Monthly Archives: December 2016

Wigging Out

Although I have worn extensions on and off throughout my life for years, I have never in my life worn a wig in public, except for as part of a costume. I’ve also never had my own hair this short during the winter.

I was exploring ways to protect it from dryness and breakage during these cold months and a cute wig seemed like a fun idea, but I wanted something that looked super natural, something that looked like my own hair. I wasn’t sure what was possible until I did some youtube research and found an incredible natural looking wig from Wow Africa. I mean it is visually dense looking, but bouncy and allegedly soft, kinky afro hair. I was squealing with delight until I saw the price and realized just why I have never been a wig person. LOL!

And then I found the wonderful world of Black Girl DIYers making fabulous crochet wigs with cornrow net caps and five different types of curls and twists in all colors and variations of kinks and such and I literally wigged out. I ran out to Beauty Land in Harlem, got my Styrofoam head, latch hook, net cap and packages of African Braid Durban twist hair. My first wig was much too voluminous as I made the mistake of putting in the hairs to close together on the net cap. For the second denser afro wig I used a tighter coiled hair and that one is just a little too retro-classic for me at the moment. I wanted it to be more versatile and it’s not, at least not yet. Still it’s my most successful handmade wig to date as it looks truly natural.

finger-comber

Upon further research I found a site called fingercomber that actually creates wigs for naturalistas that really look like natural hair and are affordable as heck. I’m talking about a twist out wig that you can style in seven different ways. I cannot tell you how excited I was to find them. I have never seen wigs like these before.

I’m not the kind of dope Black chick who doesn’t give a fuck about coming in with my own hair out one day and plopping on a fab wig that looks nothing like what comes out of my head the next. I wish I was. But I would feel totally comfortable putting on a fingercomber wig tomorrow because it looks like how my hair might look if it were longer and possibly has looked in the past when it was! I’m also excited because I’m pretty certain fingercomber is Black owned and run as it was conceived by a “natural hair community that was made by naturals for naturals.” So one of my first major purchases of 2017 will also be an investment in a Black hair and wig company, which positively represents a broad and contemporary version of naturally textured styles.

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The Look of Love

 

parkside3I’m a photographer all of the time and on occasion, I actually have a scheduled photo shoot. This past weekend I took save the date photos for a couple at a local NYC park. The soon to be bride is a close friend of my sister on law. I don’t know if wedding related photography is my thing necessarily, but here’s what I do know. While it certainly does take some skill as a photographer to capture good images of a couple in love, what also makes the photos great is the energy of the couple themselves. When they feel comfortable expressing how they feel for each other in front of the camera, there’s no way that doesn’t transfer to the image. Taking photos of people is always a collaborative and co-creative effort. Depending on the nature of the project, both parties have to be somewhat committed, because the product is always a direct reflection of that.

When I get home and start looking at all the photos I’ve taken on any shoot with clients, I can tell right away if it’s been a success, not just in terms of technique, lighting, or exposure but in the spirit of the entire endeavor. Did the vision in mind translate to the truth of this particular person or people? It’s always good to have a plan and this couple had a clear one. It’s like the plan is a canvas in which to explore the painting,  we don’t really have any idea what the painting will end up looking like. We just have some idea of what we’re going for, and often that’s a feeling right? We’re filling up a raw space with our creativity, using something that’s already been done as a guide, as inspiration. It’s very exciting to me.

I’ve done nuptial related photo shoots only a small handful of times and even though I’m always a bit nervous, the nerves never override the feeling of excitement. Lastly, I have to say that no amount of editing, photo-shopping, airbrushing or cosmetics can take the place of the core energy of people in a photo. All these things can help the vision along but if the spirit isn’t there, there’s no there there. In my experience so far, if the energy  and the vision is there, than for me, as the photographer, almost half the work is already done.