Photography Series — (Finding) Black Girl Joy

A fine art analog (film) photography series exploring personal happiness and joy.

“Deeply personal, this story is actually about happiness.”

When I first conceived of the idea for this series in 2018—Black Girl Joy Analog— I was consumed with the idea of playing with bright colors against Black skin. It was an idea rooted in a quest to explain my perspective living in a world that often “sees” me last.

“We all have labels that are far, wide, and varied. However, the only ones that matter are the ones we choose for ourselves.”

Deeply personal, this story is actually about happiness. Happiness in my own body despite the many who tried to convince of their shortcomings. Black Girl Joy Analog explores my eventual recognition of not only my unique beauty, but my also my power and right to that happiness I sought my whole life. Through this work I sought to display the bountifulness of my life—my future— and to visually reveal how it feels to be in this place in life.

Black Girl Joy Analog broadcasts the need to love and find happiness in one’s individuality, womanhood, motherhood, professionalism, relationships, artistry, culture, race, and endeavors. We all have labels that are far, wide, and varied. However, the only ones that matter are the ones we choose for ourselves.

With that, enjoy viewing this photographic story featuring Monique Lewis and Mintyce Sarae, shot on 120 and 35mm film.

I hope this series strikes a sense of self-worth in you that serves as a reminder to find joy and happiness in your life despite what the world sends your way.

Makeup — Renata Nicole & Ashley Tolani

Models — Monique Lewis & Mintyce Sarae (of Kingsley Models)

Photography, Styling, & Creative Direction —Tenneal McNair