Stylish and effortless, Shingi Rice (AKA Blue Spit) is a London-based fashion photographer whose name you may have seen featured by the likes of AFROPUNK and Dazed & Confused. She’s represented by #girlgaze all the way in sunny LA, and spends her time between the UK, USA and Spain. Her shots are dreamy and colourful, timeless and modern - and we love them. Her talent, self-confidence and unique eye for beauty, make her a girl after our own hearts; so we called Shingi for a catch up, to talk staying motivated, dreaming up shoots and life without highlighter.
When did you decide that photography was your art?
I would say by the time I finished my foundation course in 2015 I’d become sure, because for a while I had been wondering if I wanted to get involved with fashion design or styling, but I figured it out, photography brought it together.
What’s beautiful to you?
I think it would be classified as something like “carefree”. For me, being a black woman, beautiful is when someone embraces their hair or their skin, just everything that naturally comes to them. It’s people going and doing what they like without society getting in the way or telling them how they should be; someone who is totally accepting of who they are and just enjoying it naturally.
Growing up, which factors influenced your photography?
Oooh, I hadn’t really thought about that. I think my friends mostly, my close group of friends really bounce off each other. Them, and of course my mother.
How do you dream up a shoot?
I’d say the model, I work around them and the whole shoot comes from the model for me. I’ll build the image up around the person. I tend to be the one who chooses them in advance. Focusing on the individual, that’s how I get inspired.
What has been the greatest achievement of your career so far?
It would be either being signed by an agency in LA (#girlgaze MGMT), which was massive and really just the beginning, or it would be putting together one of my biggest exhibitions in LA while I was still studying at uni, those things have been huge.
Your shots are full of colour and atmosphere, is there something in particular you hope to capture in your photos?
Growing up there was never really girls or boys of colour in magazines and stuff, so that’s why I focus on that a lot, colour just comes in and I let it be natural and work with the shot.
What are your experiences of diversity in the beauty industry?
It’s often down to me on my own to plan and organise my shoots, and of course when I do that I can ensure it’s pretty diverse, but the problems come usually when I’m being approached by others to collaborate on something. I find that sometimes there’s where it can be quite lacking.
Who and what keeps you motivated?
Ahh I don’t know! Myself!
How do you stay healthy?
I meditate every morning and every night. On top of that I also do try to eat as healthy as I can - I actually have a food Instagram to help me. Oh, also I really do try to do some yoga, like, once a month…
What product can you not live without?
Oh, that’s gotta be either coconut oil or black soap!
What’s signature to your look?
It’s a really hard question… I like natural-looking faces so I’d probably say my go-to defining thing would be an accessory, like my gold jewellery I wear all the time!
If you could only Slapp on one beauty product which would it be?
Highlight! Definitely, definitely highlight.
Which advice would you give to young creatives?
Just to keep pushing, because hard work always pays off.
Follow Shinghi: @Bluespit