A simple word or phrase can identify us in our minds and terrify us to share with others. These fears are often irrational. We are not alone, and people support us - whether we know them or not. The "What I Be" project has helped me to remember that. When I get scared to share things, I look back at my picture and recall the support I got and the feelings associated with it. People who say they care, often really do care about you. "What I Be" has brought out the strengths within me that I never knew I had - the courage to share my story and seek help when I need it.
Steve gave me the courage to speak up about personal issues that burdened me for years. By making me feel comfortable enough to tell my story through this life-changing project, he set me free. I no longer live in fear of my insecurity, I own it. Seeing the comments on my photo from complete strangers who relate to me is an indescribable feeling that I wish to hold on to for the rest of my life. So Steve, thank you for changing my life, although you're too humble to take credit for it.
We all have insecurities and Steve brings them out in the most beautiful and inspiring way. I am honored to have brought and participated in the What I Be project at Binghamton University. When I met Steve, I was instantly enamored by his kindness and purity. He devoted personal attention to each individual subject and made them feel comfortable to share their insecurities. It was a pleasure working with him and experiencing the What I Be journey. Thank you so much and you're the best!
As someone who can talk anyone's ears off it may come as a shock that there is one thing I never talk about. In meeting Steve and participating in the incredible What I Be Project I was not only able to speak about a huge insecurity of mine, but I found comfort in all the amazing feedback knowing that many people go through the same struggles. For me the project was the first step in dealing with a personal issue that I avoid confronting.
I have noticed that the project has created a new feeling of support throughout the Brandeis campus where students are more willing to open up. Not only did the project impact those who participated, but I have overheard so many conversations that students have had praising the benefits of the project in helping them understand their fellow classmates. Steve does such important work and I encourage anyone who is offered the opportunity to participate to take it!
My daughters were so fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in the What I Be Project at Binghamton University. I wanted to thank you for this empowering and powerful project that you have created and to which you have dedicated so much of your time. On a personal level, I wanted to express my gratitude to you, as a parent, for your empathy and kindness and for creating a supportive space for courage, expression and growth.
The What I Be project not only affects and changes the individuals who participate but also the community around them. Positive and understanding vibes were flowing all through George Washington University after Steve came to campus. Words can't quite describe how meaningful this project is, the photos speak much louder. Thank you, Steve!!
Before the What I Be project, I had never shared my insecurities with anyone. Showing vulnerability was one of my biggest fears. So when I got the opportunity to participate in the project, I was equally terrified as I was excited. Though it was a scary thought, I somehow got the courage to have my insecurity written across my forehead. And I am so glad I did.
The project helped me to realize that we all have fears, we all have insecurities, and we are all human. Everyone has different traits or quirks that are an integral part of who they are. Our imperfections are what make us perfect. WIB showed me that accepting your own insecurities is not only empowering, but also life changing. Once you accept yourself for who you are, you look at the world around you in a new light. And let me tell you, it’s a heck of a lot brighter.
Thank you, Steve, for helping me to realize that enjoying this beautiful world is a whole lot nicer than hiding behind the guard I put up. This project is truly amazing. If you get the chance to participate, do it.
I discovered What I Be through Trevor Hall about a year ago. What I Be helped me a lot through my first year of high school. There were big changes and new insecurities. Since then, I've been able to cope with my insecurities.
What I Be sends a beautiful message. Don't bury your insecurities. Let them surface and heal. Accept who you were in the past and focus on the new you.
What I Be has taught me to love my quirks and unique traits. Just because someone else doesn't like them, doesn't mean I don't have to!
Thank you Steve for affecting my life and guiding me to becoming the better person I am.
I stumbled across the "What I Be" project, and although I have not (yet) met with Steve, I have become more aware of my own humanity. Seeing all the testimonials and the bravery each person has shared has been so introspective and magical. It should be a course every high school student must take before graduating. To see others as we see ourselves creates a unity and an awareness that we are all, in some way, in this together. Everyone has something - you're not alone! What a wonderful discovery for many young people today! Steve, your kindness comes from your heart and is expressed through each person you touch. You have and are such an amazing gift! Keep shining your light... it's ridding the world of much darkness! Thank you for giving so much - you make a difference!
What I Be project is an absolute stroke of genius. Steve is such an amazing person and is very inspiring to me. I have not contributed to this project yet but hope to in the near future. It is a very brilliant idea and is helping our world get to a better place.
Steve is an incredible person, making a difference for people in this world. I coordinated his visit in 2012 to a local community college where I teach, in order for students, faculty and staff to participate in the "What I Be" Project. Steve was friendly, super-low key in terms of his needs, and fun to be around. He was utterly professional, responsible and respectful of every person he met and worked with over the course of the two-day shoot and public lecture. His photography is top quality, beautiful. I would recommend Steve for any project!
