Photography by Tafari © 2019

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Who Is Tafari

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I am an award-winning Detroit, Michigan-based visual artist and interpreter who has been telling stories through photography for well over a decade. My work has been featured in the New York and Los Angeles Times, and on magazines, billboards and various other media around the globe. I source my projects from psychological introspection and social commentary and am all about synthesizing what I see and translating that into a full range of visual expression that is both authentic and relevant.

 

When I photograph, I aim to capture the essence, spirit and character of a subject in a way that makes you feel something. If I’m shooting an individual, I create captivating imagery that evokes emotion and excites the senses to amplify the moment. If I’m shooting businesses or corporations, I develop high quality content that create value and inspires brand loyalty.  No matter the subject or scenario, I use a full range of photographic and multimedia design disciplines to cultivate the images you need to wrap your vision around a story that fires the imagination and stirs the soul.

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PHOTOGRAPHER

An award winning photographer, who’s work has been described as energetic, imaginative, and colorful.

BLOGGER

Passionate about arts, entertainment, social justice, & self expression.

GRAPHIC & WEB DESIGNER

Fifteen years of graphic & web design experience for small business owners and individuals.

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As seen in the New York Times Street Fashion section.

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PORTRAIT Photography

I evolved from my very comfortable niche of photographing flowers creating abstract effects, which I found to be relaxing and inspiring, to the joys of photographing people. From studio sessions, family portraits, concerts, head shots to street photography, I have embraced and mastered this area of photography.

EVENT Photography

Time flies when you’re having fun! And that’s why you need a professional event photographer to capture all the details of your special occasion. Whether you are planning a milestone birthday, charity event, award ceremony, or corporate function, it is essential to preserve your memories through photography.

WEDDING Photography

As you begin planning for your special day, your choice of photographer will be one of the most important decisions you make. Having your own experienced photographer ensures that you have quality photographs that provide lasting memories.

EDITORIAL Photography

Do you need killer images for marketing? I’m currently available for commission stock or editorial works. View my images here to get a feel for my style and available stock images.

Media buyers, purchase my work from Getty Images.

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Detroit, MI
1 [734] 678-0774

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Everyone is Talking About

The Couch

The Couch Beautiful: An Exploration of Beautiful Black Women

Press Release

BRIX DETROIT SET TO UNVEIL THE COUCH: BEAUTIFUL, AN EXPLORATION OF BLACK WOMEN EXHIBIT, FEBRUARY 10 – New showcase spotlights noted African American women artists, activists, tastemakers, and professionals during the month of February…

 

SOUTHFIELD, MI – Photography by Tafari and Brix Wine & Charcuterie Boutique will unveil and debut the visual showcase “Couch: Beautiful – An Exploration of Beautiful Black Women,” Saturday, February 10, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. at Brix Detroit located at 7968 Kercheval Ave, in Detroit.

 

The exhibit will profile some of Detroit’s internationally-renowned women artists, activists and thought leaders photographed and curated by noted photographer and visual artist Tafari K. Stevenson-Howard (of Photography by Tafari.com). The series started as informal photography sessions with friends that eventually evolved into a full-on exhibit-worthy collection of photos.

 

“This series was born out of frustration,” said Stevenson-Howard. “I had ordered a couch that came to me in the wrong color. Life is about being able to pivot, so I re-accessorized my living room studio (also called the Humble Ranch) around the couch and started photographing my friends on it. I have many friends and associates in the arts and when I started posting photographs from those sessions on social media, it began to generate a lot of word-of-mouth buzz and the project soon took on a life of its own.”

 

The Brix Detroit exhibit is an abbreviated version of the Humble Ranch photography sessions, with the full exhibit being set for release later in the year. In all, over 70 subjects were photographed, with 15 chosen for the exhibition opening at Brix Detroit.

 

Some of the featured subjects include: International poet/activist/artist Jessica Care Moore; global rapper/wordsmith Mahogany Jones; model/tastemaker and Mahogani Music ambassador Tracy Washington; visual artist maven Sydney James; soul songstress/writer/composer Ideeyah (Johnson); and international DJ/producer DJ Minx and many more.

 

Many of the profiled artists have become internationally-renowned in their respective fields without artistic antecedent or support from white male-dominated artistic institutions, which makes their influence and inclusion in the exhibit all the more special.

 

“I wanted to showcase the diversity of black people,” added Stevenson-Howard. “We are a complex and resilient people, and not monolithic. Black women in particular bring a lot to the table in what they have had to overcome. From the slavery of the 1700s and 1800s to the inequitable social and financial systems that have exploited them for centuries, black women’s spirits have remained uncrushed by such extraordinary stress. Black women continue to be at the forefront of social change nationally in creating the “Me Too” and “Black Lives Matter”movements or by influencing elections that promote greater awareness of issues that enhance our social fabric. So, this is a celebration of black women in all their humanity, regality, beauty and diversity.”

