Food photography, yes... I do that too..

TheOneHey all, sorry for the long wait. I know you guys were refreshing your browsers wondering when the next entry was coming. Okay, there was a break but it's here. Yes, it's finally here. I don't like taking these breaks when it comes to blogging but sometimes it's the nature of the beast. No work equals no blog entries, I do have to find a way to keep you all entertained when in drought season but until then enjoy what I have for you today. My beautiful wife who is a fantastic cook puts some very interesting and delicious things together and I wanted to make light as to what she's capable of. I'm only giving you guys a tease, don't want to give away too much. The last thing I need is people trying to steal my wifes recipes, lol. I think the influence behind shooting this was knowing my skill set and limitless ways keep me interested in doing other things. Yeah, food photography can be boring as hell but it's needed. Go to any restaurant with a menu, go to any restaurants website, look through food magazines... it's a genre of photography for a reason and I'm available to work in it if needed. I have a few other food photography things i'm working on behind the scenes but don't want to put too much out there yet. I want to wait until the proposals and contracts begin being created. Once you guys get a whiff as to what i'm working on it's going to knock your socks off. Just the way my wifes shrimp cocktail knocked my socks off. The cool thing about shooting her dishes was, I was able to eat every single one of them after I got the shot I liked.

A lot goes into this believe it or not, it's not just putting a plate down and taking a picture of it. You have to light and style the same way you'd light and style a model. To Be Continued....

The Craigslist Chronicles Pt. 17

l35477-craigslist-logo-79598You might wonder what happened to the first 16 episodes, I'm wondering the same thing. I'm only bringing this one to light because although it's 3 weeks old it still shocks the ish out of me when I think about it. I'll tell you all the story but do know that Craigslist is a hustle and I understand it. You're buying new and used stuff from total strangers, you have to do what you have to do but off the bat I believe that the price you're asking should be the price the interested customer pays. Let the story begin... Okay, so I've upgraded my studio a bit.. I've purchased a few new items that'll help me create better images so out with the old and in with the new. Now, the old isn't going to sell for FREE and I've given things away before but making a small profit should always be the goal. I was selling  (4) Yongnou 460 II manual speedlights at $20.00 a pop in an $80.00 bundle because I didn't want to sell them individually because that's just too many meetings with Craigslist weirdos and I like one and done. I don't do deliveries nor do I ship, if you want to buy what I'm selling you'll have to meet me at the location I suggest. It's just like going to Best Buy, when you want something from Best Buy you just get up and go there or to any other store you like buying items from. My meeting spot for Craigslist weirdos is at a Starbucks, I have various locations... let's meet out in the open so if something crazy goes down everybody can witness it. A gentleman emails me stating that he wanted the (4) speedlights, we set a date, time and location and it was ON.. I'm so happy to get this $80.00 because my gas tank is almost on E and here is a chance to drive a lil mo. Fast forward a bit, I'm at the location on the inside where I ask the guy to meet me.. I even told him what I had on so he'll spot me when he gets in there. Here's where it got weird from the beginning of the meeting:

Weird #1: He calls me and asks me if I can come outside.... (NOPE, I told you to meet me inside of the location so outside of the location isn't an option)

He says he'll be right there and hangs up, he sees me and I stand up to greet him. He apologizes about his appearance because him and his wife just came from the gym. I'm okay with that champ, I'm selling you speedlights... this isn't a job interview. I pull out the speedlights and he pulls out his camera and batteries so he can begin testing them. I show him the features of the speedlights so he'll know what to do and not email me weeks later stating he doesn't know how to use them.

Weird #2: He attaches one of the speedlights to the top of his camera and fires, the flash doesn't react. I get a bit nervous because I thought they all worked, he tries again and nothing. I reach for his camera to check the settings and BAM... there's no memory card in his camera. I tell him the flash won't go off because there's no memory in the camera. He's upset and says he forgot to put the card back in his camera and asks me do I have one on me. NOPE.

He then says, well.. how do I know if these work? I show him the pilot button on the back of the flashes showing him that they do work but as far as the connection to your camera you can either run next door to Duane Reade and buy a memory card or just take my word for it. I don't drive around with memory cards in my car.

