Photography by Brandon Stanciell. Interview by Zakkiyyah.
Z: You frequently capture Black men and women with flowers. Why? What inspires you to make Black men and women and the environment the subjects of your work?
BS: The color black is a combination of all colors, which is why I believe it to be one of the most significant colors of our spectrum. Black men and women aren’t portrayed frequently in fine-art photography, and being a Black male, I wanted to contribute to that. The Black men and women in my work are representations of fine-art and the flowers are a complement to that. It's a side of Black that isn’t noticed often, and people most commonly associate the color black with loss, but I like to portray Black in my work as light―as a new beginning for growth.
Z: What was your guiding inspiration for this particular photostory?
BS: I was inspired by the name of the model: Halo. After arranging several flowers in her hair wrap, I knew I wanted to call the photo story "Floral State of Mind."
Located in Downtown Los Angeles, we shot in an empty walk through shopping center. This location was perfect because of the gold high rise ceilings that compliment the yellow flowers. A place crowded with people and noise is parallel to a mind with congested thoughts and emotional instability.
Z: In what ways is spirituality visually addressed in your photostory?
BS: I used yellow gerber daisies for the shoot; yellow, in spirituality, represents the Solar Plexus which identifies with emotional healing, clarity of thought and guidance. There are seven flowers in her hair wrap signifying the seven chakras. Furthermore, three flowers located midway between the navel and the sternum represent the third chakra location. Halo is centered in the middle of the photograph in the lotus flower position to embody balance between herself and her surroundings.