The Photographic Journal

Ultra

Essay 101 • Nov 16th 2016

I took a stroll through the South Side community of Hyde Park here in Chicago, alongside my friend Erin. We talked about our current struggles of being artists/creatives here in the city, relationships, style, and our latest Netflix obsessions. We finally stumbled upon a tennis court that seemed befitting for Erin’s personality. Erin was so effortless in being the perfect muse in front of the lens, it was a privilege to capture her spirit. A beautiful black older man, who instructs at the tennis court even offered us his basket of tennis balls to use as a prop. He seemed to also enjoy the spontaneity of our activities and had a nice chat with us afterward.


I’ve always had a deep appreciation for lively, captivating and fierce black women. I often think about the landscape and reality of what it means to be both black and a woman in our current society, and the pressures that come with it. Capturing Erin was a reminder of the beauty, carefree sensibility, and ultra magic of being a black girl in our current moment.

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Zakkiyyah Najeebah is a self-taught photographer and practicing artist who currently resides in Chicago. She balances her time between photography, art directing for Black Girl In Om, and educating. Outside of her creative endeavors, she loves yoga, films, and Thai food.

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Model: Erin Leann