Vivian is an up-and-coming hair stylist located in the metro Atlanta area who came to me wanting photos for her branding and “just because”. I’ve been a photographer for a long time and I know that “just because” is usually something rooted much deeper below the skin’s surface. Our society grooms us from an early and impressionable age that if we don’t look a specific way that we will never be happy with ourselves. It’s easy for me to forget about this as I’m always the one behind the camera and never in front; having my body captured in a tangible form that the whole world can see and judge for as long as the internet exists. As I clicked away, I could see her confidence glow a little brighter each time. Whatever she felt was missing, she was able to rediscover it through my lens. The way she ruffles her hair, with each strand shimmering in the sunlight in an array of chestnut, wine, and amethyst. Her smile sparkling and eyes widening as the sunset drew close, opening up and releasing more of her sanguine energy. It’s the same energy that her clients feel after she works her magic on their tress of locks. I hope the rest of 2019 is full of this internalized magic because as a young woman, I understand the rut we all find ourselves in; the rut that's full of a thick mud of emotions that is so incredibly hard to climb out of without the cheering on from our clients and friends. During this shoot, I didn't just take on a new client, I made a new friend.
(Follow Vivian’s hair apprentice journey on Instagram at @vivianstiles_)