Friends in High Places: Aset

Everybody, everybody, everybody!  Cop a gander of my latest lens focus, Ashley!

 

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Better known as Aset in the creative world, Ashley is actually the 2nd voice of reason that helped me launch onto the art scene.  Alongside, Tiffney, Ashley was the person who put the prospect of me showing my work out into the universe.  I know I've told the story a thousand times so I'll spare you the story now.  For this week's Friends in High Places...

Everybody meet Ashley!

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Prone to picking up the paint brush, Ashley is creative here in Jacksonville by way of painting.

 

Just like the rest of the world, last week sought me wondering wether or not we would ever get a summer this year.  Thanks to global warming we now have no real expectation for weather forecasting.  One day its raining, the next its 30 degrees and then within 12 hours the temperature drops again and its 90 degrees out.  But just because you get too comfortable, you can top it off with windy rains the following day. 

Who can plan for the weather these days?!  Ugh!

But as I always like to say to myself... look for the positives in any situation.  Originally, myself and Ashley would plan to shoot at Jacksonville Beach for our shoot.  Mother nature, however, had a change of heart and didn't exactly give us an advance warning. 

 

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Luckily, friends in high places seem to be all around us.  Ashley was able to get the keys to the wonderful Zsa Zsa Lapree Gallery over on east Bay st.  from Giandra. Yay!!  We didn't have to reschedule our shoot.  All thanks to having friends in high places.  So we changed our base of operations to downtown Jacksonville  and its to Zsa Zsa Dupree we would eventually meet.

 

 
 
 
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By day, Ashley is working the Arc of Jacksonville.  She works with those of intellectual differences on self wellness, art therapy and self advocacy.  If you are not as familiar with The Arc, their mission "...is to serve people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to achieve their full potential to participate in community life." 

This passion for helping others has also spilled over into her creative space and represents a mission for Ashley....

...I fight to bridge the gap between those with intellectual differences in the art world [also].

"There is a disconnect where they put the person's difference before themselves and their work.  I want them to be seen as just themselves and their work, the difference only makes them unique."

 
 
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When she mentioned that she binge watches anime, I heard the theme song from the Golden Girls play in my head.  "Thank you for being a friennndd"  LOL.  It's so few and far between that you come across any people of color who are interested in anime.  And she's a girl!!  How dope is that?!

She also loves watching interviews of Jay-Z and is obsessed with the control that Beyoncè has over her brand. 

Ill quit talking now, by all means, please, take a look at our shoot!

 
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Everything is on the other side of fear.
— Will Smith
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Quick side note.  We had Tiffney (who I introduced y'all to last week but click this link to jump to it if you haven't read it yet) on set for moral support and to help lend her creative energy.  As you can imagine, we had a photoset filled with laughter and smiles.  She kept us laughing and even gave suggestions with poses.  And you guys already know my philosophy,

good energy = a good shoot. 

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All art pieces pictured above were created by Aset.

More of Aset's work awaits below.

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It’s an artists duty to reflect the times in which we live.
— Nina Simonè
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Thank you so much, Ashley for agreeing to do our shoot. You're an amazing creative and I cant wait to see what you have in store for us next. 

Aset is also featured artist at Black Magic 2.  Come out and let her know how phenomenal she looks in our shoot.  She will have painted canvases and other art pieces available for sale.  Click HERE now so you can buy your tickets to the show in advance and then comment below so we know the love is real, LOL

I Can't wait to see you guys out!

Follow Ashley now and check out more of her work via Instagram and Facebook

 

Friends in High Places: Tiffney

I know its been what seems like forever since my last post... February to be exact.  But at least I'm coming to you with a great new feature.  Its time to meet another one of my friends who happen to be in a really high place (see what I did there?)

Everybody meet Tiffney

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This post is particularly rewarding for me because I finally get to introduce you guys to one of the ladies who is responsible for giving me my first live art platform.  Tiffney is amongst the creatives I met during another live art event that I attended for my best friend.  

