The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: 4 Years In

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: 4 Years In

I teamed up with a few other photographers and we came up with this awesome styled wedding. Using a real couple for models was very important. We wanted their love to be genuine. We wanted to capture the true essence of their love. Elliot and Tywanda Hansen were perfect! They had just celebrated their anniversary — 4 years of marriage! 

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Self-Portrait

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Self-Portrait

This photo, it makes me so proud to be me. It makes feel like I am breathing freely again and it makes me smile. Even better, it makes me EXCITED. Emotion is a huge part of why I love photography and is what motivates me, so to see that I was able to capture myself in such a way  is an amazing feeling.

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: The Life & Legacy of Hazel Smith Jones

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: The Life & Legacy of Hazel Smith Jones

"My Great Aunt Mrs Hazel D Jones celebrates her 99th birthday today. She was 2 years old during the Tulsa Race Riot. It is meaningful to me because she is the 8th child of 12 children. (She is my grandmother's sister) She and her baby sister are the only 2 surviving siblings. You must just seize and cherish every moment of life. She holds so much history."

It is with great sadness that we at Catalyst learned that Hazel passed away Sunday at the age of 99. Our thoughts go out to Jada and her family, and we could find no more fitting way to honor her life than to share this photo. 

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Music and Mishaps

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Music and Mishaps

This was a session I did with a musician hailing from Texas known as Myke B. The Label. Our original idea was to shoot in front of this random red door downtown, but turns out the door wasn't so random. The owner to the building came out and asked us to leave so we had to make do with another location nearby. I'd say the photos turned out well despite our mishap. Also: always double check locations before you try to use them. 

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Black Excellence

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Black Excellence

My clients are a real power couple. They are dream clients — successful, stylish and confident. When they arrived for their session, I was blown away by their attire. I immediately thought they looked red carpet ready. So when I saw the red carpet at the location, which isn't normally there, I knew it was fate. It was perfect. I try to show my clients' style and personality in my images. I believe this photo does that. It represents black excellence and black love, two things that aren't really shown in main stream media.

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Pride Land

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Pride Land

This image is a series completed for one of my clients that owns a dance studio. The company also puts on productions which include The Wiz, Annie, and for this year they decided to reach way out and do an adaptation of Pride Land. The parents create all of the costumes for this production. I, on the other hand, was responsible for finding a look (in this case a venue) that would portray the production to its fullest. The client and I both wanted to see "Lion King" brought to life right in the triad area.

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Latoya Dixon Photography Knows How to Treat Her Clients Like Family

Latoya Dixon Photography Knows How to Treat Her Clients Like Family

We have loved Latoya Dixon for a long, long time. She has been a huge supporter of Catalyst, our keynote speaker at the last {un}convention, and is the leader of The Queen Photographers, who sponsor our Photo of the Week series. But Latoya is more than just a major part of our community, she is also a vendor who knows how to connect with her clients on a very personal level, resulting in some truly amazing photos. That's why we are so thrilled to have her join our vendor directory!

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Fearless

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Fearless

Tsage, my model for this shoot, is not only pretty and smart, but she's also fearless. The park was full of adventure and she wanted to share them all with me. This image was taken when she stopped to show me some feathers she had found. She looked up and the light was perfect. It really captured her spirit.

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Determined

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Determined

I was on the verge of crying the entire event because I just KNEW I blew my once in a lifetime chance to have ISSA RAE in my memory card!! But I kept pushing and snapped so many pictures I hopes that ONE came out good and in focus! It did and I'll never forget that moment.

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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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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Newborn

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Newborn

Most of my clients prefer simple timeless art for their newborn photos. For this photo, the client was a relative who said "just do what you do." With no specific requests or expectations, I felt like I had total creative freedom. I'd been wanting to experiment with compositing newborn images, and this fall background, along with the baby's romper from my stock of newborn outfits, worked perfectly together. So I chose a couple images of the baby and a couple background images that I purchased from a vendor for the final blended images. I'm so please at how they turned out.

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: The Hidden Side

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: The Hidden Side

When I took this photo I was catching up with my dear friend Coop. We were playing catch up as we tend to do. This was a photo of him I captured during our visit. I just wanted to show people a side of my friend that isn't shown often: vulnerability, openness. I'm just girl who loves to connect with her subjects and show them how beautiful they are.

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Baby Genius

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Baby Genius

This was Kyrie's two month milestone photo, booked by his grandmother. He's something of a baby genius, as his grandmother would say. Kyrie is his grandmother's strength, and he's what keeps her going. Right now she is battling stage two breast cancer for the second time. She wants nothing more than to watch her grandson grow. This was a very special photo session for her.

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The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Vulnerability

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Vulnerability

This photo is a photo of a man who let his guard down and allowed everyone to truly see him for who he is. I made the image with studio light, which is something I thought I wasn't good at. The photo is meaningful because it represents both the subject and the photographer being vulnerable.

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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: Beauty in Blackness

The Queen Photographers // Photo of the Week: Beauty in Blackness

I have been working on a book for quite a while about natural hair, and I thought these little girls would be lovely to photograph with their natural hair on display. I wanted it to be very organic and earthy. The cheesecloth that they are wearing as tops was a last minute decision by me while I was packing my gear for the session. I thought the muted colors would allow for the girls to be seen without frills, and that the story of three sisters would come through clearer. I believe there is so much beauty in blackness and that's what I wanted to show.

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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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