“We Call It A Movement”: Couple Releases Photography Book To Elevate Beauty Standards For Black Kids
Photography is not only about creating an image—in the right hands, it can become a tool for inspiration and especially in this case—empowerment. A husband and wife photography team uses art to redefine the beauty standards for black children and shatter any negative stereotypes of their representation in the media. Atlanta, Georgia-based couple Kahran and Regis Bethencourt are behind CreativeSoul Photography and they’re helping kids to come out of their shells and jump-start their confidence.
The two artists obsessed with unique and visual storytelling have been in the industry for over 10 years. Recently, they started the AfroArt series to recognize and celebrate the versatile beauty of the African diaspora. Kahran and Regis’ main focus is regular everyday kids and their representation. “The purpose of this series is to illustrate the story of our royal past, celebrate the glory of the here and now, and even dare to forecast the future. With this series, we aim to empower children of color to embrace their natural curls and the skin that they’re in.”
“We definitively feel that we’ve created a movement in terms of creating an empowerment space for black kids around the world and a platform where we can display black excellence on a daily basis. We are enabling a generation of future leaders, scientists, entertainers, and more who will hopefully have a stronger sense of pride and self-love than many of us had growing up,” shared the CreativeSoul Photography duo.
Recently, they’ve released a book with over 100 breathtaking photographs and essays about the children. The images are not only there to be admired—it’s the stories of the kids from various backgrounds in their photos that add an extra dose of empowerment. They’ve had many revelations during the creative process, but what really stood out was how diverse the subjects were in terms of their stories. “There are youth activists, scientists, musicians, and more. We wanted kids to be able to read the book and see themselves represented in some way.”
The couple celebrates everything African culture as they convey it through their photos. They love photographing kids as it gives them unlimited creativity: “The sky is the limit with them and they’re usually down with all of our crazy ideas.” Kahran and Regis also hope that their book will open up conversations within black families, from domestic violence to kids not being accepted because of their skin tone.
Kahran, who is 40, and her husband Regis, 43, started out in the marketing and design world, but fell in love with photography while dating long-distance. They met on an online graphic designer forum. “We would do photo dates to explore new locations and take photos of each other. When we moved to the Atlanta area, Regis decided to go to school for photography and I learned along with him. We started our business together while Regis was still in school,” recalled Kahran.
They admitted that they’re one of those weird couples who love being together 24/7 and genuinely enjoy each other’s company. Kahran and Regis think that their long-distance relationship had a lot to do with it. “We knew that we ultimately wanted to work together, but weren’t sure what it would be. Working together is not always easy, but we always stay professional with our clients, so it’s hard to stay mad at each other during a shoot.”
While they both work hard, Regis is usually the one who has a shut-off button and needs some time away from the photo world, and Kahran, on the other hand, dreams about ideas in her sleep.