Dec 21, 2011

Real by Shelley Malcolm

“REAL” is a collection of 60 inspirational stories by Shelley Malcolm, with photos by Terilee Dawn Ouimette. The stories are deeply revealing, while the photos are anonymous, focusing only on each subject’s hands. Subjects range from adolescent to elderly, from former gangster to humble homeless, international refugee to hero-housewife, from pro athlete to Hollywood celebrity.


While “Real” is her first published book, Malcolm is no stranger to creative projects, as co-owner and restorer of an historic chapel, La Perla del Mar in Shell Beach, CA, and a set designer for theater and film. Shelley Malcolm was named Pismo Beach’s Citizen of the Year in 2011 for her extensive contributions and involvement in the community. Proceeds from the book benefit the author’s favorite charities. Shelley Malcolm graduated from University of Southern California with a degree in dental hygiene. Shelley Malcolm resides in Shell Beach, California with her husband, Doug. Shelley has four adult children. Her interests include painting, drawing, sculpting, building, playing piano and other musical instruments, outdoor activities including hiking, ocean kayaking, running, water and snow-skiing, international travel, sewing, reading, writing and others. For more information, please visit or


Terilee Dawn Ouimette specializes in photographing weddings, families and newborns through her business, Terilee Dawn Photography. Ouimette’s love of photography began with a gift of her first camera at the age of eight. Her collaboration on the book “Real” with author Shelley Malcolm represents the first published book for both women. Terilee Dawn resides in Shell Beach, California with her husband and the couple’s newborn son, Grayson. Ouimette’s hobbies include art, photography, crafting, reading, and travel. For more information about her work please visit

Real - The Book from David Malcolm on Vimeo.

Proceeds from Real go to various charities, find out more details at

Be sure to check out the "Real" notecards too!

Other blog participants can be viewed here


Thank you so much for stopping by my site today, Shelley. Your book Real is gorgeous. What prompted you to start this project?

Inspiration from a dream of similar images, that revealed the beauty in imperfections... the hand image is made beautiful by the life behind it, and it is a body part that is impossible to enhance or fake.

Is that why you chose the hands to symbolize a life lived?

The hand is more anonymous than a face or even eyes which show identity and emotion. Also, they portray our work, our affection, our worry, scars, and even our mistakes...

What is unique about Real?

I believe the concept is unique, the layout is different, and it feels like reading a yearbook or journal. It can easily serve as a devotional and it appeals to a widespread audience.

What do you hope the reader takes away after reading Real?

The simple pleasure of reading it, and more so, an appreciation of the beauty of authenticity of others or their own, and the "perfect plan of diversity". You can read more about this in my article on diversity located here. Pg. 35

With Christmas coming up, why would Real make a great gift for anyone on your gift list?

Real is artistically beautiful, gentle and inspiring, and can be enjoyed by men or women of all ages. It is easy for all to relate to and feel comfortable with. The subject matter feels familiar, even though it’s new, and readers always relate and have something to say about their hands or their story. Real stimulates memories and discussion and has even been used in several ways: a memorial, a devotional, as a hostess gift, and other gifts of course.


Every once in a while, I come across a book that I want to share with all my friends.  Real is one of those books. The photographs and stories are simple, yet stunning and unforgettable. After reading this book, I think I might just spend more time looking at the hands of the people I spend time with.

The stories portrayed in this book are transparent, and everything is bared in an unusual way. Maybe by not showing their faces, the people interviewed dared to be totally honest.

Real is an ideal coffee table book, and each individual story is quick to read. The old saying of "a picture says a thousand words" is evidenced in each photo, and I can already imagine this book becoming a favourite of the guests in my home.

Disclosure: Book provided courtesy of Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest review.

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