Every photographer has their "word" when they shoot. Typically, mine is something like "beautiful!" or "ohmygosh, you're killing it!" While I always wholeheartedly mean everything I say, Erika in front of the camera brought on a whole other level of reaction from me.
GUUURL was my word during this shoot. Not girl, GIRL, or even GURL. GUUURL. I mean, c'mon. Look at her. No explanation necessary.
What made this shoot so successful is Erika's bold confidence. She's showcasing herself as an empowered, strong, and beautiful woman, something I truly admire her for. Not only is she confident in who she is, but her genuine joy for herself and her body is visible in every shot. It's easy to get caught up in the seriousness and drama of styled shoots, however, many models forget to have fun and show it off. Erika sure worked it. Maybe the 90s hip hop/r&b tunes we played had something to do with it, but I'd like to think it was her positive vibes that kept things groovin'.
This is how our shoot went:
Me: "Uhm, can I take a photo of your butt?"
Her: "Heck yeah!"
Her: *beautifully arches her back and sticks her butt out in the most tasteful way*
Me: "Dang guuurl."
I included this poem as the caption for the Facebook image, and I think it sums up this shoot and Erika's mantra in a nutshell:
"It's the fire in my eyes,
And the Flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman