Candace Plummer Gaudiani

second place Views from Beyond the Peninsula

"I kind of disappear behind my camera," Candace Plummer Gaudiani said, explaining how "Heels" came to be. The image is part of a series that offers a behind-the-scenes look at bodybuilding.

"I think it invites the viewer to see something from an angle you wouldn't usually see it from," she said. "I feel honored to be allowed to bear witness to stories of the human struggle."

Gaudiani does all of her own work and only uses existing light. She uses no flash or color, just high-speed film and the tenacity to never crop her photos.

Because of her interest in examining bodybuilding through photography, Gaudiani has had the opportunity to venture backstage at many amateur and professional bodybuilding shows. It was while backstage at one show that she got the inspiration for "Heels."

Gaudiani was directly behind a female bodybuilder, at eye level with the woman's heels. She saw the opportunity to put a new twist on a photo and grabbed it. It was awarded second place in the "Views Beyond the Peninsula" category.

Gaudiani has been interested in photography since childhood. She was always an avid observer of people and now focuses her photography on visual narrative and candid portraiture. "Interior odysseys, exposed emotions, tender vulnerabilities--I believe in exploring these intimate realms with respect and understanding," she said.

Recently, Gaudiani, who has lived in the Menlo Park area for almost 20 years, has devoted most of her time to photography. She previously had careers in business and community service and holds a bachelor's degree in English from Radcliffe and a master's degree in business from Harvard.

"In the meantime, I've always been doing the photography."

--Jennifer Cole