As a child, I was told that my hair was my crown. My thick, kinky Afro stood at attention, and I realized that my hair was not only a crown, but also a representation of my blackness, heritage, and style. Unlike height or skin color, your hair is versatile with texture, colors, and motion. Each day, month, and year, men and women make decisions about their hair. We change its length often and its style daily. These choices are often personal and can symbolize our culture or our admiration for another.
So, what does your hair mean to you? What does it represent in your culture and community? Do you braid it or curl it? Do you dye it fun colors or just dye away the gray? Do you love your gray? Have you ever lost your hair? How did that affect you? How do others see your hair? Are you proud of your hair? The questions could continue on and on. Your photos could be about your hair, or that of someone you know, or of anyone you meet. Hair is a strong outward expression of ourselves, but can also be very personal. Let's get this assignment going and see where it takes us.
And for this assignment, we will focus only on the hair that grows from our heads! Over the next few weeks, my co-editor Marie McGrory and I will be sharing our individual experiences and we look forward to seeing yours too.
Thank you for your contributions!
Photographer Endia Beal films from Sola Salons in Winston-Salem, North Carolina as she speaks with stylists about what hair means to them. Endia is co-editing the Your Shot assignment "Hair" which asks photographers to submit images of what hair represents to them culturally and personally.
Also we have added a 4th submission to this assignment, so get those last submissions ready.
Reinvent the Way You View Your Hair
Hair is an integral part of our lives. It can frame our face or tell a story about our culture. It has motion, patterns, shapes, and color. I challenge you to reinvent the way you view your hair or your friends’ hair and share your photographs. Below I provided some photos from my series “Can I Touch It?” and links to a few photographers who are reinventing the way the world views hair. Marie and I can’t wait to see your submissions!
- Endia Beal
Telling A Story
We are seeing many fun images of hair—windblown hair, long hair flowing in golden light, barbershops—but don't forget to tell the story. How do you show a portrait that is not redundant? How do you represent the story of what this person's hair means to them? Don't forget to ask questions, and tell us a story in your caption.
Why this person, this image, this hairstyle, and not one of the dozens or hundreds of others you may have passed by this week? Tell us a story; show us something different. I can't wait to see what this next week brings!
I am amazed by the different approaches you all are taking with this assignment. The photographs are innovative and personal. The written statements that accompany the photographs add another layer to the storyline. I also love the community support and dialogue in the discussion section. Below I provided a few links and photographs from emerging photographers who inspire me. I hope these photographers fuel your imagination and I look forward to seeing your next submissions!
–– Endia Beal