What if, when we die…
We become the bright stars that fill the night sky?
By Robert N. Jones
My ethnic princess series was created to depict a more realistic image of princesses to young women of color. The idea is to show girls of color that royalty looks just like them, as opposed to the traditional notion that we’ve been conditioned to accept throughout history. The series is meant to convey the message that you are beautiful and important just the way you are, so be proud of the skin that you’re in. Having a daughter myself, my goal is to get more people involved and have more representations from children of all different cultural backgrounds.
This first set of images feature Princess Madison.
(Please click on each image to enlarge)
This early morning skyline has two uniquely contrasting cloud formations creating an interesting pattern, and color palette. In the second photo, the clouds at the top of the frame resembles burning flames against the dense, pillowy texture of the clouds in the lower half of the frame. I believe this is the first time I’ve ever seen this strange combination? Nevertheless, the sky seems to always provide us with a dramatic light and art show across the atmosphere at any given moment. All we have to do is look up and pay close attention.
When my son’s friend left his shoes in the yard I decided to use them for an impromptu shoot that also symbolizes how many kids have spent their summer vacation.
A few weekends ago I was out walking the city streets trying to find something interesting to photograph. A typical day for me really. After hours of basically finding nothing I was prepared to wrap it up and call it a day. Fortunately my eagle-eyed wifey Terri spotted a small group gathered along the Phenix City side of the river. As we moved closer to the small crowd I realized that there was a demonstration taking place. To my great surprise it was actually a group of Native Americans teaching the locals about the history of the city. Always curious about learning new things I stood conflicted as to whether I should take pictures or just listen to the wisdom they spoke? They taught us about their history, culture, clothes, hunting & survival techniques, their names, tribes, and their hardships. They also allowed the locals to participate in a traditional dance. Just my luck to find this wonderful event at sunset!
The sun was setting rapidly so I decided I should grab a few shots before they closed everything down. Before my disappointment could set in for wasting the day wondering around when I could have been at this demonstration, one of the gentlemen speaking stopped me. His name is Little Big Mountain. He told me not to worry. Although they had been there for a few days they would be there again early the next day for a few hours. He also explained to me that he’d be wearing his tribal face paint so I could get an even better shot of him. I happily thanked him and his lovely wife Laura. I knew at that point that I would absolutely be returning with my kids so that they could learn about our history.
These photos represent the few shots I captured on the first evening.
(Please click the images for a larger view)
The next morning my family and I returned bright and early for the festivities. This time my children were able to witness the event in it’s entirety. They were able to look around, ask questions and take pictures. First we listened as they taught more about weapons, clothing and hunting. Afterwards we had a very long, serious discussion with both Laura and Little about the connection of pain shared between African Americans and American Indians. Next, we moved on to the next group to learn about the different war cries. We sat and enjoyed stories of past battles as well as the importance of family and nature. We were once again treated to several tribal dances then introduced to everyone. Before ending the event everyone in attendance was asked to join in a beautiful prayer. Once again, amidst all the wonderful wisdom being shared I tried to remember to actually take out my camera and capture some of these moments! I mingled briefly then took a few shots.
All in all it was a great experience. My family and I really enjoyed ourselves. We all agreed that when they return next year we hope that the city will provide them with more funding and a larger area to demonstrate because, we believe it is of the upmost importance that everyone learn what they are teaching. It cannot be ignored nor relegated to such a small area. They need to be seen and heard! Their history is OUR history!
If you’d like to learn more about their educational programs, make a financial contribution, or bring them to your city please visit their website at: http://www.gonativenow.com I highly encourage everyone to check them out as soon as possible!
The following photos were taken at various times of the day under a variety of crazy weather conditions. Everything from the bright noon sun, to the cloudy possibility of rain, then to the setting of the sun.
I Can Remember Almost Everything I Was Doing At 16 Like It Was Yesterday And Today I Have A 16 Year Old Daughter. I Can’t Believe It!!! I’d Like To Wish You A Very Happy And Special Sweet Sixteen Today My Ameera (Princess) Your Daddy Loves You More Than The Word Love Could Ever Describe!!!
I’d rather be back on the beach even on a stormy day like this than to be where I am now. Wishful thinking I guess?
I found this little guy running around outside after dinner at local restaurant last year. I see quite a few of these Green Anoles in this area as I travel but, it’s very difficult to get close enough to get a good shot of one. This was as close as I could get before he zipped off! I intend to get out and try harder to take some better shots of these interesting little fellas soon.
On my way to take my son to school and I’m greeted by these beauties! Have a great morning everyone!