After the pilot test, he's convinced and can't wait to begin using them. He reaches in his pocket to get the money but asks this last question:

Weird #3: Since I had to pay a toll to get over here do you think you can give me all (4) speedlights for $60.00?

I grab my speedlights and begin walking out the door as I tell him it was a pleasure meeting him, take care.. He runs after me and apologizes, I tell him... "When you drive to Best Buy or McDonald's do you ask the cashier to give you a break because you drove a certain distance?" He says "no" and I ask "well, why would you try and do that to me?'. The same rule applies, you didn't have to drive from Jersey to Staten Island. You made that choice to come and purchase these items  from me. You could have waited until you saw an ad up there from someone in your City & State, that has nothing to do with me. He apologizes once again and says he'll get some more money out of his car. $80.00 later and a handshake i'm on my way back home but not before I stopped at BP to fill my tank up. Man, the nerve of that guy.... Like I said, I know Craigslist is a hustle but come on man... Try that with some other dummy...

Yay, Diana let me borrow her 35mm f1.8

20131008_143530I've been debating on whether I should add this lens to my arsenal, or should i just borrow it from a fellow Nikon user and according to my co-worker... she may even sell it to me. I don't know, I just wanted to test it out this up coming weekend if I venture out to Brooklyn. That's still up for debate though, I'm still not sure yet. However, I have it and I'll be shooting something with it over the weekend. Either the festivities that are going to take place at my house or what I find myself getting into during the end of the weekend. My co-worker Diana is real cool, I give her pointers on things here and there on how to get the best out of her camera and all of its features. I feel good knowing that the little I know about photography has helped me help others do some amazing things with it. I was a student not too long ago and look at me now.... I'm teaching it. I think at less than $200 I probably should have been had this lens but knowing my ways of shooting I'd probably never use this lens and if you read my blog you know how many lenses I've already had. Exactly...!!! Thanks again Diana, I'll make sure I bring your baby back to you just the way you gave it to me. Nikon 4 Life Fam...!! LMAO

That Kareem Green set at Mo's

KGI was going to post this the week before last but I got a bit tied up with buying last minute items for my most recent trip to Aruba. I'm sure y'all see the repeat post, yeah... i'm the photographer at a few comedy spots in NYC. Yeah that's me... Yep, I see and shoot some of the same comics and even know some of their routines but every once in a while one stands out above the rest. I have to admit, Kareem Green had me in tears at one point I had to wipe the LCD screen off as the back of my camera body was wet. I was laughing that hard, taking pictures and laughing don't mix especially when you laugh the way I laugh. If you want to see more images of course you can check them out on my Flickr. I pretty much shoot from one side of the stage while at Mo's but decided to switch it up that night, shooting with the 50mm had me a bit closer to the comics than I wanted to be but we'll see what I get next time around when I show up with a 35mm. I'm going to borrow my co-workers 35mm f1.8, I might buy one down the line but I don't really shoot that close. I mean, I could use my 17-50 f2.8 but I'm down a few stops and would have to depend on my ISO and exposure fix in post production. I wen't from one extreme to the next right...? It went from fun to nerdy that quick..... Lol Okay, I guess I can say this again... if you want to see a VERY GOOD FREE COMEDY SHOW AND YOU LIVE ANY WHERE NEAR BROOKLYN NY, you have to stop down at Mo's Fort Greeene, 80 Lafayette Ave. Brooklyn NY, 11217. I don't shoot there all the time but I do stop in when available. Who knows...? You might end up in one of my images... The food is excellent, the drinks are off the hook and Sunday nights at 9PM is when you'll want to be there. I'll see you guys in a few days...

Go Charley, It's Ya Burfday....!!! Well, it's ya belated burfday...

Charley'sParty_14How could I forget to talk about the illest party I've been to all year? That's right, I was elated to be a part of celebrating Charley's 2nd Birthday. That's right, Charley is a yorkie and she's not your everyday yorkie because Charley and I are related. I'm her dad, well... that's what Kim says and I accept it. I love Charley but I'm allergic to her so I couldn't stay very long. I had a great time, the food and the company was the absolute best. Can't wait for birthday # 3.... Next year I'll be a bit more prepared, I'll actually take some medication before the festivities begin. This way I can take more pictures and enjoy myself a lot longer. Charley was decked out in a Birthday Girl T-Shirt and a party hat. Charley gets it in fam, you should have seen her do the wobble. The absolute most adorable yorkie in the entire world. If you weren't at the party then I don' t know what to tell you. All I can say is you better be lucky if you get invited to the next party because it's going to be INSANE.....!!!

