This article was originally published on BLAC Detroit Magazine.

On February 6, 2022, D.C. photographer Lauren A. Sweet began creating “Black Queen Mother,” a photography series that seeks to “depict the Black woman in her royal element … motherhood.” The “Black Queen Mother” photo project pays homage to Black mothers. During Black History Month, Sweet found that most people were honoring the legacies of well-known, historic icons. Although she respects this, she herself wanted to show appreciation for the women and mothers who are creating unsung legacies every day in their homes. 

Sweet personally photographed each photo in “Black Queen Mother.” She also designed the set, costumes, hair and makeup for each photo. In a press release on the photo series, Sweet emphasized, “These women cook, clean, work, love, pray, manifest blessings for their families, and repeat. Their actions often get overlooked and go unappreciated, yet they wake up daily with reaffirmed commitment to those they love.”

Courtesy of Lauren A Sweet from the “Black Queen Mother” photo series.

Sweet especially enjoys documenting families because she takes pride in freezing precious memories that families can treasure for a lifetime. Likewise, creating “Black Queen Mother” was a passion project for her. She has always been inspired by the Black women in her own life, and she hopes that Black mothers will see themselves in this photo project, and that they be reminded of the “royal blood” flowing through their veins. 

Sweet said, “My entire life, I have watched the Black women in my family move through the world with such regal confidence. Despite their personal struggles, they always held their heads high, especially in front of their children and grandchildren.” 

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Courtesy of Lauren A Sweet from the “Black Queen Mother” photo series.

Sweet is a Washington, D.C. native who works full time at Howard University as a Clinical Educator for Speech-Language Pathology in the School of Communication. She developed her passion for photography after creating a “30 things to accomplish before 30” list, which she made before her 30th birthday. Sweet initially thought photography would come to her naturally, but it took several months of classes and lots of hours practicing before she truly got comfortable with taking photos. 

Now, five years later, Sweet is a skilled photographer who runs her own photography business, Sweet Touch Photography. She focuses her lens on any dynamic subject. Throughout her photography career, she has shot everything from fashion, to food, to babies, to retail products, and more. She loves photography because it has allowed for her to travel across the world while capturing amazing images. 

You can view the entire “Black Queen Mother” series on Sweet Touch Photography. 

Photography: Lauren A Sweet- Sweet Touch Photography @sweettouchphotos
Hair & Makeup Artist: Lauren A Sweet- Sweet Touch Photography @sweettouchphotos
Set Design/Costumes: Lauren A Sweet- Sweet Touch Photography @sweettouchphotos

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