Unreleased Photos, Behind The Scenes & Random Thoughts

Posts tagged “#photoblog

Happy Birthday To Me!!!

A Happy Birthday self portrait. A day of reflection and celebration.

All praise is due to God for allowing me to see another day, another year. I’m thankful for my life, my family, friends, and all of my many blessings.

Thank you to the Most High!!!


Happy Father’s Day 2022

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads everywhere!

Being a father has been the greatest joy of my life! My children fill me with happiness, laughter, and love. They aren’t only my kids, but my best friends. I love them with every fiber of my being. They always make sure to make my day special.

Kids, I love and appreciate you!

Here they are back when they were tiny, being silly just to make us laugh 🙂


Happy 23rd Birthday Ameera!!!

Happy Birthday to my first born child. My little Angel. I love you!!!

P.S. I miss you being this tiny because, you were such a little funny character. I pray that someday you’ll get to experience the same joy that I feel as your father with a child of your own. And I hope they’re as funny as you were! 😉


Sundown In Nevada

Sunsets are nature’s paintings across the sky

-Robert N. Jones


Happy 21st Birthday Son!

The little Prince is now a full grown adult. I officially have no babies anymore. Excuse me while I go cry in the corner! This milestone is both joyous and emotional. Anyone with grown kids knows exactly what I’m feeling right now.

I love you Prince! Now let’s go celebrate!!! But first, let me embarrass you a little bit 😉


Good Old Fashion Fun!

I love teaching modern kids about the many different ways us old-schoolers would entertain ourselves “back in the day” before the digital takeover. From board games, to marbles, jump rope, hula hoops, jacks, to flying kites, there were plenty of interesting options that didn’t require electricity. And believe it or not, we even had some awesome electronic games too! But, one of the most simple, yet enjoyable ways to have fun was blowing bubbles.

Nowadays there are plenty of fancy and elaborate bubble making devices that would wow even most adults. So I bought Sunni a cute little dolphin bubble gun that sprays hundreds of bubbles within seconds, all while emitting a cool multicolored LED light. She instantly fell in love with it and not a single day would pass where she wouldn’t ask to go outside to use it. I started thinking, I wonder if she would feel the same sense of enjoyment from using the old dip stick style bubble maker? Knowing that this 3 year old probably wouldn’t be thrilled initially to make bubbles manually, I figured maybe this could be a fun and more rewarding challenge?

Of course I needed to take the time to teach her the proper technique. Needless to say, the much slower paced process did not sit well with the anxious youngster. But what she didn’t realize was, I was also trying to teach her the art of patience. Being so accustomed to the instant gratification of toys that do all the work for her, it was very frustrating for her to learn how to slow down and be gentle. I told her, “you have to work for it” “you make the bubbles, not a machine”. “Take your time, and don’t give up”.

After a bunch of angry attempts and quitting a few times, she eventually figured it out. Just as I had hoped, learning to create bubbles on her own made her even more excited than the bubble gun! And after a few days of practice she was discovering all the little nuances of making bubbles. Multiple little bubbles, to giant singular bubbles. She was totally getting the hang of it.

Throughout this entire process I couldn’t help but think of one of my kid’s favorite old SpongeBob episodes, where he teaches Squidward how to make bubbles. If you know, you know… But, I had fun teaching Sunni something new, and I enjoyed watching her have fun the same way I did as a kid. What goes around can come back around if we continue to pass things on to the children. Now Sunni is a bubble making pro! 😉


Royal Foreshadowing

I’m happy to announce that this photo of my Goddaughter Sunni was selected by VSCO for their latest journal entry celebrating Black History Month. Their recent article is an open discussion amongst a selection of creators. We ask serious questions regarding issues Black people face in life, as well as within the art community. I’m thankful to share this platform with other talented artists who, not only share their photos, but also their concerns on the various issues we face everyday.

Huge shoutout to Joel Flory, Greg Lutze, John Slye, and the entire VSCO company for creating a community based on artistic expression and not reliant on a system of likes. I’ve personally been a member of the VSCO community for years, and it’s the only platform to consistently showcase my work. I know there are many artists who got their start on VSCO, who are also thankful for the opportunities that the company has provided their careers. Unfortunately, there are also those who once loved the app, made a name for themselves through the company, then decided once they became popular it was no longer “cool” enough for them. I guess that’s how fame works for some people?

To each his or her own…but as for me, I still love to use the app regularly. It remains a part of my workflow, especially for my mobile photos. It’s a totally different experience to be a part of a real community of artists where the focus is on the work, not the following. I’m also extremely grateful for VSCO‘s philosophy of celebrating the artists with various initiatives to help us be seen as well as heard. I hope to continue collaborating with the company and I wish them continued success and growth moving forward.

Thank you guys!!!

To check out the latest journal entry for yourself, please visit the official VSCO Instagram and Twitter pages. Or click the link to their website below.

https://vsco.co/vsco/journal/shaping-history


Sad Face?

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!


Daily Observations

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!


Late Again!

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.


Born Again?

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!!!


Rediscovering Fun Part 2

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!


Happy 10 Years Of Blogging To Me!!!

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!!!


Rediscovering Fun

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.


Birthday Tribute For My Mom

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!!!! ❤


Around Nevada Part 1

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.

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Happy 18th Birthday!!!

Happy 18th birthday to my son Nas. I love you Jr.!!!!


Food Festivities Part 2: Black & White

Black & white photos taken a few months ago while out and about.


Festivities Part 1 Color

A small collection of various color photos taken a few months ago while out and about.


Old Town

Some color & black and white street shots from Old Town 2017.


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.


Princess Of Color Series Pt.1

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)


Tropical Storm Irma

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)


Slow Night

Just thought I’d share a random urban landscape taken in downtown Columbus.