She is one of the founders of iSupport Dreams Inc alongside Chelsey Pough, Dominic Haynes and JaVaris Robinson.

iSupport Dreams Inc is an non profit organization geared towards empowering our youth and community via the arts, mentorship and community service.

Pulling together resources and creating opportunities like Black Magic are no easy feat and I absolutely commend the founders of iSupport Dreams Inc. who are each so selfless in their efforts to push the culture forward and give the youth an opportunity.  

Thank you!

 

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We decided to shoot in the nations oldest city, good ole' St. Augustine Florida.  It was such a busy day full of tourists and other local city dwellers who wanted to soak up a good day.  And boy was it happening!  You'd though it was the movie premier for Black Panther all over again because trying to find parking was absolutely horrible.  It took us nearly an hour to find somewhere to park.

None-the-less, I was sure that I wouldn't allow my frustration from t parking to ruin the mood of our shoot.  This was especially the case when I finally had Tiffney in sight.  Once we were finally able to reunite, I was able to see that she brought her suit case!  Pardon my excitement but to a photographer a suit case means options.  She did NOT disappoint. 

Shall we take a look below....

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...And so far this has been just our first look.  

Throughout the day we received continued interruptions of our daily scheduled programming to receive compliments on Tiffney's look.  St Augustine loved her and her diamond infused pumps.  The colors were vibrant and my camera loved everything about her also.  As i've always said, you can always tell if you're going to have a good shoot if the energy around you responds on your side.  

Check out our shoot below.

 

 

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Today's shoot features styling by Rex-D

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W****** FOREVER!
 
 
 
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Tiffney's clutch by Rex-D

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Domo, fashion designer and stylist.  Fashions available via Rex-D.

P.S.  Come out and see more of Domo and his brand Rex-D during Black Magic 2!

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Remember when I said the energy was good?  I absolutely love working with models or having a subject who is not only unafraid of risks but who also do not take themselves so seriously.  Tiffney made our shoot so easy.  We cracked jokes and laughed the ENTIRE day.  As you can see below, its those candid moments that I strive to capture and turn into art.  The candid shots are absolutely some of my favorites.

The day reminded me of why I enjoy being a photographer.  

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During the day Tiff is apart of City Year.  If you are unfamiliar with the concept, City Year Jacksonville is a Non-Profit Organization serving the students and communities of Jacksonville.  They help students with attendance, provide socio-emotional support, provide tutoring opportunities in Math and English and help  students to reach their full potential.

Read more about City Year here.  

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As Tiff and I chatted, I asked her to elaborate more on what it is she does outside of iSupport Dreams.  After she enlightened me on City Year (which I was so uninformed about), I was blown away by her selflessness and commitment to be her full self.  I asked her, "Is there anything that you can't/won't do."  She answered...

Not when it comes to my kids! People think I have children [of my own]. My scholars are not just my students, they are my babies. I have an obligation to love them and educate them.

I absolutely love people who not only know what their calling is but also have the confidence to commit whole-heartedly to it. She is selfless 24/7.

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Queen Ish!!
— Clutch by Rex-D
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[I’d] like to highlight our brother Jerry Brown. He was murdered January 28th 2016 in his aunts driveway. It was a cold case of murder because he genuinely had no enemies. I just want to bring awareness to the community that we have to do better about protecting our own.
We have to do better.
— -Tiffney Funches

We love and miss him dearly and will continue out his Superman Legacy with the youth of Jacksonville.

R.I.P. Jerry

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Thank you Tiffney for being such an amazing and easy subject and for your overall spirit.  You are a beam of positivity and its nice to have people like you around.  You are a gift to the community and for each and every person you come across.  I hope you receive continued inspiration to keep up all the amazing work and strides for the community.  Thanks for pushing the culture forward and for your dedication to our youth.  The world needs more people like you!

Be sure to tell Tiffney what an amazing job she did for our shoot.  You can comment her below and if you want to do one better, you can come out and meet the woman face to face, May 19th, during Black Magic 2.  You can get tickets now by clicking the link below.  

