emma arvida

Though Shingi Rice (@bluespit) has counted photography as a hobby for about 10 years, she got more serious about making it her life’s work three years ago after a literal change of heart. “In 2013 I had open heart surgery and it changed my life a lot,” she says. “Something inside me just made me go automatically into photographing and styling people.”

The London College of Fashion student defines #GirlGaze as “beauty through the eyes of a girl; it’s how we see the world and how we choose to express it.” She describes herself as a “beautiful soul capturer” and through her gorgeous portraiture, mainly featuring people of color, she lives up to her words. Shingi counts Cass Bird, Emma Arvida Bystrom, and Petra Collins among her favorite female photographers, but her biggest inspiration comes from closer to home.

“What inspires me most are my parents,” the 23-year-old says of her Irish dad and Zimbabwean mother. “They both come from very different backgrounds and seeing them work hard for their goals and achieving them has taught me that being passionate about what you love and working hard pays off.”

When asked who, out of anyone, she’d love to take her own portrait, Shingi chose a perennial Teen Vogue favorite. “Willow Smith,” she says, “her presence is powerful.” - words by @hannamariehoward.

This Instagram is part of the @girlgazeproject project, celebrating the next generation of female photographers. Submit your photos using #GirlGaze and you could be featured in Teen Vogue!