2 weekends ago the weather was absolutely perfect so I decided to take a trip downtown. I hadn’t been downtown in months, but specifically since I returned home from Illinois. As the sun started to set I noticed a growing amount of dog walkers out, probably more than I’ve ever seen at this time of the year. Although I had my camera, my intention was to shoot nature this time around, not people or pets. The light from the setting sun created a slew of cool photographic opportunities so naturally I had to snap a few shots of the friendly people and their pets. I have to admit that I was conflicted because of the weather. Normally I would have shot far more frames but, I enjoyed the temperature so much that for once I didn’t want to shoot as much as I just wanted to relax. Below are a few of the photos from this wonderful day. If only the weather were always this mild…I’d probably stay out every single day from sunrise to sunset! Hopefully this spring will actually feel like spring and not summer so I can get out more and meet more cool people.
I’ve been going out in the cold winter rain of the past few days trying to stay busy. Funny this is, I never really view rainy days as disappointments. The truth is, I actually like them sometimes. I’ve felt this way since I was a small child. I look at it as a way to shoot outside from a totally different perspective. Rainy days have their own look which can be very interesting. For instance, certain wildlife will only appear in these conditions and trying to capture shots of them can be a fun adventure within itself. Rainy days can provide you with the challenge of searching for something interesting to shoot, or in this case, shooting something simple and familiar in an interesting way. I guess I’m just the type that will find any excuse to be out with my camera anyway? But hey, it keeps me sane! 😉 Whatever works, right?
The intricate lines and curves of an old tree’s bark. I absolutely love the character present in the fine details of different textures. Beauty is all around us, especially in nature. It feels wonderful to go out and let it inspire you!
Could you figure out what it was? Well, it’s actually an abstract shot of my children hugging. Taken about 2 years ago to test my new camera and lens, this was the very first shot with my new gear. I was so impressed with the amount of detail in the file I decided to keep it. Later I grew to appreciate the emotional value of the image. Although my children very rarely get into any type of fight or disagreement, I thought it was a particularly genuine moment where they shared a very sweet embrace with one another. It’s kind of hard to decipher because there’s so much hair in the shot but, that’s exactly why I love it! It just goes to show that sometimes the photos we dislike or maybe think very little of at first can eventually turn out to be some of our most cherished. I’m so happy I decided to keep it! ❤
On this day 2 years ago I took this closeup of my friend’s car on a very cold, rainy evening. I liked the way the light, shadows, water and repetition of the grill bars worked together.
My younger brother Antonio stood perfectly still while I captured the downpour of snowfall while out on a photo excursion this past week. We hadn’t seen snow in almost 7 years so we played in the snow like two big kids and we had a ball! You’re never too old to enjoy the simple joys of life. Go out and have some fun!!!
Another solo adventure for me last week as I walked around the downtown area in search of some interesting sites to photograph. Fall is finally here and I couldn’t be happier!!! When the temperature drops I become more motivated to get out and shoot. The light, the air, and atmosphere inspire me to pick up my camera and stay outside all day long. It might sound weird to anyone other than a photographer but, I really hate when I have to stop shooting and come back in. The good thing is getting to come home and see what you’ve done all day. Here are just a few of the images I captured.
She’s growing up so fast!!!! I’m both happy and sad… These were taken last year around the time she was to compete in her first beauty pageant. I think it’s time I make her take some new ones? Hahahahaha!!!!
Makeup provided by Nichele Hardge
I’m know I’m a few days late due to the fact I’ve been busy as well as sick with a cold but, I just want to thank God for being able to do something I love so much for so long. I could go on forever about how grateful I am, and how much I love what I do but, words really wouldn’t do it any justice! There are a few people I’d like to thank specifically for always supporting me and helping me when I need them. Those people are;
My Family: Terri, Safiyyah, Rahzjon, and Antonio.
My Makeup Artists Throughout The Years: Linda, Micha, Shon, Nichele, Tiona, and Juanita.
My Inspiration: M. Shawn Dowdell
I’d also like to thank the countless number of people I’ve worked with over the years that have inspired, and challenged me to continue to strive to be the best I can be. Thank you all!
The view from my hotel room window a couple of days ago as the sun started to set in downtown Phenix City, Alabama. I love all the wonderful shapes and colors that appear and change constantly as nature paints her masterpieces across the sky. As usual for me, no post processing was involved in any of these shots, they’re straight from my camera.
The gorgeous multi-colored sunset over the beach in Florida this past weekend.
My son is the worst when it comes to riding in the car. He usually falls asleep within seconds regardless of how long or short the drive may be! I have so many pictures of him sleeping in the car that it’s become an entire collection accumulated over the years.
Cool textured plants I spotted today outside of a local pizzeria.
These beauties only lasted a few short minutes so I had to act fast! I noticed their bright colors peeking through my window about 10 minutes ago. So I grabbed my camera, ran outside, and….captured these beautiful colors against the night sky. I told you the other day I would keep my eyes to the sky for more of nature’s awesome artwork. I love it!!!!
Very cool statues in the downtown area playing a friendly game of baseball.