Black BeauTEA Talk // For Wakanda? Without A Question.

Black BeauTEA Talk // For Wakanda? Without A Question.

Now let’s talk about the representation of black women in this movie!! I’m a young black woman, I would say, but the narrative I’ve always received has been that women follow their men. Subconsciously, and very blatantly, I was told things like “let the man lead,” “The man is the head of the household,” “Women are the nurturers,” insert whatever else oddball Christian-based bullshit you can think of. Black Panther literally took every bit of that and said “fuck what you talmbout” and it made me cry. I’ll probably be crying weeks from now at the very thought of that!

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: From Up Above

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: From Up Above

I was on vacation in Hawaii celebrating my friend's 30th birthday (she's pictured here), and as we were walking through the hotel I looked over the balcony and instantly had a flashback to Solange's "Cranes In The Sky" video. I told her "I have a crazy idea. I need you to lay on the floor and let me photograph you from above," and she said "of course!" and did it with no hesitation. I appreciate my fearless friends.

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Future Queen

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Future Queen

Ja'Myah's mom Jessy texted me to say that when she showed the photo to Ja'Myah, Ja'myah said, "Awww, Mama I look pretty." Those words alone let me know that I had done my job. After seeing her photo Ja'Myah gained a new sense of empowerment and confidence. To be able to give that feeling to future a queen so she can see and know who she is meant a lot to me.

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Black BeauTEA Talk // Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: Where Brittney Goes from Here

Black BeauTEA Talk // Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: Where Brittney Goes from Here

Behind the scenes, this column has been a part of a crazy journey for me this year. I began this year wanting to start my website and get serious about my makeup artistry business. “Getting serious” about my business meant going into bridal work. I wanted to be taken seriously as an artist and I wanted more than anything to make some real money, ahhkay?! Well, the year is coming to an end and guess how many real weddings I've booked?!! Zero, none, not a single real-life wedding have I booked, and I'm more than okay with that. The truth is that this year took me on such a wild ride that promoting myself as a bridal makeup artist took a back seat...I mean way back. Aside from Liz asking me to write for Catalyst, the staff at Catalyst also accepted my application to be a speaker at their conference! Yeah I know, they’re clearly as out there as I am, but it really happened (laughs). They booked me to come to Richmond, Virginia, to speak at {un}convention—they gave me a mic and everything. Brave people, I tell ya, but it was such an amazing experience, and information should be out soon about where you all can order the footage and watch from home! I’m still reeling from that conference and looking for the next opportunity that I can grab a mic and speak my speech. Until then though I have decided to follow my heart and do what I need to do for me.

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Wednesday + Cousin ITT

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Wednesday + Cousin ITT

I hosted a costume shoot for clients of all ages, and this image is just one from that session. The mother of the two children made the costumes: Wednesday and Cousin ITT. If I had to say how the image represented me as an artist, I would say it shows the artistic training and creativity that I love to add to all of my images. This type of imagery reflects more of my fine arts training and actually makes me smile every time I look at it.

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Effortless

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Effortless

I love photographing beautiful black women. It makes me happy to see the rise of their representation in the media. For this shot, I wanted to capture the subject's strong Jamaican features. She has a strong essence and personality, so the black and white allowed that to shine through. The image shows this woman's effortless strength and beauty. I think anyone can connect with this image's simplicity. It's raw, textured, and real.

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Simply Ronis

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Simply Ronis

I live in Phoenix, and the Black population is small. The studio that holds these happy hours doesn't have too many Black models. When I saw Ronis, I knew that I had to support her. For me, it celebrates the beauty of Black women. All too often, we're negatively portrayed, or our beauty, in all of its forms, isn't seen as beautiful by mainstream society. This image, for me, exemplifies Black Girl Magic.

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Beautiful Now

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Beautiful Now

My parents always knew what drawings and colorings were mine at parent teacher conferences because all the people were brown. Cinderella, Snow White, She-Ra — they were all brown. Growing up I was teased about my skin tone and color by kids at school and family members. I let it get to me until one day I decided I was beautiful and wanted to see more people like me. I would take images of characters around me and reimagine what they would look like if they looked like me. One day I was at home and Sex in the City came on, and I said to myself: what if Carrie was a brown girl from Brooklyn? And that's how's this photo came to be.

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Whimsical Crepe Paper Wedding Inspiration in Ontario

Whimsical Crepe Paper Wedding Inspiration in Ontario

When photographer Hannah Yoon approached me about collaborating on a styled shoot highlighting a model of color and a crepe paper flower crown designed by 622 Flowers, the obvious answer was YES! While chatting, we decided to build a shoot that would focus on handmade details and lots of DIYs. We drew inspiration from the bold colors of the flower crown with the goal of creating a mysterious and enchanting vibe. 