#NoFilter #Filter

#NoFilterIMG_20130923_142818 I'm not one for phone-ography and i'm probably the worst cell phone camera picture taker but every once in a while I surpise myself. I just got back from San Francisco and the project I was working put me near some windows on a very high floor which provided some views to die for. A view of the Golden Gate Bridge, The Bay Bridge & Alcatraz. I was on business so I didn't bring my DSLR, however I did manage to sneak a camera phone picture or 2 in of my view. It's great for that little quick wall/ timeline update for Facebook & Instagram which leads me to this... I see post from people always feeling the need to hashtag that they're not using a filter or wearing make up. I say, take advantage of filters and make up... enhance yourself. Why not....? That's the reason these things were created although some people wear  a lot more make up than the probably need but since I'm not an expert on make up I'll leave that alone and just continue my rant about filters. Why not add some contrast to that image, why not fix the shadows, why not change the exposure, why not make the image sharper? Filters are a good thing, filters are like Actions in Photoshop and Presets in Adobe LightRoom. There's nothing wrong with making a picture that's great even greater... I guess depending on the person taking the picture, whether it's a photographer that's paid to shoot or just an average Josephine telling the world she looks that good just waking up... I don't know. I guess as a photographer I only want to send my client finished/ polished images. I want them to have the best, I want them to not feel the need to edit my images for themselves because I've heard stories of that since I've been doing this... I see digital pictures like I see shoes, a good shine says a lot about the person wearing the shoes and if polished images can make or break you I think one should continue making.  Attached to this entry is an image I took from the window office on the 44th floor in the building I was working out of.  A non filtered image and a filtered image, I can't remember which Instagram filter I used and I can't really tell which one looks better but I do thing the filtered one has a lilttle more uummpphhh to it. What do you think, to filter or not to filter....?

 

IMG_20130921_140520                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               #Filter

Out with the old.....

20130810_165345 I've favored a lighting style of photography that I've become very comfortable with and just like with everything else, things become old and out dated. I watched my mentor Mr. David Hobby do his thing and wanted to become him because I found him to be a minimalists to say the least. How he was/ is able to light subjucts/ products  with the smallest devices intrigued me, I then became a Strobist as well... lol. I found the most inexpensive speed lights I could find at the time and made a little studio, got a few light modifiers, light stands, a wireless tranceiver system, seamless paper rolls and I was ready to go. 4 years later I'm updating things a bit and I've noticed I've purchased a lot of things on impulse alone. Yes, the Yongnou YN460-II's featured in this entry were needed at the time but since those I've also purchased 2-3 other wireless Tranceiver systems, LED ring lights, light modifiers and other things I'll probably never use so I'll end up selling them or giving them away... I can't remember who told me that photography would become the most expensive hobby, I think it was Monte who said that. He's been right is all I can say... Oh, I just purchased (2) more speed lights, a small soft box, an octa box, a speed light adapter and something else the other day on Amazon.com.. It just doesn't stop.... Lol

