Poem Noir

What is it that captures the heart? Is it money, is it lust? Or is it thrill of chasing something that you know you’ll never get? It’s funny now but I used to be one of those people… running running not running towards anything or away from anything just running day by day …going nowhere.

It’s strange how the picture become so much clearer when to step back and give you through a different lens. This citiy is changing,  its not the place I grew up… no… some fear change while others embrace it. Is it a good thing? or a bad thing? Humph… the only thing I know is if you’re not ready You’ll get pushed aside like the old drunk does have one too many and happy hour ended, a few hours ago.

Well… that’s fine. Because As long as she’s by my side I become fearless,  she captured my heart a while ago. Lost in the seduction of her charms, I asquece  to her every whim. . . Oh the stories she’ll tell, in this city there’s a million of them just waiting to be heard. . .

She has her ways, you don’t wanna talk… friend she’ll have you singing like that canary outside your window @ 5 am on your one day off that won’t shut up! Oh yeah eventually she makes everyone talk.

But in the end it’s not so bad, It’s quite beautiful in fact. Capturing the very essence of human consciousness and putting it on display for the whole world to see, And see they will . . . How could they look away?

Maybe it’s just time To embrace what we are, and wear it like the one good suit in the closet that you hate to wear because everybody saw you wearing it 2 days ago. Yeah just like that.


The Photography Business – What Is Professional Photography?

The Photography Business – What Is Professional Photography?

Being a professional photographer is not easy, there is a lot of hard work and dedication required before you get to the stage where you really start enjoying it. Many professional photographers first began as hobbyist photographers. As their passion for photography progressed, so did their skill set and as a result their portfolio. Now they are making six figure incomes photographing celebrities, politicians, business leaders and wedding couples. However, before becoming a full-time professional photographer some photographers will pursue a hobby, such as taking photos of sports stars. In this case, the passion will help them focus on capturing the right images and help them to develop a portfolio that will make their name known in the industry.

Why Would You Give up Now?

Why do we dream? What is it about humanity that makes us dare to be so ambitious? Are we born with the ante desire to push the boundaries of what’s possible just to see how far we can go. Many of us set goals but it’s the true dreamers that manifest a reality, visualize what they want and then begin creating it piece by piece. It’s what fuels those who are motivated and truly see that things as they are but the way thanks could be. I consider myself to be a dreamer, I have these grandiose ideas and notions a bout all that I can build in everything that I can conquer. With dreams sometimes there’s nightmares, not so much bad dreams as much as obstacles and roadblocks the slow us down. Comparing ourselves to others around us as if to say that if we aren’t we are a certain person is or a certain person was at the same age we are then somehow we’re behind or we’ve failed. The issue is that our dreams are very personal, they come from within and they should be judged as such.

I’ve found myself anxious because i feel like I’m not doing enough, afraid because I don’t want to fail, and motionless because I get stuck in my own thoughts. Like many others sometimes I get smothered under the wait of my ambitious to the point that i question what I was thinking in the first place. I’ve learned that it’s ok, all of it is ok. It’s ok to be hurt, it’s ok to fail, it’s ok to vent your frustrations. It’s all apart of the process and it’s all going to be well worth it in the end. Why would you give up now? You’ve come to far to turn back and believe me the best is yet to come. So if you need to take a break, do it. If you need to rethink some things, thats fine too. Cry, laugh nd even scream if that helps, do whatever you need to do it’s all ok except for one thing… quitting! This thing means too much to you to quit so understand that that isn’t an option.

More than Just the camera

Last March round the time that the world came to a screeching halt I learned a very startling yet sobering truth. A photographer is not essential and we are low on the list of valued professions, Ouch! People were out of work, and struggling to hold on to what sanity they had left, I assure you they didn’t much care if their headshots were up to date. Many of us were out of work and searching for ways to “work from home” like so many others just to keep things moving a long. Hmmmm, how does a photographer work from home you ask? Well we don’t, and then again we do. I mean it’s hard to see up shoots when you can’t leave your house right? See the trick is to see a photographers value beyond the camera , every artisan has a set of skills beyond whatever tool they use. This is the foundation on which the implementation of said tool is built upon.

