Beyond the lens Tai ‘Images’ Black Girl Magic
I t h as been said that “Being a black girl now is like being a part of some super-exclusive, prestigious goddess organisation.”
Endorsing this chic melanin phenomenon with a bit of black magic is maverick photographer, Donnette Mason. Today, Outlook shines the spotlight on her recent photo shoot and goes behind the scene on the journey to her new company, Tai Images.
The beauty behind Black Girl Magic
On the heels of the Black Hypocrisy initiative, led by dancehall artiste Spice, Mason was moved to make her own mark and capture the essence of the ebony movement.
“I assisted Spice with putting on the forum held at the University of Technology this year. So I was inspired to bring the message forward, by highlighting some of the beautiful melanin in my life,” she shared.
Scrolling through Instagram, she saw one of her friends with a photo, and then it hit her. So she created a ‘photo-line’ along that concept, choosing models Deidre Drummond, Robi-Ann Robinson, and Yanique Neil, who empower the beauty of black magic. She also teamed up with make-up artist Shnelle Morant and Shenz Fashion Boutique to make that vision an edgy reality.
“This shoot meant everything to me. The desire was to put out something powerful. I mean, black is beautiful and it was amazing to see. I just wanted to embrace it, celebrate it and showcase it.”
The final-year hospitality and tourism management student at the University of Technology, Jamaica, (UTech), has always been fond of photography. But her adoration began bearing fruit close to eight years ago.
“The love started from primary school, throwing partner money to buy my first camera. Capturing moments and emotions through lens followed me into high school. Freezing that motion to look back at it, the joy that persons feel in that moment from that previously created memory, I wanted to bring that happiness to people out there. That is why I said yes to photography.”
Mason’s professional journey got underway via guidance and tutelage from photographer Kevron Turner and his equipment. From there, she nurtured her natural skills, purchasing her own tools to spread her wings and soar towards flashing lights. Taking criticism in a constructive manner and using it as a means of learning and moving forward, she is grateful for the opportunities, excited about the endless creative possibilities and proud of her growth thus far.
These days, Tai Images specialises in portraits and events. She specifically enjoys doing maternity shoots, and photographing babies with their cute little faces.
Since Tai is actually a part of her middle name, Mason ran with that personally exclusive name, to reflect her side of photography. She aspires to portray that unique beauty in her work.
Her most memorable shoot to date was her first ever maternity shoot for a couple from her community. That’s when she fell in love with that style of portrait. Any photoshoots that she executes with her brand ambassador, Stacious, is always amazing – the vibe and energy of showing off the beauty of Jamaica, nothing like it. And in recent times, her black girl magic shoot pushed her creative envelope.
The road to success, while paved with good intentions, can present potholes along the way. But Mason remains focused on her passion. When in doubt, she can always turn to her biggest cheerleader and supporter.
“She even assists me on different events when she’s not busy being an awesome woman,” she declared
She is planning a part two to her black magic series – a little eye candy for the ladies, so look out for that. Her advice to aspiring photographers is to follow in the footsteps of veterans and then trek on your own path to greatness.
“Go around, find photographers, be their assistant. Learn the trade and see it from a different point of view. Through assisting these experts, you will garner a greater appreciation for the artform and be able to form your own unique style. If you have your own camera, go around and shoot. Discover what you love to photograph, and see how best you can be different and stand out.”
For more information on Black Girl Magic and beyond, you can contact Tai Images at (876) 869-7602, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Facebook and Instagram: @taiimages876.