Buy Tickets now: Black Magic 2 Live Art Museum

Keep up with Tiff via her Instagram and Facebook accounts. 

Special Thanks to Domo for accompanying Tiffney during our shoot and lending fashions from his brand Rex-D.  He was the perfect voice to my thoughts and made sure to keep Tiffney looking fly the entire shoot.  See more of Domo's design via his Instagram and Facebook.

Give some love and support to iSupport Dreams: Facebook & Instagram

Friends in High Places: Simone

Hola!

With the turn of the new year well underway, one of the goals I set for myself is recommitting myself to working out and getting into better shape.  Amongst those goals I decided I’d reintroduce yoga into my life.  Years ago (when I was a young thang) I’d practice yoga rather frequently.  I would practically fall into a yoga pose around anyone at any given time.  While I have been doing a better job with getting to the gym, I hadn’t exactly started up my yoga yet.

 

Well I finally got the push from the universe…. everyone meet my new friend Simone.

 

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Simone is a creative who resides in my hometown of Jacksonville by way of Valdosta Georigia.  We met in an introductory meeting for the Black Magic  2 event that we both have been asked to be a part of and contribute to (more on that coming later :-)

 

Coming from someone who reads and navigates life based on energies and charges, I immediately got a good vibe from Simone. It was the kind of vibe that invites positivity and encourages creativity.  When she introduced herself to the crew and explained her talent my creativity went into overdrive.  I immediately thought to myself “We have got to work together!” I passed my business cards around in hopes of getting any collaborations going and praying that she would reach out.  Thank God she did!

 

Fast forward to today…

 

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Simone has been in practice of yoga for nearly 6 years  Just witnessing her ability during our photoshoot has definitely encouraged me to work on my form.  She makes it seem so effortless. I couldn’t tell you how many stop and stare moments we had in the park while passerbyers watched with their jaws dropped. 

Not only had the universe and weather been on our side… but so had the people around us.  So many of the people nearby were accommodating and inviting and some even offered to clear the way so that we could shoot in their spots (thanks again kind folks.) 

It all just goes to show you that if you emit positivity it comes right back at you.   Take a look below.

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The greatest benefit [yoga] has brought me is clarity and self realization. I could go on forever with the benefits.
— Simone
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Having tought yoga for nearly 2 years now, Simone teaches yoga and also offers adult classes on Wednesday evenings. 

 

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Now, you KNOW I wasn't about to let Simone just waltz away after we wrapped yoga and meditation poses.  You know the catch... we HAD to get us a photoshoot in.  

We'd coordinated and I asked Simone to bring in an outfit that she wouldn't mind modeling in.  And boy did she not disappoint.

 

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We'd ventured over to Riverside Memorial park where again, everything was on our side.  It was such an amazing, breezy, afternoon.  Perfect Lighting!!  Aahh!!  Simone stopped by Starbucks to transform their bathroom into her personal dressing room so she could get changed out of her yoga gear.  I decided to sit outside to prevent myself from swiping my debit card.  I'm quite proud of myself that I resisted.

A few moments later, it was like those scenes in Disney movies, I turned around and here she is!!   It was that slow motion kind of walk that slowly makes everything around it disappear.  All the sudden sun was shining from around her, the wind blowing her train behind her, and her locs, I'm convinced, were shining in gold!  I nearly leaped off of the bench.  Simone looked so great!!  

 

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Adorned in what I now call royal green, the park embraced her just like me and my camera did.  The earth was the perfect accent.  The light found her, she didn't have to look for it. 

 

More from our shoot below.

 

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If you ever want to try your hand at yoga, attend one of Simone’s classes at the YouFit over in Arlington.  My cousin and I plan to attend tonight’s secession which starts at 6pm.  If you mention that Simone sent you, classes are only $5 a secession. 

If I don't see you there,  I’ll be sure to let you guys know how our secession went.  I'm so excited!

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Thanks again Simone for lending your talents and beauty to my camera.  Everyone be sure to comment below and let her know what a phenomenal job she did.  Isn’t she drop dead gorgeous?!

