Monday, June 28, 2010

A Quick Look at Beauty

Over the past week I have been trying to expand my portfolio by looking into some simple beauty shots.  Shots that are not high in content or theme but fully represent the beauty of the women within them in a simple but powerful way.  With the help of Mushana and my some unique pieces from my mother’s Vintage collection I shot last Wednesday with a group of my friends.  The investigation for this week was simple, beauty, and what does it stir inside us.   I invited four of my friends, who I think are beautiful and striking in their own ways and began to start the process.

I do not want to sit here and say that I wanted to delve into the intricacies of what our perceptions of beauty are, because by now I think that as women we should be evolved enough to understand that what we see in the media is almost always a lie, and that beauty is connected with confidence from within, that it doesn’t come from what we wear but comes from the soul and moves its way through our lives in the conversations we have and the ways we use ourselves as tools in the world. But as a photographer, what I was looking for here was to try and keep beauty in line with the truth of the lens and not the truths of Photoshop.  Trying to keep my editing to a minimal and where it has been used a lot still try and keep a sense of the atmospheric beauty.  
I am not trying to beautify to sell a product but instead to enhance what is already there to show people what I see.  And I see skin tones, colors, locations, environments, dimples and shades.  So this is my outlook.  And these are my images….. Thank you to the beautiful ladies who turned out and to Mushana for adding a little something special….and of course to the spirits and souls which make beauty come out through our eye’s and emotions…..And the lens that captures it all……

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fancy a HUG?

So since my last entry, I have happily settled back into Kampala.  Rested my head a bit and finished my ‘readjustment’ phase.  And then on to my first venture.  With a week before the event I started the process of designing my own t-shirts.  Inspired by the Bavubuka All Starz and Babaluku’s Shirt designs I thought it was high time that I began to empower women with my visions, creating and collaborating to design and make my first t-shirts.   
My inspiration comes from myself, and trying to find a way to empower women by designing something simple but powerful, that has a positive message and moves people to wear and appreciate it.  This is why I went for the ‘Phenomenal Woman’ slogan.  With thanks to Dr Maya Angelou, this was the first of her poems that I ever read.  And it was in those moments that my mind began to change, and I began to see myself from a completely different perspective.  I began to look at myself less from the point of view of others and more for myself and for my own benefit.  It was the first time I knew that I was beautiful despite the opinion of other people.  That my breasts, hips, legs and lips were enviable and not ugly, and that it was ok….no,  better than ok to just love myself for exactly who I was.  And so it only seemed natural for this to be my first design.    
Saturday was my first event since I came back to Kampala.  With the help of the Bavubuka All Starz I printed and sold my very first tee shirt designs and I have never felt better.   It was a beautiful and truthful experience to print my shirts in an organic and encouraging environment.  Be part of the entire process and at the same time be with my friends and Bavubuka family with all of their positive energy going into the production line.  The Bavubuka All Starz are starting their own t-shirt printing company and I thought that this was a great way to get the ball rolling, by not only showcasing my products but at the same time using the Street art fair as an opportunity to showcase their talents as well. 

The day begins slowly, with a mass of tents all lined up on one very LONG road.  My tent is at the opposite end of the general mass, and at first I am a bit weary of  how much we will see. But I optimistic, and rightly so.  As the day moves on we are met with a multitude of interesting and diverse people.  All wanting to represent themselves, their sisters, daughters and wives.  I wanted to just celebrate how beautiful and powerful we all were and it felt good to have women of all different races and cultures celebrate with me.   To watch a group of three Chinese sisters and brother all pick out their t-shirts and walk away with them, and to see a father by one for his daughter telling her this was the kind of thing she should celebrate, the day has been truly blessed and I am glad to be a part of it.  But it is far from over.  Another aim for my day was to use this opportunity to give back to my community in a positive and fun way.  And so, as a participant (whenever possible) and a fan,  I decided to activate the Bavubuka All Starz and my friends to go out and give some FREE HUGS.   
This I must say has truly been the highlight of my day.  After all Hugs are FREE and they can only make you feel better.  The whole point of us going out and giving free hugs was really to just get into the community and spread some love and positivity to people in the hopes of just making someone smile and feel good about themselves.  And I think it worked! I can honestly say there was only one person who when asked if they wanted a hug said “thank you for the offer but no.” 
All in All the day was a positive one, a good collection of people who were out to celebrate the beauty and progression of Ugandan Artists, and spend time enjoying the atmosphere of the day.  I encourage everyone to look out for the video clips which I will attach soon, check out Bavubuka’s All Starz showcasing their talents at the Hip Hop Canvas tent, or just appreciate some of Uganda’s fresh young talent.