What is beauty? That’s a question many people struggle with answering every day after looking in the mirror or putting on their worn pair of pants. As a woman of color, I have struggled with my identification of social constructs, and how the concept of beauty has cost me immeasurable amounts, both emotionally and financially.
Societal standards takes it toll on you, but luckily there are many artists actively battling against harmful ideas, and they spotlight creative work demonstrating what “beauty” truly is and can be. These creatives remind you that your worth is not rooted in outdated, Eurocentric expectations. They celebrate the bodies of all people, especially those who are marginalized.
I had the extreme honor of being able to interview one such marvelous photographer who challenges age-old “norms” and puts out gorgeous depictions of humans in new and exciting light, Jasemine Denise Miller!
BlackNerdProblems: Please tell us about yourself! What is your day to day life like?
Jasemine Denise Miller: I’m Jasemine Denise Miller, a Chicago based professional photographer who’s been shooting since about 2011. A typical day for me, is starting off with some Black Fuel coffee, turning on some uplifting music, then either going into an intense editing session, evolving a vision for a new shoot, or going on an adventure involving photos, models, and of course my assistant who I probably couldn’t live without.
BNP: Photography seems to be a very passionate craft for you. How and why did you get into it?
JDM: I got into photography because I wanted to tell stories. I also wanted to help change people’s lives. Music was the thing that saved my life. It gave me confidence and was my biggest comfort. I wanted to be able to create something like that for other people… Photography was the medium that I felt did it best. I mean, what’s better than saying it’s your job to make people smile. SO, my photography style started out as a story telling process and eventually evolved into a full on rock n roll lifestyle.
BNP:Are there any motifs or themes that connect your work?
JDM: Stylistically, I like shooting with a shorter depth of field but a wide range of colors. As far as a vision, each shoot varies. Often times, I’ll just turn on music and create a world around the world that we’ve built through the lens.
BNP:Do you include any social or political messages within your work?
JDM: I have very strong views on intersectional feminism as well as the equality for all genders and sexualities. I like to empower my clients, their clients, their fans and anyone else.The more powerful we can make humanity feel through feeling good, the better the world will become. My greatest goal and dream is to diversify the industry from photography, to modeling, to cosplay; basically building the conceptual image of “No limits to the beauty of the earth.”