My Goddaughter Sunni is a real character. She’s constantly making a variety of faces that, when viewed in pictures would lead you to believe she’s truly upset. Quite the opposite is true!
Take this set of photos for instance. She asked to be placed in the tree, but once she was in the tree she decided she wanted me to join her. When I explained that I couldn’t sit in the tree with her she immediately made these faces. The second after I removed the camera from my eye she started to smile and laugh like nothing happened at all. I wasn’t quick enough to catch the smiles, but trust me, she does things like this all day long. Her expressions go from happy, to sad, to anger, all within a matter of seconds. She ended up having great time at the park after all.
I have been thinking that I’d like to get her involved in some type of drama classes because, she’s already great at acting! Just look at that face!
I haven’t really been out of the house too much this month. The weather remains ridiculously hot for this time of the year, and I’m just not into the heat. Plus, my family and I didn’t do much cleaning last year, so we decided to finally get back on track and clean our house from top to bottom. Staying in has also given me some time to edit photos that I’ve been neglecting for a long time, so I guess that’s at least a good thing?
So whenever the weather is tolerable and I’m able to get out with my camera for a while, I’ve been trying to make the most of it. Nothing major, just walking and observing. Trying to slow down and make some photos of things I usually overlook. Challenging myself to pay closer attention to all of the beautiful details surrounding me on a regular basis. My thought process is, some of the work I’m doing now may not be considered my “best” but I’m sure the memories I document will be far more meaningful in the future. Also, I’m having fun, so that makes it even more important! After all, this work isn’t for anyone else…it’s for me. I’m creating to satisfy my need to create. So in that regard, that’s all that really matters. There’s so much freedom in not having to create for any specific reason. To me that’s the true joy of art. To create as a form of self expression. Having only ones self to please.
I’m still dealing with the long process of healing my mental/emotional health, so making photos for fun helps a great deal. I choose to share these photographs with the public as a way to share my ongoing process, my personal journey. Hopefully someone can make some kind of connection, or at least enjoy what they see.
With that being said, here are some photos from my most recent outing. Enjoy!
I did it again…I can’t believe it!
With all of the craziness going on in my life I totally forgot about my photography anniversary again. With so many awful events occurring I’m not sure if time has passed quickly or if I’ve just been too wrapped up in my own life? But, I’m in complete disbelief that an entire year has gone by since I last posted about my beginnings in photography. Honestly it’s all been a blur! One bad blow after another, with no time to recover. Trying to process and deal with the emotions of one major event when another catches me off guard.
So now I’m late for my own party…Happy 21st photography anniversary to me! I’m thankful to God and my family for allowing me to do what I love everyday of my life. I’m truly blessed to be able to express myself photographically year after year, chronicling my life’s journey. I’m hoping that by this time next year I’m fortunate enough to be in a position to actually remember my next anniversary. After all, I’ve worked extremely hard to earn it.
By some miracle of God, my wonderful cousin Latasha has blessed our family with a new version of my Mother Marilyn and my Aunt Theresa, both of whom are unfortunately no longer with us. Not only were they sisters, but they were also best friends. Now my little cousins are mirror images of them. Ever since my Aunt Tina made me aware of this observation I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m completely amazed by their similarities! It’s truly unbelievable how genetics work. I’m so happy I was able to photograph them both together.
I guess in a way it’s bittersweet? But no matter what, I love these 2 angels with all of my heart!!!
I really enjoyed photographing different parts of California with my phone stylized in infrared. I had so much fun I decided to share a few more of my favorites here in portrait orientation. Photography is hard work, but we must always remember to make time to enjoy ourselves. Never stop having fun!
Wow!!! 10 years?! This is really hard to believe…
But, 10 years ago today I apprehensively started my journey into blogging. I never would have imagined that time would go by so quickly. I’m the first to admit, I’m not the best blogger in the world, and lately I haven’t been as consistent, but I’m very proud of myself for making it this far. In 10 years time I’ve obviously had my share of ups and downs, and I’ve moved to different parts of the country a few times. During this time I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a lot of very interesting people along the way. Til this very day, one of the most interesting people of all STILL happens to be the person I started this blog with, baby Adayah.
Of course she’s not a baby anymore, but I’m sure her Mom would totally agree that we both wish she still was! She was so full of personality even as a little baby. Her facial expressions were absolutely priceless! So I’d like to send a huge thank you to Natasha McBride for allowing me to not only photograph, but get to know both her and her child, Adayah. They’ve become more like family over the years, and I’m grateful for every single moment that I spent with each of them. Thank you!
I’d also like to thank each and every person that has visited my page, liked my photos, or left me a comment. I greatly appreciate your support! And trust me, your encouragement has really helped me to get through some very difficult times.
