Usually, I have these long, drawn out blog posts about identity or weight or the usual struggle. We are nearing the end of 2017, gearing up for the new year. A fresh start as I like to call it. But, for right now, I’d like for you to enjoy this photoset as I have enjoyed creating it with my #BlackGirlMagic team.
ELOQII allowed me to choose two items. I searched high and low until I stumbled upon this one. I’ve always been a fan of the vintage glam look. The kind of look that you’d imagine in the Great Gatsby. Which is my fave, by the way. Of course, women who look like me weren’t the pillars of those stylish times. They were usually white, thin and most likely, weren’t Muslim.
I like to take concepts and make them my own. Make them modern. I want them to tell a story. What does each photo say to you?
The day of shooting, I was very tired and had just started my period. Score! I had wanted to buy a pair of shoes to match the outfit better, but hadn’t had the money, so I found the ones I’m wearing at the bottom of my shoe bin from two years ago and made it work.
I told my makeup artist, Madinah, that I wanted makeup with red and blue hues.
We picked up Tiarra, the photographer, then drove all the way to Ann Arbor to Graffiti Alley.
Ann Arbor is a suburban city with lots of white folk. I was a Muslim gal wearing an award show dress and face beat to the gawds. As, we made our way to the location I got lots and lots of stares. I wanted to ask, “Have none of you ever seen a celeb in real life before?” Instead I sashayed down the sidewalk. LOL.
When on set, it takes me a moment to get into the ‘modeling’ zone. The first photos are usually trash because I am trying to get a feel for the ensemble, the photographer, and the mood.
What helps is taking on a character. Any character that fits what I want to portray. For this golden dress, I imagined myself as a confident yet sassy ‘Roaring 20’s’ speakeasy owner. The kind that smoked cigarettes from fancy, bedazzled holders and wore feather boas on Friday nights. She probably knew how to use a shotgun. She was feminine yet strong and hadn’t taken no shit.
After we took photos with the graffiti, we went back towards the car. We stumbled upon an old-style looking theatre. My friend said, “OMG. You gotta take some photos here.”
We took some more amazing shots at Michigan Theatre.
Then my friend, pointed through the glass door. “Yo, we need to get that guy inside to take a photo with you.”
“Go ask,” I said. “That’d be dope to have a male model.”
Minutes later, my friend emerged with Kostya, who did an amazing job.
When I model, it’s all about expression and going with the flow. I love how I can just be. I feel most confident in front of the camera, creating these amazing images that will forever be floating around and inspiring others to continue to create visual masterpieces. Create content, written, painted, drawn, or digital.
Just keep creating.