Ten years ago, Atlanta-based photographers Kahran and Regis Bethencourt of CreativeSoul Photography noticed a lack of diversity in the industry, and they seized the opportunity to represent and celebrate the myriad styles and stories of African heritage. In their ongoing AfroArt series, the Bethencourts embrace the versatility of Black hair by sweeping it into towering updos and beaded braids. Young models are bedecked in sequins, ruffles, and shells that are often paired with elaborate garments made of vibrant Dutch wax fabric.
As the series evolved, CreativeSoul dug deeper into fairytales and folklore—some traditional and some of their own imagining—inspiring a collaboration with Disney for a collection of dolls that reframes classic princesses as African royalty. Replete with gowns made of brightly patterned textiles, iconic characters like Snow White and Cinderella wear colorful bows in their long braids and afros.