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Portrait Photographer Rhonisha Franklin Wins First Alpha Female+ Grant

The Sony Alpha Female+ Grant Program is excited to announce Rhonisha Franklin as the recipient of the first of 12 project-specific grants. Franklin is a portrait photographer whose passion for contemporary portraiture has emerged over the past few years. She specializes in photographing people of color and in 2019 she completed “Profile Noire,” a personal project that came from her desire to showcase the beauty of women of color. She’s now working on a companion project, “The Subtle Strength Of Kings,” and the Alpha Female+ Grant will help Rhonisha complete its first phase. Rhonisha will receive $5,000 in cash, more than $3,000 in Sony Alpha camera and lens equipment as well as an Adobe Creative Cloud All Apps subscription. Learn more about Rhonisha Franklin and her winning project below, and see how you can apply for an Alpha Female+ Grant here.

Learn more about portrait photographer and Alpha Female+ grant recipient Rhonisha Franklin and her winning project, “The Subtle Strength Of Kings.”

The Subtle Strength of Kings Project

“Leveraging the momentum and inspiration gained from my most recent project, ‘Profile Noire,’ a photographic experience featuring 100 women of color, I am embarking on a new project to create balance,” explains Franklin. “‘The Subtle Strength of Kings’ will feature 100 Black men.”

Aiming for true authenticity and inspired by artist/painter Barkley L. Hendricks, each participant will be photographed however they choose to show up and physically portray their humanity during their portrait session. Franklin will ask each subject the question, “How do you define your humanity?”

“So often unconscious (or conscious) biases strip away the humanity of black men before they even have a chance to fully exist in the world they live in,” says Franklin. “This project is intended to allow a safe space for them to finally be able to sit in their humanity and use their own words to vocalize it to the world.”

Bringing Energy To The Photography Sessions

Franklin typically creates while listening to meditation music, but with this project there’s a different energy. She’s allowing each participant to select their own music to be played as they create together, and they will all be photographed on a royal purple background to pull the energy she says the color purple holds.

“Allowing each participant to choose their own music helps them relax into themselves,” explains Franklin. “And the purple background combines the calm stability of blue and the fierce energy of red. The color purple is often associated with royalty, nobility, luxury, power, and ambition. Purple also represents meanings of wealth, extravagance, creativity, wisdom, dignity, grandeur, devotion, peace, pride, mystery, independence, and magic.”

See more of Rhonisha Franklin’s work on her Alpha Universe profile and create your own public Creator Profile HERE. You can also contribute to the Alpha Female+ Community by joining the Alpha Female Facebook group, following @sonyalpha and @sonyalphafemale on Instagram and tagging your posts with #sonyalphafemale for a chance to have your work featured.


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