 

Stevenson-Howard sees the exhibit not only being a collection of pictorial photographs, but also a catalyst for social discourse.

 

“I want this to be more than an exhibit,” he said. “I am a storyteller by nature and this series helped to facilitate my passion. This series taught me how important social connections and interactions are. There were times during the sessions that there were 6-7 people at my studio at a time, all sharing their experiences and connecting with each other. In much the same way that barber shops and hair salons are places where people can express themselves without fear of judgment or reprisals, the Humble Ranch became one of those spaces. So, I hope that this exhibit stirs roundtable discussions and stories around the trials, tribulations, triumphs, perspectives and adventures of some of these amazing black women.”

 

The Couch: Beautiful series will show at Brix Wine & Charcuterie Boutique through the months of March and April. The venue is open Wed – Thurs, 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Fri – Sat, 4 pm – 1 a.m.

 

Tafari K. Stevenson-Howard is an award-winning photographer, visual artist, graphic designer and blogger who has work has been seen in the New York and Los Angeles Times and is considered a gatekeeper in the arts community. Visit photographybytafari.com for further information.

 

Chris Campbell – Press Guru

What People Are Saying

In Media

City of Detroit:

The Neighborhoods: Future History Makers

Photographer Tafari Stevenson-Howard has recently made waves with his viral photography project called “The Couch Series.” Over the course of four months, Tafari captured eccentric and bold portraits of some of Detroit’s finest men and women. The photos were heralded by multiple national publications, even earning a shoutout from TV extraordinaire Shonda Rhimes.

Here Tafari discusses the series’ serendipitous beginnings and how he was personally inspired by Harlem Renaissance photographer James Van Der Zee. Van Der Zee’s iconic from photos of African Americans in the 1920s were a source of inspiration for “The Couch Series.”

We Are Detroit

Coming Through

Isaiah

I realize that not everyone is built like me, they have not had my experiences, so I do not expect them to do the things that I can or will do… #blackman #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #melanin #shotoniphone

Candace

In my 36 years, I have had some mind-blowing adventures. I jumped from a plane, dived with Great White sharks, placed my hands inside a dying man’s chest and by squeezing his heart, commanded blood to his brain. I have taken the risk of falling in love; and before God and man, vowed to honor, cherish and care for another imperfect human until my last breath. Reflecting on all of these adventures, I am acutely aware that they will likely pale in comparison to the exhilaration, heartache and wonder of motherhood. I am just days away from the end of my pregnancy journey. It has been a deeply spiritual and sobering experience.
My daughter is already teaching me lessons that I will need to raise her well. She is teaching me to care for myself and listen to my body. She has shown me that I am not in control of every detail and that is ok. She has afforded me another opportunity to trust God; not for a particular outcome, but trust in the infinite truth that He will cause all things to work together for my good. As we prepare to be born together; she into the world, and I into the role of mother, my prayer is that even when I am tired, and challenged, and scared and overwhelmed, I will be able to recall the gratitude that I feel right now. This is truly the adventure of a lifetime.” #blackwoman #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #melanin #shotoniphone #mother #pregnant #comingsoon #expectantmother

Olivia

I’m a tired college student trying to figure shit out.” #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Coochie

Known to many as Coochie, a free spirited music loving, rollerskating charismatic individual who lights up a room with my smile and natural energy… I’m every women, a univeral spirit… I represent every hard working, kind spirited, funky fresh, that’s my girl… say dat shit …. everyday people in the city of Detroit… I am the Gumbo of Detroit…. what makes Detroit city the place to be???? We the People…..❤❤❤ #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

King

King Thomas Moore is an 11 year old poet, musician and actor. He is the youngest Knight Arts winner for his 12 and under super cool poetry open mic. He is the author of A Peace of A Poem. He has read his work all over the country and was flown to Shanghai, China for a exchange with Chinese students. He recently opened for two Dave Chapelle shows at Filmore Detroit.His t-shirt line, Kingonaut is about young people building their lives the way they see it. Kingonaut means “Be your own universe.” King plays hockey and baseball and wants to produce electronic music. Follow him at @kingonaut and @supercoolpoetry www.supercoolpoetry.com” #blackboy #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Chris

When I walk into a place like the Humble Ranch, I feel a profound sense of empowerment, elevation and liberation, because it makes me realize that art is all around us. From the vivid color design of the couch and its fashionable accessories, to the overall aesthetic décor, this place speaks its own universal language and evokes feelings that speak to me in a way that words can’t. And that’s the essence of art – communicating thoughts, ideas and moods, in a way that inspires.” #blackman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Sydney

I am a lost soul trying to find my way through this beautifully grimy thing we call life. Paint stroke to paint stroke is how I flow.” #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Andre

I transport minds with rhythms and vibes that move the soul. With my lens, I capture memories that move the heart.

