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Portrait Photography with Kaia

A while ago I read one of @kaia.ab posts on Instagram about the male gaze and the white female gaze in art, movies, photography, etc. That sparked a conversation between us. I asked her: How would you like to be photographed? How do you see yourself? Her answer is this photoshoot we realised together - but it was born in her mind.

After our shoot Kaia sent me this text:

‘I wrote this inspired by your question:

How do I view me?

A legacy.

A collage of silenced

Voices, erupted in a generation

‘Woke’ enough to listen.

A gradation of blackness,

Curls coiled like grated

Chocolate, bouncing with

My ancestors spirits as I

Learn to embrace them.


How do I view me?

A lot of the time…

forgotten beauty.

I guess the truth is

Blurred by my lack of


I guess I forget my goodness

When I’m left to my own devices.

My light and my darkness

Surrounded to form my reflection

And I often neglect to analyse

the conversations I have

With myself.

We all get used to our features,

Competing in a society

Fuelled by comparison.

Our inner children shadowed

By our egos and

Our landscape profiteering

From our conditioned insecurities.

But less perfection and

More authenticity…

We may be familiar with our mirrors

And who looks back at us,

But the very things you hate could

Be the very things others love.

While you are here doubting yourself,

Others are afraid of your potential.

The thoughts of yourself today set

The foundations for what

you build tomorrow.

So visualise your highest yourself

And show up as them.

The moon doesn’t apologise for

The way she moves the waves,

Nor does the sun hide away

From places where he’d shine the brightest.

Be like nature, unapologetic

And stunning throughout the seasons.

So, whenever you are ready,

Sit down and confront your present:

How do you view yourself?


Thank you for your voice Kaia and for allowing me to see you.


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