“Pretty is the Woman in Darkness who Flowers with Loving”
In today’s world, it seems as if femininity is looked down upon: to have womanly features is seen as weak and inferior, especially when it comes to women of color. There is a trend in fashion photography where non-white women are being photographed as “hard” and “edgy”—details that are viewed as masculine. I challenge this by portraying women of color in a soft and romantic light as a way to say that feminine traits are not negative in the slightest.
This series of photographs is inspired by the style of Julia Margaret Cameron—a female photographer from the 1800s who worked in a pictorial style of photography: a soft, dreamlike, slightly blurry, romantic, “pretty” look. Her techniques helped to blur the lines between commercial photography and fine art, showing that it is possible for one to become the other.
“I have seen in the mirror
and the eyes of my sisters
that pretty is the woman in darkness
who flowers with loving.”
-Chirlane McCray, I Used To Think