I’ve been on this amazing journey and met some beautiful people along the way as a photographer for over 25 years [I may have taken your high school photos at A&M Photography back in the day!!], as a DJ, and the publisher of the Street Pass app (thestreetpass.com). I’m a curator of ‘cool’, an experience. Download “The Street Pass” app and check out “The Cool,” an event series where you can expect nothing but the coolest music and the coolest vibes.
I’m looking forward to see where else this journey takes me. I hope to see you along the way!#blackman #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #melanin #shotoniphone #dj #photographer

Adriel

I’ve always believed that love and positivity are the answers to…. Almost everything. I try to experience this existence with those two things in mind. Remain constructive and productive. Love, Adriel. #blackman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Tracy


I am still becoming the woman I want to be, trying to create magic wherever I am. I have been blessed to work in music and it continues to connect me with kindred spirits around the globe. Black music from Detroit has taken me to more parts of the world than I ever thought I would see. While I have danced with my hands to the sky before the most memorable sunsets, I am my happiest looking into the face of my daughter Amber whom I love more than my own life. #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Jason


The best thing about getting older is understanding how all the puzzle pieces fit together. Life really opens up once you start to understand how it all works.” #blackman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Tiara

 The WOMAN in me has fully arrived. She loves honestly and truthfully, but accepts no shit from anyone. She sets goals and is unafraid to face them with fear. She is in control of her emotions. In tune with her womb. She accepts her beauty and is in love with her flaws. She is finally 100% fucking here. She is #TheGoldenTiara👑 #blackwoman #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #melanin #shotoniphone #dj #photographer

Nonzwakazi

Nonzwakazi Swahili for beautiful woman. I wasn’t always proud of my name. Admittedly somewhat embarrassed of my upbringing.I grew up in a very eccentric household. My parents were scholarly revolutionaries who exposed me to foreign countries, food, clothes, music, history, and culture. So glad they did. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel the world, tasted some of the best wines, embraced by mother Amma, work in non-profit servicing youth In the city of Detroit! Nonzwakazi beautiful life! Beautiful me! #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Yachecia

Unapologetically ME! This couch represents the NEW journey that taught me to embrace the totally of who I am even if no one else does! Be selfish. It’s not a bad word, it’s ok to be all about you sometimes. Go HARD after your dreams, even if you’re a big black girl in your mid 40’s! YES you can be and do what you’ve always wanted and you don’t owe ANYONE ANYTHING except the little girl that you made promises to ages ago! BE BOLD, BE DIFFERENT, BE YOU! YES, you can be a chef AND a preacher! You can be a friend AND a lover! You can embrace all of your womanhood AND the “not so girly” personality traits. You can love GOD AND never miss a beat being a human being! I get it now! I’m cooking, preaching and feeding people while feeding people. The only difference is that THIS time, I’m not apologizing! #SheikCooks #SheikPreaches #SheikLOVES #Iaintsorry #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Chase

A marvelous sweet sixteen was transformed into a phenomenal sweet sixteen. I was overtaken when I walked into the lavish living room filled with exotic designs. The most alluring of pieces in this museum of art was the Mood Couch. Once I sat down I felt the strength of the powerful black women who posed before me. I felt free!!! I felt honored. I felt special 😍😍😍! #bkackgirl #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Ron

Who am I? That’s a great question. A question that I rarely think about, unless directly asked to reflect upon it. When I stare back in the mirror I see a man who looks confident, happy and ready to take on the world but I also see a little boy who still gets nervous at every turn, who rarely shows his fears or sadness, and who’s future is anything but solidified. The gift I possess is that you would never know it. The outer Me, always protects the inner Me! So as I continue to find my way to be the guy I want to be, I will confidently smile in hopes to fool Me. #blackman #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #melanin #shotoniphone

Stella

“Where there is a woman there is magic. If there is a moon falling from her mouth, she is a woman who knows her magic, who can share or not share her powers. A woman with a moon falling from her mouth, roses between her legs and tiaras of Spanish moss, this woman is a consort of the spirits.” ~ Ntozake Shange #blackwoman #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #melanin #shotoniphone

