Natural Hair Portrait Project: Call for Subjects

What is the project?

A series of portraits that celebrate natural hair and black skin in all their nuance and variety, firstly through capturing the diverse British community of contemporary Black and Mixed Race actors

And then expanding to include people from all professions and walks of life in the UK.

Upcoming Shoot Days

Shoot days will be listed here shortly.

If you’d be interested in taking part, please get in touch to: michael@michaelwharleyphoto.com. I won’t use your email for anything else except helping you participate.

Why?

My eyes were opened to this issue by a number of actor clients. You can read about it here. As a photographer working in a visual, easily-made available, and very digestible medium, I wondered if I could try to make a small contribution to change.

Natural Hair Project: Background

What’s involved?

Drop in for 15-20 minutes to one of my shoot days at the Studio in Waterloo, right next to Lambeth North tube on the Bakerloo line in Zone 1.

Hair and makeup pros will be on hand to help you finesse your look (it isn’t a makeover, but they’ll be there to help).

Have your photo taken – that’ll take about 5 minutes.

Leave a little testimony, if you want, about your experience of having natural hair, social attitudes to it, prejudices you’ve encountered, ways you’ve managed it, or celebrated it. I’d like to build an accompanying body of words and thoughts.

What should I bring?

Yourself, a simple dark or light top inva colour you like or an off the shoulder top.

Do I have to be top half naked?!!

Not at all. In the tests shots above no-one was, and these are only guides to the setup we’ll create.

I hate being photographed:

Me too, but I don’t bite, and we’ll take shots of you in quiet repose, rather than gurning or demonstrating. It should be quite relaxed.

Will I get a copy of the photo?

Of course yes, when I’ve selected a shot and had it edited, I’ll share it with you in high res form.

What will you do with the images?

This is a non-commercial, personal project. I bear all the costs for the makeup/hair artists, and for retouching.

I will share a gallery of work on my website, and hope to arrange an exhibit or self-published book, in which case I’d tie up with a deserving charity for donations etc… You would be invited, of course, to any exhibit or event.

I would not turn down the chance for the images to be seen widely and have more impact, but there will not be direct financial gain for me.

Where is the studio?

Makespace Studios, Newnham Terrace, SE1 7DR. Right next to Lambeth North Tube (30 secs from station on the Bakerloo Line), and 8 minutes from Waterloo.

You’ve missed a trick:

I’ve tried to set up this project in a thoughtful and appropriate way. I am aware this isn’t my story to own, and my main aim is to make a small contribution to positive social change. Do read Natural Hair Project: Background too. If you feel there’s an angle I haven’t covered, or perspective it’d be worth considering, I’d be really grateful if you’d get in touch and give me the chance to incorporate it.: michael@michaelwharleyphoto.com