Unreleased Photos, Behind The Scenes & Random Thoughts

Posts tagged “beauty

Happy Birthday Queen!!!

Wishing Queen Terri a very special and Happy Birthday today!!! I Love You!!!


Melody

I know how much I annoyed you by constantly pointing my camera at you, always trying to take your picture. Now I wish I had taken even more… You were so beautiful to me. I made sure I let you know that every single time I saw you. I didn’t mean to get on your nerves. All I was ever trying to do was capture that glow you had about you. I wanted to preserve and admire it. Now that’s all I have left…these pictures, these memories. You were an angel on this earth, and now you’re an angel in heaven! I love you!!! 


Grown Woman

Happy Birthday to my first born. I can’t believe that you’re 20 years old today! Where did all this time go? Sometimes I sit back and think, it really trips me out that you were actually born in the 90’s. I’m so proud of the woman you’re becoming. As a father you make me so happy! I wish you all the best going forward in your life. You’re one of the sweetest people I know and I pray you’ll always stay that way. Oh yeah, you may look just like your mom but, you act just like your old man! 😉 I love you so much!!!


The Definition Of A Jewel

According To Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary A Jewel Is Defined As:

1: a precious stone : gem
2: an ornament of precious metal often set with stones or decorated with enamel and worn as an accessory of dress
3: one that is highly esteemed***

 

Here is a short poem I wrote in memory and honor of my wonderful grandmother, Emma Jewel X Orsborn.

Sunrise: May 18, 1928  Sunset: January 6, 2018.

They say no one is perfect, you’re the exception to the rule 

Because, God crafted perfection when he created this Jewel.


Grand Rising!

A beautiful sunrise I was fortunate enough to capture, handheld, while out walking one morning last month.


Senior Prom/Learning To Let Go

I remember the day you were born. That day was my very first lesson in learning how to let you go. Having to leave you at the hospital to go to work that night was hardest thing I’ve ever done. I wanted to stay with you, to hold you, look at you, let you become familiar with me. My first child. But I had to let you go…

When you finally came home, each night that I left for work I would be so sad driving away, because I didn’t want to let you go.

When we put you in daycare, it was the first time that I had to leave you alone with strangers, and everyday that I walked out of that door I had to let you go. I would stand in the window and watch you until I didn’t have any time left to give.

Your first day of school, I was so happy for you, but so nervous. When the bus came to pick you up and carry you off I cried like a baby. I stood in the street and watched as the bus became smaller and smaller, until it eventually disappeared. There was nothing I could do, I knew I had to let you go.

Since then, there have been so many moments, so many times where the only thing that I could do was stand by and let you go. It never gets any easier.

Now here we are already, senior prom! Look at you. You’re so beautiful! You look just like your mother…

Once again I have to see you off and let you go. I’m so proud, but so hurt.

I know soon you’ll go off to school, or move out on your own and I’ll have to set you free.

Eventually you’ll meet someone, fall in love, get married, and that’s when I’ll lose you. That’s when my heart will truly break…that’s when I’ll really have to let you go.

I always knew these days would come, yet I’m still not prepared.

I love you so much!!!

You will always be my baby, sometimes I wish you could stay that way.

Why do I have to let you go?…

I never want to let you go!

But I know I must…


Autumn Dashiki

The lovely fall colors help accentuate the many colors of this stylish dashiki worn by the beautiful Latrice.

Model: Latrice Hicks

Makeup: Nichele Hardge

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Morning Glory

The sun rises early upon another fall morning. I am thankful to witness it’s natural glory.

-Robert N. Jones

morning-glory


Portrait Of My Princess

A simple black & white portrait of my daughter from yesterday as we stood outside enjoying a slight breeze and discussing our favorite foods.

pooh shadowface bw 2b test

 


Natural Beauty & Elegance

Featuring Alize Muhammad

Alize Poze 1c blog


Working With People/Marquetta Poolside

I get asked these questions so much now that it drives me crazy!!! So once again I will address this subject hopefully for the last time?!

