My name is Joy A Danso, and I was the creative leader for this creation.
Creating the team was very smooth. Leia had done my hair previously and she is my friend so she was perfect to help me run the project. Caleb produces music, his creative skills translated perfectly into the medium of photography, as all the creative fields intersect and have the same objective of making people feel emotive. Mercy, responded to a job post I posted online. She said she was only beginning her journey as a photographer. This was not an issue for me since I have only been in the field for about a year. I felt it was important to bring in fresh creative’s with fresh mindsets and ideas. The team worked in unison to create a striking collection of portraits. I am grateful.
This project was curated after the first lockdown in the UK. Practically all studios were closed , and the budget for the project was low. The team used Leia’s living room as the studio and we used a ring light instead of soft boxes to diffuse the color gels. I wanted to share this to let every creative know that creating is your birthright and to not allow things such as money and circumstance control your talent and flow. You guys have the power to do anything and everything , through YOURSELF!
The project explores all things strange and beautiful through a series of portraits.
The vision for this project was to merge the mysticism of space , mystery of the unknown by rejecting modern beauty norms to create confusion. The objective for the project is to make people question their ideas of what true beauty is. To me true beauty is all about emotions, and how you feel about yourself and others.
Excerpt From: Terces and Matthew Engelhart. “Kindred Spirit : Fulfilling Love’s Promise” reads: “I invite you to practice sitting down, being still and confident in your own inner beauty, that beauty which never fades, nor can it be diminished by time or circumstance.”
This passage describes how I challenged myself , members of the Miro team and models to authentically express their inner beauty through the use of colour schemes,hair,texture, exaggerated facial expressions and editing techniques.
Throughout the project there is a sense of “nudity”, which I thought was integral to create a sense of familiarity between the viewer and model. The unconventional nature of the portraits in combination with bare skin ensures that the viewer feels connected and sees part of their beauty mirrored in the strangeness.
The creative flow and original expressions of everyone involved in the project inspired me, and allowed my own confidence and beauty to evolve and transcend current beauty standards.
What does beauty mean to you?
Blessings everyone! My name is Leia Wasike-Ginn, I am a first year university student, a black creative and most importantly, the hairstylist for this project. I had the honour of working with Joy Danso, our amazing team and models to create four beautiful looks that played on “the nude” look. I am no stranger to the hair world as I run my own small business, however most of my looks conform to less eccentric and ‘strange’ undertones.
When Joy first explained her vision, I was instantly hooked. We aimed to create a transcendental deliverance of the supernatural world and I feel we did just that.
Jennifer’s look exuded the truest essence of femininity, with her beautiful stature complimenting the elegance and simplicity of the hairstyle.
Daniel’s look pushed ideals of how bantu knots should be worn. That, I loved and still believe that #boyswearingbantus should be popularised and embraced by many!
Johnny’s look was practically completed in seconds and needed minimal effort since he already had his dreadlocks before the shoot however I feel like his aesthetic worked so perfectly with the mystery Joy and Caleb wanted to achieve.
Lastly, Annalisa’s final look was different to how we originally planned. I feel however, the minimal effort display of her beautiful afro worked perfectly with the striped back, natural theme that aligned with the initial vision.
Generally, all of the models worked perfectly to create images that I feel the whole team can be proud of despite some bumps in the process.
Some of the bumps included issues with location. This however, got quickly ironed out as we were flexible in creating our own set. I feel that this even allowed us to explore colour with different gels for lighting ideas, to further fulfil the vision. I thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with fellow black creatives to produce the magic that we did as well as being able to practice my skills as a hairstylist in a mode that I am currently not used to (but soon hope to be).
I will most definitely be working with more fellow black creatives as it is important for our voices to be heard at a time of silencing.
Find more of my work:
London Fashion Week FADCharity – Leia Wasike-Ginn @styled.by.wasike
Yo! My name is Caleb Nimo and I am a first-year Media Studies student at UEA. This is my first professional gig as a creative director and so I aimed to prove myself by developing a simple idea into a striking and emotional piece.
I drew my main inspiration for this editorial from Hype Williams film directing debut – Belly . The film featured rappers Nas and DMX playing the role of two young street criminals in New York, hungry to find success in a life of crime. The opening scene is famous for its use of backlights and UV colouring to create a strange, ethereal, out of this world effect on the protagonist’s skin. Following the brief that stated that we were aiming to explore the infinite possibilities in the universe, I decided that I wanted to explore the infinite amounts of emotions we can experience as humans. I believe that it is strange that we
are able to feel anger or show happiness as a result of our environment and so I attempted to explore this by incorporating the use of lighting to add various colours to the set in an attempt to evoke different
emotions. Thankfully, both Johnny and Daniel were very confident in expressing these emotions through the various facial expressions they made and so I believe the shoot was a great success. I find myself relating with Hype Williams as this was his debut in a field of work that was different to his own as I am a music producer myself.
Greetings! My name is Mercy Akinkugbe and I am an aspiring photographer.
The Miro mag project has exposed me to new levels of creativity, it has shown me how inspiration can be taken from almost anything and can be made into something beautiful!
Initially when hearing and seeing the brief, I was unsure of how I would be able to add to the project as it was way out of my comfort zone, however during the first shoot I was able to dig deeper into my own creativity which I thoroughly enjoyed.
The use of lighting was also something I enjoyed implementing, it’s amazing seeing how a simple source of light can have such a great effect on how a photo feels.
Being a part of a team with so much talent and working closely with individuals such as Joy Danso,Leia Wasike-Gin, Caleb Nimo and others has been a blessing and is something I hope to experience again. This is only the beginning and I am very excited to see what God has in plan for each and everyone of us, I know it will be great! I am very grateful to Mijean and the team for gracing me to be part of such a
A special expression of gratitude towards all the individuals that facilitated all things strange and
Mijean Rochus – CEO of Miro Magazine (@mijeanrochus & @miro_4_you)
Leia Wasike-Ginn – Hairstylist and Assistant (@styled.by.wasike)
Caleb Nimo – Creative Director and Assistant (@ceesho)
Mercy Akinkugbe – Secondary photographer ( @shotby.akp)
Johnny Egere – Model (@johnnyegere)
Jennifer Malengele – Model (@Jennifermalengele)
Anna-Lisa Francisco – Model (@xsimplyretro)
Daniel Daszek -Green – Model (@danieldgreen)
ImJustPleb – Artist/Editor (@imjustpleb)
Peace and love,
More on @joys.planet (instagram)