Lastly, we wanted this shoot to inspire an audience who is often underserved in wedding blogs. People of color are often underrepresented online in the wedding industry, and this is exactly who we hope to reach!

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Wedding Inspiration // Afro Chic

Wedding Inspiration // Afro Chic

This was an "Afro-Chic" styled wedding shoot, sponsored by the Queen Photographers of Georgia, an organization that supports women of color photographers. The inspiration behind this shoot was "Black Girl Magic." It took place in a beautiful natural light studio space, in Gainesville, Georgia. The color scheme was hues of maroon, pink, and lace. 

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Black BeauTEA Talk // 7 Myths About Black Beauty

Black BeauTEA Talk // 7 Myths About Black Beauty

Myth #1: "Black Don't Crack"

I'm going to talk about skincare first because as a makeup artist, this is the most important part of beauty. So under my post asking to hear the biggest myths from my readers, the first commenter said “black don't crack.” This was a good one, and I'll be the first to say that this is TRUE and not a myth, and I'll tell you why it's true. Black women age slower than other races of women, and one main and very obvious reason for this is that melanin, baby! However, the danger in this saying is that it insinuates that as black women, we shouldn't do other things to take care of our skin.

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Inspiration // Bathtub Goddess in A Floral Explosion

Inspiration // Bathtub Goddess in A Floral Explosion

This was a personal creative project showcasing natural creativity and feminist images. We invited a local amateur model, artist, and student to participate in the photo shoot to share her beauty and confidence among the flower structure and style created by Pilar in her home. The overarching look is natural with a touch of rich gold, very little makeup, and focal jewelry pieces. Bold colors, strong lines, fierce eyes, and bodily ease suggest a woman warrior, finding peace and clarity in this garden bath. The creators of this piece are all women (the designer, the photographer, and the model)—most of them brown women. We are creative women and beautiful souls, and we deserve to be boldly represented.

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Real Families // Courageous Love: Chardee

Real Families // Courageous Love: Chardee

I greatly underestimated the journey to motherhood. I had nine months to change my mentality and to become the woman and mother I have always dreamt I'd be. I've learned more about myself in these past months than I have in my 28 years on earth. I wanted my maternity session to reflect that growth. My journey hasn’t been easy to say the least, but I have and will continue to overcome all obstacles in my way. At the time of my session, I felt confident in my new role of Mommy-to-be. Megan and Garrett were spot-on with a location that would reflect this change. Mansions are beautiful and known to  symbolize wealth. I found beauty in my transition from independent young woman to highly-favored young mother. I have now become rich—rich in knowledge, strength, and unconditional love for another. Like a mansion, the home for me and my daughter, Ava, will be built brick by brick on a solid foundation of faith. I’m so thankful that I have pictures that truly depict the woman I have now become and the mother that I know I will be. 

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Real Couples // From the Beach to the Mountains: Ty + Jarred

Real Couples // From the Beach to the Mountains: Ty + Jarred

These two decided to elope and have a simple ceremony that included just the two of them. For their official wedding photos they wanted photos to reflect their time spent together in Utah. They met by fate one night outside of a club and have not been apart since. They loved to take drives out to the flats and watch the sun set over the city. We spent the day adventuring together doing just that. 

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Black BeauTEA Talk // Silk & Lace Thrift Shop Inspiration for Nontraditional Brides

Black BeauTEA Talk // Silk & Lace Thrift Shop Inspiration for Nontraditional Brides

I never dreamed about my wedding day as a child. I am not that girl! I honestly feel as though I would breakout into hives just like Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City if I were to try on a wedding dresses. This is not an anti-wedding dress rant. Wedding dresses are the most beautiful gowns ever! I just cannot do traditional anything, and the cost per wear is just a little too high for me. What is “cost per wear” you ask? Well, this is the total cost of the item/number of days you’ll wear it. For those brides who think similarly, I’ve found a loophole for you!!!!  
 

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Woke Wednesday // Meet Makeup Artist Brittney Taylor

Woke Wednesday // Meet Makeup Artist Brittney Taylor

Feminism is touchy for me because I feel it was created (or given the title and taken mainstream) by white women and fails to include black women. Black children, women, and men are my FIRST priority and who I scream the loudest for. So when something puts that second, it's hard for me to carry the title—although I do understand and agree with the views of feminism. I would say I'm an advocate for social justice because I do believe in equality, and I know the system is fucked up. What it all means to me is pulling your head out of the sand and saying, "That's some bullshit, and it's not okay," and then doing whatever you can to change it.

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