With the pandemic cancelling new events and festivals, KBev starte brushing up on Photoshop techniques to breathe new life into the tens of thousands of old photos in his archive.  Editing for hours on the weekends brought a sense a normalcy to a crazy 2020.  Playing around with typography, he got an idea:  Ask the hundreds of people he’s met how they would complete the sentence “I am…”  Just like that, the “I Am” Project began.  More than 300 submissions later, the project is still going strong.

The “I Am” project is about people telling you who they are in their own words.  The way you perceive people is often more about your own biases and experiences than who they really are. This project is a chance for them to speak for themselves.

“Most people never leave their bubble and meet new people.  Although I’ve done that over the years through photography, this project has given me a new perspective on the people I’ve met.  It’s also been humbling to have so many people contribute their words to a photographer they may have only met once, often many years ago.”

KBev is a Chicago-based photographer that travels all over the world with his camera.  His last project #GrafNModels (www.grafnmodels.com) had to pause during the pandemic.  The “I Am” project can be viewed at http://IAmProject.KBevPhoto.com or on Instagram at @IAmProject_KBevPhoto.

10 – Regina

I am…
I am a strong black woman before I am anything else.
I am proud of who I am and what I represent.
I am a woman of integrity, grace, beauty , elegance and wonderment.
I am a loving mother, wife, daughter, sister & aunt.
I am the mother of a murdered child.
I am tired of violence and racism.
I am hopeful of our future generations.

09 – Jezzibel

I am…
I am thriving on chaos and the desire to be different, which comes from being a twin.
I am weird & interesting, so I can be my own person
I am real. The pain you see on the stage is real. The needle through flesh is real. The blood is real. The anger, sadness and fear in my eyes are real.
I am not big enough to share the stage with these metahumans, but here I am.
I am boring in my old age as I swing through the air by my flesh.
I am fatter than the others on stage, yet I remove clothing in front of 60 people.
I am not as talented as my friends, yet I breathe fire on stage in front of thousands.
I am in the never ending process of breaking down and rebuilding my mind and then my body
I am the beast of Sideshow.

08 – Claudia

I am…
I am 31 years old 
I am Mexican-American
I am Pansexual
I am gold over silver
I am from an extremely white town
I am ashamed I don’t speak Spanish, but happy I can understand a lot
I am someone that considered moving to Mexico to learn my language and culture
I am someone that tried to assimilate with straightened hair and no Spanish
I am a whiskey on the rocks drinker
I am close to my father, who has passed, but whose fingerprint is on a pendant around my neck
I am a graduate with a bachelors degree in Nutrition & Small Business Entrepreneurship
I am a workaholic and sometimes don’t know when to stop or take a break 
I am a founder & business owner of Team Basework LLC.
I am creating an online space that is diverse, inclusive and safe for every dancer. 
I am committed to using my platform to further elevate other People Of Color and LGBTQ friends

07 – Jelly

I am…
I am a mother that loves my kids with every fiber of my being.
I am a cosplayer that loves to bring smiles on people’s faces when they see me.
I am that person that loves creating costumes like in the movies and comics.
I am that nerd that collects comics and toys.
I am that person that loves making people laugh.
I am that person that likes to keep everyone around me happy and positive.
I am that person that loves dancing so much, I will dance anywhere to anything.
I am grateful for everything and everyone that has been in and out of my life.
I am me.

06 – Zoe

I am…
I am never a victim, always a fighter.
I’ve already seen, felt and kissed the ground.
I am not afraid to fail or fall. I am resilient and forever evolving.

05 – Jenni Lynn

I am…
I am nurturing
I am pistol
I am versatile
I am resilient
I am strong-willed
I am altruistic
I am Marine
I am hooked
I am eccentric
I am boymom
I am untrammeled
I am authentic
I am bold

04 – Logistx

I am…
I am Lo
I am a teenage Filipina from San Diego with dreams
I am a competitive, female athlete in a male-dominated field
I am an artistic egalitarian in a world of injustices
I am Even more…
I am an Infinite being with this human form as a vessel to spread truth
I am part of the universe, therefore
I am the universe
We are the universe
We are

03 – Jilou

I am…
I am Strong
I am NOT Weak
I am Proud
I am NOT Ignorant
I am Vulnerable
I am NOT a Victim
I am Unique
I am NOT Categorized
I am Determined
I am NOT Lazy
I am Independent
I am NOT What you want me to be

02 – Ryan

I am…
I am who I am, not what others judged me to be
I am exactly who I am meant to be
I am creative, kind, intelligent, compassionate, strong, unbroken
I’ve been made to feel that I need to polished all the time
I’ve been made to feel that I need a certain job to be successful and acceptable
I’ve been disowned for being gay
I’ve been told I was a mistake
I’ve been judged for being white
I’ve been judged for being tattooed
I’ve been judged being femme as a lesbian
I am in love with myself
I am confident in who I am, without feeling I have to change
I am growing, learning and striving to be my best self.
I am confident in the present.

01 – Jukeboxx

I am…
I am a medicine woman of movement who uses African and Caribbean dance forms as healing tools to follow my dreams.
I am passionate about healing mental illness within the African American community.
I am a dancer who uses movement to express the divine.