R.A.D Henna

October 13, 2016  •  Leave a Comment


Another Autumn day, this one being gloomier than the last. Woke up a little later than expected cutting it close to our scheduled photo session at noon. With our french press rusting away I felt a little impulsive to run downtown and buy myself a Chemex. They're just so pretty, and damn do they make a good cup of coffee. Quickly returning home I lit some pumpkin spice candles and incense and started to boil water for the Chemex. Who knew that fall days would make you crave coffee and a henna session...  


 About thirty minutes later Rayna arrives with her henna kit in tow. Rayna, owner of R.A.D Henna is based in Des Moines,  IA and drove all that way just to do a collaborative session with me. Makes me really appreciate other artists and what they will do for their work. I was originally connected with Rayna through social media a while back but had yet to meet this talented lady in person. Then, while out in West Virginia, I made some new friends while photographing a wedding that reconnected us and finally got us together this time. To say that her work is stunning is an understatement. The skill and talent one must have to achieve this kind of work is pure brilliance. Rayna's steady hand and endless creativity really sets her apart as a henna artist based in the midwest. 

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 No doubt there has been a rise in henna seen throughout the fashion industry, which is really no surprise considering that it's such a beautiful and captivating art form.

Fun facts about Henna: Henna is the Persian name for a shrub known as Lawsonia inermis. It's native to Asia and the Mediterranean coast of Africa and now thrives in warmer climates all over the world. It has small, four-petaled flowers that produces a red dye which is what stains the skin with hennotannic acid, a dye that bonds with the collagen in the skin cells and keratin of fingernails and hair. The henna plant is one of the oldest cosmetics ever used to date and is extremely safe - so leave your worries behind.

Watching Rayna work was mesmerizing. Keep an eye out for this lady's name because she's definitely on her way to doing big things!

My gorgeous gal, Sarah Ziegenhorn, came over to be our hand model for the afternoon. We all sipped on coffee and listened to Sylvan Esso Radio on the porch taking in the scent of a fresh rainfall. 


The second session was shot at Sarah's adorable Moffitt that I couldn't help but sneak some extra photos of her bohemian bungalow. 


So many windows lit her entire first floor. I always think that's one of the most magical feelings - the warmth of light pouring into a space and allowing yourself to take it in and enjoy it. 


First thing's first - coffee. 

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This yoga teaching med school student is the definition of a total bad ass. I'm so glad I ran into her in the bathroom at the Clinton Street Social Club and gave her my number to shoot sometime. And yes, that's normally how I find my models. You just can't be afraid to put yourself out here in this industry.


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Above is what the henna looked like three days after the initial application.

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Thank you Rayna + Sarah




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