Lastly, I’d like to say thank you to WordPress. Without this platform I don’t know where I would’ve ended up trying to share my work and thoughts? So, thank you!
Here’s to 10 years! Time to celebrate this accomplishment!!!
After losing my mother last month I decided to take a break from creating. During my down time I thought a lot about how serious we take ourselves in the pursuit of money and a career. Getting back into the routine of making photos again I wanted to take it easy, and just try to have fun again. Reminding myself that not every photo has to be a “masterpiece” or your “best” work. Sometimes we should do things just for fun. Remember why you chose your line of work in the first place. Not for the sake of having another job, not for awards, or likes and follows, but simply for the enjoyment of taking photos. To create for your own satisfaction. I haven’t even been taking my big, “serious” work cameras out. I’ve just been taking snapshots with my point & shoot, or mostly using my iPhone. Truth is, when it comes to posting on social media, most people don’t even recognize the difference anyway.
I’ve always been in love with Kodak’s Areochrome infrared film. But since it’s been discontinued for some years now, I’ve never had the pleasure of actually using any. Thanks to the advancement of digital technology we are now able to replicate a similar look in our photos. Of course it’s not exactly the same, or better, it’s more like a simplified approximation of the original.
Lately I’ve also been trying to spend as much time as possible in tranquil, peaceful, environments. Trying to employ different methods to lessen my stress at all costs. Enjoying the simple pleasures in life, not taking small blessings for granted. I was born under the water sign, so water has always had a calming effect on my spirit. The cool breeze and crashing waves help to soothe my nerves. Spending time near water has been extremely therapeutic for my healing process. From the very beginning photography has been medicinal, so combining the two has been beneficial to both my life and art. Creating for fun has brought a degree of joy back into my life.
Being an artist that loves experimenting with different techniques made choosing infrared for this series very easy. Although I wish it were the real thing, I am content with the results I’ve been getting digitally. So much so, I’m even considering making a more significant project, using infrared as my primary color grading method. But, that’s a decision to be determined at a later date.
For now, I’m not putting any pressure on myself. There’s no timetable for anything. The goal is to use my art to help me heal, however long that may take? Whatever work is created during that time will be whatever it is. And although I’ll probably share this work publicly, it’s not for the public. It’s for me and me only. I’m not interested in opinions, or commentary, I just want to have fun. What’s the point of spending all this money on equipment and working hard for years if you never get to enjoy yourself? That’s one of the biggest issues currently plaguing the artistic industry. Unfortunately, so much of the joy, fun, and love is totally missing from the different art forms now. Music, movies, photography…it’s truly very sad to witness.
So I have to do my best to bring the fun back for myself. I can only hope that others will routinely re-examine themselves and follow in my footsteps. It’s very easy to lose your happiness, thereby becoming lost in the serious business of work. Sometimes questioning your purpose, and even falling into deep depressions. But we all have to remain protective of our joy. It is sacred. The undeniable fact is, we don’t have to create to impress others, or to be the greatest ever…but we must remember to constantly try to have fun. That will ALWAYS be an important aspect of our lives!
Please remind yourself to actively enjoy the process of creativity.
I know some of you have seen this pic before, I’ve posted it a few times in the past. But this one is very different from the rest. This is one of the few photos I have of my Mother and I together. This was her favorite photo. It’s one of my most cherished photos. I took my old, almost completely destroyed copy, and totally restored it. Sadly, my Mother passed away on last Wednesday before I could show her. So I’m dedicating my birthday today to honor her memory.
Mom, I thank you for giving me life, and for going out of your way to raise me right. This one is for you!
I love you forever!!!! ❤
Since it’s finally the end of this crazy year, I thought I’d share some random snapshots from my latest trip in and around Nevada.
There’s nothing more fun and relaxing to me as a photographer than taking road trips, exploring, and enjoying all of the interesting sights along the way. Being able to photograph all of my experiences are a true bonus! It brings so much joy into my life.
In troubling times like these, having a hobby or passion is of the utmost importance. I’m so incredibly grateful to be able to document all of my life’s many journeys. Sharing these moments with family and friends makes the journey even more special.
Happy 18th birthday to my son Nas. I love you Jr.!!!!
Black & white photos taken a few months ago while out and about.
A small collection of various color photos taken a few months ago while out and about.
Some color & black and white street shots from Old Town 2017.
According To Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary A Jewel Is Defined As:
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.”
My princess of color series was created to depict a more realistic and identifiable 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)
The destruction caused by Hurricane Irma was far reaching, extending into parts of Georgia in the form of a tropical storm. Although the damage was far less than expected in the Columbus city area, strong winds toppled large tress, and power lines. The winds also scattered debris across the city’s streets causing some roads to be blocked off. There was also some minor flooding, power outages, as well as school and work closings. On the worst day of the storm I spent most of my time out walking the streets trying to document the damage. Below are a few samples of just some of the things that I saw.
