Happy 24th birthday to my first born, my young Queen. I love you so much!!! Can’t believe I’m really saying that… One day you were a baby, then you were a teenager, now you’re a full grown woman. This life thing is super crazy!
Recently my family and I spent some time in San Diego visiting with my niece. We were formally introduced to the newest member of our family, baby Jade. I also enjoyed the opportunity to finally meet my nephew, Tristan. I have to say, I can’t remember the last time I felt so much joy?
This visit was truly the boost of positive energy that I’ve been in desperate need of for a very long time. Being able to see my niece as a grown woman with a family of her own, and children that remind me of her when she was baby, is a touching shock to the emotional system. I’m so thankful that we live close enough to visit with each without boarding a plane, and I pray that we’ll see them more often than not.
The photos included represent just a fraction of the many that I created while on this trip. I look forward to witnessing, as well as, documenting, the growth and development of both Jade & Tristan over time.
I only wish we lived even closer so that I may visit with them whenever I choose to. Now that I’ve had a chance to meet little Jade I’m finding it incredibly difficult to stop myself from missing her. I love my family so much! 💙
Today marks the 22nd birthday of my only son. Wow! Just wow!
To all the new parents out there, please be sure to spend as much time as you possibly can with your little ones because, before you know it, they’ll be all grown up in what seems like a matter of moments.
I’ll admit, although I love that my children are grown and mostly independent, sometimes I wish they were babies again just so I can hold them….I would love to just watch their development all over again. It has been the greatest joy and the most fulfilling time of my entire life.
But, today is all about my Junior.
Son, I love you, and I thank God for you. You will always be my baby, but now you are a man. It’s time to tap into the greatness that the Most High has waiting for you and level up! I pray that you become a far greater man than I could ever be. I look forward to your ascension, and In shaa Allah (God willing) I hope to someday pass the crown to you as you grow from a Prince to a King!
Watching Sunni enjoy herself reminds me of when I was a child. Being carefree, finding joy by simply doing things just for the sake of having fun.
Watching her play has taught me a valuable lesson as an adult, one that we all seem to lose sight of at one point or another. We get so preoccupied with the urgency of our lives that we lose our joy. We forget how to just have fun! No money, no fancy trips, or fancy clothes. No expensive electronics, just taking the time to enjoy the simple nuances of life.
Going outside meant everything as a child. It represented freedom. Freedom to roam about, freedom to use your imagination. We would find joy in a cool breeze, or watching the birds fly, pretending we had their capabilities. Watching a beautiful sunset…smelling the sweet aroma of the colorful flowers. Watching butterflies dance through the air, or the unique shape of the clouds above. It’s amazing how little things we once found so interesting as children get completely lost in time during our pursuit of money and a career.
There is something so peaceful and relaxing about slowing down to observe and appreciate all of the fine details of our lives. Taking time to be present in the moment. To reflect, and stop giving energy to our worries.
Watching Sunni reminded me that my camera has multiple purposes. But most importantly, my camera can be used as a tool for inspiring fun. You don’t need to worry about creating award winning photos every time you pick up your camera. You don’t have to drive yourself crazy trying to please strangers online with the quality of your work. It’s not necessary for everything to be so serious! So categorically important and immediate that it evokes anxiety and pressure.
It’s ok to use your camera just for the sake of having fun! So while you’re out creating your next “serious” work of art, remember to make some time to allow yourself tojust have fun.
Love is not just for couples, love is for everyone!!! We all need love. We all need to show each other love frequently, especially those that are closest to us.
In honor of love, I present these 2 best friends being a beautiful illustration of what love truly means, even at an early age. We can all learn from their example and make a conscious effort to spread more love in this divided world. ❤
Recently I’ve noticed how much depression had started to affect my work over the past few years, and it’s been a real eye opener. Not creating with the same level of care and passion, thereby reducing the overall quality of my images has been an extremely disappointing discovery. I was literally making photos, doing very little post production, then posting to my social media accounts. I was totally frustrated, burnt out, and I just couldn’t make myself care like I use to. It was honestly a dreadful time in my life. Looking back, my work really suffered because of my attitude.
I’m happy to say that I’m rectifying my mistakes and I’m officially back on track. I can’t tell you how good it feels to thoroughly care again. To find myself again. To do the hard work to achieve the results I want. To be back on point and creating my way. Reviewing my work from the past 6 years makes me want to completely re-edit almost every single photo I’ve made. But I’m going to be realistic and selective with the images I choose to reimagine moving forward. As long as the end result makes me happy, I’m good.