“Do you still shoot with people?” Yes!!!

“Are you retired?” No!!!

I really don’t like unnecessarily placing labels on things, especially myself, but if I had to label myself I’d say that I am foremost a portrait photographer. Portraits are what I love to create. Over the past 3 years I’ve taken time away from shooting people as much to concentrate on the other styles of photography that interests me. Because of this decision the local public seems to think that I no longer shoot with people, even though I still post people pictures! Shooting with people, models and children is still what I love to do, but the truth is, I’ve had so many issues with the models AND people where I live that I’ve basically been forced to stop working with them. It’s not that I want to stop, it’s more about being tired of all of the drama in order to do what I love. I know that nothing is perfect and as long as you deal with people there will always be problems, but it should never get to a point where the drama outweighs the fun and starts to steal your joy away. Well that’s exactly what started happening to me. So I made the conscious decision to become extremely selective in who I work with as well as what I post. I know that this has definitely confused many, so to clarify my position, I LOVE SHOOTING WITH PEOPLE!!!

I also love shooting on the street, and I love shooting nature. These are the different styles of photography that interest me the most. But, as long as I have a camera I will shoot ANYTHING that I think is cool, fun, or sparks my interest. I never limit myself as far as what I capture even though I might concentrate on one style more than others at a particular time. What I want people to understand is that my current work reflects my environment. There isn’t an abundance of street photography or nature photography opportunities here, but those opportunities are more readily available to me than capable models are. The bottom line is this, I’d love to shoot with more people, but, until they can act right I will continue to focus on the other areas. As long as I’m busy working on something I’m happy so it’s all good to me!

Now, here is a photo from my most recent test shoot with a beautiful young lady named Marquetta. This was a very loose and fun shoot despite the number of difficulties we encountered. I’ll admit, working with her made me miss all the model shoots, and made me want to jump back into it full steam, but…we’ll see…only time will tell? Honestly I’m not very optimistic about it. I’m just going to keep moving forward, and if I happen to meet people along the way that want to move with me then we’ll do to together. If not, I’ll be fine. I’ve always been a loaner so I’ll always have myself to fall back on.

Marquetta Pool 1f blog


Las Vegas Aquarium Part #1

I’d like to share with you some of the beautiful and exotic looking sea life I experienced while at The Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. I hadn’t been to an aquarium in years! I use to love to go to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago as a child. Going as an adult and photographer was a much different experience because, I was finally able to capture images of all the interesting sights that I can now keep forever. This was a very lovely facility full of enthusiastic people and I hope that I get the chance to go back very soon. My favorite exhibit was the color changing jellyfish. They were so strange, yet so beautiful to watch. If you’re ever in Las Vegas I highly recommend taking your family to check out this very cool exhibition.

(Please click on each image for a larger view)

Inside The Aquarium 1 blog

Look At The Fishies blog

spike fish 4 blog

Shark 2 blog

Octo 3 blog

Octo 2 blog

Octo 1 blog

jellyfish 3 blog

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Zebra Shark 1 blog

 


Happy Birthday Katrelia!

I’d like to wish my beautiful model friend Katrelia a very Happy Birthday today!

Katrelia Hair Posing blog


Model Mee X’s 3

The beautiful ladies representing Model Mee Clothing by Nadia Jenkins. This image was taken for a campaign we shot over the summer.

The Models: Ariane Webb, Alize Muhammad, and Michelle Oates

Model Mee Group 3 blog

 


Beautiful Aura

When you’re this beautiful you should always smile 🙂

Model: Dominique Thomas

DD Downtown Grass 1 blog


#WCW Jocelyn

My #wcw everyday! 🙂

Sexy Joc 1b book

 


Mrs. Fancy Is Back!!!