Check her instagram: @omyogamo

 

Catch us at the Black Magic 2: Live Art Musuem, May 19th @ Wonderland Jax.  Tickets are only $10 in advance and $15 at the door.  Come and be a part of something great!!  Check Event Brite now!

 

Namaste!

 

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Friends in High Places: Monishia

 

Good morning!  Or afternoon, depending on what time you're reading this. For this installment let me introduce you to one of my best friends, Monishia!

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I met Mo a few years back.  Our career paths landed us working in the same department for a few years and...you ever just see someone and you just know you want to befriend them?  LOL.  Well Monishia was totally that moment for me.

Monishia is the director and creator of Godly Vibes Only.  A newly launched podcast where she will deliver weekly inspiration to the everyday, career focused, God fearing, 30 somethings of the world today. 

I've had a birds eye view of the creation of this project so seeing it come to fruition is particularly rewarding for me.  Its always so enriching for me to see my loved ones following their dreams and coming up and reaching for their goals.  Hence were here...friends in high places. 

Lets get Mo in front of the camera.

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This shoot was especially rewarding also.  Anyone who has ever picked up a camera will tell you what a great feeling it is to have things fall into place after a weather scare.   Saturday morning started off to a dark and cloudy Jacksonville.  My spirit was crushed and there was no coffee strong enough to bring my spirits back up.  I'd been so eager to work with Mo that I needed everything to flow according to plan.  Dark and cloudy skies were NOT apart of the plan.....I was prepared to call off the shoot and mope in a corner with my coffee. 

But thank God I didn't.... 

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"I created

this podcast for those who want a relationship with God but don't know where to start."  -Monishia

Just like in Disney Movies, right as the clock struck zero, something amazing happened!  The sky cracked open with clear, bright and crisp skies.  Literally!  It was just like the moment you get when you finally see the UPS truck park in front of your house.  I swear God delivered us good vibes this day.

Godly Vibes...

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Hailing from the big ATL and now located here in Jacksonville, Monishia is extremely down to earth and so fun to be around.  She is quite the comedian and just hearing stories from her point of view is enough to have you doubled over in laughter.  What I appreciate most about Mo is that she doesn't have the "do as I say and not as I do" attitude.  She actually walks the walk too!  We've prayed about so many situations together.

Mo has recorded and broadcasted two episodes of her podcast already. The latest episode, "Truth" was released just this morning!  Check her out and listen in now by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.  Look forward to weekly episodes all throughout 2018. 

Be sure to follow Monishia on social media for the latest updates.

 Instagram & Facebook

Y'all sound off below and let Monishia know how phenomenal she looks too.   She slayed this shoot didn't she?!  Something tells me that my camera and I may be seeing more of her.   :-)

More from our shoot below.

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The wind gods were in our favor on this day.  I swear this black and white pic of Mo looks like an album cover. 
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Click below to listen now!

 Click to listen now!

Click to listen now!

 

Come With Me: Good Dough

 

If you're like myself and millions of others in the U.S. you spent the later half of yesterday afternoon building the courage to admit to yourself that Monday morning was less than 24 hours away.  And also, if you're like me, you were apart of millions of others that endured the harsh cold weather we experienced this weekend.  

Friday and Saturday was dark and cold and dreary and wet and it did not make for an inviting weekend.  So, needless to say, when I woke up Sunday morning to bright and clear skies I was determined to get out and enjoy the weather.

After my morning cup of coffee I decided I'd take my partner to Good Dough over in San Marco.  My cousin introduced me to the quaint little place a couple weekends ago and I just fell in love with this place.  

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Photographed by Lavaris N.

 

I decided to snap some pics of my experience Sunday morning.  I figured I could read back on this post and reminisce over the weekend while I'm at work Monday morning. And since I know I'm not the only one that will have the weekend blues, I decided I'd share it with you too!

All photos were shot on my nifty little iPhone.   I'm always on the look for more local spots so be sure to let me know a few of your favorite little gems to eat at around the city.

