After the success of 2021’s 30 Days of Beautiful campaign, I decided I was going to make 30 Days of Beautiful an annual photography project. As a Black female photographer, it remains important to me to capture the essence of women, but particularly, Black women who are constantly put down in society. Most of these women don’t consider themselves beautiful based on societal standards and even fewer ever take the time to celebrate themselves.
While I mostly capture branding photography and boudoir photography for Fiercely Feminine Studios, this campaign is more lifestyle photography, so we have unlimited creativity and direction. This project also gives me a chance to work on studio lighting and sets, since I’m more drawn to natural light and being on location.
The theme for 2022’s campaign was Royalty. I told the ladies there were no parameters and they could come up with their own interpretation of what Royalty looked and felt like to them. Their ideas spanned greatly from West African, Egyptian, and English royalty with a whole bunch of other ideas mixed in. Some ladies came with their own headpieces and crowns and some used a few that I purchased for the project.
Once I decided the theme, I chose to go with an all gold set, made up various textures. I knew that this would fit almost any interpretation of royalty that we were presented and would still give the luxury feel. We shot this series over 4 different days and each day the set was slightly different due to the placement and draping of the fabrics.
As we did in prior years, we put out the call for applicants. We had close to 40 ladies from Washington, DC and the surrounding areas apply for the campaign! However, with scheduling conflicts, sickness, and a host of other reasons we ended up with only 26 ladies participating in the event. I went back and forth with myself for several months about finding 4 ladies to complete the project, and ultimately decided that it was complete with just the 26.
As the parameters and rules for applying are pretty lax, we never know who to expect. However, the participants came from all walks of life and were mothers, business owners, and very accomplished ladies. I would say one of the coolest things about this project is how many of the participants were connected to me and each other by only 1 or 2 degrees of separation.
My plan was to begin the project in the late summer before the busy season of the fall began. However, with the rebrand to Fiercely Feminine Studios, the summer was tied up and the project didn’t start until October.
The busy season definitely got the best of me and pure exhaustion has delayed the unveiling of this project. However, the portrait photographer in me knew that these women, these images, and their stories were too beautiful not to share.
These ladies gave what they were supposed to give and I’m super excited to share the magic we created!
Check back daily for the rest of the month to see the features of these 26 ladies.