Elle

Mother • Daughter • Sister • Friend. A true Taurus — loyal, ambitious, sensual & stubborn. Don’t cross the bull. Lover of everything that is Detroit ( minus gentrification.) East-side til I die. My goal in life is to be happy, travel the world, make my family proud and to represent my city well. Sit back, relax, & watch me flourish. – I am DPS
– I am WSU – I am Detroit #blackwoman #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #melanin

Lisa

I love adventure and as a result, started a business called, “Something New” this year. My tagline is “Giving You Something to Look Forward To”. When I saw the opportunity for a mini photoshoot on “The Couch,” I was all in. It was new and in the middle of the best eclectic space I’ve seen in a long time! I pulled out my polka dot dress, a choker, and my favorite black heels. The unique scenery and artistic direction within the Humble Ranch was a breath of fresh air and paved the way for a creative moment in time. #midcenturymodern #friends #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #melanin #melaninpoppin #shotoniphone

Sharifa

I would have never imagined that a few disconnected life experiences would have prepared me for a rewarding career in International Trade! Economics coursework, a semester abroad in South Africa, and my first full-time job at an international accreditation firm working with colleagues in our offices in China, India, Japan, and the UK, all gave me the necessary skills to excel in this challenging field.

My work in the Advanced Technology and Machinery Division at the U.S. International Trade Commission affords me the opportunity to help preserve and protect the nation’s domestic industries, such as the steel industry, the home appliance manufacturing business, and the auto industry – which is especially important to me as a Detroit native. My work serves to combat unfair trade practices by foreign actors, and helps American companies stay competitive in the global market. For the United States, this means more stabilized businesses, increased market share, and more jobs for American citizens.

When I’m not doing international trade work, you can catch me on the dance floor grooving (literally) to Deep House and Chicago House music; running my fully customizable event decor business, Boxed Events (Myboxedevents.com); traveling; hosting dinner parties; creating original recipes, such as my take on lobster mac & cheese and my deviled eggs adaptation; and plotting how to take over the world, because why not 🤷🏾‍♀️ My Final Thought: Trust in God and He will direct your path, EVERY TIME! #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign

Tiangey

It is something about being in African garb. I feel authentic. I am a powerful black Queen. I just want to be myself in this crazy world. As I sit on this couch, I’m sitting tall remembering all who came before me. I represent grace and style. I represent color…. #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Ideeyah

new woman, who dis?
i guess i’ve kinda felt like a woman of wonder lately… i’ve been intently focused on toning my 2nd chakra… this is the seat of my creativity & passion. it’s where my raging fire meets my soothing water. it’s deep, but i only know how to love deeply. i am no longer afraid how deep it goes. my lover must meet me here… hell, i’ll even wear these boots for them. ” #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Theresa

I currently host an internet House/Techno radio show called the T. HILL DETROIT. RADIO SHOW which airs Fridays 8pm-12am. This show airs on the apps Motor City Woman and A-List Jams. I created this show to give Detroit House Music and Techno Producers/ DJ’s a platform to have their new music heard in continuous rotation on the airwaves so that their fan base will support them and “BUY THEIR TRACKS. In the fall of 02, I became the Afternoon Drive Time host of The After School Groove on 90.9FM WDTR. I created a segment called “The After School Groove House Party”… I would have guest DJ’s come on the show with their mixes. Everyone from Delano Smith, Jeff Mills, DJ Minx, Juan Akins, Eddie Fowkles, DJ Cent, Kevin Saunderson, Rick Wilhite, Steve Crawford, Gary Chandler, Mike Clark, Norm Talley, Stacey “Hotwaxx” Hale, and others appeared on my show.

I have given house music events since the 1980’s under the names “Hot Stock, Project 81 & Theresa Hill Events”… The Late Colonel Abrams, D Train, Norma Jean Bell, Diviniti, the late Aaron Carl and Dajae have performed at my events. I created the DJ B Day series where I give the DJ’s birthday parties to celebrate them on their day. I’ve given DJ’s Moodymann, Delano Smith, Bruce Bailey and Al Ester birthday parties and I’m working on the birthday party for DJ Juan Akins – The creator of Techno!

It’s funny because quite a few people are not aware that I’m Lady T, one of the cohost of the #1 radio show THE OLD SCHOOL HOUSE PARTY with GERALD MCBRIDE on Mix 92.3 WMXD Detroit Saturday evenings 7pm-12am. Our show is in syndication with over one million listeners across the US.