I’m so happy that after a 3-4 year hiatus I finally reconnected with my beautiful model friend Dominique. She’s so sweet and naturally beautiful I decided to post one of our shots without any editing. Posting unedited shots is not something that I do often, mainly because most of my clients really don’t like it. I know that most people are influenced by the unrealistic standards of beauty that we’ve all been conditioned to accept but, I’ve personally never been a huge fan of perfectly airbrushed images. The truth is, I only do it because I know clients and companies like a certain “polished” look to their photographs. That’s fine, but I love the details and textures of human skin and hair.

We as photographers spend thousands of dollars on high end cameras/lenses that have the ability to exact as much detail as possible, so why would we want to eliminate all of that wonderful information we capture?! In recent years I’ve cut back drastically on the amount of editing I do to my images, even to the point of losing some clients and turning fans of overly airbrushed images away from hiring me. Don’t get me wrong, when done right those images can be flawless and gorgeous, but in the real world nothing is perfect and I like it that way.

I love imperfections. It means that we’re human. It means I’m capturing exactly what was in front of my camera. So with all this being said, I encourage my clients more and more to accept themselves as they are, and to scale back on the over-edited, “perfect” look of the past decade or more. Besides, when you’re this naturally beautiful you don’t need photoshop! 😉

Dominique Grad HS 1 blog


Morning Mashup/ 2 Skies In 1

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.

Good Morning Sky 1 blog

Good Morning Sky 2 blog


Cloud Explosion

The light from the setting sun inside the clouds gives the appearance of an explosion in the evening sky.

Good morning Sky 3b blog


Alize

The first image taken from my latest shoot with the beautiful new model Alize Muhammad. I can’t wait to work with her again!!! She’s amazing!

Alize Dress 1b-Edit blog

 


Lakita Maxi Dress

My latest shoot with my model friend Lakita. It’s been about 4 years since our last outing and she’s just as beautiful as ever! I’m happy that I was able to reconnect with her and shoot her in this colorful maxi dress because, I love the way maxi dresses look on women. Makeup by the talented new mommy Nichele Hardge. Congratulations Nichele!

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Happy 4 Year Blogging Anniversary To Me!!!

I’m so very happy to announce my 4 year blogging anniversary! I can’t believe I’ve been at it this long?! Sometimes it’s very easy for me to write and post pictures, but other times it’s a very difficult task. You never really understand how much work goes into it until you start doing it. When I started out I had no clue how to even set up a blog, and by no means would I consider myself a “master blogger” now but, I have been expressing myself and sharing my work for the last 4 full years of my life. Needless to say I’m very proud of this accomplishment. I realize now how much dedication it takes to maintain a project like this in order to reach such a milestone.

Now I’d like to share a photo today exactly the same way as when I first started, with a picture of my little friend Adayah. As you can see a lot has changed! She’s no longer a little baby, she is, in her own words, a big girl now. I’m so grateful that her mother has allowed me to document her growth and development throughout the years as I’ve been privileged to witness her evolution as if she were one of my own children. This recent photo is just a quick snapshot from their last visit but, I hope to do a more formal shoot with the little lady to commemorate this special occasion very soon. Isn’t it amazing how time flies when you enjoy what you’re doing?

I’m honored and humbled. 🙂

Dayah Then & Now 1 facebook


Go Native Now

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.

Day 1

(Please click the images for a larger view)

Native Dance Color 2

Native Couple 1

Native Warrior 5

Animal Hyde 1 Edit

Native Warrior Color 1

Native Warrior Color 3

Native Weapon 1

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.

Day 2

Native Warrior 4

Native Warrior 6

Native Warrior 2 Color

Native Queen 1

Native Couple 2

Native Father & Child 1

Native People 1

Native People 3

Native Dance 3

Native People 6

Native People 5

Native Grandpa 1


Queen Vey!!!

The first shot from my latest test shoot with one of my favorite people to shoot, the incredibly gorgeous Vanessa Cobb, aka Veyonce!

Vanessa 1b