That sweet 50mm f1.4

DSC_3129A couple weeks ago I was having this conversation with myself regarding lenses and a certain lens that I keep forgetting to put in my bag when I go out to shoot. A couple weeks ago my wife, son & I went to Clove Lakes Park to walk around and get some fresh air BUT YOU KNOW I HAD TO BRING THE CAMERA WITH ME. I took some great photos of my wife and son as he's trying to walk these days. Gave my wife the camera and she took some fantastic images of my son and I that I will post shortly. Every time I look at them I get a lil teary eyed because..... Well, when you see them you'll feel that way too. Lol, I wanted to create this entry as an answer and an agreement about having that nifty fifty. When I speak nifty fifty, i'm referring to a 50mm lens. Whether it's a f1.2, f1.4 or f1.8 it's a great all around lens for portraits. I don't think anyone that reads my blog know what those numbers mean other than my boy Jeffrey Mark. Those "F" numbers are what we call "F Stops" aperture. I don't want to get too technical about it because I may run some of you away but the smaller/ lower the number, the faster the lens, the more light the lens allows into the exposure, the greater the depth of field. I sound like a nerd right...? I'll stop with all the nerdiness, but I thought this image was calling me so I created it. My lil guys Nike's... How cute are those sneaks....? Those are his walk around the house sneaks as he's almost walking, he can take a couple steps on his own and stand up all on his own with the help of a couch, coffee table, chair or someones leg. I leave for San Francisco next Wednesday for business purposes and I'm going to miss that little guy. I don't want him to begin walking on his own while I'm away so I'll be calm. I just have a feeling he's going to and my wife is going to call me screaming through the phone and I'll be so mad that I'm not there to record it... Those will be the sneakers that I hang from the rear view mirror in my car, just wait until I get back home Fwog Man....!! PLEASE...!!??!?!???!??!??!?!!!

This is an audition, kinda sorta...

Samples_4When I first began this journey I had no clue as to what kind of photographer I wanted to be, I was going to try any and everything and only service people with what I was very good at. I thought model stuff was cool but I began to hate it because it involved too many parties, hair, stylist, make up and all kinds of other people that can never all get to the location at the same time. Event photography seemed to become my favorite but you can end up working for 3-4 different people and that can become crazy. There are so many other genres of photography I've entertained that the verbage for this entry would be 2 pages long. Let's just bring it back to the feature image which is one of my wifes shoes, that's right... product photography. Doesn't involve make up and hair but could require an assistant and a stylist which isn't bad. I got a call regarding potentially working for a big name if I were capable of shooting products in the style they've been accustomed to showcasing on their site and in magazines. Now, I've shot products in the past but I wouldn't call product photography my stronger skill set/ talent. It's not something I've been asked to do a lot so I don't practice it often BUT when a certain company asks to see a sample I tend to drop everything and pick up the camera, lol.

The potential client and I exchanged emails and I was very upset to tell her that I couldn't send her any samples of my product stuff until I got home for the images were saved on my home computer. I do have a friend I've shot products for but  her website was down at the time so I couldn't pull anything from her site. I did the next best thing, I ran home and set the studio up and started shooting. I shot images of products along the lines of what the company featured on their website hoping I'd get that call stating that I've been chosen.. I found a couple things in my studio and shot them, made lighting adjustments to whatever had a reflective surface just so I had something to send as samples. I shot the box to my 50mm lens, some furniture wipes and of course my wifes shoe at 2-3 different angles. It took a while to get the exposures I wanted again because I don't do this type of photography often but I got a good look after about 22-25 exposures and adjustments.

I've already put together a proposal and everything, just waiting to hear back from the person I exchanged emails with. Who knows....? 

The Look Of Love (c) Slum Village

TLOLI started to type some of the lyrics from that amazing song by the original Slum Village but I think the curse words would take away from what I'm trying to display here. What can I say, I love Hip Hop music and some of the best hip hop comes out of Detroit. That's right, I said it AND I'm a New Yorker.. WHAT...!?!?!?! Lol, seriously though.. the image starting this entry was captured a couple weeks ago and a small scale wedding in Brooklyn I shot alongside with my fashion photographer pal Mr. Brian Luvar. It was a nice engagement, the cake was SLAMMIN...!! Brian called me up and asked if I could assist and of course I took him up on the offer, the groom I believe is a childhood friend of his but I could be wrong. I can't remember, all I know is we were hired to create and capture some magic moments and we did. I've been to a lot of weddings if my life time and the big ones usually blow me away. This one was rather small but it had the same feeling, the emotion and love seen and felt while covering it had to be documented. The ceremony took place at my home away from home, my favorite watering hole which is Rustik Tavern. I'm sure some of you reading this already know that, I've come home many nights in rare form while hanging out at Rustik but we'll save that for another blog entry. I was responsible for the bridal suite, all of the getting ready shots and alternate angles during the ceremony and post ceremony. All in all a good time, be on the look out for Brian and my collaborative efforts. We plan on take the wedding photography game to another level... Don't say I didn't warn you guys....

