Curly Girl Collective's Curl Fest 2019

Gia Lo one of the founding members of the Curly Girl Collective.

Gia Lo one of the founding members of the Curly Girl Collective.

Hey Guys!

So I know it’s been a while! I promise I will start treating my blog more like a blog and less like a diary that I write in everyone once in a while. If this is your first time visiting my name is Nicole Mondestin. I am a photographer based in Queens, NY. One of the main reasons that I became a photographer was to create images that inspire, empower, and celebrate people. Especially people of color. What better place to do that then Curly Girl Collective’s Curl Fest!

As the date for Curl Fest drew closer, I kept thinking of ways that I could celebrate the women in attendance and stay true to myself. We are in the age of social media the comparison game is out of control, often causing us to be over critical of bodies, life paths, etc. Women of color are trendsetters, innovative and super creative but we don’t get the credit. We are also told by main stream media that they will accept our features but just not on us. I believe we all should be celebrated dark skin, light skin, young, old, whether your a zero or plus, bald or with flowing locs. All of our quirks, kinks and eccentricities should be celebrated. I created the frame to show case us and the range of our beauty.

I didn’t just a pick a frame because I am a photographer. I buy a lot of frames and when I get them usually there is stock photo within the frame. The people in the photo are usually not people of color. I wanted a frame that was ornate and decorative like the frames you find in museums encasing European works of art. I brought a frame but made subject completely different.

This beauty and her crown!

This beauty and her crown!

The flowers swirling the frame have the meaning as well.

Apple blossoms in fuschia and white - symbolize good health, happiness, wisdom, and eternal love. Also, apples are said to be the food of the God’s. If the shoe fits…….

Orange Roses - Symbolize enthusiasm and passion. Also how black women are beautiful, strong, and delicate at the same time. The thorns can be painful, but they add to the overall beauty of the flower.

Dahlia- Symbolize elegance, inner strength, creativity, change, and divinity. Dahlia’s are also known to represent those who stand strong in their values.

Lilly - Symbolize humility and devotion. My maternal grandmother passed away in June. Her name was Aretha, but we called her Lilly Mae. The Lilly also symbolizes our ancestors that have come before us.

All the flowers individually are beautiful, collectively the flowers twisted and intertwined together to symbolize that when grow, bloom and support each other all of us are beautiful.

The smile this brother had while holding the frame was contagious.

The smile this brother had while holding the frame was contagious.

I loved the overall vibe at Curl Fest! Everyone was so welcoming and loving. I did get a sense of sisterhood at the event. Despite a one or two bad apples that cut the line to get into the event.

Here earrings say it all!

Here earrings say it all!

When I created this frame honestly, I thought I would have a hard time getting people to pose with it. My friend and road dog La’’Tasha Richards (who is a fabulous makeup artist check her out at @gaw3000 on Instagram) served as my photo assistant for the day. She told me I was bugging and that the frame was dope. Naturally, I didn’t listen to her or the two women that told me I would have a line of people waiting to take pictures with it. I was wrong; they were right. To all the lovely sisters and brother’s that allowed me to photograph them. THANK YOU! You can find your images below. Drop me a comment below and let me know what you think of your image. Please feel free to share this post. When reposting, the photos feel free to tag me @nicolemondestinphotography.

Welp, that’s all for now until next time!

xoxo Nic-