In February of 2016, I worked with a group of ladies for the launching of Patty Maxine's website. It was my first full production photoshoot that consisted of a stylist, makeup artist, models, and the designer on set. This is where my relationship with stylist Akilah Whitaker began. I was eager to start back up my natural hair series and Akilah had great ideas to contribute to my concept. From Natural Politics, our creative relationship took off. I have always admired photographers like Annie Leibovitz who has produced beautiful portraits, but has a dream team behind her work. It can be a challenge working with others when everyone has a different skill, yet this is what makes the final product worth wild . Akilah's Bachelors in Business from the University of North Texas has definitely come in handy when she has brought new clients to the table. She has influenced me in my professionalism and work ethic enormously. I am grateful to have worked on so many great project and to have met so many great young women and men along the way. It is a blessing to be able to do what you love and learn new things along the way.
For my Special Topics class, my professor asked us to challenge ourselves with our manipulation skills. During this time, I had recently reached out to a local fashion designer,Erica Woodmoore, to photograph her pieces. Her collection consisted of dresses, skirts, and jackets that were all blackl. I decided for my digital technique to photograph these all black designs on a black background. I knew it would be a challenge to show color separation between the black clothing and black background.
This past year during the weekend of the Fourth of July, back to back tragedies took place with two African American men that stirred an uproar in the black community. I felt helpless as I watched my social media pages buzz in chaos questioning what could be done to stop these horrific killings. I then questioned my own beliefs and loyalty to the black community. What could I do besides repost the hashtag of victims #AltonSterling and #PhilandoCastile? This was not the first time an incident, so severe had revealed to the world that police were targeting the black community. I began to think back to February 2012 and the Travyon Martin shooting. This was the beginning of the #BlackLivesMatter movement in my generation, but definitely not the first time in history it was taking place.
Polaroids have always been a fascination of mine, so I decided to manipulate the black on black images into polaroid film. I chose to make the polaroids appear archaic, to symbolize the fifty plus years of known and unknown acts in history of police brutality. At the bottom of the polaroid are the dates of the victims between 2012-2016 who were discriminated at the hands of societies stereotypical beliefs.
I finally felt with this series, I was able to use my medium as a voice, to recognize the unfortunate misconception upon black men, women, and children in the black community.
Carrie Mae Weems is a black, American, narrative photographer who is known for her documentary work on race, feminism, and identity. I have had the chance to present and research Weems for numerous class projects for the past ten weeks. I have been fascinated with the articles and books that has led me to understand her as a person as well as an artist. I was shocked to learn, that in 2013 she was the first Black woman photographer to have a solo photo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City. In 2014, amongst many BET honorees she received the Visual Arts Award presented by Hip-Hop mogul and entrepreneur Russell Simmons.
It is not easy as an up and coming photographer to know what your work will be categorized amongst viewers and other artists. I personally thrive off photographing clothing and products that promote fashion brands, yet have found myself more passionate about concepts that have purpose or symbolic meaning. Carrie Mae Weems' body of work The Kitchen Table Series contains black and white images that identify with women in different roles. A mother, a significant other, a friend, and balancing an internal relationship with yourself are subjects every woman can relate to. I found this series self-empowering, in my personal life as well as my role as an artist.
Carrie Mae Weems' Fresh Talk at the National Museum of the Women in the Arts is a noble speech answering the question, " Can an artist inspire social change?" From that presentation I will always take this quote with me.
“One important thing you learn as an artist, if you're focused, really, really focused, the work tells you what it needs, what it needs to be, and embedded in every project, is the beginning of the next project.”
-Carrie Mae Weems
Yesterday, I went out and experienced my first pop up shop with designs by YikStyles! I had never been to one of these events but heard they were lots of fun. As I arrived, I was greeted by models surrounded by photographers having their photos taken. The music was blasting and there were racks and racks of clothes. A huge sign decorated the store read, "White hangers $5, Black hangers $10, and Red hangers $15, I knew my bank account was in trouble!
I was mostly excited to support my friend Sharon Yik, and photograph her designs. She had three beautiful natural hair women change several times to model her pieces. I was happy to be apart of this event and capture great moments. This was an awesome networking environment and look forward to my next Pop Up Shop!
This past weekend Angela Webb Photography was asked to be apart of the 4th Annual Urban Chatter Art Show. Being a guest at the last show back in March was a blast! To be a featured artist this time around was such a blessing. Being one out of two of the only featured photographers amongst such amazing graphic designers and painters I definitely wanted to step out of the box with my display. I got inspired and took a trip to Home Depot where I learned a little about plywood and mixing paint. I was so excited with my end results of my display and tearing away from the typical frames. I must say my first DIY project was a success! As the big night approached, I was taken away with how everything came together. The walls in the lobby of the Continental Lofts Gallery were covered with beautiful black urban art and spilled into the entry way on easels. Ladies dressed in red and white polka-dotted dresses served drinks from the show's sponsor's Deep Eddy's Vodka. As guest sipped and sampled food from vendors such as The Flaming Skillet and purchased jewelry from The Toi Factory the speakers bumped beats mixed by DJ Ursa Minor. This night celebrated black artist through out the DFW area! Big ups to my dear friend Nychelle Ellise for pulling off such an awesome event!!! Can't wait until the next show!
