As I reflect on my time here in Los Cabos San Lucas, my heart is overwhelmed with joy. I was exposed to a love that extends far beyond any language, race, culture or custom. I was exposed to the how Grand God really is…the ultimate creator. I had the opportunity capture the merging of two people, two families, two cultures and build relationships that will last through the ages. A true cultural experience. I am simply in awe of what Love can accomplish!
When these two called to say that they wanted to work with me and that one of the shoot locations was the AU, I knew it was going to be pretty dope! Since my mom, my younger cousin and my mother-in-law attended Clark, I had to represent! LOL!
Jay and Pierre met at Clark Atlanta University while working on their Masters in Public Administration. With Jay as a graduate of Fort Valley University and Pierre being a “Morehouse Man”, the two of them claw it out when football season rolls around! Jay says the two of them began talking like 2 months after she came to the Department. They didn’t want people to know, so they kept it a secret for almost a year! Even when people found out about them, they still didn’t talk that much during class…she sat in the front and he sat in the back. To them, business was business! They didn’t want to become distracted from the goal at hand.
Pierre, an “Alpha Man” (0000000000six!!!!), has political ambitions and desires to be the mayor of Atlanta one day…and I’m almost 100% sure that it’s going to happen with Jay on his arm! He currently does community planning and development work for a historic community in Atlanta. Jay, an “Alpha Kappa Alpha Woman” works for a public relations firm and desires to be a publicist one day for a public official. She says, “Who knows? I may end up working for Pierre!” LOL!
Jay studied French in school and has always dreamed of going to Paris for her honeymoon…and now Pierre, “The Future Mayor of ATL”, is making her dreams come true! Their Parisian themed wedding is planned for October of this year and I can’t wait to capture their BIG day!
Once again, I am extremely excited to announce that Talia and Trayvon’s “Tra-lia” Engagement Shoot is currently being featured on Essence.com under the “Just Engaged” column! Talia is such a HUGE fan of Essence and she was sooooooo excited when she found out that their love story would be featured this year. Charlie Penn, an Essence editor, did an awesome job capturing their story!
Checkout the featured gallery entitled, “Digital Lovebirds”: http://www.essence.com/2013/01/30/just-engaged-talia-and-trayvon
Watch the proposal slideshow here: http://billieboardphotography.com/blog/trayvon-and-talia-engagement-2012/
So I’ve been trying to write this blog for quite some time now. The photos have been sitting in the same place you see them for just over a week, but I just couldn’t find the words to bring it to a close. I think part of it was disbelief…the other was fear mixed with a little anxiety, but most importantly, an overwhelming amount of joy. You see, this engagement shoot was different than the others. It affected my heart differently. That’s because Kyla is my big sister, the girl…no, the woman I’ve been calling “Sissy” my entire life. To her, I am “Brubby Brubbington.” She is one of my best-friends, my lady, my “little sister” at times, and one of my biggest fans. In everything I have ever done, I hoped for her approval. And now, Sissy is about to be a Wife! Yep, “Mrs. Parker” (you know, Byron’s wife).
These two have been at it for a while now! Yep, on and off since 97′ in the halls of Stephenson High School (the same place I met my wife). I still remember when I was in middle school and Byron stopped by the house on Valentine’s Day and gave my sister this bright green alien in a blue robe, with a blue Nike headband on its head and two matching Nike wristbands on its arms. The entire time all I remember thinking was, “Those wristbands are gonna be mine!”
She hasn’t stopped loving this guy since! Somehow they always ended up rekindling the flame. They’re an odd, but perfect two! My sister adores this guy…she found her Superman and Byron has found his good thing! As I write, I think I’ve finally accepted the fact that she is no longer mine, but his. God custom-designed her just for you B! You’re a King and she is your Queen. Her heart is fragile and I trust that you will handle it with care (just like Brubby would!) I love you both! It was truly an honor to capture the unique love you two share! May 19th can’t get here any faster! I am ready to party with you both since I don’t have to shoot the wedding! LOL
re·fined ( Adj.)- With impurities or unwanted elements having been removed by processing.
