The Belle Noir series continues with more photo shoots. This time I had the opportunity to meet and photograph Catherine, a vibrant professional model from Houston, TX. I had so much fun photographing her and capturing her grace and energy.
One of my favorite things about this series is meeting so many fascinating Black women and hearing their stories and learning about what drives them. Catherine's tales about the modeling industry were enlightening and in some cases surprising. While she is passionate about being breaking barriers as a Black model, she admits that there are still so many obstacles to overcome that include colorism and body image representation.
I'm grateful for this happy encounter with Catherine and look forward to seeing her shine even more. I'm looking forward to creating some Inkscape magic with her photos!
I've been listening to Sade's Soldier of Love on heavy repeat, not only marveling at the gravity of the song but how dope the music video for it is. If you've seen it, you can see the connections and how I was inspired by the #grayish ##landscape and the red smoke.
The song is powerful as it speaks to the resilience of spirit in the face of recurrent disappointments in love and the determination to soldier on it spite of it all. I've been clinging to this song in light of all the crazy shit I read in the news, particularly in light of the daily reports of sexual assault/harassment allegations. These are daily reminders of how tough is it to be a women, a women of color, a Black woman in a society that increasingly tries to make you feel powerless. I'm grateful for the reminders of the women who put on a brave face when they are battered and can face the #storm. I say that at the risk of further the perennial "strong black woman" stereotype that is tiresome and unhelpful. There is a power in the willingness to be vulnerable by taking off the mask of invincibility.
A big thank-you to my muse, model, and friend Kathryn for posing for me this past Sunday. She will be the subject of my next Inkscape portrait.
I had a lot of fun shooting with Kathryn today and I am very grateful that she was willing to indulge my need to do somewhat abstract, seemingly intangible poses. It's always an honor when people feel comfortable enough with me to open themselves up in front of a camera lens which isn't easy at all. A lover of all things art, Kathryn was a huge help in coming up with creative poses that will lend very well to my next Inkscape portrait.
Stay tuned for the finished product!
I'm supposed to be working on my taxes right now but I thought I would procrastinate and write this blog post instead.
Last weekend I trekked to Brooklyn to do a photo shoot with my friend Gabby. The day started out as somewhat harrowing because the trains in my neighborhood were not running so I had to deal with a massively overcrowded city bus in Queens to make it out but I did. Luckily the weather was gorgeous so it helped make the ordeal a lot better.
One important thing that I've learned about photographing people is developing a rapport with your models. Because I'm often behind the camera, sometimes I forget that people can feel vulnerable in front of a lens, probably because how we envision ourselves is often different from what appears in the picture the camera takes. I also think it's because the person Im photographing is so conscious about trying to get the pose right without looking too awkward and is wary that the photographer may not know what the hell she is doing. When I can, I like to be able to sit down and talk tot he person first, tell them what my concept is and listen to their feedback. I also just like hanging out to get to know the person better too to further a feeling of trust between the photographer and the model. I hadn't seen Gabby in a while, so it was just nice to chill and catch up before we started shooting. It made the photo session even more fun.
Anyway, I met up with my friend and we did some great shots of her with the aid of some beautiful natural light that day. We had fun because I let the session be spontaneous and my model went with the flow and even helped develop my ideas, which makes for great synergy. I'll be using Gabby's images to develop my Inkscape portraits that I started with Frances and Khalil. She took some fantastic shots, so I can't wait to get started on them. In the meantime, here are a few more pics from last weeks shoot:
This week I've been a bit busy with some DIY projects, which is why I haven't blogged as early in the week as I would like but it's all good.
One of the most important things about photography is lighting; it can make or break your image. I've been meaning to build a light box for suddenly needed one some upcoming product shots. After I finished making it, I tested it out with a couple of shots:
Like I said, it's pretty easy to make with this little tutorial found here. The results are worth the elbow grease you have to put into it because it makes your pics look extra crisp and professional.
Happy box cutting!