If you’re suffering internally as I was, I highly suggest that you make the time to do whatever it takes to bring yourself back to a state of normalcy. Trust me, the difference will be shocking! But it’s definitely worth the effort to reinvigorate your life as well as your creative energy.
The first photo is the original that I posted back in 2021 when I initially created it. The second photo is my most recent edit, which I feel represents her skin, the overall scene, and my work far more accurately! When comparing the two photos side by side I was very emotional. I couldn’t believe just how far I had slipped away. Regaining my mojo makes me truly thankful that I’m back on the road to recovery.
Know you, a large portion of photography historically focuses on human suffering and atrocities. One aspect of being a photographer is documenting all sides of life, the good the bad, and the ugly. Throughout my career I’ve photographed a variety of situations, including those that aren’t pretty or positive. But these days I tend to move away from negative imagery. Even if I feel compelled to photograph something that could be considered negative, I often choose not to share those images for public consumption.
Having suffered a number of tragedies in my personal life, I’m at a stage where I feel I just want to immerse myself in positive energy only. So I love to photograph candid moments of people just being themselves. I love to see people enjoying themselves, going about their daily lives. My favorite subjects to photograph are those that depict joy. And I know happiness in “serious” photography still seems to be frowned upon, but it’s what I like to see, and more importantly, it’s what makes me feel good inside.
With that out of the way, here are some photos I made at one of my favorite places to hang out and people watch. Here you’ll notice ordinary moments of humor, fun, and details you might otherwise miss.
Moving forward I will continue to photograph any and everything that sparks my interests, but I will consistently share work that promotes positivity. I hope in some small way I inspire you to do the same. There’s NOTHING wrong with being happy. And it’s certainly nothing wrong with photographing people who AREN’T suffering. Believe me, choosing joy will help lift your spirits as well as add some much needed variety to your portfolio. If enough people adapt this mindset maybe we’ll finally start to make some positive changes in the photography community.
As this year comes to a close I thought I’d share one more favorite from 2022.
Shoutout to the city, coordinator’s, and all of the participants who showed up, despite the bad weather, to put on a really fantastic parade.
This photo of Santa arriving on his new sleigh served as the climax to this years Electric Light Parade. I love this photo because, of all the different elements involved. From the lights, to the colors, to the visible raindrops falling from the night sky. This photo is also the conclusion of a beautiful night full of fun and excitement.
More importantly though, it’s the conclusion of another year full of photo making for me. This is my last big photographic event of 2022, and it was also one of the most fun! God willing, I hope 2023 can provide as many wonderful photogenic moments as this year did.
To you and yours, Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!
This year’s 35th annual Electric Light Parade was cold, dark, windy, and very rainy. But you know something? I loved every second of it!
The winter months in the desert are the very best to me. It’s the only time the weather reminds me of my home in the Midwest. It’s also the only time we get a break from the intense heat, so I absolutely love being outdoors during this time of year.
This was my first time attending the Light Parade, but I had so much fun. Seeing all the people out despite the weather was really refreshing. I honestly thought that maybe they would cancel the parade due to the poor weather conditions, but to my surprise the event went on without any issues.
The photos I’m sharing represent the highlight of the entire evening for me, the lowriders. I love that the city embraces this part of their culture, allowing lowriders to participate. I love lowriders and I’ve been anxious to finally photograph some. I only wish there would’ve been more in the lineup. I look forward to meeting some of the owners of these beautiful and unique vehicles, so that I may do more in depth photo work with them.
For now, here are a few of my favorite images. Enjoy!
Although the year is not quite over, I’ve chosen my favorite photo from this year.
2022 has been a great year for me in terms of creating. I have a ton of beautiful images that I can choose from at any given moment. But this particular image stands out in my mind as one of the most beautiful and meaningful that I’ve made this year. This photo of my daughter is proof that not every image we create needs to have a complex backstory to be important.
So, the story of this photo is extremely simple and straight forward. My daughter was trying on her new scarves. As she was coming down the stairs, I was on my way up the stairs. I saw how the light was hitting her face, so I asked her to stand there while I go grab my camera. I came back within a second or two and made the photo. I made a few frames just for the sake of variety, but ultimately this is the one that really spoke to me. That’s it. Easy right?
As you can see, sometimes the most simple, unassuming, moments can make for some of our greatest, or, most favorite work.
Don’t be afraid of “regular” moments. Often times they are overlooked, but totally beautiful. As long as you have a camera to record what you see, you will always be able to create something special.