Monday, March 2, 2020

3/2/20 @9:30am pst - Janeane speaks with Angelika Buettner, the award-winning photographer behind I AM - Celebrating the Perfect Imperfect.

LISTEN to today's show featuring Angelika Buettner


What is age anyway?

We are all ageless spiritual beings continuing to explore and celebrate our shared journeys.

In I AM - Celebrating the Perfect Imperfect, photographer Angelika Buettner celebrates ageless beauty through the voices of 121 women between the ages of 40 and 99. The beautiful photography book pairs nude photography of the women with essays, quotes and poems that depict their powerful stories. To challenge the stereotypes of beauty and age, Angelika uses her camera as a therapeutic tool and instrument of social commentary, and in doing so, she encourages women to embrace their femininity.

The book features portraits of strong women who dare to step out of their comfort zone. One of the profiles is around Chiara D’Agostino, who is photographed on pages next to her emotional personal story about her journey of self-love as a result of her battles with breast cancer. “Am I still a woman without breasts?” Chiara asks. “I’m the same person inside [without them], and I believe we shine from the inside out, so sexy and beautiful is how I feel about myself.”

Rather than creating another nude book where women are portrayed as sexual objects, Angelika’s vision was to empower women aged 40 and older to feel more visible. She found women from all walks of life and captured them in various urban and suburban settings, from shooting in icy snow and on the Manhattan Bridge, to taking photos on a roof, in the outdoors and more. None of the images have been retouched, and no makeup artist or stylist was involved. Contrary to her regular approach to photography, Angelika had no staff at the shoots for the book – she conducted one-on-one sessions to create a comfortable and intimate experience for each of the women.

“121 is the number of pictures I chose to develop for this book, but I will never stop taking these kinds of photos,” says Angelika. “I cherish the process of creating art from photographing the female body in all its ages, shapes and ethnicities. I hope this book serves as a reminder or wake-up call that we, as a society, need to create a more truthful world that places more value on women’s thoughts and feelings rather than on their outer appearances. We must all participate in creating a better, more loving and respectful world.”

Inspired by her own experiences of working in advertising and on beauty and fashion editorials in Paris, Angelika spent seven years developing the photography for the book. She started in Paris and completed the project after moving to the New York City area. By working on advertisements and editorials where older women were rarely the protagonists, Angelika realized that as a photographer, she can provide a platform for women to share their stories. In the process, Angelika not only created a beautiful book, but also a movement – a safe place for women to celebrate their imperfectly perfect selves.

To further enhance the discussion around ageless beauty, Angelika joined forces with Karen Williams, a model and advocate for “Empowered Aging,” to create a series of videos that bring the stories of the women featured in the I AM book to life. The series includes a total of 15 video interviews with the women, hosted and produced by Karen. Select previews are available on YouTube and IGTV, and the full series will be released on YouTube throughout 2020.

The final product of I AM is a cross generational collaboration that touches on universal issues, expanding the definition of beauty for future generations and for all women and men to understand.

Praise for I AM - Celebrating the Perfect Imperfect continues to come in.
Here is a sampling:

“I AM - Celebrating the Perfect Imperfect is a visual feast of beauty, vulnerability and courage. It is good medicine.”

– Christiane Northrup, M.D., New York Times best-selling author of Goddesses Never Age, The Wisdom of Menopause, and Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom

“I have to be honest, I was first drawn to Angelika’s photography because of the deep affinity I have with her last name. But soon, I was drawn into her exquisitely styled imagery, and the raw gorgeousness she brings out in the people she photographs. Angelika’s pictures may not help you live longer, but they will help you enjoy the journey. I AM - Celebrating the Perfect Imperfect transcends age to show that beauty shines at every stage in life.”

– Dan Buettner, National Geographic Fellow and New York Times Bestselling author of Blue Zones

“From the first page, this book shines with a celebration of women’s beauty as they age. No makeovers, no retouching – these are women celebrating their time of life, and their authenticity, self-acceptance, and joy. I AM - Celebrating the Perfect Imperfect kicks at our outdated notion that we age out of beauty and desirability. It’s quite the contrary, as Angelika Buettner and her 121 brave women illustrate. There is great power in this book.”

– Joan Price, ageless sexuality author and speaker

About the Photographer

Angelika Buettner is the award-winning photographer behind I AM - Celebrating the Perfect Imperfect. Known for injecting cinematography into still images, Angelika's approach to strong, feminine and sensual photography and sensitive lighting has attracted a number of international clients including Audi, Bacardi, L'Oreal, Maybelline and Swarovski, among others. Her editorial work has also been featured in numerous magazines globally such as Glamour, Tatler Asia and Vogue Italy.

Angelika was born and raised in Germany and studied photography in Frankfurt where she began a career in fashion and advertising. After living and working in Paris for over 20 years, she now resides with her husband near New York City.

I AM - Celebrating the Perfect Imperfect

by Angelika Buettner

Visit for more information and follow Angelika on Instagram @angelikabuettner.


INSTAGRAM// @iam_by_angelikabuettner and @angelikabuettner

YOUTUBE// channel - iam-themovement

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