Visiting my favorite place in Los Angeles, I met clothing designer/owner and USA Fencing Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad at the Griffith Observatory. Just doing my usual.. strolling up and down the path ways to get that one beautiful shot that I probably have photographed a million times already, I stumbled upon a sweet soul. I glanced at her and her friends and was in total awe at how beautiful all three were. They asked if I could take a picture of them (probably because I was staring) but I said "of course" I then started to express how beautiful they all were, and asked if I could get a portrait of them. We talked for a little while about my journey as a photographer then immediately exchanged social info. Its been about 3 years and some change now since that first day I met them. When I got home to check out Ibtihaj's instagram page I had no clue this woman was part of the US Olympic team. She is best known for being the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States in the Olympics and is the first female Muslim-American athlete to earn a medal.  She placed Bronze at the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Summer olympics! How exciting is it to see your friend bring  home a medal and do with a hijab on!!  She not only fences but owns the most beautiful Muslim clothing line "Louellashop" which I have been fortunate enough to shoot for 3 years now. Working with her is a breeze.. not only is she sweet, goal driven yet down to earth but she is strong. With all of the controversy going on about Muslims and the entire ban which recently happened, Ibtihaj seems to keep her head high. She is not phased by the ridicule or the prejudice comments that come out of some citizens mouth. She holds herself high and keeps  going. If she can hold it down with fencing and whooping someones butt while picking out fabrics and color swatches for her clothing line, she can definitely surpass all of the madness and stay focused on what matters most.  Go IBI !! Thats one fierce yet strong woman!

Ajarina LampkinComment