Portrait Session With Maggie & Harris/ Staten Island NYC

MaggHarris_1 (2)A repeat offender can be a good thing, especially when they make for good portraits. I shot Maggie a couple years ago during a head shot campaign I was piecing together and it was spectactular. Fast forward to Saturday August 24th I have Maggie back in front of my lens this time it's with a new camera, a new lens and her awesome boyfriend Harris. Wanted to shoot this couple being their natural selves so I thought about using a park that's not too far from my house. The shoot took place at Clove Lake Park on Staten Island, wonderful weather but 20 mosquito bites later..... Daing, I'm still itching. Sorry guys, I promise I won't shoot anyone near that mosquito ridden pond again and I'll bring bug repellent as well. Overall it was a good fun shoot, had my new friend Angie helping me out with the reflector but I think I'll play it safer next time and just use a Yongnuo 560 III Speedlight with a LumiQuest Softbox III to a mono pod. Pretty much what I think my idol Mr. David Hobby would use. I'm looking at some of the images now and I see slight shadows in some areas that I'm not too fond of but those can be fixed. Not that big of a deal, but a little more time in post production than I would have liked to been in. I think we shot about 4-5 locations for potentially 6-7 great final images. Special thanks to Gabrielle who helped me out with make up, It was a pleasure working with you. I wanted to treat Maggie & Harris to Ralph's Famous Italian Ice's after the shoot but time didn't allow me to.. Next time though....

Oh yeah, I did end up shooting that Sweet 16..

AshleyS16_47I forgot to post about it, well.. I actually didn't forget. I was still working out the paper work situation that I never got around to begin in the first place. At the end of the night I did get paid but the person paying wasn't too excited that I didn't have a receipt book nor a contract. After what I went through to get the job, i really didn't think I needed one but that goes to show that I wasn't handling my business right. The person affording the services wanted me to sign a piece of paper stating what I was receiving for my services and I totally respected her wishes. I did offer that they not pay me and wait until I send them the invoice and pay me electronically but they trusted my word. 2 hours later, I sent the client the invoice stating that I was paid in full for 7+ hours of photography. You guys are probably thinking to yourselves "7+ hours?". That's right... The gig was from 7pm - 11pm but if I'm not mistaken the Sweet 16 didn't make an appearance until 10PM or so but I couldn't bounce at 11PM because I would have no images to show for. It was a good time to say the least, I think I left the location at 2:30AM. It's awesome seeing these beautiful young ladies grow up to be such beautiful women. The music was great, the food was fantastic and shout out to Tito who hit me off with a double shot of Johnnie Walker. I don't usually drink while working but shoot... standing around doing nothing for 3 hours can make a brother thirsty... Ashley will be receiving an 8 x 11 hard cover photo album of some great moments captured at her Sweet 16, I really hope her and her parents like it. I'm going to try my best and make them cry tears of joy when they see these photos... For All Your Photography Needs & Special Events...

 

The 36th Anniversary of the Rock Steady Crew/ Central Park NY

9496716997_0f7edc9981Well, this wasn't the anniversary party/ celebration showcase at Central Park. This was a showcase at Central Parks Summer Stage. It was also the day current president Crazy Legs announced that he'd perform for the last time as a breaker/ dancer in the Rock Steady Crew. He'll still be a part of the crew, but like he mentioned in any sport or athletic game with all movements and wear and tear come injuries and aches. Crazy Legs became a part of the the RSC in 1979, I was only 3.5 - 4 years of age and I'm 38 now so I can only imagine how old Crazy Legs is. I'm sure he has at least 10 years on me. I was there to capture these off the hook dance moves, breaking and pop locking. Break beats, hip hop the way you fell in love with it physically. The foundation...!! B Boys & B Girls, yo... The B Girls were off the chain too, my goodness... Seeing these kids dance like this is magic, there's no other way to explain it. I was there shooting in the pit for Noisemaker Media, look us up.. We're the best out there... This show took place on a Wednesday night and if any of you really know me you all know that photography is just a weekend thing for me. All of the energy I got there with was gone within 2 hours, my feet were killing me and I was dressed very uncomfortably. I left my day job a little early to try and make the 5PM call time to no avail. No, I was actually there before 5PM but I was on the wrong side of the park and not to mention when I got to the gate the security guard wouldn't let me in even though I was part of the media team covering the event. I had on black slacks and a grey t-shirt looking crazy but I was still able to do a good job and capture some awesome shots.