I am truly blessed because I am surrounded by my passion. Music. #blackwoman #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #melanin

Wayne

The Humble Ranch looks and feels like my uncle’s old Brooklyn apartment: a healthy record collection, black art, wood floors and cognac. These things stand the test of time and enjoyed better as they age. Music has a way of shifting the energy and can take you back to a place or somewhere that you can only imagine. The layers of information are absorbed not just by our ears but our entire being. Another tragic incident was on the TV as I walked in but once the music started flowing the energy shifted and took me back to that Brooklyn apartment.

On Energy: When people see me, I’m usually holding on drum sticks or tea. Both bring me warmth and contribute to my balance. They represent the things that energize me.
Many Blessings to Tafari, the people who sit on this couch, and to all those living their best lives!” #blackman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Minx

It took a lot of hard work, patience and time to get to where I am today. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I am thankful for every bit of my life.” #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone #happybirthdaymin

Indigo

I am a beautiful woman, but not from every angle. Born in New York, reared in Detroit, I’m a petite dynamo, certified image consultant, style slayer . . . from a cursory view. But peel back the layers and the narrative changes. Raised by a middle-aged father who set an unreachable bar, and a village that wasn’t always nice, I’ve struggled with self-acceptance, self-worth, anger issues and depression. In this, my 60th year, however, I’m making a choice to change my future. Enough is enough. Tired of being reckless. Tired of hurting. Tired of being in pain. I am worthy of love. I am worthy of happiness. I am worthy of peace. What better place is there to begin this new journey than here on The Couch, mind cleared, heart opened, ready to receive, ready to heal? #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #grammy #shotoniphone

Jeff

I’m filling my world with love, spirituality, balance, positivity, good people, good music, good food, good times, good energy, new adventures and endless creativity…anything else can kick rocks. #blackman #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #melanin

Melinda

If I were a superhero, I would want to be a mixture of Storm and Wolverine. They are both fierce and a force to be reckoned with. They always save the day and are calm, exacting, and in control. They do their best to keep people safe as well, but work as leaders for their team. I feel that event producers are superheroes. I go into every event fully concentrating on the task at hand, ready to make decisions within a nanosecond. I love what I do and I love seeing visions come to life. There is no greater feeling for me as I lead a team through a successful event.” #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

David

I’ve always felt like I take horrible pictures which is something I’m sure a lot of people say. I think in my particular case it’s because I don’t enjoy taking photos. I imagine this is because a picture brings about something permanent and more often than not I prefer to give people glimpses of me. It’s probably a bit silly of me to think that someone can analyze a photo of me and gleam something that I’m not prepared to share. Whatever the case, I think I wanted to be apart of this photo series to make a declaration to be seen. See the flaws and imperfections and accept me for whatever you think I am and not just for what I want you to see. Perhaps the next time someone says, “It’s good to see you.” I can in turn reply, “It’s good to be seen!”” #blackman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Kai

Being a product of Haitian immigrants I had to learn to love myself early in life. Weird name, not so tall and not to mention all the colors I like to wear, all played a part in me having to become more confident. So I say love yourself and you will become the you, U want to be!” #blackman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone #happybirthdaykai

Reggie

This photo is all about freedom. We are free to smile, free to wear bright colors, free to evolve in word, deed & thought. As a minister, I want to teach about a God that liberates, but I can’t teach what I haven’t experienced. This photo reflects the freedom to be original, MY experience; without apology or explanation, and the fact that God’s unbounded love is all around us.” #blackman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Kija

I’m coming full circle, Baby!

I was her. I am her. I am re-emerging as her again.

Being Openly Gray is about telling the truth. Living in your truth. And not being afraid to speak it. For me, when I ditched the dye, as symbolic as that act was, it allowed me to uncover so many areas of my life that I’d really been hiding. It gave me permission to take of the mask. I’ve earned that right, and so have you.

This shoot and playing mas represents me choosing more of me by embracing every facet of who I am.Today at 50, I have decided to no longer be at war with me, my body, my hair, or others. What you see, is what you get! **Kija Gray is the host of Openly Gray with Kija Gray, a podcast furthering the conversation around living your most vibrant life at any age and any stage. The show explores the “gray” areas of life, recognizing that things aren’t always black or white as they seem.** https://soundcloud.com/openlygray #openlygray #blackman #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #melanin

Jessica

jessica Care moore is an institution. A interdisciplinary poet, who reminds us the world belongs to us too. She is black girl juice & black women rock, and been woke since 1971. A razor wrapped in feathers. Your favorite rappers, favorite poet. Believes all men should be tall. Kings mama. Dream Director for our youth. Born a Moore. Will die a Moore. Detroit read. Buy a book. Catch her if you can. #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Diviniti

