The Photographic Journal

A Sunken Place

Essay 186 • Aug 23rd 2017

A few weeks ago I quit my full-time job to focus on my freelance and personal projects. After, feeling empowered, I met with someone who gave me creative feedback on my work. Their underlying message was diversify. It stuck with me.

Are all artists told this? Or just people of color who focus on people of color. It made me feel marginalized and reminded me of the “sunken place” in “Get Out". Outside of the movie’s concept, this place is also a metaphor for the history of slavery, cultural appropriation and racial social hierarchies. The sunken place is being stuck; unable to move how you want. With this all in mind I created this photo essay featuring Khadijat Dania in an alternate reality, where it feels like home, but it’s not quite right. The makeup, by Dominique Berry, gave her doll-like consciousness. But, then, color and light.

Paige Ricks, 29, is a photographer and writer based in Berkeley, California. With her imagery, Paige’s goal is to always tell stories with vibrant color.

Her photographic style of capturing the color and mood of a scene transcends into her fashion photography which she conceptualizes, styles and photographs. With a special interest in documenting people, places and cultures, Paige’s documentary work ranges from photographing inmates inside San Quentin State Prison and women beer brewers in Uganda to street fashion in Central London.


Model: Khadijat Dania

Makeup: Dominique Berry