9496719537_27241ba55b1,400 shutter clicks later i'm still culling, color correcting and editing the images from that night. I had 900 on one card and about 500 on the other card. I'll try my best to clean off that other card before the week is out, definitely some website & newspaper worthy stuff in there. Y'all stay tuned and if you're in Central Park and you see us make sure you holla at us.

I think I'm shooting a Sweet 16 tomorrow night...

Sweet-16-in-NYCLol, this is a very strange story and I'll let you guys pick it apart if you like... A potential client reached out to me regarding shooting her daughters Sweet 16. I agreed to it and my batteries are charging as I type this in preparation, just joking but I will begin charging them tomorrow morning. I was supposed to meet with the client a month ago or so to go over the contract and get a deposit on the total cost but that never happened. The date has always been available and I know people get busy with life so I kind of gave up on it because our communication was just not good. I'd call, text and email and she wouldn't respond so in the back of my mind I'm like "I guess she found another photographer" so I stopped thinking about it. UNTIL, I get an email from the client last week reminding me of the Sweet 16, the time and the location. Okay, so now everything is back on.... allegedly. I usually prefer the contract signing and deposit thing before hand because it solidifies/ guarantees me, i'm still kind of going into this blindly with no contract signed and or deposit. What if I show up camera, flashes, light stand(s) and all and another photographer is there already? What if I drive all the way up there tomorrow night and get a text seconds before I walk in stating my services are no longer needed? These are some of the things that happen and it's very rare, I'll keep you guys posted.....

Mo's Sunday Comics Hosted By Dave Lester...

mo2'sI made a special trip to Brooklyn to link up with a couple of my boys on Sunday night, we needed something to help take our minds off the tragic loss of a good friend. Needed a laugh or two because that's all our friend who's no longer with us did, he made us laugh. R.I.P Karl Smith.... We shot down to Mo's which is located at 80 Lafayette St. In Brooklyn because I knew of a comedy showcase that has been taking place there for some time. Although we didn't get any seats due to how crowded the location was we made it a night for drankin...!! Oh, I was there taking pictures too and I have to remember to bring my 50mm 1.4 lens with me the next time because the lighting in this place was horrible... I got a chance to hear a few of the jokes but I usually don't move back and forward to the bar while working because I'm working. I was working and hanging out with the fellas all at the same time.... The showcase is called "Mo's Sunday Comics" and it's hosted by Mr. Dave Lester, a good guy... I've known Dave for some time, if you guys look back you'll see some images of Dave from other showcases and rooms he's had in Brooklyn. I kind of follow the interesting people and people I have interest in. Not like a stalker but if I find a good thing I tend to believe some good things will come out of them. A couple hours and a few drinks later I find a reason to want to come back and document this show but hopefully the stage will be lit a lot better and I'll remember to bring my super fast lens..

Oh yeah, shout out to crazy ass Simeon Goodson...

They hear me knockin...!!

EULThat's right, they hear it and they can now see it. When I started to look for clientele out on Staten Island I began looking for lounges and nightclubs and one club stood out to me because of how it looked online. The club was/ is Eve Ultra Lounge, it's on Arthur Kill Road or Blvd... I can't recall right now. To see the images/ galleries on their website you have to create a profile and all that garbage and I wasn't interested. I just wanted to see the quality of the photography there to see if I could put my bid in if I thought I was puttin out better images. I decided to call to no avail, left very informative messages about who I was and my contact information but they never called back. I left it alone for a while, but got tired of driving back and forward to different clubs in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. I wanted to stay in my own backyard although I don't mind going to Brooklyn because I love Brooklyn and it ain't that far from Staten Island. I dug deeper, reached out to different promoters just to let them know what they can get for a certain dollar amount. I think the quality of my work speaks for itself, just reference my website is what I tell them. I'm just saying, don't chimp when it comes to photography, it can make or break you and your company. Get the good stuff now. I did a job for a group of promoters because what I saw on their website was garbage, if you call iPhone pictures photography then you must need a seeing eye dog. I must be that cocky because I took pictures of what I wanted to take pictures of because these folks know what I'm capable of. Long story short, I only took pictures of the musical performances because all that grouping people up to get a photo is stuff I can do with my eyes closed. Fast forward, I finally in Eve Ultra Lounge and I got those shots, plus people dancing which... like I said can be shot with my eyes closed because that's just what I do. It's not easy though, don't get it twisted.