(Please click on each image for larger view)
Just thought I’d share a random urban landscape taken in downtown Columbus.
For years I’ve awakened to the soft neon glow of this particular alarm clock.
This photo gives you a personal, yet very misleading look into my life. It says a lot about my daily sleeping habits. You see, some days this is when I wake up, while on other days this is when I go to sleep. There are many causes for such a sporadic pattern of sleep, mostly work, which I’m certain other creative individuals can absolutely relate to.
Having an active mind full of ideas can keep you up all night, cause you to wake up early in the morning, or disrupt you at any moment in between. It’s this same creative surge that can fuel your passion, while also draining your spirit. Being an artist of any kind is never easy. It can be a constant battle within yourself to outwardly express what you see and feel inside. Creativity can cause you to become a habitual dreamer incapable of manifesting ideas into reality, living totally inside your own mind. Or it can cause you insomnia from constantly trying to artistically execute your thoughts in your physical life. This never ending traffic of mind games is mentally exhausting! If you’re like me, and have been battling your entire life, you already know that eventually it will catch up to you physically.
This is where I currently stand. Growing older and finding it increasingly difficult to find ways to win these internal battles. To find a steady balance. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being an artist! I love being someone who can see things that others cannot. I love having the ability to create something out of nothing. Or being able to take something that exists and provide a unique re-interpetation from my own perspective. I truly believe it is a gift from God. I just wish that this gift didn’t have to come with burden of this curse wrapped around it.
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…
Today’s photos are a continuation of my previous post on shooting on the street with an 85mm. Although this isn’t a lens review, I will speak on the aspects of the lens that I enjoyed. The lens that I was testing was the Zeiss 85mm. At the end of the day I chose the whitewater rafters to test the autofocus speed on fast moving subjects. The focus was accurate and fast. The image quality was also excellent. The details in these shots are amazing! I wish that I could post the photos at their full resolution so that you could see all of the fine droplets of water the way I see them on my computer. I also enjoyed the build quality, color rendition, as well as the bokeh. Purchasing this lens is an absolute no-brainer! I highly recommend this lens specifically for portrait photographers, but as you can see it is versatile enough for other applications if necessary.
(Please Click On The Photos For Larger View)
Wishing my one and only son a very Happy 16th Birthday today! I love you Prince!!!
I know it’s been a little while since my last post. I never really imagined a time when I would constantly fall behind in my blog posts. The truth is, I’ve been traveling so much more lately. I’ve been trying hard to just enjoy my life, explore, overcome my fear of flying and shoot as much as possible. In fact, I’ve been shooting so much that now I’ve become totally overloaded with images! I have so many new photos now that I spend most of my time struggling to edit, as well as organize these massive catalogues. I’m not complaining at all because, I know this means that I’m finally doing the things I’ve always wanted to do.
I wanted to share some images I made back in August. I was testing a new lens that I was considering purchasing so I decided to take it for a spin in the downtown area. Normally I would never use an 85mm focal length on the street, but I really didn’t feel like dealing with the hassle of scheduling any portrait sessions. Fortunately I chose a beautiful day to go out! The sun was shining, there was a great breeze and people were everywhere. I took my time, walked slowly, and engaged with random people as I created images in a much more relaxed fashion than I normally would. It was an awesome feeling to just slow down and think about what I wanted to capture, rather than running around frantic as I typically would.
At the end of the day I loaded the photos to my laptop, and to my surprise the lens performed brilliantly. I was very skeptical that I wouldn’t get any usable images considering the lens is so tightly cropped on the subjects. I had to stand further away than I normally would and it was a learning curve for me since I like to get closer to my subjects by moving my feet. It almost felt as though I was cheating! But needless to say, the test was a huge success. I knew that I would be making a new purchase and adding a new lens to my arsenal. Now that the 85 is in my bag I never actually use it on the street, unless my mission for the day is to specifically capture head-shots. If I accumulate enough good portraits with the 85 I will definitely post them. I just have to remember to use it more often!
For now I hope you enjoy these test images. I will probably post a follow-up set of images later this week.
(Please click on each image for larger view)
“Youth is fleeting, before life begins…innocence blows away, like whispers in the wind.”
-Robert N. Jones
Hello everyone! I just wanted to drop in and post a picture of a beautiful purple plant that I found growing in the downtown area while walking the streets. What caught my attention was how the bold colors stood out amongst the drab winter tones that surrounded it. You don’t see very many colors during the winter season where I live, so I was very happy to have stumbled upon this beauty. I’m not sure exactly what type of plant it is? But never the less, I’m glad that I had my camera with me to capture it.