Updated: May 8
Shot with Barbadian Dance sensation, Nandi Yard, in the beautiful Welchman Hall Gully, Barbados.
Here's to my first blog post. What better way to kick things off than with a post from one of my most recent projects with Barbadian Dancer, Nandi Yard.
Why Gardenia? And what inspired this?
“Perfect for the romantic at heart! Gardenias say 'You're lovely' and are viewed as a symbol of secret love. They also signify joy and purity, and are associated with thoughts of beauty.”
Inspired by my favourite photography duo, COSTE & BILLY Production. From the moment I found their instagram page @coste.billy I fell in love. This French pair has a unique way of capturing their subjects, shrouds them in mystery and portrays them with ... significance... I wanted that.
I wasn't going for a replica, but I wanted to challenge myself with a subject that had all the correct elements of black femininity, yet with all the fierceness as well. If you've met Nandi, her personality is just chill. I wouldn't at all call her a girly girl. Her Instagram page shows her energy and love for dance and sports. My goal was to take all that raw energy, that street vibe and tame it to produce a piece that felt like a monument to black beauty and romance. To showcase a type of confidence only seen in total comfort.
At the shoot with Nandi Yard...
With just a few hours before the shoot, I had to get some last minute items with my wife, Ajené and assistant, Dymarc. Needle and thread, safety pins, flowers of course, were all on the menu. I wasn't looking to make a huge investment so flowers from the convenience store at the Warrens Service Station was the best option (worked out very well if i do say so myself). Next were the safety pins, which I couldn't find anywhere in the area. That being the case, needle and thread was the next best thing, though not ideal due to time constraints.
The gully being, the gully, our already limited light disappears very quickly. So where I would have had 2 hours of light for this project, in the gully, that 2 hours became 1 and with safety pins out of the question, I was seriously considering a location change. BUT... Thank God for Dancers... while I was in the supermarket continuing my hunt for safety pins, Nandi tells me she has and so our location was finalized. As we got onsite, my wife, was able to put together the flowered bottom in record time. We were able to shoot and get all we needed in a swift 1.5 hours. Nandi was a gem to work with. She took direction well and showed that she knew her body well enough to give a number of poses that met the standards of the shoot and its benchmarks. We left Welchman Hall Gully satisfied and hopeful for the final product. I think its soon time we work together again :D Follow more of my work on Instagram!
You can also follow Nandi at her handles below!