Now, some people are cool with pictures like this below:

Capture1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But why not do better and get this?:

9425427333_c8edc093d4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Same type of pictures but one speaks volumes over the other, you know damn well which one is the better photo too.. Right, that's what I can bring to the table. If these club managers, owners and promoters out here are smart they'll do the right thing and I might not be better than the next photographer but I'm a lot better than what they currently have. They hear me knockin, open the damn door already...!!!

Reggie Noble on the 1's & 2's

RichmondHoodCo_15This post is so late and I'm mad that I'm just entering it, okay... I'll make this quick. I was bored and I wanted to shoot something, when I have a slow weekend I make up work by just finding something I'm interested in taking a look at. I was on Instagram and was browsing around someones profile and saw a flier for a showcase that was taking place on Staten Island and I reached out. I asked the handle whether it was okay for me to stop and and snap a couple images. They were okay with it so I ran out the house that evening with my equipment.. Minutes into getting my camera settings adjusted I'm glancing around looking for good looking people to take images of and I saw a dude that looked like "Redman". I shook it off and said "is that Redman standing there talking to people with a laptop in one of his hands?, no...". I looked up again while looking for the correct white balance and it turned out that the guy was Redman but I wondered what the hell was he doing here. I know Method Man is his homeboy but where's Meth and why is Redman here on Castleton Ave/ Staten Island....? A few performances by some local hip hop artists later and the host announces that Redman was going to be spinning for an hour and I was hype. Reggie is a very good DJ as well as an emcee, he was gettin busy all without a pair of headphones. I thought he just DJ'd like that but come to find out either he didn't bring his or there wasn't a pair there for him to use... I didn't get the shots some would probably think I would go for with the celebrity posing for a picture with a fan or two, I got the shot(s) I wanted and those were images of him actually spinning records... Oh yeah, while not wearing headphones. RichmondHoodCo_49The showcase was a Richmond Hood Co. event sponsored by Hi-Chew to name a few. It was a sticker art contest which I've never heard of before but there are some very interesting things happening out on Staten Island and I was glad I stopped in. Oh, a company reached out to me on Instagram to see if I could email them the pictures I took so they can use them on their blog. I was flattered but when I asked how did they treat crediting the photographer as well as if they'd crop out my watermark they never responded. I didn't want any revenue, I just wanted to be treated right... Oh well, their lost....

Lyric Lea Anderson aka @LyricalGangsta on Instagram

LL_21Being a photographer puts me at certain places and introduces me to new and interesting people. If you know me, you probably know that I love live instrumentation from one side of the earth to the other. I was supposed to learn how to play the bass guitar a couple years ago but I don't know what happened to that. I guess I can blame it on photography right...? Today's blog entry has a lot to do with a friend or two and how I came to find the music artist "Lyric Lea". Okay, so it started with Instagram and just like Facebook I pretty much allow anyone to become my friend because let's face it... I don't have many friends and some new ones I'll never meet in life is always fine by me.. I got a friend request from @LyricalGangsta or Lyric Lea  Anderson a few months ago and never peeped her profile. I assumed the user was a rapper or hip hop fan that dug some of my hip hop album covers I post from time to time under #ThisIsMyShit but that wasn't true. I started to wonder how I got so many friends and decided to check peoples profiles to see who the heck they were. LLMOREI ran through a couple and I didn't know the people from a hole in the wall until I stumbled on LLA's. I saw a photo of her and another friend of mine together and it made a little sense. I saw that the LLA was a musician so I decided to Google her which led me to a couple YouTube links. The links were of her and her band performing in NYC and that vibe was right up my alley, I was diggin this girl. Not like that although she is super gorgeous, but her vibe, the music, the band the voice and what I think is good music overall. I said to myself "I want to find this young lady and shoot her". Looked at some more of her images and saw she didn't have any really great images of herself performing and I wanted to be one of the first so I reached out... Saw a flier that had a couple show dates and I replied to her on Instagram and the rest is pretty much history. We traded a couple emails, and I was good money. My name was at the door so I didn't have a problem getting in and I was in happy land. I got a chance to create some real cool images and I know she loves the pictures. I mean, who doesn't love my pictures....!!?? Lol...