Tonight I was reviewing a few images from my niece’s christening when I came across an image of my parents that made my heart smile! This past NYE they celebrated their 32nd Wedding Anniversary! Fortunately, I’ve been blessed enough to experience 28 of those 32 years of their growth, their successes and failures, and all of the their smiles complimented by tears. I witnessed their refinement from the front row and I am grateful for the awesome seat!
My marriage is a reflection of theirs and it is even more beautiful to know that they fought hard for the moment they shared in this image…Mom & Dad, I thank you both for paving the road so that Tia and I can experience the fullness of God’s image of marriage!
It has been a few weeks since my last post. Things are finally starting to settle after having a very busy November ending off the wedding session. I’m excited to be able to share one of my latest engagement shoots here in Atlanta…
Alvin and I have known each other for the past 10 years. We were first college baseball teammates at Alabama A&M, then co-workers at the local apartment complex on “The Hill”, and now fellow photographers.
A couple of years ago, I remember getting a call from Alvin telling me how he was packing up things in DC and heading to Atlanta to be with the love of his life, Ms. Hilary Young. If any of you know how much of a clown this guy is, you know I had to check my sources! As you can see, it turned out to be the truth! Anyway, these two met in DC at a book reading of Hill Harper’s, “The Conversation”. The rest was history!
Both of them are such busy bodies and they never share a dull moment! Every weekend they have plans, whether they are traveling out of the country, or just making a trip up to UNC Chapel Hill (where Hilary is former member of the 2000 National Champion soccer team). Oh, and let me not forget to mention, it’s very rare that these two allow the weekend to pass without grabbing a pizza from their favorite pizza spot, Grant Central Pizza. Check out a few shoots from their engagement session. I had a blast shooting them!
It’s one day out from Melody and Richard’s BIG Day in Gulf Port and emotions are high! What better time to give the pre-game speech!
The dugout is where the magic happens. A place where life long friendships are built. Where correction happens. Encouragement is at the forefront, and most of all, jokes for days!
A few months back, I had a chance to capture their engagement shoot in Richard’s hometown, Lanette, Alabama. With a population of just over 100 people, he is a hometown baseball legend there. LOL! Richard is a huge fan of the greatest game on earth and the two of them are fans of the greatest HBCU on earth! So, they decided to incorporate something they both share into their session…Batter UP!
Enjoy the “Game” guys! Have a little fun out there kid…
He was too cool to leave a crumb on a cake plate…
On Saturday evening, I lost one of the most important men in my life, my grandfather. It was just three days before his 78th birthday. His birthday is one of the few birthdays I never forget, because it is exactly a week after mine. We were 50 years apart…
It feels so surreal that just two weeks ago we were sitting at my Aunt’s kitchen table having a convo about everything but politics. It’s so crazy…that night, before leaving my house, my heart told me to bring my camera along to document our moments together. I had no clue I would be documenting our last, true conversation. As we talked, he enjoyed a piece of cake for his usual evening dessert. For anyone who has ever witnessed by grandfather eat a piece cake, you know it’s an overly calculated performance. He eats like Major Payne! LOL!
Anyway, if I would’ve known it was his last piece of cake, I would’ve joined him. Heck, I would’ve slapped some candles on that Entenmann’s cake and sung him Happy Birthday! But since I didn’t, I thought I’d take a second to write a blog and reflect on the moment we shared that night. We both knew it was something special! I felt like a kid all over again. I will never forget leaning on his shoulder watching “Battle Los Angeles” thinking, “Who watches alien movies?” LOL! And when that got old, we hopped in the bed and started to watch some college football. I could go on and on about that night, but I am getting a bit emotional now…
So what I’m trying to say is…today, on what would’ve been your 78th birthday, I celebrate your life Pop-Pop!
I want you to know you were an amazing grandfather to me! You’re a huge part of who I am and I love you! Happy Birthday!
After completing 2 years of marriage, this morning I asked Tia if she was ready for year 3. She said, “I’m “REDy” for more than 3, I’m REDy for a 100 years.” Then she went on to say, “That would be so cool, we can be the first couple to celebrate a 100 Year Anniversary” (other than in Bible days of course). After our brief convo, I couldn’t help but be reminded of my sister’s “I’m Redy” Campaign.” What started out as a fun, little experiment among girlfriends to try a new lipstick has turned into a full-blown, women’s empowerment initiative!
