The glamorous Laverne Cox ("Orange Is the New Black," "The Mindy Project") spoke at the 2017 ACLU of Washington Bill of Rights Dinner, and I was there to photograph her before. Laverne is a dynamo who commands the attention of a room with both her radiance and her intellect. If you haven't heard her speak, go on YouTube and listen.
First, #TransIsBeautiful. That should go without saying, but we need to keep saying it until all trans people receive the respect and equal rights they deserve.
Here is a solo shot of Laverne, plus a shot of Laverne and writer Ijeoma Oluo, who hosted the Q&A. Oh, and the orange background? Total coincidence. Sure, it's the namesake color of the famous show she's on, but it's actually just the first color that popped into my head when I started concepting the shoot. It's bold, radiant, spontaneous, energetic.
Orange backdrop, three lights
Laverne and Ijeoma Oluo
Here's a bonus video of Ijeoma showing her Facebook followers the photo. She called it one of the best photos anyone has ever taken of her! Pretty cool, and humbling.