Iconic Images Honor the Black Child

Regis and Kahran Bethencourt are the talented husband and wife team behind CreativeSoul Photography, @creativesoulphoto, a company on a mission to empower kids of color through stunning photography that showcases their beauty, uniqueness, and creativity. These world-renowned child photographers have achieved major success, including earning a coveted spot on The New York Times bestseller list for their coffee table book “GLORY.” Their new book, “CROWNED,” will drop in June 2023.

Other honors for this visionary, Atlanta-based duo include winning the prestigious Coretta Scott King John Steptoe Award for their children’s book, “The Me I Choose to Be.” Their extraordinary photos which place Black children into the realms of ancient royalty and futuristic superkids have won the Bethencourts an international media presence, including appearances on The Steve Harvey Show and BET, and coverage in Teen VOGUE among other influential venues.

On February 3, 2023, the team announced a collaboration with @disney called The CreativeSoul Doll Collection. CreativeSoul supplied inspo in the form of their photography of four models in the iconic roles of Cinderella, Tiana, Rapunzel, and Snow White. The special edition artist series dolls are available only at @shopdisney, Walt Disney World Resort, and Disneyland Resort.

We caught up with the Bethencourts just in time to hear their thoughts on Black History Month, and the joy of loving the legacy of Black children:

  • THE LEGACY OF THE BLACK CHILD REGIS AND KAHRAN: “The legacy of the Black child is something that we hold really close to our heart and it definitely influences our art. It represents the resilience, strength, and determination of the black community, and it’s a reminder of all the struggles and triumphs that we’ve faced. In our art, we love using bright, vibrant colors to represent the energy and vibrancy of the Black child, and we incorporate natural elements to symbolize the beauty and resilience of the Black community. We’re often inspired to create work that speaks to the struggles, triumphs, and beauty of the Black experience. It’s something that we’ll always carry with us and continue to honor through our art.”
  • WORKING TOGETHER AS A COUPLE KAHRAN: “Working as a husband-and-wife photography team can be both rewarding and challenging. It’s important to have good communication and establish roles and responsibilities within the team, as well as to regularly communicate about goals, expectations, and feedback. Trust and mutual respect are also crucial for our success. One thing that’s important for us is to have different areas of expertise and collaborate on shoots. For example, Reg typically handles lighting and composition during our shoots, while I work with the kids and take the actual photographs. We divide up our non-shoot responsibilities as well. It’s also important to set boundaries and make time for personal and individual projects. It’s easy to get caught up in the demands of a business, but it’s important to take breaks and have space to pursue your own creative interests. By taking care of yourselves and each other, you’ll be able to bring fresh ideas and energy to your work as a team.”
  • STYLING THE KIDS: THEMED WARDROBE, HAIR, MAKEUP REGIS AND KAHRAN: “We typically style most shoots ourselves, so we usually start by asking the kids to describe the shoot of their dreams. From there, we develop an overall theme or concept then pull together wardrobe looks that we think will work with that theme. We pull inspiration from everywhere – movies, childhood memories and more, but we always try to add in cultural elements to make it our own signature style.”

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  1. as a frequent contributor to fashion blogs and magazines over the past 30 years, i must say that i have never seen such compelling and original images. Each shot seems to contain a story, a song-poem, an epic, waiting to be told. the fact that these are young black children makes this all the more tantalizing. what will the story be? what will the child say? who will the child become? truly important legacy work.

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