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The Rich Aunt!  ROTFL!!
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Of course I had to try the locally roasted coffee.
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Top: Fried Chicken
Bottom:  Ham, Egg, & Cheese
Both served in-between donuts.  :-)
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Thanks for reading!  Be sure to check out Good Dough over on Hendrics Ave.  Happy Monday.

 

Friends In High Places: Foxx

 

I'm so incredibly lucky to find myself among other very talented individuals. And the extra special part comes in when those talented individuals happen to be photogenic.

For today's Friends in High Places, I bring you....Foxx

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In case you may be wondering to yourself, "Where have I seen her?" Foxx is actually the cover art for my "Come With Me: Black Opal" blog post.  I remember seeing her at the event and immediately thinking that I absolutely had to work with her.  I finally built the courage to give her my card and now here she is.

 

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Foxx is a local artist by way of Jacksonville Florida but has recently relocated to the big ATL.  I love her work as it is so vivid and attractive.  The work speaks for itself and challenges its viewer to question each brush stroke and encourages you to reach deep into the realms of your own curiosity. Check out more of her work below.  Jump into the foxxhole.

 

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If anybody knows anything about me, its that I've always been drawn to self expression.  I admire those who are brave enough to let their outer layers match their creative expression. Foxx encapsulates all of the above.  Aren't these portraits fire?!

Working with her was incredibly easy.  She is spirited, full of life and her laugh is gorgeous.  I got so many great candid shots of us just joking and laughing that you would have thought the post was intentional. 

P.S.  She claims to never have modeled but I don't believe her for one second. Just look at how she controlled the light here:

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If you would like to purchase any of the works that you see here or to view more of Foxx's work, check her online presence: 

 

www.foxxholeart.com

Instagram & Facebook

foxholeart@gmail.com

 

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Be sure to check out Foxx's pages and let her know what a phonemail job she did for our shoot.  I'm absolutely in love with her, her art and the portraits we were able to get.  I can't wait to work with her again. 

 

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Dear Journal

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I decided to venture out and soak in the scenery after my client secession Saturday afternoon.   I couldn't recall the last time I had a moment to capture some street photography so I was super excited to see what would come of it.  The day hadn't been all too promising already.   Aside from the wonderful family portraits I'd shot just moments ago, everything else attempted to ruin my creative mood.  The sky was wide open with gray drops of water, I'd forgotten my earbuds at home so no music to vibe to and my nerves were at an all time high for the wedding I'd have to work later that day.  Excuse the run on sentence but hopefully you catch my anxiety.

But like the ever positive person I try to be,  I decided I'd press on.  Whats the worst that could happen anyway?  Well, at the very least,  I'd have a memory card full of photos that would never see the light of day.  

For some reason I'd lost my zest for street photography recently.  I blame the familiarity with my city.  I've lived in Jacksonville my whole life so there is only so many ways to see the same sights.  So much so that my need for travel is about boiling over.  Someone send me a flight to somewhere!  Seriously.  Just drop me, my camera, and a weeks worth of clothes and coffee to wherever you send me.    

 

Wishful thinking...

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My client meet had been over in the Riverside area.  If my city had an art/hipster scene, this would be one of three possible scenes...And that's not saying much.  After we wrapped our hour of family portraits, I walked around the area and captured moments I thought would help convey my mood.  If I had a mood ring, it would read monochromatic green with hints of blush gold.   

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The next couple of pics give me a vibe.  Even though I have yet to plant my feet in the warm sands of the Caribbean beach, these photos remind of the islands.  Can you believe that summer is coming to a close?  I hate to see it go but I am sort of anxious for what the winter will bring....as long as its not the White Walkers.  If you catch the reference drop me a line in the comments.  LOL.

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I love greenery.  Im an earth sign to the core.  This plant really struck me when I saw it.  Its big and green and just as odd as its ever wanted to be.  My kind of plant.

 

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Friends in High Places: Deandria

 

 

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After the revamp of the website I decided that I would create a few new series in an effort to spruce things up around here.  It's my hope that these new series will not only bring in some consistency for you, but for me as well.   So with that, I welcome you to the the "Friends in High Places" series.  I will begin introducing you guys to some of my friends who are out doing some amazing things with their respective crafts.  The catch?  They all have to agree to step in front of my lens. 

