviewee of the project and TWU graduate, said Puttithanasorn’s project can inspire many people and offer a chance to showcase all the talented women in Denton.

Whittington was chosen for her blog “The D. Diaries” where she features local businesses in Denton. During the interview, she said she remembered how she felt inspired by Puttithanasorn’s questions and the approach she took.

“She asked me a question about what I would tell my younger self and it just took me back and made me reflect on all the things I’ve done since starting The D. Diaries,” Whittington said. “It’s crazy, but that reflection really boosted me into a season of doing work that I love.”

Puttithanasorn hopes that people are inspired to try their own projects, regardless of the obstacle that they encounter.

“I feel like time flies by incredibly fast and things are constantly changing and being able to have a picture to hold on to, encapsulates those memories. I am just lucky enough to get to capture the moment for them,” Puttithanasorn said.

Courtesy AnnAnn Puttithanasorn

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Oriana Valderrama

Oriana Valderrama

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