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Interview with Photographer Abigail Ekue on Her Interracial Couples Project


How did you come up with the idea for this project? How did this get started?

The inspiration for the Interracial Couples Project came from a couple I was sitting across while riding the A train. They were an interracial couple (I don't remember the combination) but I recall wondering how they could've possibly met, thought they looked great together and I'd love to take their portrait. The original idea was for a portrait series of interracial couples. The couple would be dressed identically to emphasize sameness but also to highlight their physical differences.

Although I was interested in the couples' origin stories, I didn't have plans to include interviews in the series because of my skill set. But I proposed the idea to another artist as a joint project; they would do the interviews, filming, video editing etc. and I'd do the still photography. The dream was for a one-day photographic event. All the couples would be at the studio for the event while the photo shoots and interviews were taking place. I wanted to create a safe social environment. At the end of the day, I would take group photos of all the couples. And that particular event would have been presented on its own website.

The one-day event didn't happen but I had couples interested in working with me. The other artist wasn't available for the commitment. That forced me to step up and out of my comfort zone and do the filming myself. Blessing in disguise!


What are you looking for in the couples you feature?

I'm looking for interracial couples. It doesn't matter what combination of races. They can be dating, marrie, or casually committed, monogamous, poly... Any gender identity and sexual orientation welcome too. Age isn't a factor either other than both people being of legal age. I'm seeking couples who are willing to open up about their relationship.

Have you learned anything from the experience?

I don't think I've learned anything new... yet... but some things have been reaffirmed: communicate, communicate, communicate. I'm big on honest communication, even if you have to stutter and stamper to get your point across. Honest communication is so important in relationships and it's comforting to hear other people express that it's the glue in their relationships. Also, if it's meant to be, it will happen. Many couples go through stages and have to find their footing with one another. "Taking a break" or break-ups and make-ups are more common than may be known.


When will the book be published?

There is no plan for a book for the Interracial Couples Project at this time. What will be published are the portraits of each couple (on and social media) and the interviews which are posted to Youtube, the project page and Abigail Ekue Photography blog:

What’s next?

I will continue to shoot with couples for the series. The set date for shoots in NY is April 20 and since I'm based in NY any time after that. I will be in Seattle the following weekend and have time to shoot/interview 2 or 3 couples there. From there, I would like to go to Houston as I have some willing couples there.


About Abigail Ekue: As a photographer, I hold up the mirror to my clients, helping them see themselves beautiful with my editorial portraiture - capturing the beautiful nuances and emotions of everyday life. I believe in evocative storytelling through my photos. Positive body image, sensuality, sexuality and gender are promoted through my nude art and erotic photography.

Before getting behind the camera, I was an art model and worked with numerous photographers and have been featured in photo exhibits and books including Moregasm: Babeland's Guide to Mind-Blowing Sex, Portraits of Eve and The Naked and the Lens: A Guide to Nude Photography.

My first solo photo exhibit, Man. Toy., was held at the Body Archive Gallery in New York. All images featured in that exhibit were shot on my camera phone at the time. Within months of beginning to teach myself how to shoot manual photography on a DSLR, I was the Grand Prize Winner of the first 40 Acres "BK Loves MJ Photo Contest" judged by Filmmaker and Producer Spike Lee. Since then I have exhibited my nude photography in group shows, a solo pop-up and at the Erotic Heritage Museum in Las Vegas --

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