So of course, my creative juices got to flowing and I remembered a 5 min shoot Tia and I did a few months back. I thought, why not celebrate the woman my wife has grown to become…I tell her all the time just BE who you are and be bold enough to share the woman God has created you as. Last-night, as we reflected on our accomplishments as a family over the past year, a bit of “Tia the Perfectionist” came out and she began to talk about the areas she could have been better in. I cut her off and began highlighting her greatness…
My wife is an amazing homemaker, lover, chef…she is absolutely stunning! Her eyes are from God and her skin requires no photoshop…she is a some what of a comedian…she is bold and confident…most importantly, she is my best friend…she completes me. So, on this day, I celebrate you! You’re a reflection of me. Our family and your happiness is attached to mine. My purpose is your purpose and your purpose is mine! You are a work of God’s hands…
I Love you! Happy 2 Year Anniversary! Get REDy for a Lifetime…
Trayvon + Talia = Tralia
The two of them met on twitter through mutual friends…I know, I was thinking the same thing, “Those relationships actually work out?” These two are so funny…they were made for each other. With Trayvon being the passionate engineer and Talia in the running for teacher of the decade, they have the makings of a modern day Heathcliff and Claire. What I enjoy most about the two of them is that they love to have a good time! I have known Trayvon since middle school and one thing I know about this guy is that he is passionate about his family. I have no doubt that he is gonna make a great husband and father…and with Talia as his “Helper” he has no choice but to be great. When two genuine people get together and share a genuine love and respect for one another, nothing can ever stop them from fulfilling their purpose as a couple!
Their wedding is set for June 8, 2013 and, for those invited, you don’t want to miss it. Talia is No Joke when it comes to this wedding planning! For instance, she made sure the world will see her make the second biggest decision of her life (other than saying yes to Trayvon of course) as she and her family will be featured on TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” tonight (9/21/12) at 9pm. So be sure to tune in and support these two love birds…
This past weekend I had an awesome time celebrating my younger brother, Paris’, 24th birthday and Dood’s 1st birthday. At first, Paris wasn’t really digging the whole idea of a double birthday celebration, but he couldn’t argue with the idea once the fun times got rolling. We played a little soccer and (when that got old) we busted out the frisbee, followed with cupcakes and pupcakes from OMG Cupcakes… Later, we howled off our two latest renditions of the birthday song! Good Times, Good People and a Whole Lot of Love…
Dialogue on The District:
Me: Baby, how about you write this blog!
Tia: No! I want you to write it…
Me: But babe, I want the world to hear about your 7th District Experience. They can see in the pics how I saw it…
Tia: I don’t have to say anything more babe, you captured my DC experience perfectly!
Me: *Black Guy Blushing* LOL!
“To me it’s a Amazing Photograph, to some it’s not…” (I Love Her Eyes)
Finally, I have the chance to sit down for a second and share a follow up post that many have been anticipating. A few weeks ago, I shared a post about the “True Link” and I emphasized “The Experience.” Brandon and Jenise’s Engagement shoot was an experience that we all shared as there were a few emotional moments that I believe brought all of us closer. After getting past the initial camera shock and a few wardrobe adjustments, these two shot like pros! I love them so much that I even let Brandon wear one of my favorite pairs of kicks while I shot for an hour and a half in socks, LOL. With the help of my Wife and Wingman, I managed to get some amazing shots!
26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. (Ephesians 5:26-29) NLT
Earlier this month, I was extended the awesome opportunity to capture Brittany and Mario’s BIG DAY in Cancun, Mexico. I have to say, these two prepared for one another like no other couple I’ve ever shot before! They both had the desire to please considering Britt’s 6 hour pampering session before the ceremony and Mario cutting his own hair for about 2 hours (and making sure there wasn’t a single strand of hair out of place on his crisp hairline).