Like this couch, people see many different things when they see me. Singer, teacher, philanthropist, friend, sister…I’m many different things to a variety of people. For a long time I worried about being perfect at what others wanted me to be. I’ve grown enough to know that’s a quick way to an unhappy and unhealthy life. So I am choosing to be my best self for me. I’m going to shine regardless of which lens people choose to view me through. I’m me. And that’s enough. #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Gbonu

I am a conundrum. A melting pot of accomplishments and mistakes. I love hard and I can hate just and hard. I am weak at times but I’m most definitely strong! I wanted to portray that strength in this photo. I’ve fought long and hard to become the woman I am today, my story is filled with twist and turns. The mystery in my eyes is intentional. I’ll never reveal it all. #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Tiffany

I’m learning to become more comfortable in who I am; my singleness, my thickness, my dimples, my entire being. I reached a milestone this year and I told myself that it’s okay that I don’t look like I did 10 years ago, I think I’m beautiful and that is all that matters. Thank you friend for helping me to embrace my greatness. #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Kevicha

A little bit of Black Panther, a little bit of James Brown being black and proud, and my beautiful mother who blessed me with her genetics and activist spirit. Black is powerful, Black is intriguing, Black is dominant….Black IS beautiful. And I love being a Black woman! We rock! Lets keep rocking on✊🏾#blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Michelle

I remember growing up planning my whole adult life & it’s happily ever after… well..nothing has gone as planned…& I couldn’t be happier. Life is funny ya’kno…from everywhere it takes u, to the people it brings…the good & the ugly…the lessons…its a beautiful thing. Another beautiful thing: this space – it breathes of vibrance & life, with an energy of being free…& I like being free. #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Mayaeni

I am an earth-flower child, virgo woman, free spirited creator who is constantly searching for truth. The one true thing I always come back to is energy. Underneath it all, everything is energy. There is so much going on in the world that can break your heart everyday. I find peace with knowing what I can control & that is my energy. Today I decided my aura is the color yellow & so I wore a dress to match. #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

James

There’s an energy that flows through me during times of creating that can’t be explained. The moment the visual comes to mind, your momentum goes into the stratosphere and it’s the type of energy that can reach anything. There have been times in my adult life that myself or others have tried to suppress it, not knowing that this energy is a gift that should not be limited. There used to be a time that I had to apologize for it, but why apologize for the energy that comes from God. This energy is love, and creating is my way of expressing it. #blackman #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Elizabeth

A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself ” -Maya Angelou.

I am a force of nature. As a storyteller, librarian and writer,  words flow forth like cascading mighty waterfalls, babbling gentle brooks, crashing stormy nights and misty rainbows appearing through cloudy skies. What lies ahead at the next riverbend? With the ancestors at my back, loved ones by my side and youth who inspire my faith in the future, I am at peace.  Gye Nyame – I fear none but God. #blackwoman #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Lester

Fight. Live. Love. BUILD. There aren’t as many of us as we’d like, but there are far more of us than we think. #blackman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone #noonecomesbetweenmeandmycalvins

Anika

I am a true Gemini! I love what I do and I’m pretty good at my work, but I’ve always wanted to be a Stay-At-Home Mom. Cadillac St. from Mack to Jefferson is my favorite street in the D, but I’m like a 6 year old at Christmas when the plane lands anywhere in California. My favorite food is a good hot dog, but I make an excellent coq au vin. I can be be the most loving, kindest person you’ll meet, but don’t cross me or mine…not good. Everyday is a new adventure! I wake up excited to see what the day brings! #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Vern

I am a Detroiter! Six years ago when I first moved here, that wasn’t something I thought I’d ever say proudly. The years flew by, and without realizing, I fell in love with the place. The pride, authenticity, strength, passion, grit, ambition, and doggedness of its citizenry has infused me. Detroit helped shape me, and I’ve helped shape it. I discovered my passion here (youth mentoring), and that’s led me to help groom its future leaders.

I am, and always will be an island boy at heart (hailing from the tropical island paradise, The Bahamas)…but Detroit, to me, is special; and I will forever hold it dear. #blackman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Myron

Everyday is filled with opportunities. Everyday you have the option to get up or lay down. Depending on what you really want determines what you do. Life is really all about choices, just like when is the right time to click the shutter button…or not to. This conglomerate of decisions creates your destiny. Choose wisely. Live well. Let your yes’s be your yes’s and your no’s be your no’s. #blackman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Espy

She is a blue green garden flower all dressed up like a queen.. She is a story unfolding…she is black sugar… She is creativity…She is holy water… She is your favorite scent on the tip of your nose…she is color exploding at the sun sets…. #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Sam

Either you’re with me or you’re against me …and if you’re against me… may God have mercy on your soul #blackman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Zachary & Kellie

Zachary: They say that Loving an artist can be an arduous task. And fortunately my wife has always created spaces that both embody love and allow me to express myself freely. In return, I try to do the same for her.

