April 16, 2012

"AFROS" - 'A Celebration Of Natural Hair' A Photo & Lifestyle Book

I came across a post about this project online. By the time this is posted there will be 3 days left in the Kick Starter campaign. This project is very important as an honest and artistic look into a very significant aspect of black culture - hair. I have posted the video for your viewing pleasure and some copy from the Kick Starter page for a more in depth look into the process behind the project.

Watch the video and show some support by donating or simply just spreading the word!


"AFROS" - 'A Celebration Of Natural Hair' A Photo & Lifestyle Book  
Watch for a quick look at the dopeness! 




ABOUT THIS PROJECT

"AFROS" - 'A Celebration Of Natural Hair' A Photo & Lifestyle Book

A coffee table book project by Michael July
This is a book that captures the spirit and essence of the Afro today as well as paying homage to the historic significance of natural hair iconic voyagers like Angela Davis, Jimi Hendrix and others. Over the course of a five year period photographer Michael July approached a wide variety of beautiful, creative and intelligent individuals from all walks of life and asked them would they be willing to participate as subject models for a coffee table book he was putting together entitled "Afros - A Celebration Of Natural Hair". Traveling all across the United States from New York to California he was able to capture the créme de la créme of Afros. People of virtually every shade, ethnicity, country and age group. "AFROS - A Celebration Of Natural Hair" intent is to show pictorially the power, beauty and glorious nature of the 'Fro and also to document in words the deeper and at times whimsical "hairstory" of each of its models. The author shot the majority of these individuals at his photo studio in Brooklyn using colorful & vibrant backdrops personally tailored to each model's own sense of style and fashion. As a result he succeeded, along with the assistance of two remarkably talented book designers, Darhil Crooks & Monica Whittick in creating a coffee table book that will have massive international appeal for many years to come.
The money raised through Kickstarter pledges will all go toward printing and shipping costs. Once the project has been successfully funded we will immediately go to press and you can expect your copy to ship in July -- a great way to kick off Summer!
A word from Michael July:
   Just wanted to give you some information about myself and the Afro Book project. I am a freelance professional photographer and writer whom over the years worked with Giant Step, Essence, Okay Player, Urb and other publications. I'm in the final stage of completing a book "AFROS" - 'A Celebration of Natural Hair'. The basics of the book is to capture the essence of the Afro or "natural" as it exists in today's culture. In addition to photos, the book contains quotes from each individual on why they choose to wear their hair natural and/or what does natural hair mean to them, their occupation & where they hail from as well as researched information regarding the history of the Afro. There will be archival sections that will feature vintage Afro picks, combs, rakes, natural hair care products, Afro inspired artwork, and a directory of some of the most popular blogs and sites related to natural hair world-wide. The book will contains 450 pages. So far I have people like Toure, Renee Neufville, Dr. Cornel West, Celia Faussart of Les Nubians, Michaela angela Davis, Cherokee, Jesse Boykins III, Cody ChesnuTT and Reggie Watts and hundreds of other beautiful folks. The progress of the coffee table book has been turning out incredibly well. Primarily it was shot in the metropolitan area of New York, but I have also shot across the country in places like Atlanta, D.C., Philly, California, New Jersey, Miami & Maryland.

   I have been doing photography for about 7 years, 6 years professionally. Primarily concerts, fashion shows, portfolios & whatever interests me. Prior to that I was doing the same thing but with video. I am based out of Brooklyn, NY where I have a full photography studio. Ideally I prefer to capture people as they are, that is as naturally as possible. Although with most of the book's models I was able to do something far more colorful and creative.
   After 5 and a half years of shooting I have over 240 subjects. People of all nationalities: African-Americans, Asians, Caucasians, Africans, South Americans & Europeans. From the ages of 8 months to 80 years old. I was fortunate to work with two extremely experienced and respected book designers, Darhil Crooks, Creative Director of Ebony Magazine and Monica Whittick of Big Blu Design, Inc., on the layout, design & formatting of the book. As well as a great copy editor, Angela Watford of Eyes Dotted, formally with Vibe Media Group. I'm in the final editing stages now and expect to go to print in April. The book is now 99% finished and ready for print. I have a tentative release date targeted for mid June 2012. I will be self-publishing the book through Natural Light Press. I do have an extensive background in artist management, public relations, sales, promotion and marketing. I have already received a large number of offers from across the the United States and abroad to do book launches, signings, speaking engagements and exhibitions at universities, bookstores, galleries, museums, hair shows, public schools, festivals and hair salons. I'm looking forward to doing an extensive promotional tour in the United States and Canada for the first year and then to tour overseas for at least 6 months beginning at the end of 2012. All of these contacts have only been through word of mouth since I only recently created my first internet presence: a facebook page. Next month I will begin putting together an official website for the book.
 How I am doing this:  I am looking through Kickstarter to raise $20,000 in total towards the printing and binding of the actual book. This will supplement some of the money I have manage to save. Once that goal is reached in April, I will travel overseas to personally oversee the printing of the first 4000 to 5000 copies of the book. This is generally a 2 to 3 month process before the book is delivered to the USA. This will be a self-published 9" x 12", 450 page full-color photographic book. I have recently received an offer from a major photo book distributor to distribute and launch the book at their mega bookstore & gallery space once the printing is completed which I am considering.
PLEASE HAVE A LOOK AT MY $50 AND UP PLEDGE REWARDS - YOU'LL ESSENTIALLY BE PRE-ORDERING A FIRST EDITION COPY OF THE BOOK!
My long term goal:
By creating this book my hope is to show how beautiful and diverse natural hair is and that it should be embraced and celebrated by everyone worldwide whether they choose to wear theirs natural or not. My true target audience are young people who struggle with their self-identity because of negative media messages, peer pressure and lack of natural role models. That through these pages they may be encourage to see and accept their own individual God-given beauty and hopefully a more positive and wholesome identity. Your donation will go towards that goal.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHOWING INTEREST IN THIS PROJECT. LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU SOON.

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