July 20, 2009

the loveliest girl in the world . . .

. . for almost a decade Miina Savolainen,finnish photographer, art and social educator photographed 10 girls from Hyvönen Children's Home.
the outcome was this photo book/project

"The Loveliest Girl In The World" The basis of the project was “empowerment”
"to give girls a different perspective of themselves,
to bring to the surface their true persona,
or perhaps a persona they wished they could be"
it is a touching story about becoming visible & accepting yourself
"everyone of us is entitled to feel precious and loved"
"The fairytale quality of the photographs reveals
a truth often obscured by the rough and tumble of daily life
the person each young girl feels she really is inside.
It allows the girls to regard themselves as strong and undamaged people.
These photographs are deeply authentic,
revealing the universal desire to be seen as good and valuable."
* * *
"Accepting one's own portrait
is a metaphor for accepting
one’s own personality"


  1. Hi Ruthie,
    These photos are a lovely idea for young girls and women to find empowerment.
    Self acceptance is one of the hardest things to do at any age.
    The pictures are very beautiful and sensitive. I like that the fairytale imagery is coming back into fashion again. Maybe we will have a Pre-Raphealite revival.:)

  2. Hi Joanne may - i love the whole idea of the book - very poignant! last year set out to take a self portrait every day, as i detested having any pics of me taken ! almost a year on i am amazed at how much more accepting of my outer self! i agree with you, & love all this imagery, wouldn't it be wonderful to see so much more pre-raph! perfect.

    Pamela Terry & Edward - aren't they just! the others in the book are equally stunning and so worth a look. a wonderful project!

  3. The pictures are magical.I'm not sure how I feel about taking a self portrait every day, but am giving it some thought

  4. Hello Ruthie

    What a wonderful project...and wonderful results that you have shown...

    Happy Days

  5. I'm sure this project had a tremendous impact on the girls involved. I'm sure they found some of their own inner beauty through this exercise.


  6. I don't think I could take a self-portrait every day; just looking in the mirror each morning is enough!

    Thanks Ruthie, a very good program, should be more of it.

  7. Chris & Alaine - i felt the same when i started out. it began with a project i read about re: self awareness & acceptance. in my past i've had a few hiccups in my life that caused my self image to fall pretty low & caused me probs. somedays i had to really push myself to take a photo! i wouldn't say i like alot of the pics, but im more accepting now. - i quite like my lines & wrinkles, at last i look at photos & in the mirror & i see a familiar friend now. i know im quite mad hee hee

    Delwyn & the Garden Ms M - it is a wonderful project, and im sure so many young folks could benefit & learn so much more about themselves if they couls experience something like this.

  8. Anonymous21/7/09 15:56

    Thanks for flagging this one up! It looks achingly beautiful. And I actually spotted "Masquerade" in a bookshop in Dorchester on Saturday..and had to buy it :)

  9. how lovely. atc cards are 2.5"x3.5" and that is their only stipulation, you can do anything on them, paint, draw, paste, sew, whatever...as long as they are traded, never sold (although i have seen some people who do sell them) e mail me: jossross@yahoo.com if you are interested.

  10. Anonymous21/7/09 17:56

    Wow, What a moving project! Thank you for sharing it .

  11. Beautiful. Powerful. Hopeful. Thanks for sharing this.

  12. These are beautiful photographs and I love the idea behind their creation.

    I am just catching up with your blog, I heard the radio program about Kit Williams also. I bought the books at the time of publication and still enjoy taking them down from the bookcase and pouring over the details.

  13. lovely images, very fairy tale like and a lovely idea for the girls in them too!

  14. I love this book and the idea behind it. I can't remember who first told me about it, but it is so inspiring-there is magic and beauty everywhere and for everyone and these women are just divine.

  15. Oh! These are lovely! Thanks for posting. I love them!

  16. (ack! I wish it wasn't only available in Finland! What amazing shipping charges... :-( )

  17. Kitty - hope you enjoyed the book!

    soulbrush - i shall be in touch x

    Rowan - that is why i love the idea of the book so!

    tlc - i know !! shame x

  18. Hi Ruthie,
    Beautiful choice of images! I love the tree and the rock pools, I'd be peaceful there.
    Thank you for the note on my blog, Rima's work is wonderful isn't it, I love checking back with her.
    Thanks for the Jessica Joslin link, I was AMAZED!!!! I'll add a link to her for sure!
    Have a great day, and thank you for being a treasure hunter and sharing this trove with us :)

  19. I will definitely share this with my daughter. Your place is simply inspiring!

  20. Just discovered your blog - delightful. I still have the Kit Williams books - and a further one "Out of one eye" all about his work - have you seen it?

  21. hi ruthie!
    thanks so much for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. your blog is full of inspiration (i so love the pictures in this post) and your illustrations are beautiful!

  22. Very beautiful. I've only recently stumbled upon your blog, and I find it very inspiring. When I received the Lemonade Award for new/inspiring blogs, I thought I'd pass it on to you! The rules are on my blog:



  23. This is sooo beautiful Ruthie! I'm so glad that you shared this with us :) I went to the website you provided to find out more about it. I had never heard about "Empowering Photography" before, but it makes so much sense. Funny, how I love to take and look at photos of my family and friends, and my artwork...but I don't feel comfortable at all with my own self portraits! I sense a need for some growth there!! And yes, indeed, we all are entitled to see ourselves as valuable and beloved!!

    What a blessing Miina Savolainen is to the women of our world!!!

  24. anthropomorphica - these are peaceful images, i agree so powerful. so glad you liked jessicas work! incredible things she does x

    isabel - lovely to meet you ;-)

    ticking stripes - hee hee a lass from my own home town x oooh i hadn't heard of the other kit williams book and an now very intrigued, i feel a book hunt coming on ! thank you x

    christina - you are very welcome & thank you x

    poet - its so lovely to hear that folks find my blog inspiring!! thank you for the award, that is so sweet! i hope ypu wont mind that i do not participate for now as i am oh so very busy & have not the time, but it is gratefully received all the same x

    Jean - empowering photography does indeed make much sense doesn't it! it is quite amazing, maybe a self portrait or two is on the cards once in a while? x

  25. These photo's are so beautiful. Such a talent to draw out these images. I have spent the past decade working in the homelessness sector and many of my young clients came through the care services. The impact that having a picture like this taken of the clients I have encountered would have been so valuable and positive. It really would. Have these images been made into a book? If so I want to buy it! x

  26. this post is raly beautiful .
    Jasmine told me to come here and she was totaly right .
    very inspiring photographs .

  27. Beautiful Ruthie, really.

    Love Renee xoxox


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