In 2014 I decided to photograph women who wore their hair in its natural state for a class assignment. I had just started my own natural hair journey prior to the shoot and was completely clueless about what this natural hair business was all about. There were so many YouTube tutorials about products you could use, hair styles to help it grow, which I later learned were "protective styles", and how to identify what kind of hair type you have. ( I still don't know if I'm a 2B or 4A lol) The only thing I was sure of was that I had never been more fascinated with a feature other than my freckles. It wasn't long before I was able to photograph close friends and women from my hometown to start my natural hair series. A year later here I am taking on this project once again, but motivated by much more than raising my GPA. Every morning my attention is caught by the headlines of articles by the Huffington Post and Essence Magazine of natural hair women being discriminated in the work place. Young women are being sent home from school yet at the same time black women are bringing confidence and reassurance that its okay to be yourself. I personally can say I never was a fan of the big chop, but it taught me to say screw the critics and hello to huge earrings. Hats of to those women that are the first in the industry to wear their hair naturally. It has become the conversation starter amongst black women wherevever you go. I want to continue the conversation with this series. Last Saturday I was able to bring together a few young ladies and capture their beauty through the lens of my camera. Big thanks to all the women who came out. Thanks to the film and camera crew who are cooking up some behind the scenes of this journey. Thank you to a good friend and stylist, Akilah Whitaker who helped bring my vision to life along side with jewlery designer Saudia Moore of Nefervibe
Yesterday I had the pleasure of photographing designs by, LaTosha Johnson, Creator & Fashion Designer of PATTY MAXINE designs. Prior to our shoot we were so ecstatic that we had met! Our creative relationship couldn't have been more in sync. We had so many ideas and were eager to start right away . As we brought our resources together( make-up artist, stylist models) we had no idea how GREAT things would turn-out. As Beyonce's "Formation" blasted through the speakers on set, it was the hard work of Stylist: Akilah Whitaker, Make-Up Artist: Autenee Powell & Model(s): Bianca Wiles, Cameron Inman, & Lanette Sok that made this shoot feel more like fun than work. I can not wait to share this project with everyone and the many projects to come. Stay on the look out for these new items! In the meantime, checkout clothing at www.PattyMaxine.com/shop for items that are on the close out sale!
Over the past eleven weeks, I have had the pleasure of interning with Fashion/Commercial photographer Kelly Williams of Kelly Williams Photography. I was curious and fascinated with every shoot, whether it was photographing clothing for a designer's look book or on location for business head shots with clients such as NBC and Essilor. On the first day of my internship, we did a photo session at her studio, located in the Medical District of Dallas. "I was nervous, anxious, excited, definitely!"(Name that movie quote-Parent Trap) I didn't know what to expect. Was this internship going to be the classical cliche of Starbucks runs, or would I gain the experience I was so anxiously awaiting. My first task was to set up equipment. We were almost finished and only had the soft boxes to build . I often use soft boxes during my own photo shoots so I assumed this would be easy. For the next thirty minutes, I struggled with that darn thing. Some would say I broke out into a sweat, but the world will never know. Ms. Kelly finally came over and in two steps put it together. I knew then, this probably would be my first and last day. Now, putting together a soft box is not only something I can do successfully, but laugh about when it gets frustrating. Gaining the hand-ons experience from a well respected photographer is a memory I will always have and be grateful for. Thank you Kelly Williams for giving me the confidence I needed to continue my photography journey.
What a night! As the gallery doors promptly opened a 6pm guest mingled and enjoyed the art work amongst great food and music. As me and the other ladies watched nervously as guest read our artist statements and showed interest in our work, it was a feeling we will never forget. I felt appreciated, supported, and grateful for the feedback I got from classmates, family, and friends that came out. This night made the days of hard work and last minute decisions all worth it! Thank you so much to those who were in attendance and those who couldn't make it. (Click on photos below)
Photos by Stacy Sims Photography www.editorialphotogrpahy
Nall Dube "Portrait//Live"
Jasmine Green "Big D Burgers"
Kaitie Larney "Gypsy Spirit"
Tessa Ring "Everyday Living"
For my Exhibition Thesis class, me and four of my classmates are presenting our work, in our first gallery show. Over an eleven week period, we have worked together to photograph and critique five very different styles of work. From Fashion, Food, & Live Music there was never a dull moment in preparing for this show. We have learned so much from one another and touched on many different subjects. From Stereotype to learning where to get the Best Burger in Dallas, come find out what conversations our photos bring to your circle. (Click on Photo for Sneak Peek)
December 5, 2015
8680 Main St. Suite E1
Frisco, Tx 75034