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ALYSCIA CUNNINGHAM...

Personally, Alyscia Cunningham is a granddaughter, daughter, wife, mother of 3, sister, aunty, friend, artist, advocate, photographer, speaker, author, Pisces dreamer, truth seeker, positive thinker, adventurer, teacher, student...and her journey continues.

Alyscia was born at Fort Pierce Army Hospital in Tacoma, Washington. She was an army brat for several years, moving from state to state as well as overseas. She and her two older brothers were the first generation American born, her parents being from the Caribbean island of Trinidad & Tobago.

After her mom suffered a stroke, Alyscia and her family moved from Germany to Corona Queens, New York, where her maternal grandparents relocated from Trinidad. Growing up in a culturally diverse community Alyscia has always appreciated different ethnical backgrounds and most of her friends, throughout childhood and adulthood were also first generation American born.

One of the biggest attributes she gained from her mother is her determination. Alyscia cannot recall a day that her mother ever used her stroke as an excuse. Paralysis on the left side of her mother's body didn't stop her from doing anything on her own. She said the determined characteristic was instilled in her at a very young age because of her mother's example.

Alyscia always attributed her father's positive affirmations about her strength and beauty, to the work she has produced. Stating, "Without my fathers' influence my journey in loving myself as who I am, despite the media's portrayal of beauty, would have been a very difficult road. In spite of the experiences I faced, which created me to question beauty, my fathers' words were a huge encouraged when it came to appreciating my authenticity."

Through her photography Alyscia specializes in promoting our natural beauty because she believes the media does a good job of focusing on our insecurities and the bombardment of ads in the media proclaiming that their appearance without enhancements is inadequate or faulty. Her portraits are unaltered by Photoshop and reveal women as they are naturally, without the fa├žade they put on for others. She is a master of her craft, and her calm and opened personality allows her clients to open up and show their inner selves.

Professionally, Alyscia is the owner of Uprising Builders, LLC, author and an accomplished photographer who has contributed National Geographic, Discovery Channel, America Online and the Smithsonian Institution. After the success of Cunningham's first book, Feminine Transitions: A Photography Celebration of Natural beauty she continues her contribution to social-change with her upcoming books and documentaries titled, I Am More Than My Hair: Bald and Beautiful Me and Masculine Transitions (the male version of Feminine Transitions). Both projects promote self-love and acceptance.

Alyscia is also one of the FrontLine Voices for Stop the Beauty Madness, a campaign focused on changing the dynamics of beauty globally.

Alyscia's goal for the near future is to shoot movie stills for film studios and work in commercial portraiture with a focus on portraying humans in their natural state, unaltered by photo manipulation. After the production of her current project, Alyscia plans to publish other photography books and documentaries. Sometime in the near future, she also plans on writing a memoir of her life story.