Bare with me if that seems a bit confusing. Using a camera is not hard, Don’t get me wrong there is a lot more to it than point the camera and press the button, but overall anyone can learn to do it fairly quickly. So what makes great photographers… great?! I could go into a longwinded dissertation about this but ill keep it simple. Great photographers are great because they’ve mastered the agility to curate great photos. Knowing How to shoot, when to shoot, what to shoot, why you shot it, how you want it to look and how to get it to be exactly what you want it to be is what they’ve mastered. You can buy a camera but you can’t buy the eye behind the lens.

In the old days Photographers placed high value on the time they spent in the dark room, the editing process and the techniques they implanted to develop photographs mattered quite a bit. In modern times this has been replaced with the vast array of post editing processes that many of us use. This gets into the secondary and even tertiary skill sets that many great photographers have. A lot of us are really talented artists, musicians and all around creative minds. I myself was a music producer before I was a photographer and a fairly decent sketch artist before I was a music producer.

If you really think about it it makes a lot of sense , very few of us at 8 years old told our parents, teachers and any other discerning adult that we wanted to be a photographer when we grew up. Lets face it An Astronaut just sounds way cooler. There is a point to all this so let me get to it, many of us went in many directions and took many paths that lead us to where we are. Think of it like Lebron James Leaving Cleveland to go to Miami to Win a few Championships and then returning to Cleveland to win championship then leaving to go to LA and win a championship… Ok so if you don’t watch basketball then that reference went right over your head so let me put it to you like this. I wanted to be an Actor when I was a kid but i also loved to draw so always took art classes in school, I fell i love with music a decided to dedicate my self to it as a career path. One day I bought a cheap camera and started taking a lot of pictures for fun. See the thing is that The foundation for my photography career had been laid in what I had learned from these other endeavors. Short and simple the skills translate, and this is the reason we are so much more than the cameras we use. Much the like the way we translate an array of skills to photography we can translate then from photography. This is what created a career for me as a graphic artist/ designer, and also planted the seeds of ambition to be a filmmaker.. Wait didn’t I once want to be an actor?? well I guess these things come full circle.

Looks like I got little longwinded anyway huh? The good news is I was able to adapt to the pandemic by taking on several jobs as a graphic designer, the bad news is I really missed having the camera in my hand. Through it all I realized that when you have knowledge skill and determination you can make things work in any number of ways. I love my cameras but I am a more than just the camera , It is a tool of which I have many and I am not defined by it I define it.

Trials of Fire and Ice

I’m sitting in my favorite chair in the living room giddy with excitement. I had just watched the trailer for the new Mortal Kombat movie for what felt like the 100th time. It was gory and awesome just like the game that many of millennials grew up playing. The fight scene between the fire engulfed ninja Scorpion and his frozen arch nemesis Sub Zero was nothing short of epic, it was bloody brutal and I enjoyed every moment of it. As crazy as it may seem this was actually a high point in stark contrast to just one week earlier.

In Just one week my family had to endure a fire in the home of a close loved one and 2 ice storms that brought down trees not to far from home. We quite literally had endure trials of both fire and Ice. What a surreal scene to look at a building covered in ice that had just been set a blaze. The round that was packed with 1st responders now just a dimly lit pathway whose frozen surface glistened in the moon light. The sounds of sirens and pandemonium now given away to silence.

I sat in a moment of reflection and couldn’t help but draw parallels between the battle between scorpion and sub zero and the events we had just witnessed in real life. Maybe life has the strangest ways of evening thins out to bring its way back to a perfect balance and harmony. Who am I to say? I am grateful that everyone made it though safely and that we can now begin to rebuild.

What are you waiting for?!

It’s true what they say time waits for no man. It’s funny though how things can change so quickly, suddenly the asset of time is on our side. Everything we didn’t have time to do and everything that was permanently on our to do list but never reachable suddenly is in reach. During this time of reflection called by many “The great pause” we have the ability to do all those things that we never thought we would, my advice to each and every person reading this is do it! What are you waiting for?!! Now is the best time get out there and get it done and don’t worry about what people may think this is about you and your fulfillment. Take the step you won’t regret it.

