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Terilee Dawn

It is hard to think of a way to describe myself so that you can get to know me better. I love having a blog because it is a place for me to show my most current work and at the same time post random things about my life. I have a deep passion for life and it is my goal to live it to the fullest. That may sound kind of cliche but it is so true. I love adventures, and people, and photography is an avenue for me to experience both in a fun artist way. Photography is an outpour of what I see and how I view life. It allows me to capture those sweet moments in life in a way that when I look back at the images I can remember how it felt to experience that moment. That is why I love my job, I get to capture pure moments for people that they will always get to take with them. I hope you will stay a while and look through my blog and get inspired.


” Real isn’t how you are made. It’s a thing that happens to you… Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand. ”           – Skin Horse to the Velveteen Rabbit, Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams

I have been so excited to post this blog. The project ” Real”  has been two years in the making. When I was asked if I would be willing to come along side an author and take the photos for her book I knew I was suppose to do it.  I had been praying for over a year for a project like this. I wanted to do something new with my photography that would encourage and inspire people including myself. I wanted a challenge, something that I thought was beyond my reach. The best part about this project is what I got to photograph. I have always loved hands and thought that they were beautiful. I even remember some of the first pictures I took when I started photography were of my dads hands. Shelley wanted to write peoples stories and have me take pictures of their hands. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

About the book:

Shelley Malcolm uses the image of hands to reveal much of what we have in common, as well as, like finger prints, that which makes each of us completely unique. The pages of REAL tell the stories of actual people who are comfortable with sharing their dreams and triumphs as well as their imperfections, losses and failures. These stories, paired with dramatic and honest photographs by Terilee Dawn Ouimette, present a refreshing and tangible new perspective that can change the way the reader might see his or her self. REAL allows us to not only forgive that which may seem ordinary, have disappointed us, or caused shame… and instead embrace that which does not pretend to be anything but REAL.

I can’t even begin to describe how amazing this experience was. I am forever changed by the people I meet. One of the greatest things that I learned was how to really see people. I thought I was pretty good at this already but I was amazed at how Shelley truly knew so many people. She knows their hearts and their stories. They aren’t just friends that she is close to they are people who the rest of us wouldn’t take the time to get to know. Sure we are friendly to them and say hi but it never goes beyond that. Shelley has a way to getting beyond the ordinary to see the unique in everyone.

In the introduction I wrote ” I hope that through the written and visual stories told in this book, you will find the courage to love deeper, embrace fully, and take the time to get to know those in your life. Everyone has something to offer and so often we don’t take the time or courage to seek it out…. I want my images to inspire people to love, live, feel and appreciate the unique that is often mistaken for the ordinary.”

If you are local and would like to purchase this book please go to I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Canadians and all other not local to the central coast please order through Authorhouse. Search for the book by the title or author Shelley Malcolm.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the project.

The Cover

“Freedom of speech is something Caesar does not take for granted”

“…it is the freedom of his artwork that helps him survive and endure the most difficult trails in life…He has an eye for potential value and beauty in a discard, which, once transformed by his hands, becomes a work of art.”

“Praying is a regular exercise for the hands in this portrait. It is one of patience…of love…of years of enduring…years of faith.”

” Kim beautifully “colors” the world in her quiet, diligent, dancer way.”

“Her life seems “supersized” for the small package she comes in…in Morocco…she has found that as the young women are motivated to help each other, there is hope for their economy and future.”

“Do you think my accent will get in the way?”

“When they met again they were both widowed and welcomed this spark of love and comfort”

“His knuckles bear the scars and swelling of the days of fighting and violence, but now the hands are used for greeting, praising, helping, and giving.”

My heart is glad and I thank God that I was able to be a part of such an amazing project.

January 20, 2011 - 3:08 pm Sonya - So inspiring! Love it! I have been thinking of doing a similar thing with the homeless people in my area but haven't got the nerve as of yet. I believe God has given me talent in photography for a reason and it would be an honor to be able to give back somehow... you have re-stoked the fire :) Hands are so incredibly "touching" and personal and I will forever remember my grandmother's hands. Sorry to be a bit random but I just thought I'd encourage you and thank you for re-inspiring me!

January 20, 2011 - 10:06 pm Vicki - Yay! I am so excited for the two of you, that this project is done! The book turned out so amazing.

January 20, 2011 - 11:07 pm Christine - I am SO proud of you. Your pictures tell a story and I can't wait to read the book. Ordering it today!! Thanks for inspiring me and many others.

January 20, 2011 - 11:36 pm Nicole Farley - Oh, WOW! I'm so excited to order the book, what an AMAZING project to be a part of!

January 21, 2011 - 12:40 am Dennis Plett - I write this from a hotel room in Vegas and I remember you talking about this project when Irene and I were at your place in Pismo Beach. The pictures are awesome

January 21, 2011 - 10:01 am Pam - Beautifully done Terilee!! Looks awesome! What a wonderful way to use your talent in!!

January 22, 2011 - 3:28 pm Tom Bordonaro - Wow. Great job! Can I claim an itsy-bitsy part of it? ;-)

January 24, 2011 - 3:44 pm denise schweigl - Wonderful! Looking forward to seeing the rest of the book.

March 5, 2015 - 8:53 pm Cheryl - Today, while waiting in a doctor's office, I read many pages from the book, "Real." I loved it and it inspired me so much that I'm trying to see how I can order copies of the book. Such a special and inspiring book.

March 5, 2015 - 8:59 pm Cheryl - I will go back to the doctor's office in which I discovered this wonderful book to get more information on how to order copies of it. I loved the book! I'm having difficulties finding it on ""

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