And if today's picture caught your attention you may have found a familiar face.

Its Deandira!

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Back when I upgraded my camera, Deandria was the first model I got to test it with.  Our pictures turned out flawless and I learned what a great subject she is for the lens!  The portraits we captured that day went on to become the face of my business cards and since have been updated all throughout the site.  Dee also helped to bring my vision to life with the Portrait of Sisterhood project.  Needless to say...get used to seeing this face.

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It's not just through the modeling lens that you will get used to seeing her, Deandria is also a licensed barber and MUA.  The girl can cut some hair and beat your face! LOL.  Don't worry fellas, your tape up will be on point and in line.  I've linked her Instagram below so you can see for yourself.  

If you are in the Jacksonville area or plan on being here, stop by Raw Cuts Barbershop and get your hair cut.  Ask for Dee.

Beat the line by booking now through Style Seat.

Show Deandira some love.  Comment below and follow her Instagram @deenyce_ladybarber

Thanks for viewing. 

 P.S.  She did her own make up for the shoot.

 

 

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Dear Journal: Funk Wave Bounces Vol. Summer

Yesterday evening my partner and I decided to head to the beach.  I can't tell if it was a case of cabin fever or if I've just been listening to too much of Calvin Harris's latest CD, Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1.  None the less, I was excited to venture out and of course I brought my camera.  

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Baby, I know you ain't afraid to catch feels.  

 

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Fun fact.  I'm 6,2 and I'm slightly awkward with a goofy laugh. 

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Is there really anything better than a beach view?  If I could wake up to this everyday I find it hard to believe I would even know what stress is. 

Please let go, and have a good time. 

Have a good, have a good time.

Have a good, have a good time.

Please let go, and have a good time. 

Have a good, have a good time.

Have a good, have a good time.

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A holiday.

What you wanna do?

 

 

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I've been rollin' on the freeway

I've been riding 85

I've been thinking way too much

And I'm way too gone to drive.

 

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Do yourself a favor and download Calvin Harris's Funk Wav Bounces.  Its my feels for the summer.   Happy Sunday and cheers to a great week.  Thanks for viewing.  See ya later. 

Come With Me: July Art Walk

Wednesday I get a group text, "Y'all want to go to the Art Walk?"  I immediately reveled in the opportunity to use my camera and so I answered "Yes!"  I hadn't been in a while and I figured I could use the opportunity to clock more face time with my cousin Brittany before she moved away to Texas. 

So, I got myself dressed, grabbed my camera and headed downtown to join in on the festivities. 

Come along with me and see what I saw.

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Walking up, I ran into some of my family.  

My Cousins:  Nkenge, Reshika, and Zamaria.  Dunno who that guy with the dashiki on is. ;-)

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 I've never been to this place, but with a name like Magnificat I may see myself there soon.  Who doesn't love coffee?

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Simplicity is really where its at.  Really.  Keep it simple, sweet, and smart.  Awkwardly in love with this photo. 

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Came across this unexpected gem.  My niece.  So hard to believe she will be entering her junior year in High School.  BTW, I owe her $100 for making A B Honor roll.  I'm so proud of her.

Loves you.  Forever, Always.   Never stop being you, not even for a moment. 

 

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More of my cousins.  Syria and DJ.  

 

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Hip Hop.  Someone call XXL and tell em' to make this a cover.

 

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 Wango is about to put Dallas on the map!  Look out for Brittany, Texas.

We Lit! We Lit!

 

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 Thinking I may print and frame this.  What do you think?  I think this would look pretty fly in a frame.  

 

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 Hemming Park, Downtown.

 

 

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 My cousin Najah, who's birthday is the same day as this post.  Interesting fact:  There are 3 Cancers in my life.  Whom I assume were strategically placed into my life by the universe and who's brithdays are each 7 days apart.  Coincidence?  I think not.

