Channeling African Heritage and Fairytales, CreativeSoul Photography Empowers Black Children in Captivating Portraits — Colossal

Home / Channeling African Heritage and Fairytales, CreativeSoul Photography Empowers Black Children in Captivating Portraits — Colossal
Channeling African Heritage and Fairytales, CreativeSoul Photography Empowers Black Children in Captivating Portraits — Colossal




Photography

#Africa
#CreativeSoul Photography
#fashion
#hair
#kids
#portraits

June 23, 2023

Kate Mothes

A portrait of a Black child with an elaborate hairstyle and outfit.

All images © Creative Soul Photography, shared with permission

Ten years ago, Atlanta-based photographers Kahran and Regis Bethencourt of CreativeSoul Photography noticed a lack of diversity in the industry, and they seized the opportunity to represent and celebrate the myriad styles and stories of African heritage. In their ongoing AfroArt series, the Bethencourts embrace the versatility of Black hair by sweeping it into towering updos and beaded braids. Young models are bedecked in sequins, ruffles, and shells that are often paired with elaborate garments made of vibrant Dutch wax fabric.

As the series evolved, CreativeSoul dug deeper into fairytales and folklore—some traditional and some of their own imagining—inspiring a collaboration with Disney for a collection of dolls that reframes classic princesses as African royalty. Replete with gowns made of brightly patterned textiles, iconic characters like Snow White and Cinderella wear colorful bows in their long braids and afros.

 

A portrait of a Black child with an elaborate hairstyle and outfit.

Elaborate hairstyles, embellished costumes, and bold backgrounds characterize CreativeSoul’s portraits. “When it comes to sourcing outfits and generating ideas for each image, we work closely with parents and kids themselves in the creative decision-making,” they tell Colossal. “We typically ask each child, if they could have the shoot of their dreams, what would it be? We believe in giving them a voice and allowing their personalities to shine through in the final results.” From the initial idea, they brainstorm themes and source inspiration from literature, culture, and the children’s individual interests.

The Bethencourts also just released Crowned, published by St. Martins Press, as a followup to their first title Glory in 2020. The books are “a celebration of black beauty, featuring stunning imagery that showcases the diversity and uniqueness of black children,” the pair says, sharing that “we aim to inspire young readers and instill in them a sense of pride and self-love.”

Upcoming projects include two new books, one celebrating Black history and another focusing on Christmas. You can snag a copy of Crowned on Bookshop, and find more on CreativeSoul’s website and Instagram.

 

A portrait of a Black child with an elaborate hairstyle and candy-themed outfit.

A portrait of a two Black children with an elaborate hairstyles and outfits.

A portrait of a Black child with gems on her head and an elaborate dress in Dutch wax fabric.

A portrait of a Black child with a crown on and an elaborate dress in Dutch wax fabric.

A portrait of a Black child with a beaded hairstyle and an elaborate dress in Dutch wax fabric.

A portrait of a Black child with a braided updo and a shiny outfit on.

Two portraits of Black children. On the left, a young boy holds a spear and wears a traditional African outfit associated with royalty. On the right, a young girl wears a white dress and has her hair in elaborate braids.

A portrait of a Black child with an elaborate hairstyle and avant-garde denim outfit.

A portrait of a Black child with an elaborately braided hairstyle and a glimmering dress.

#Africa
#CreativeSoul Photography
#fashion
#hair
#kids
#portraits

 

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. You’ll connect with a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, read articles and newsletters ad-free, sustain our interview series, get discounts and early access to our limited-edition print releases, and much more. Join now!





Source link