How Time's 'FIRSTS Project' made me realize how important I am

This week, you can pick up a copy of Time Magazine from the newsstand and find 12 different covers, each with a woman that has broken the "glass ceiling" by being first to achieve something important. The FIRSTS Project covers women across a variety of categories, including politics, military, business, and entertainment, and features women of different colors, classes, and sexual and gender identities. It's far from a comprehensive list of everything women have done to change the world, but it's pretty dang good.

Oh, and all of the photos were shot on an iPhone by photographer Luisa Dörr, who achieved some firsts of her own during this project.

Photo by Time Magazine

Remarkably, though, these cover photos look like they were shot using cameras and lenses that would costs thousands of dollars, some of them were actually taken with an iPhone 5, and none of them were taken with Portrait Mode on an iPhone 7 Plus.

Dörr told Time Director of Photography Kira Pollack that she started with an iPhone 5, but moved onto the 6 and 6s for some of the early photographs. "During the course of the project, the iPhone 7 was released, so I was able to photograph the last 36 subjects with the iPhone 7," Dörr said. She also noted that she used automatic HDR for her camera settings, so she could better capture natural light and details.

The FIRSTS Project is a reminder to me of what an important role women play in every aspect of life. I've come face-to-face with sexism my entire life. I fight constantly to make people aware of the disparities in what's expected of women versus men and what roles we're assumed to be assigned to. I swear, the next time someone says to me, "I don't usually like female singers, but I like your voice," I'm gonna throw punches.

All women break out of the confines of what's expected of us to some degree. We all belong on the cover of Time magazine for the things we do every day to change the world, or at least our tiny portion of the world.

I don't think I've ever been the first to do anything, except maybe finish my dessert before anyone else, but I do work every day to try to make the world a little better for girls and women I meet. Every time a someone tells me she started a band after seeing me on stage, my heart soars. All I ever wanted to be is a nobody that influenced others to be somebody.

If you don't see yourself as someone who changes the world in your own life, I highly recommend you watch the videos of the women in Time Magazine's FIRSTS Project. You'll see yourself in their stories and realize you are more important than you thought. It's an inspiring project for everyone to read — men, women, and everyone in between.

It's also pretty cool that it was shot on an iPhone.

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).