Happy Birthday Cuzzin!  I love you old lady.  You ready for AARP yet? LOL!!

 

 

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Never come between a man and his bike.   

 

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And an unexpecting like from an unexpecting picture taker of an awkard guy, who unexpectedly liked this portrait of himself.

 

Thank you.

  

I hope you all enjoyed this post.  I wanted to share the overall mood of my day so I wasn't too centered on an aesthetic.  Honestly, That's more of my style anyway.

I look forward to brining you guys on more of my journeys through my "Come With Me" journal entries.  If you like these sorts of posts, please be kind and leave me a comment.  And if you haven't already, be sure to check out my new online store.  Help a brotha out!  ;-)

Exhibition: The Lady in Red

You ever come across someone who's personality is rewardingly infectious? When they laugh, it makes you laugh.  When they smile you cant help but find yourself smiling as well.  There is something so special about people who are able to foster good energy and rally those around them.  

Well, let me introduce you to Tamarra....again.

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If she looks familiar to you its probably because you recognize her from an earlier post.  Tamara was the live art model you saw adorned in full body art by my best friend during February's Exhibition of Excellence.  As I watched art imitate life, I couldn't help but imagine what great portraits she would make.  And P.S.  She had the same smile as she did then as she did on the day of our shoot.

Everyone, meet the lady in red.

 

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I had such an amazing time during our shoot.  I've found that the best portraits are a direct product of the energy of the model, your team team and the photographer.   Tamarra maintained such a positive attitude throughout our early morning shoot and she was even gracious enough to excuse and oblige the many times I exclaimed "OK, just one more shot."  I found myself laughing all throughout our shoot.  Did I mention she is funny too?  And with a smile as gorgeous, who wouldn't want to show it off? 

 

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This series was inspired after watching MIA's music video for her song P.O.W.A.  I needed an excuse to dress a woman up with an infinity scarf but I also wanted to make sure I exercised my own creative license.   And what better person to help me execute the many ideas bouncing around in my head then my own best friend?  Phedre is responsible for the make up that you see dusted across Tamarra's face.  Even though she if perfect for the job, I wanted more than just a pretty face.  We went with the idea of tribal markings...Tamarra's earrings are by mere coincidence.  But that's what I find so rewarding about photography.  The details that you don't plan.   Her earrings shaped after Africa was the perfect tip to add to the tribal esque theme we captured.  Perfection.

 

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I would like to give a huge THANK YOU  to my lovely model Tamarra and my best friend Phedre for helping me to bring my vision to life.  I'm so proud of the work we created.  Get more from these talented people by clicking the links to their Instagram pages now: @Tamarra@Phedre 

Be sure to let em' know what a great job they did!

 

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 Lady in red.

New Hair, Who Dis?

This past Sunday I invited my cousin Brittany out to coffee in hopes of bribing her to take some photos for me.  Well, I didn't bribe her perse, but I really needed an excuse to get coffee and take pictures.  AND if you hadn't already seen my Instagram feed...I cut my hair!!  It was a tough decision as I'd been growing my hair to reach a certain goal but alas, it was time for a change.  I love my new look even if its seemed to have aged me backwards!!

We started our day at Brittany's pad and then we ventured over to the Springfield area to reach Three Layers cafe.  We unwinded, chatted, and discussed goals over cold latte's.  P.S.  I think Three Layers is my new favorite cafe, check it out if you are ever in the area.

After we were done chatting I handed Britt my camera and let her direct me.  She has amazing composition so I trusted her completely.  Naturally I couldn't help myself so a few times I had her step in front of the lens too.  Be sure to check out her blog site WangoGarb and let her know what a great job she did.  

All of the pictures of me are courtesy of Brittany.  Thanks cousin, love you!

Check out some pictures from our day.

Peace!

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 Three Layers Cafe (Springfield, Jacksonville)

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Springfield Neighborhood (Jacksonville, Florida)

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Brittany and her Cannon.  She's lowkey a photographer too. 

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New hair, who dis?

 

 

 

Black Magic: My First Showing

So guess what I did this Friday night, I'll give you a few seconds to think about it.....

