Boy turned away from school for hairstyle gets empowering photoshoot

How photographer at the art of confidence is restoring kids self-esteem one photo at a time


Asten Johnson is a happy 6-year-old and student at Zion Temple Christian Academy.

That is, until he was turned away from the only school he’s attended because of his hair.

"My child really wants to be like his dad. Everything his dad does, he wants to be like him, he wants to emulate him and many ways and the hair is just one of those ways," said Asten's mom, Tina Johnson.

When photographer Jermaine Horton learned about the situation, he stepped in to help rebuild Asten’s confidence. Horton founded The Art of Confidence to empower the youth through creative photo shoots.

"The first shot is usually getting them comfortable with them regaining their power back,” said Horton.

"We want to restore this amazing young man's confidence, let him know that his hair is gorgeous and beautiful as it is, and that he should not be judged by it," said Horton.

It’s important to Horton because he knows success starts with self-esteem.

"If we can get their confidence where it needs to be and have them feel that they can be empowered and that they can do anything, and that they matter, then they are going to be the ones that lead our country to the next best place that it needs to be," said Horton.