Womanhood – LaRhae B.

1] What opened you up to the world of photography?

My daughter is what sparked my interest in photography. I don’t have many pictures of myself as a child and I knew that I wanted my daughter to be able to have something tangible that would allow her to look back one her life. So I purchased an entry level camera and started taking pictures. Soon after I realized that photography is a true art form.

2.)    Pictures are said to be 1000 words, what words come to mind when you think of the photography you want to produce and capture? 

Black, God, Goddess, beauty, love and family.

 3.)    Beauty is sometimes captured in photos, what is the most beautiful thing your lens has captured thus far?

(picture if available) I have captured so man things that I would consider beautiful. I don’t know if I could say that one is more beautiful than the other. However my favorite shoot so far would have to be with my friend Roman. My goal as an artist is to change the narrative of how black men and women are portrayed in society and the media. I enjoyed this shoot because it was a representation of black men enjoying life and smiling not your typical portrayal of the overly criminalized black male. (I have attached a few of my favorites from that session.

4.)    As a woman and the swift change in the paradigm of women and their empowerment, what does it mean to express that through imagery?

As a woman and mother of a young woman for me it is imperative that I make sure there are images that not only I see and that my daughter sees but also that I create images that symbolize women empowerment. As builders of nations, women must understand the power that we possess. However, in that same breath it is equally important to me to show images that empower the black family, for that is where are greatest power lies.

5.)    When did you realize your womanhood? 

This is an interesting question because I was somewhat of a tomboy growing up and even now I am not the girliest girl lol. Webster defines womanhood as “the distinguishing character or qualities of a woman or of womankind”, so if I had to answer this question based off that answer I would say that I realized my womanhood in my early teens. It was then I realized that there are certain traits that women have that are natural to us in comparison to men, like a woman’s natural ability to be a nurturer for example. 

6.)    When did you believe in your art more than your doubt?

When I could no longer stay focused at my corporate job because my mind always wandered. I knew it was for real though the day I woke up and quit my full time job.

7.)    A place/ scene you seek to experience and capture? 

The pyramids in Egypt.

8.)    What does art mean to you?

Art is magic, art is life, art is beauty, art is pain, art can be your deepest darkest fear or your most treasured desire.

9.) Since you are a mother, what are your views on sexuality in regards to women?

I grew up with a very skewed view on sex and sexuality. I was taught that it was wrong for a woman to have or act out on any sexual desires without the possible consequence of possibly being labeled as a hoe. However as I have grown as a woman and gained knowledge of self I understand that sexuality and sensuality are one of the most beautiful things about being a woman. I feel that as long as you are protecting yourself and your partner that sex itself is a form of art.

10.) What does your current version want to instill or exemplify for your daughter? 

[I dont think I understand this question. my current version of what?]

Your current version of yourself. 

My current version of myself wants to instill in my daughter the understanding of self knowledge and self love. I want her to know that she does not have to conform to any societal standards and that she is powerful enough to manifest the life that she wants to live. 

11.) Women are usually boxed in to be gentle and soft, but what is your favorite hardcore song and lyrics? 

A tale of 2 Citiez by J Cole – “Last night I had a bad dream that I was trapped in the city then I asked is that really such a bad thing? They robbin niggas on the daily. Can you blame a nigga that aint never had things? Guess not. Last night they pulled up on my nigga at the light like..Nice watch, Run It! Hands in the air now Hands in the air Run It!”

12.) If you were to leave a gift to this world as a woman what do you aspire that to be?

If I were to leave a gift to this world I would hope to show many how to feed themselves their families and their community through farming.

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