I'll say this, that if you come across something that interests you... go out there and get it. Go out there and eat it. Go out there and be it. Go out there and learn it. Go out there and see it or be like me and go out there and shoot it. It was a pleasure meeting Lyric Lea Anderson and I look forward to seeing her live again...

"Suck it up like a straw, and jump on the dance floor,

Curves__3Cuz every time I step in the jam, I make like a door and slam....!!" (c) Lord Jamar. Yeah, I was doing a little work/ introduction out on Staten Island and the host of the event was legendary rap artist/ actor Lord Jamar of the Brand Nubian. If you've never heard of neither one then you must have lived under a rock through the 90's when Hip Hop was golden. It was good being amongst a dude like that, hung out in the VIP with him and the other hosts that evening. It was an all out good time. The story behind me shooting at the actual location goes back to Instagram and a relationship I created with another user. He invited me down although he already had event photography that night but I think if the promoter is smart he'll know the difference between some dude that has a camera Vs. what I can produce. Not bragging or anything, the photographer there was doing his thing to say the least but he didn't look like he was a shooters shooter... I'm beginning to sound like a nerd right...? Anyway, the spot was/ is "Curves Gentleman Club"... yes, it's a strip club that has a networking event every Sunday night called "Big Show Sunday's" and I've shot at strip clubs before so it wasn't new to me. I know you're not supposed to take pictures of the talent/ strippers unless they want their photo taken so you pretty much get shots of the regulars that come on out to enjoy a good show. Every now and then you'll catch a stripper in a shot off in the background but hey, she wasn't the focus. I didn't take too many images, for I didn't want to step on any toes, I'm just going to wait for this promoters call to see what his budget is like for photography and whether I'll take the job on every Sunday night. I'll keep you guys posted... Once again, Brand Nubian....!!!

Out with the old, and hopefully in with the something better...

20130702_105116If i've learned anything doing photography it's this, you can do a lot with a little. Meaning having 19 lenses doesn't always work for everybody. Not that I have that many but I do currently own 5, and I have 2 that I never use or I just don't use anymore. When I first started shooting I purchased a Sigma 18-200mm to go along with the Nikon 18-55mm that came with the camera. I then purchased a Nikon 50mm f1.8 that didn't have a motor built into the lens so I couldn't auto focus. The camera that I owned at the time was an entry level body and as lasy as I am, I want the camera to think for me so I had to sell that bad boy. I also owned a Tamron 70-300mm which was a total waste, I don't know what the hell I was thinking so I sold that to some freak from Craigslist. I then wanted to move away from kit zooms so I got a Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 that I only used a couple times and I didn't really care for it because the zoom barrel rotates the opposite way than the Nikon and Sigma's I was used to. I then got my hands on a Sigma 17-50mm 2.8 that I love and won't ever sell that, it's my party lens. I used that at the nightclubs and the images are so cool. I also ended up getting a Nikon 50mm f1.4 that I won't part with because that's a lens every serious photographer should own. We call it the NIFTY FIFTY and if you have one you know how good and reliable that lens is. I wanted to go a little further with my career and invested in a Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 which is another lens that I love. I'll never part with it, it was the right price at the right time and I got it. I say all that to say that this photography hobby/ career is very expensive and if you're reading and have any interest in it please make sure you know what you're buying into before you actually buy it. You'll end up never using some of it or selling it and the returns on some things will never make up what you spent... I'm happy to say that I'm finally down to 3 lenses with the thoughts of owning just 2 more. I have my eyes on a Sigma 30mm f1.4 and a Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 while I'm trying to sell the last 2 lenses I don't use. I think I may have said/ typed just way too much in this blog entry. Even i'm confused at this point...