Beautiful World

As a photographer my job is to capture a moment, to preserve some piece of history to digital memory to remind us later what human memory has forgotten. Even when I create art it is a time capsule into whatever my though processes were at that time. Even more maybe a reflection of what I was influenced by and how I interpreted the world around me. I never really thought of myself as a historian or one tasked with the preservation of historical record, but yet in so many ways that’s exactly what I and many others in my profession have become. In truth the most important function of the digital photograph in our time is to preserve memory. Take a moment and think back and some of your most fond memories, if you’re over 25 years old there’s a good chance you have quite a few that there are no photos of. These moments captured within our minds and consciousness as long as we have the ability to remember them. No fast forward to the last big event you went to, how many photos did you capture with your phone? did you video? We capture so much because we’re afraid that we’ll forget, we move so fast that we fear that we will miss something. Photos are now a way to capture a moment because we no longer live in the moment. We don’t take time to be there, or to immerse ourselves in the magic of the now. . . THEN SUDDENLY THE WORLD STOPPED, there was no rush, no packed schedules, no over commitments. Out of no where we all were given a chance to truly see what is around us, and rediscover just how to be in the moment now. Some of us have always known and some of of our just realizing that despite it all we live in a beautiful world. I wish to encourage you to find something you find beautiful and capture it! slow down, appreciate, and use whatever medium you see fit, whether it be a pro dslr, a phone camera, a sketch book, or pen and paper make it your own.

Black and White: The Art of Noir

Since I can remember I’ve loved the aesthetic of black and photographs and movies, maybe it was the glitz and glam of vintage movie stars like Rita Hayworth, Jayne Mansfield, or the super cool James Dean? Maybe it was all the iconic shots of Elvis, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix? Whatever the case there is an undeniable beauty in the black and white photograph that had a profound and lasting influence on me. The truth is some of the most iconic photographs ever taken are black and white, think Joe Rosenthal’s 1945 photograph of U.S. troops raising a flag in Iwo Jima during World War II. 

What is it that makes these images so powerful? Why in an age of digital imagery, and robust camera sensors with incredible imagery would monochrome photography still have a place?  Perhaps because like the older Gentleman that drives his completely restored 1956 Ford Mustang, we just see beauty in it. The textures and forms enthrall is in ways we would’ve never noticed without the absence of color. The stories and mood capture our imaginations time and again.   

          When done correctly it can be striking and unforgettable. In a world where black and white is merely an editing afterthought the art has become lost but not dead. There remain those of us who carry the banner for Photography’s oldest and most endangered art-form, the ones who understand what noir truly means and have embraced its capacity to convey mood and alter perceptions. We are few but what we represent will forever have meaning in the world of Photographic art because we don’t make photos black and white we make black and white photos.

Creative Entrepreneurs Have Value!!!

One of the most challenging yet rewarding things in this world is to embark on the journey entrepreneurship. Whether is the countless hours of hard work in the early going or facing the uncertainty of actually finding success the path of a business owner is daunting. Oftentimes a person will discover very quickly if they’re cut out to be an Entrepreneur or not. For those bold or maybe it’s foolish enough to stay the course there’s quite a long road ahead. The thing is most of these people have one key thing in common: a passion for what they do, these individuals have found their why, know their what and are figuring out their how. They are too stubborn to accept no, and too invested to accept failure. These people are the innovators and forward thinkers of our society, the ones who see past what is and only what can be. We have long celebrated their monumental achievements and often inspired to be like them. Indeed this is what we like to imagine Entrepreneurs to be, the rags to riches story or the person who turned tragedy into triumph…  What about the person who left a successful career to pursue their passion to modest success? What about the person that dropped out of law school because they wanted to paint? More often than not we deem those who choose the creative path less valuable and in turn they have to go out of their way to prove their worth. Creatives can be considered the most pure of the entrepreneurial universe, simply because they love what they do so much that they’ll sacrifice financial gain for personal fulfillment. In this information technology driven age slowly we’ve seen the artists fade, schools cut funding, and individuals stop supporting. But we need our creatives, now more than we ever have! Creatives bring communities together, and help drive new ideas to bring about solutions to age old problems. It  is up to all of us to give them the support so desperately needed to not only survive but to thrive as business owners. It could be the painter at the local coffee shop, the musician on the street corner, the kid who dreams of being a dancer one day, or the person who left corporate america because they wanted to travel the world with a camera and share their experiences with the rest of us. Each and every one of them is priceless and it is up to us to remember that creative entrepreneurs have value.