Paradise Valley, Montana
I had the gift of photographing Charli on the slopes of the Absarokas, a mountain range that for me will forever define the marriage of beauty and ruggedness. We are not from here, but we both call the Valley home, drifting in and out at times when life called elsewhere. I admired Charli for her sharp wit, her stunning land-tussled appearance, and a mind that is quick, kind, and thoughtful. If she's not hunting or hiking on a rare day off, she spends her time tending to the valley's land in greenhouses and gardens, fields and farms, and her passion for the ground and all things that come from it sets her apart from many that proclaim their love for this special place in Montana; Charli makes the valley more beautiful because of everything she gives back.
So the two of us scrambled through junipers and palmed the dirt and the brambles, chased that golden hour right down to the cold blue waters of a rushing Mill Creek, and I was left speechless with a collection of photos that could only have come from documenting a woman with such radiance and self love.
Thank you, Charli, for being such a true inspiration of rugged beauty.
"In all honesty, I was always fascinated by you Hillary. While I was farming across the country I would see glimpses of your life, and how it is such a rarity to see a woman that is so beautiful and strong with a calm demeanor. I was completely honored to be photographed by you. You saw the same light in me as I do you, which in some cases two strong women can collide, yet I found nothing but pure encouragement and embrace from your presence. The shoot itself made me restore my sexuality. Society has taught to us women that we need to conceal our sexuality for we might risk judgement. I say fuck them, no matter what we do we will always be judged. The self acceptance I have given me the keys to the chains of fear and judgement. These photos are the exact representation of the sexuality I feel within myself. I hope women like us Hillary continue to break the laws of sexual society - we are strong and we are one."