My oldest daughter found this project, shared it with her sister and us, submitted a fan page, and then started communicating with Steve. He was so amazing with Madison, so caring. As I looked at the project and as we talked about it as a family I was inspired by the stories, the people, the kindness and the beauty of it. The project is fabulous and I'm thrilled they are part of it. It was a fabulous afternoon, I was in aw of Steve and my children's sweetness and wisdom; I wish it could have lasted longer.
The strength of my children and the kindness and commitment of Steve will forever stay with me. It was beautiful and we will forever be inspired!
Thank you Steve. Your sensitivity, care of their spirit and genuine kindness with was exceptional and is greatly appreciated. The experience strengthen their core and gave them a voice to express their perspective against the daily judgements of people that just don't understand. You are genuine, gentle, honest and kind. Thank you so much for being You and for your continued love and support.
"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."
Favorite words of mine spoken by Oscar Wilde. The simple truth—accept who we are exactly as we are without desiring to be like anyone else. We are all imperfectly perfect and the What I Be Project is showing how being raw and vulnerable is beautiful. It's the gateway to finding love and acceptance which is what we all deserve and desire.
Steve's way of being authentic, grounded, present and integrous allowed me to open up completely and shift my world with the What I Be Project. Never have I allowed someone in so deep that my entire core shifted and propelled me into a life that was full of love, joy, passion and purpose. Had I not faced my own insecurity at it's root, I would have never been able to live the life I dreamed of. Steve's passion and dedication to this project is shifting this planet. When we face our fears and our own demons, they become something of the past, a silly thought that was just passing through. Thank you Steve for your gift, your commitment and your love for humankind. Do this project … now.
The 'What I Be Project' did something truly extraordinary. The process of the project created a sense of community here at LoveYoga, a truly special bond, that those who participated are still talking about. For me personally, it allowed me the opportunity to address my own issues with addiction for the first time.
I recognized the true meaning behind "facing my shadow". When you put something out into the world...out into the "light", it can no longer be held away in secret. Thank you, Steve, for giving so much of your heart and yourself to this important work.
The What I Be Project is an amazing project. I was lucky enough to participate when Steve came to Augusta Georgia. He was more then talented in helping you to open up to him. The more I see the project the more I truly believe in it. If it can touch one person and help them to see that the insecurity they fight with can be overcome.
If it allows one single person to feel more confident it has accomplished everything. If it can change the way people look at one another, add a little more caring, a little more love, then humanity has benefited from this. I can't stress enough how great this project is, how amazing Steve was to work with, and how good this is for people all people to see! I AM NOT MY AMPUTATION
The “What I Be” project is one of the most meaningful efforts I’ve had the opportunity to be part of these past couple years. I remember seeing some of the first images and being struck by the subjects’ expressions--the stories resting behind their eyes, the hopes, dreams, wounds, and pain awaiting discovery, the words scribbled in black ink across their faces, necks, arms, and hands. You cannot look at any of the hundreds (thousands?) of “What I Be” images and not be moved, not feel connected these other human beings who’ve bared their souls and lain down their guards to allow themselves--ourselves--to be seen in such a raw and vulnerable state. This project has brought together people from all walks of life, literally. And while many of us may never meet one another in person, the fact that we are all part of this movement bonds us to one another, through the lens of Steve’s camera.
What an incredible journey it was for all involved to work with Steve and participate in the What I Be Project at our CASL State Conference. With each photo, he devoted focused energy for the student leader, teacher or parent to feel comfortable sharing their insecurities. As our theme that year was Know the Story, Know the Person, his contribution to helping us deliver the message was invaluable.
Steve was a constant professional, allowing the students to feel courageous in his presence and wanting to share their stories, in hopes their honesty would inspire others to do the same. Opening these lines of communication would be extremely impactful at any school and contribute to a more positive climate culture while embracing diversity and open mindedness. In a world where judging first is often the reaction, the What I Be Project gives us all permission to treat each other as people first, without the labels we give ourselves. I only wish every school campus could have the opportunity to experience this same journey.
What a life changing experience for all of us. The picture of my daughter is absolutely beautiful. Thanks and keep up your amazing, life affirming work!!
I wrote a song and a children's book called "What I Be" and both of them are about the person that you truly are inside, and it's not necessarily what people perceive of you from a distance. Steve's work is about bringing what's truly inside of people out through the lens
Bob Marley said, "You're running away ... but you can't run away from yourself."
There are things inside all of us that scare us and make us uncomfortable. As human beings, we can either let them stay down inside there, take root, and destroy us or we can bring them to the light and help them heal. "What I Be" is a way for us to stop running away from ourselves, to share ourselves in a raw and beautiful way in order for all of us as a collective to heal and make peace with who we are.