Black Girl Beach Day
Photographed & written by RaeAnn Walters
Black Girl Beach Day felt like church and I haven’t been to church in years! I was confident that the day would be special and I knew that it would be an opportunity for me to photograph beautiful ass black peoples but it ended up being more than that! Black Girl Beach Day revived me and it inspired me in a way that I’ll do my best to put into words:
I’ve been in a very weird place in my life, feeling like I’m not good enough, feeling like my work isn’t good enough, comparing my journey to others. I’ve been harboring a lot of unhealthy feelings and I don’t know if it makes any sense but being at Black Girl Beach Day on Monday, capturing a bunch of beautiful black people-it somehow brought peace to my spirit. It was a reaffirming experience that reminded me that my work does matter.
I often find myself getting hung up on the fact that the one thing I am passionate about (photography) is an oversaturated field and as a result of this, no one will care about my work. BUT after I sat and edited these images at 3 in the morning… I was proud of myself, proud of my eye, proud of my vision. It cannot be duplicated. As I sent out pictures to the people I photographed and I got their responses, I couldn’t feel more proud. One woman posted one of the pictures I took of her and her caption read, “Wow I never had anyone catch my beauty and swag all in one beautiful photo”.
Photographing someone is not hard but capturing them how they see themselves is very difficult. The fact that this woman sees her true reflection in a photograph that I captured of her is incredible to me because that’s the true purpose of my work. So with that being said, I’d like to sincerely thank the Black Girl Beach day team for putting together such a wonderful INCLUSIVE event. It’s very rare that we’re able to bring our whole selves out to play !