Kellie: I share so much of him with his art and people. Things and people that shape him in ways I cannot, so I respect their space and the man I receive in return. #blackman #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Raven

I truly believe in the power of timing and what can happen when the right time, people, and opportunities merge. Ever since I met you through our awesome friend, Jasmin De Forrest (the face of your pictoral campaign)- I’ve been inspired by the both of you to always find time to be more creative in whatever I do. I met Jasmin the day before my bachelorette party at a thrift store, where I was purchasing accessories for my 80’s prom themed weekend. She was such a breath of fresh air. Next thing I knew, we ended up shopping together and talking in that store for more than two hours about family, relationships, storytelling, education, sisterhood, and more. Since then, we’ve become great friends and she has invited me to all kinds of events (both the bourgeoise and less bourgeoise kind) and I’ve met so many cool people.

As a wife, mother, and educator, I encourage my husband, daughter, and students to always be kind to people because we never who we may meet or how they may change our lives. I honestly feel like every time I see you, Jasmin, and our other Detroit peeps – it’s like we’re in that scene in the movie, Love Jones (1997) – when Darius (Larenz Tate) takes Nina (Nia Long) to meet his friends for the first time. There was so much love and positive energy flowing – from the laughter, storytelling, food, and music. I want to continue to experience all of that for the rest of my life. I’m so done with allowing people to disrupt my peace. I stay editing and revising my village. My time has been reclaimed. #blackwoman #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #melanin

Opolla

I am fiercely loyal. I hate mean people and I will check a fool in a heartbeat. I don’t tolerate any “isms”. Whatever I have to say even if it’s hard to say or hard to hear I will say it to your face. I only have love to give. #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Pirahnahead

Whatupdoe. Be REAL STILL, ’cause I’m STILL REAL”; Established in the BLACKNESS of Detroit in September of 1972.
I still believe in [what it means to have] SOUL from how it was defined back then. When it was defined by Black People.. which influenced me to know myself.

I was raised on the east side in one of Detroit’s truest ghettos, on St. Clair (btw. Jefferson & Kercheval to be exact) – a stones throw from Mack & Bewick – in the crosshairs of the territories of the Errol Flynn’s, B.K.s (Black Killers), etc.

Fuck Gentrification. I’m Still Real. I am STILL Detroit: Fear ME. I’m from it-In it but not of it, but I respect it and love it, I don’t look down on it from above it – I don’t forsake it so I can act like I escaped it, just so others can say ‘I knew you was gon’ make it’. I am the offspring of Motown / Mojo / P-Funk / Detroit Rock City. I am vinyl swirled in Black & Purple. NOW PRESS PLAY and STFU. #blackman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #grammy #grammynominated #shotoniphone

Amp Fiddler

Standing in the future. Baby I’m out the past. Standing in the future. All the way here at last. I’ll be free at last. “Let Me Be” Ski Oakenfull ~ 2005 #blackman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Mikiah

Whatever you choose to do in life remember to be FEARLESS! #NoBoundaries #Forward #Peace #Love #Grace #Freedom #Joy #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Kwaku

One ought to wear many hats. Both literal and figurative, each passing day brings a different hat and a different task to accomplish. Aspire to change the world in as many ways as humanly possible each and every day! Hats off to you. #blackman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Jaimée

I believe in magic and the power of manifesting our intentions. Over the last year, I’ve learned to ask for what I want and became more comfortable trusting and following my intuition rather than living by expectations of what I “should” do. Finding balance between being a scholar, higher education professional, and a queer/racial justice activist has been challenging.

At the end of the day, I find happiness around loving people, great food, building power for black and brown folx, and having a real good time doing it. Being clear about these values empowered me to begin a life transition, and now I’m running a queer justice center by day and a POC-owned wine bar/community gathering space by night. What’s next?! Coffee…” #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Patrice

I thought a lot about the irony for me to be invited to have a seat on the couch. In my work as a counselor, I invite the community to sit on my “couch” and because of how I choose to work, I actually am invited to many homes and many couches and always offer the same experience for my clients. The word couch comes from the French word coucher, meaning to lie down. For me couches have always meant coming together or community, different than the intimacy of a loveseat or the individuality of a chair. In my work I certainly offer an opportunity for the community to come together and individually lay down much of what them brought to the experience.

