Mother and daughter duo, Christin and Riley are a match made in heaven. Both lovers of the camera; mom is a professional photographer and the keen eye behind her brand Christin McQueen Photography and daughter is the beautiful muse and part time clothing model, they share a love of each other and their natural hair. Recently two years old, Riley is in in full-on troublemaker mode while mom is learning to handle her tantrums and her hair.
We caught Christin and Riley at their home to get a glimpse inside their lives and to see how they’d spend the day together. There were Louboutins, bows and mini cowboy boots and over-sized flowers everywhere. “Oh I usually never let her comb my hair!” Christin exclaims. “She’ll try to put the paddle brush in my head and turn it around! She loves her hair too though.” Christin’s raspy voice pulls you in and you instantly wonder if she can sing. Riley, in much more of a “No!” mood these days, giggles and often repeats exactly what her mother says. Perhaps she’s admiring her out of those little dark eyes because she sees a reflection of herself and her hair just as she is. It’s something to be admired when you watch them together, their chemistry and love for each other genuinely pouring from their smiles and kisses.
Your photography is beautiful. How long have you been shooting?
I do photography full time. My dad is a photographer, but I was never interested in it. When I had Riley, I couldn’t go back to work because she was just…a total handful. So, I had to figure out something I could do. I’d actually love to just photograph children.
Riley is so cute! Tell us a little bit about her.
She just turned two, but her party is in July because her mommy is so busy. I just really didn’t think about what day I was gonna do it until it started creeping up. Then I was like oops! So, the next available day I had was in July. My baby can’t even have a party when she needs to!
Besides being a toddler, what else does Riley do?
She’s my little trouble maker. I do think that the day she turned two, it got worse. I was like, “Wait a minute, is this really how it goes?!” She already has a little job. She models for a little boutique called Sweet & Dainty, and her picture has been featured a few times on blogs. She loves to paint her nails. She also loves playing with her brother and riding her tricycle.
How long have you been natural and how did your husband feel about your transition?
I just did my big chop in April. It’s growing really fast. My husband wasn’t like, “Let me cut it”, but he was on board. He has locs and he’s good with my hair no matter what I do with it. If he likes something he always says, “That’s thowed!” That’s some southwest Houston slang! And my son is growing his hair out as well. But I don’t really know the direction we’re going with it yet. I really just want it to be…big.
What is your hair type and texture? How do you wear it?
I have 4d, 4e hair! I have two different textures. Whatever it is that I have at the top, my 4d hair, and in the back it’s really straight. I love to do twist outs. These curls are tight, tight, tight, tight! I’ve never seen anything like it! I think I just try everything that looks cool but never really get it right. Oh, and not only that, I put like 5 different products in it to style it!
What is Riley’s hair type? How do you style it?
Her hair is kind of the same way…and if she gets a twist out it’s the bomb. She has three different textures. The front has no curl pattern, in the back it’s like wool, and at her nape it is very fine and straight. If I were to pluck out a strand, it would be going every which-a-way!
If possible, I will buy accessories for her that are handmade. If I’m in a rush, I’ll put something together from Michael’s or Hobby Lobby, like a bow and headband and stick them together.
How often do you wash her hair? And since she’s still so small, how do you keep her sitting and patient?
If her hair is in braids, I’ll keep them in for about two weeks. If not then I’ll wash and style it every three to four days. I usually do her hair when she’s sleeping. She falls asleep after a bath. If she’s awake she watches a cartoon called Phineas and Ferb and will sit still. That’s the only cartoon that she’ll sit still for.