This Is Why...
Updated: Dec 12, 2020
Recently, I've been in sort of a rut when it comes to the idea of creating content worthy pieces for print or post. I've probably stated this a few times but I'll say it again, "There are 20 billion photographers on this planet and everyone thinks they're dope". Well, I think I'm decent, hence why most of my work has been posted on my blog and not on my Instagram. To be fair, I'm really thinking that my IG is set to disappear heading into 2021, so buckle up and hold on, things are going to be POPPIN' here on this site (they won't, I just wanted to imagine y'all shaking your collective heads at me).
I'm probably not going to be in front of a camera posing like my friends below but the idea of having my girl be in a picture with me is motivation to not slack off and become a bum, also to eventually have woman brave enough to sit with a funny looking guy such as myself. First and foremost though can we just admire the two in the picture below tho, I mean, I love husband and wife combos, boyfriend and girlfriend combos who just get it and have a great time with each other regardless of their environment(s).
Tis the season, I open my IG account to find all the photography accounts posting about their clients and shoots, I see their likes and the comments, their final product(s) and find myself wondering why I don't push the envelope a bit more with portraits and all.
Me and my buddy Dougie Fresh teamed up a few months back and started shooting pictures for clients; our want is really to capture commercial real estate projects from their inception to completion but in between such gigs, we've found ourselves capturing people. For me this is cool because, me and Fresh work well together and there's a want to learn more and become stronger than we already are at the craft. As you can imagine, there are those within town who are willing to "hate" on ideas because it isn't their idea and these folks are my favorites.
It cracks me up when I look around this town of ours and think about the time when everyone was amped up about diversity and voices needing to be heard and such but no one ever paused and thought about the fact that this town has NEVER been a place where faces such as mine are really allowed in front of the camera, if not for sports. I've lived in this town for so long and only as of late am I thinking that I'm outgrowing the idea that one can't be successful and African American, here. I'm no longer young but it's the young whom I fear will be passed up and left in even a worse position than they are now; this applies to every race, this isn't a one sided stab at making America Great Again or Black Lives Mattering (we have former slave owners faces on our currency and voices that are more of a disservice than service in many ways and those voices are heard left, right, up, down, B A B A, Select, Start).
This year has obviously been one for the ages, it has literally been our Great Depression with all emphasis being placed on the word depression. There is an entire population that wake up every morning and go to sleep every night with levels of anxiety which I cannot even begin to comprehend. I've found solace in the fact my footing was found back in February/March of this year before all things began to go to (insert your word of choice).
My levels of peace have always been found behind the lens, capturing the feeling of whatever space I've found myself shooting or person whom I with. The ability to think outside the box has led me to ask questions of those who know. I credit a close friend of mine for showing me how to open PhotoShop and use some of its tools, if not for her, I'd probably lost my battle with being at peace many months ago. Thank you, you still owe me food or something (Kanye shrug).
I've been approached to shoot some pretty random stuff, for me at least, and I've been smart/strong enough to simply stay in my lane. This isn't knock at anyone who chooses to take pictures of naked women, or partially clothed women, the money is there for sure, however, my goal is to tell a different type of story not one that is seen far too often on sites we can all name.
A majority of people only aim to capture an image, check a box, and move on but I'm out here hoping to do a dance, sing a song, and beam with excitement after I review my pictures. I mean, why shoot if you're not being moved/inspired in the process!
It's rare that I reach out to anyone and ask for their permission to photograph them, actually, this has only happened once prior and I still have yet to show her any of the pictures from that day, eh, maybe I'll work on some tonight then again, maybe I'll mosey on right upstairs and watch reruns of matches from earlier today.
My buddy and his wife are definitely two of the cuter friends I have within my circle (married friends) and something about their style has always called out to me. She is always pushing the fashion and he is somehow slipping into Euro fit pants, here in the USA! A few weeks back, I mustered some courage and asked her if she and her beau would be up to allowing me into their place to snap a couple of frames. I was surprised at how willing they both were in allowing me to experiment, shoot, I was surprised, Dougie Fresh allowed me to drag him out of the house on a Friday night. All of the shots were not mine alone, it's only with great teammates we're able to reach some of the goals we put in place for ourselves, business, etc.
You see, THIS IS WHY I shoot...
We spent close to three hours staging, lighting, and shooting, all the while thinking, laughing, and enjoying the company a camera allowed us to share.