Every Stage of Womanhood, Captured

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<i>Up</i>, from photographer Marjorie Salvaterra's book <i>Her: Meditations on Being Female</i>.
Up, from photographer Marjorie Salvaterra’s book Her: Meditations on Being Female. Photo: Marjorie Salvaterra

In a series of surreal black-and-white photographs, the Los Angeles photographer Marjorie Salvaterra captured generations of women in staged, dramatic poses — at the laundromat, poolside and in the ocean, and in luminous cornfields. The women are young, weathered, of all shapes and sizes, but they all feel authentic.

The book Her: Meditations on Being Female, out May 3 from Glitterati, is a collection of Salvaterra’s portraits, exploring various phases of womanhood. Echoing the styles of Cindy Sherman and Sally Mann, Salvaterra traces the psychology of age and gender while challenging notions of femininity and perfectionism.

“In so many of the pictures, women’s bodies are presented plainly,” Roxane Gay writes in the book’s introduction. “These women wear their skin without apology. Their eyes are darkened, the better we may see them. They wear wild wigs, big and bold, taking up space in ways women are often denied.”

Click ahead to see Salvaterra’s sublime photographs — cascading wigs, dinner with Him, and whimsical gardens.

Photo: Marjorie Salvaterra

Push

Photo: Marjorie Salvaterra

Sheila in the Garden

Photo: Marjorie Salvaterra

When the Universe Has Bigger Plans for Your Life

Photo: Marjorie Salvaterra

We’re All in This Together

Photo: Marjorie Salvaterra

Old Venice Wash

Photo: Marjorie Salvaterra

Him

Photo: Marjorie Salvaterra

Becoming Her

Photo: Marjorie Salvaterra

Sheila Goes to Market

Photo: Marjorie Salvaterra

Old Venice in The

Photo: Marjorie Salvaterra

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Every Stage of Womanhood, Captured