We spoke to photographer & W+K Creative Coordinator Briah Michel about the photo gallery she created in the Portland office in celebration of Juneteenth and Pride month.
Who is Briah Michel?
A Black Woman. A Queer Black Woman. Who takes photos sometimes.
Explain what the photo gallery is about. What was the inspiration behind it?
It’s called Frozen In Time. The beauty of taking one single photograph holds so much power - you can look at a picture + instantly remember where you were in life when it was taken - both mentally + physically. School photos hold that same power. They set the tone for who you were for the rest of the year. But a lot of times, we weren’t comfortable with who we were or unsure. I wanted to give our Black + Queer peers a do over because we know now.
What did you learn throughout the process of creating the photo gallery?
I learned so much from everyone that was a part of it. Everyone involved reconfirmed why I do this in the first place, why I’m a visual
artist storyteller. It’s never about me, it’s about everyone else and I want the whole world to see the beauty in them, the way I do.
How long did it take to create this? And can I have your autograph?
It took about a month to execute - the concept came months earlier. 4 days of shooting, 4 days of printing + 1 week of installing. Haha omg i’m not that famous..yet.
What do you want people to remember about this masterpiece?
I want every single person to look at the little kid still inside of them + know that they’re making them proud.
Any shoutouts or anything you would like to share with the people?
I sent out a sappy all agency email thanking everyone that was a part of it (im a triple water sign..leave me alone) because this whole project / experience could not have happened without them. Love them all tremendously <3 One last thing - vulnerability is a beautiful thing, don’t let it stop you from being your most beautiful self.