As a photographer light is the most important element to creating images. Through photography I’ve gained a better understanding of light, and the importance of light. Light is something that we all need, the critical source for our very sight, but also a power that we all take for granted. We’re usually unconcerned with how much we appreciate having light, until it is taken away from us. We’re also unconcerned with how difficult our daily tasks would be without it, until we have to try and function without it. Such is the case with the following example.
It seems that whenever it rains near my house the power goes out. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter if it’s a heavy or light rain. I’m not sure what the technical issues are for this particular area or house? But never the less, it’s still a pain to deal with regularly! Power outages are never convenient, but they’re especially inconvenient when you’re right in the middle of preparing dinner! I was preparing dinner for my daughter and I when suddenly all of the power went out. Thankfully the food was almost done, and the oven retained enough heat to finish cooking even without the power. This was the second power outage we’ve experienced in less than 3 weeks time. In fairness, these outages tend to only last a few hours at worst, but on a hot summer night, or a cold winter night they can be brutal. The images that I’d like to share are of my daughter as she tries to enjoy her dinner despite the darkness.
These unedited photos were intended to capture some of the frustration of dealing with a lack of light while doing something important. All of the photos were lit by the flashlight from my iPhone, as well as a single candle that I found. The light that I provided my daughter was not included as a way to expose the photographs, but rather to assist her in finishing dinner. The idea of photographing her was a complete afterthought.
(Please click on each photo for larger view)
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)
Last month I reached an important milestone in my life. I just wanted to take some time to show myself some love and also share this moment. If you know me at all, then you know I gotta keep it real, so if that offends you please move along…
Despite the lack of support from my own family, friends, and former associates, I continue to carry on. Despite the lack of respect or credit as an influencer from the local photographic community, who by the way, will sing my praises privately, then try to disrespect me or ignore my contributions publicly, I continue to carry on. Don’t worry though, I know EXACTLY what I’ve brought to the game for the past 10 years in the city in which I live, whether they’ll ever recognize me for it or not! I’m also very aware of my influence back in my hometown for the 7 previous years as well. No I’m not on anybody’s “team” or a member of anyone’s “crew”. I don’t party or hang out, but it shouldn’t matter, because I’m an individual. I don’t die to fit in, I live to stand out! Please don’t get me wrong, I’m open to collaborations if creatively they capture my attention, or if they’re beneficial to my growth. But in the end I stand strong alone!
People often ask me for advice, but I think one of the greatest lessons you can learn from me has nothing to do with a camera at all. If there is anything you can take away from me, I’d say it’s my perseverance. Do what you love because YOU truly love it, not strictly for fame, money, or attention and you will always be successful. I do what I do for myself, but I choose to share it with the world. If you like it, great. If you don’t, that’s fine too. If you’re creative and passionate, then never let anyone stop you from doing what’s true to YOUR heart! If people don’t support you, or understand your dreams and goals, it’ll be disappointing, but don’t give up! Take satisfaction in knowing that you’re doing something for YOU. Understand that it might feel as if no one cares at times, but someone out there is watching. There are people who “get” what you’re doing. It might not always be those that you were expecting. The unfortunate reality is, the people closest to us can’t always see the greatness in us! Often times they won’t support us until people from the outside start to. Eventually they’ll come around when others start to recognize your ability. It’s sad, but true.
With that out of the way, from the bottom of my heart I want to thank each and every person that has EVER shown me any love throughout any stage of my career. I will NEVER STOP creating!!! If you riding with me, stick around cuz it’s only going to get better!
Peace and love to all the positive individuals everywhere! To all the creatives, keep your fire burning and your light shining bright! Support REAL artist y’all!!! ♥️
Here’s a few portraits of my friend Jerry that were taken during the worst part of the tropical storm Irma. He is homeless, yet he told me, “Not to stress out over life’s issues”. “As long as you’re alive and healthy, you have a reason to smile and be happy”.
Thanking God that I’m blessed to see another day! Another year.
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…
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)