Ok, times up.

If you guessed that I would be displaying my work then you are right!!  Too bad I don't have any prizes or a CrackerJack box to reward you with.  

Last month when I went to support my best friends Exhibition of Excellence show, camera in tow, I was approached with the opportunity to display some of my work at an upcoming art event. Fast forward to Friday night and boom, the Black Magic Live Art event is whats happening in the city.

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Spoken word, music, fashion, art, photography, good conversation, everyone  dressed to the 9's, good vibes everywhere, what more could you ask for?  It was such a riveting experience and I am so glad I seized the opportunity to join.

Whats so wonderful about being creative is that when it comes down to networking with other creatives, it doesn't quite feel like a business transaction.  Often times when we are trying to "sell" ourselves and our businesses in corporate America it sometimes feel more like a task than an reward.  However, coming in come in contact with other creatives is something different, entirely.  The conversation is no longer "what can you do for me," it becomes "what can we do for one another" 

Even though I was super excited to finally have a platform to broadcast my work locally, I was just as excited to be in proximity of other photographers.  Now that's and experience I've never had before. Having someone ask you "50mm?" is something I've always longed for (pardon my photography technical talk).  Having another photographer be interested in your work is always flattering.

As nerve wracking as it is to put your best foot forward and open yourself to the universe, I'm incredibly thankful to my family and friends who came out to support.  Its one experience when a complete stranger is able to connect with you over your work, but its another when your family and friends are able to do the same.  I'm not sure I would have been able to highlight this experience with such admiration If it had not been for their love, support, and words of encouragement. 

I met some really amazing people that night and I cannot wait to work with them.  

I'd like to give a special thanks to Ashley and the iSupport Dreams team for the opportunity.  It was truly an incredible event and our city needs more of your presence.  

Even though I was busy the entire night, I did find a few moments to get a few shutters in.  Here are some pics from the event.  Hope you enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to Reply or Forward

Exhibition: Portrait of Sisterhood

I was raised by a single mother, who was born to a woman who birthed 6 other women.  Needless to say the women to men ratio is slightly higher in my family and that's not even considering my paternal family.

Being raised by a single mother It should come as no surprise that I hold women in particular regard. The only species on this planet that wields the power to bear, nurture, and give birth to another human all while adhering to the expectations and obligations she has to her life outside of her fetus.

I encourage that you do not take my praising of women as a way to discount fathers.  My desire to highlight a women's roll during child bearing is not to diminish the roll of fathers or to make them unimportant but simply to acknowledge that it takes a certain strength to carry a child to term and birth it from a womb....men simply aren't strong enough for that task.

Surrounded by women and having befriended women throughout my life I've always looked at women with an unwavering fondness.  All shapes, sizes, creeds, complexities, hair types, colors and skin tones.  She is beautiful.  The way a woman dresses herself up, the way she brushes her hair, the way she applies make-up or the way she is just as confident without it. The way she cares for her child while simultaneously attending a business meeting and planning whats for dinner that night.  The way she graduates high school early and is already aligning her life goals.  The way she is able to live her life without worrying when she is to meet her husband. The way she is...beautiful.

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 So, as to show my appreciation for the black women as black history month closes, here is: Portrait of Sisterhood.

 

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 Jessica: Instagram

 

 

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 Brittany: Instagram

 

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Deandria: Instagram

 

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 LaTanya: Instagram

 

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Ok ladies, now lets get in fomration. 

 

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Colors and textures.  What an amazing sight to behold.  Look my beloved, you glow! 

 

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Brittany: Instagram 

 

 

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 Miasha: Instagram

 

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 It was such a reward to be around these ladies.  There were no moments of forcing one another to get along, there were no egos involved, there was no drama.  The aura and energy each of the ladies brought to the shot really elevated the mood during our shoot.  I heard the ladies building one another up, giving compliments and even giving suggestions on how to pose.  I especially felt good that through this shoot the ladies were able to forge a friendship. 

 

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 Portrait of Sisterhood.