Junior Ella Barnes recently completed a photography project titled “The Lion Mane” that featured pictures from 9 different models spanning every grade level. Every model photographed had one thing in common: they all had curly hair.
The project, assigned by photography teacher Kristine Donnelly, was to come up with a theme and carry it out through a photoshoot. The theme was intended to be similar to a thesis and the pictures had to be presented in a way that would continually develop the theme.
Barnes said, “… this project is very personal and meaningful, I wanted it to be a way for a bunch of girls with curly hair to come together and be powerful and confident with their curls. I wanted them to come to a place where everyone had curls and no one had to be insecure.”
Once Barnes told Elizabeth Schwalbach, senior, about the assignment, she was more than happy to lend a helping hand, especially since it was about something Schwalbach felt passionate about.
Schwalbach said, “At first when my hair started to curl around middle school, I didn’t like it. But the more I grew the more I embraced my hair. I absolutely love it now, despite all the care it takes (because it’s quite a task)! I really don’t care to straighten my hair at all anymore because I value the natural beauty of my hair. I like how unique it is and how it requires minimal styling.”
Donnelly said about Barnes, “I was impressed with her assignment- seeking out and coordinating working with models is often very frustrating. She created impressive work that is personal to her and also seemed meaningful to the models. That is always wonderful!”
Barnes said, “I have very curly hair and used to be very self-conscious about it because I thought it was ugly, frizzy, and I thought others thought it looks dirty. But, those were all just lies in my head because my hair is beautiful and unique and I wanted other girls with curly hair to know that too.”
For anyone interested in seeing Barnes’ photography, her Instagram page can be found at barnesellaphotography.