Over the past few years, I have seen a surge in Black-oriented movements that embody political, cultural, and social issues. These movements, stemming in large part from a rise in social media messaging and the viral nature of such, have aimed at giving Black people in the U.S., and globally, a voice, which has for far too long been silenced. I am so heartened by this, and yet, I still see a core voice and face that remains underrepresented: Black women. My project, a photo book exploring the beauty of everyday Black women, is my contribution to filling this void. My book is a photographic exploration of Black women done through a series of photographs that I have taken of Black women of all ages, stages and backgrounds.
In my travels all over the world, and now living as an expat in Belgrade, Serbia, I embody a representation of a Black woman to many whom have never seen someone like me in person. I wanted to create something that is both affirming to fellow Black women, but that is also a visual representation of “average” (but by no means ordinary) Black women that extends beyond a few celebrities that come to mind. Conversely, and more perniciously, there are also negative associations with Black women that I wanted to dispel through this book by showing that we are just like everyone else. Our experiences are tied into the human experience as a whole, and that will be shown through the variety of emotions embodied in the book pages.
From joy to heavy contemplation; we are one, and it is important that my first photography book highlight those who’ve toiled with too little regard for so many years.
"This is a celebration of us.”
To order a copy of the book, click here.
So while "Golden Hour" is truly a gem, it can hold you back if you don't allow yourself to break out of your comfort zone and shoot at various times of the day and in a variety of conditions, which can only make you a better photographer - and more versatile - photographer in the end.
The act of creating, be that taking a photo, drawing, painting, sewing, designing, and so on, is one of the greatest joys a person can experience. Being in the 'moment' of creating is pure bliss; it seems like time disappears and you are transported into another world, free of worry and one filled with absolute peace. However, sadly, these feelings often disappear and are replaced by their worst counterparts after the creation has been made. Inevitably, even if we are self-critical, we view our crafts as gifts, and with any gift, you want to share it. Many times, the act sharing is the exact opposite of the act of creating.
The old adage that you "teach someone how to treat you" applies here. I was not valuing myself by not charging what I was worth (or at all, in many cases), and it gave people license to do the same. applies here. I was not valuing myself by not charging what I was worth (or at all, in many cases), and it gave people license to do the same.