These Professional Portraits Compare Black Women at Home and Work

By: Charlotte Joyce Kidd - Nov 3, 2015
References: endiabeal & refinery29
Emerging photographer Endia Beal created this series of young black women's professional portraits.

Called 'Am I What You're Looking For?' the professional portrait series highlights the alienation and discrimination young black women can face when applying for jobs. Beal was inspired by students who approached her in her position as a professor to ask for advice on job interviews. Black female students who went to interviews were returning with negative criticism about their looks: the way they dressed, their hair, their makeup and some were even told that their heels were too high.

In response, Beal decided to photograph young women in a professional portrait style in their own homes. Behind her subjects, she placed an artificial backdrop of a typical corporate environment. The contrast created shows the difference between the nurturing, accepting home environment and the cold alienation of the systemic discrimination encountered in the established workforce.