"It's Okay To Go" is a portrait project documenting people from all walks of life that have chosen for one reason or another to leave organized religion. Every IOTG subject will be photographed and framed within a stained glass window inspired by the religious organization/denomination they chose to leave.

Years ago, I was a member of the Evangelical Christian Church; involved in youth group, campus ministries and missionary work half-way across the world. As I learned more about myself and spirituality, I realized Christianity and organized religion was not the place for me, but I also realized, leaving organized religion is extremely difficult.

For many, deciding to leave organized religion--especially if they were raised with that religion--often leads to guilt, anxiety and a mountain of heavy questions. Am I doing the right thing for me? Who am I without this religion or church? What will happen to my relationships with my friends, family and community? I found these questions puzzling, and at the time I did not know anyone with a similar experience and could assure me, it’s okay to go.

I now stand on the other side of this experience and am excited and honored to document others who have have taken a similar path and wish to share their story as part of It's Okay To Go. If you would like more info about this project, or if you would be willing to be photographed as a part of IOTG, please contact me via email at hayleykarl@gmail.com.

                        painting stained glass for IOTG

                       painting stained glass for IOTG