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Center to benefit from book

Book party celebrates ‘A Day in My Shoes, Santa Clarita’ to benefit Domestic Violence Center

Posted: October 27, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 27, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Left to right, Chris Alkdiere of the Hyatt Regency Valencia; hostess Shelley Hann, Janet Yessayan of Classic Design Jewelry and Ed Masterson of SOS Entertainment at the “Day in Her Shoes” book party held at Hann’s Westridge home. The book benefits the Domestic Violence Center of the Santa Clarita Valley.

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Shelley and G. Marshall Hann opened up their spectacular Westridge home recently for a wine and cheese gallery reception to showcase the unveiling of  “A Day in My Shoes, Santa Clarita” by photographer Amy Martin-Friedman.

Forty-five SCV women paid $500 each to be featured in the large, beautiful book of strong black-and-white photographs of powerful women, to honor October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Shelley Hann said $425 of the $500 donated by the participants in the book would go directly to the Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley.

The remaining $75 pays for a large framed photo given to each participant as a keepsake.

She expects the book to raise more than $20,000 for the center. Many of the women whose feet and shoes were featured on the pages of the book gathered in the Hann’s luxurious home to celebrate the gallery unveiling and pick up prints of their photos.

San Francisco-based photographer Martin-Friedman said the “Day in My Shoes” photography projects began as an effort for her to create artistic images that “give voice to a cause, capture the many textures of life and support shelters for victims of domestic violence in different cities.”

The SCV version is the seventh in a series of photography books that benefit woman’s causes.

Hann first came upon the idea when she was featured in a Los Angeles version of the book.

“I have an idea for you,” Hann said she told Martin-Friedman. “I flew to San Francisco because this is what I love — to meet someone who gets as excited as I do about a project.”

Hann and Martin-Friedman collaborated on the yearlong project, photographing 45 women in 25 shooting days at locations throughout the SCV. 

To fund the book, Valencia Acura signed on as the title sponsor. Other sponsors include Apo Yessayan of Classic Designs Jewelry; La Via Bella; J. Serrano; and Salon Glo.

“I don’t mind using sponsors in shots,” Martin-Friedman said. “I still keep creative the lines and angles, I usually use the city as my backdrop, so I was thrilled to use the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center for my first shoot.”

But she realized that the yearlong shoot also became an emotional involvement that went beyond her 12 trips to the SCV to take photos.

“I love it when the subject thinks about the shot, but allows me to collaborate and be creative,” Martin-Friedman said

Even though this is her seventh book in the series, Martin-Friedman said it became her most personal.

“I can’t believe these women are my friends,” she marveled, recalling the experience she had photographing women in the SCV. “This is the first time I have had this connection with my subjects.”

As an example of the collaboration Martin-Friedman experienced in the SCV, she recounted the support she found when it came time to photograph subject Pamela Braly on a motorcycle.

 Chris Aldieri of Valencia Hyatt offered his Harley to showcase Braly’s elegant shoes.

Braly is president of the board of the Domestic Violence Center of SCV.

The friendship and connection to the women of the SCV came as no surprise to Cheri Fleming, who, naturally, was photographed sitting on a black Acura from her dealership Valencia Acura.

Fleming marveled at how involved all the women in the book are in their business world and in the numerous charities and nonprofits they run or support.

“We are important women in Santa Clarita, yet we all have our own struggles,” Fleming said. “The purpose of the book is to show the humanity in all of us; we get together and help each other. These are the women who over and over again participate to improve the lives of woman and girls in the Santa Clarita Valley.”

Pulling Fleming to the side, Hann and Fleming looked over their prints and those of their friends hung on easels.

“What’s fun is, it’s us, it’s just us,” Hann said.

The coffee table-size book will be produced before the end of the year and can be purchased through stores and nonprofits in the SCV.

For more information about “A Day in My Shoes” e-mail Hann at



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