Today is different, the couch and the invite is all mine. This couch represents a pause in my day as a mom, counselor, community advocate, and even as P. It is an opportunity for me to lay down some things of my own. Sitting here at the humble ranch and on the yumminess of the community couch, I am laying down my need to be seen in a “certain way”, please, conform, control, and predict. I am freely and passionately sharing more of my vulnerability. For this pause, this couch, and you ~ I am grateful.”#blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Lauren

I’m trying to start a riot. Inside you and out in these streets. I love talking to people about their “impossible” dreams and challenging them to go there. Although my public persona may have people thinking I’m a fire starter, I’m really an introvert with extroverted tendencies…I can kill it in one on one conversations but struggle within a group.

I love being out at the spot, but you’ll likely find me engaged in deep conversation in some corner while the party is going on around me. That being said, I need to escape sometimes too. My safe space is next to the ocean. I’m often traveling too far away deserted places, where the veil is thin, trying to peak around to the other side. This life is a journey and an adventure for me! #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Marc & Jacqueline

Marc: I remember seeing the first picture taken from the couch before a “couch series” was even being considered. I was thinking man that was a dope picture and that my wife and I got to take a pic on that couch! Then when it became the “Couch Series” I knew my wife and I had to make the journey from DC to be part of a great project. Tafari, thanks for letting us be apart of this project and I can’t wait to see the path this project takes!

Jacqueline: With equal parts etiquette, entrepreneur and fun, I’m no stranger to trying new things, both professionally and personally and bringing some people along for the ride! With a sincere joy of helping others achieve goals, discover and reach their next level of greatness, it was treat to have a session on the couch with the intent of supporting Tafari’s next level of creative genius! Excited to see what’s next! #blackwoman #blackman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Jasmin

Daughter + Sister + Friend
Selective of Energy.
Suspended somewhere between….
Huaraches and heels…
Sade, Badu and Trap music…
Elusive / Inviting…
Strong / Tender…
Hard working + Hard loving…
Loyal.
Woke.
Nap Queen.

Created with love, born swimming in two directions, still searching for balance, if it exists. #blackwoman #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Mahogany Jones

As a Creative, the thing I celebrate most is the privilege of having my creativity’s source be the Creator.

As a Black woman, there are two things I struggled with – being kept out and kept quiet.

From my sense of fashion, to my lyrical content, and everything in between, I’ve decided to be loud on purpose.

I know my very existence for many is a disruption- GOOD! God reminds me that He made me to take up room on purpose, to remind others who have been in a shrunken, sunken place state for too long, to stand up and spread out.

His love reminds me that though the world may attempt to shut me out- He’s provided me access and wants to help others find who He is inside of them, so they too can live in neon.

Wear bright colors,ask for the raise, love with intention, be and stay humble and grateful, pray, say no when you need to, give freely knowing you will always have more than enough, and stay connected to the creator of your creativity… Love, Mahogany Jones #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Amina

I’m a Detroit native, NY expat determined warrior goddess on a mission to empower people to live their best life by unlocking their potential through fitness. #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Raffia

Surrounded by beautiful people who love me n I them, the same people who love others n life as I do, and also love the wonderful luxury of Jewelz. 2017 ends a chapter for all of us, but 2018 for some begins a new one, n for me continues n will add new things to, my love, Jazzy Jewelz. So for all who want to b serenaded by the sweet luxury of beautiful jewelz n people, stay tuned…… #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Tracey

Confidence is the ability to feel beautiful without needing someone to tell you.” My heritage is very important to me. My mother was 100% Odawa Indian and my father African American, so people didn’t always know how to relate to my siblings and I culturally, especially growing up in the 1970’s where society saw things in stark black and white terms.

But black culture is unique because it is often a fusion of other cultures into one aesthetic with many shades and influences that are celebrated. My black is beautiful, your black is beautiful and that reality adds value to the human experience. #blackwoman #nativewoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Lynda

Dream big no matter what. Work hard to achieve your goals. Never concern yourself with what ppl think or say abt you. The only thing that matters is your happiness. So reclaim your time and make it happen.” #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Hetheru

For I, am Hetheru, a woman learning African culture and adornment. Loving music, dance and sensuality. Living the divine feminine. #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone

Karla

Year 39 was filled with the extreme highest of highs and lowest of lows, I experienced the 1st year of motherhood & the loss of a parent at the same damn time. As a Libra I constantly strive for finding balance in my life. Unfortunately the lows outweighed the highs this year. As I approach year 40, I continue to search for the balance with a renewed sense of self & purpose, continuing to draw from my faith, because I walk by faith, not sight.” #blackwoman #midcenturymodern #nooneknowswhatcolormycouchis #thehumbleranchcouch #interiordesign #interiorstyling #interiors #interiordecorating #melanin #melaninpopping #embraceyourself #shotoniphone