As I took in each moment of the day, this particular portion was highlighted within me. It served as a reminder of how I must live my own life and continue to prepare myself each day to be present before My Savior, Jesus Christ. Check out a few of the shots that I captured during the first half of their day…
There’s a special link between my couples’ success and my own…in my world, one can’t exist without the other.
Today, I received a very thoughtful gift in the mail from Brandon and Jenise (a couple I recently shot). I’m not sure that they would know how much a set of cuff links would affect my heart. Thanks for being obedient guys! Anyone who has ever worked with me knows that photography is such a small part of the vision God has given for Billie Board. My true hope is to inspire and help build successful relationships. Photography just allows me to display to the world the love it takes for those relationships to flourish. When any of these relationships fail, whether it be a marriage, friendship or family, my heart is affected. It’s the cross I’ve been blessed enough to carry… I know, not really your average photographer huh?
Along with the cuff links, Brandon and Jenise attached a note expressing their appreciation for the shoot and especially highlighting “The Experience”. When I shoot, my focus is not so much on the photo itself, but more on the experience. My aim is to create an atmosphere in which love can be experienced. The photo is just a product of the experience. I pour my heart into each shoot and I just hate being faced with fear that sometimes this may be done in vain. Recently, I presented God with my true desire for Tia and I to be able to counsel each one of the couples I shoot. It sounds like a stretch, but with faith it will happen!
Some say it’s a naive approach, but my success is linked to my couples’ success. To Succeed is a choice…
Last month, these two tied the knot at the Villa Christina here in Atlanta. The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was a flashback into my Ol’ college days. Melvin and Asha definitely know how to have a good time! In just a few weeks, I will be ready to release more, but I just had to share one of my favorites of the evening. We found this red wagon in the back of a maintenance closet. I knew it was a jewel when I first laid eyes on it…
I am extremely excited to announce that Mario and Brittany’s Engagement Shoot is currently being featured on Essence.com under the “Just Engaged” column. When I was contacted by an Essence rep about a month ago and she asked if I would like to begin submitting some of my work for consideration, I knew this would be a huge milestone for me! I can only thank God for such an awesome opportunity and I look forward to working with folks over at Essence in the future!
Checkout the featured gallery entitled “School Daze” at http://www.essence.com/2012/05/16/just-engaged-brittany-and-mario/.
Essence did a great job with Brittany and Mario’s story.
Love Is Real…
I always love to accompany Billie Board on his photo shoots as his wife and “wing girl”… but I was honored when he asked me to write this particular blog. As a newlywed (2 years in Sept!!), I have an awesome appreciation of marriage and the great adventures that come with it. So, I was humbled to be in the presence of a couple who have experienced life as husband and wife for 50 years! From the time we arrived at the Jacksons’ home until the time we left, there was so much love, joy, wisdom, and laughter shared. Billie and I learned about their journeys around the world, the love they have for family and their two pups, and that (as a wife) becoming a great cook takes time and practice! (Yeah, I admit I’m still in the learning stage, ha!)
As I looked from a distance while my husband captured the handsome couple, I became overwhelmed with a realization that the love displayed was an example of how Jesus Christ loved the church. I started to get teary eyed until I was awakened from my love daze by the words, “BABE! I need you to get that extra lens out of my bag!” Gotta love my Billie Board
Nathaniel & Irene Jackson have such an honest love and it was a pleasure to witness and wonderfully easy to capture in photo. Although the pictures below are still, their love is always growing…always evolving…always living…always real.
A few weeks back, I had a chance to work with a great couple, Asha and Melvin. My wife Tia lent a helping hand during the shoot serving as my “do girl” LOL! I couldn’t have done it without her.
About a month before the shoot, we all met up to grab coffee to discuss the details of the engagement session and wedding. While speaking with them, the thing that immediately stuck out about these two, more than any of the other couples I’ve shot in the past, is that they really were best friends. As both of them are graduates of North Carolina A&T (as they would say… Aggie Pride!) and pledged Delta and none other than the Black and Old Gold, I knew I wanted to capture their transition from Friend to Lovers.
All throughout the shoot the couple joked, smiled, and laughed! Their love wasn’t the only thing on display, but also the importance of friendship in each marriage. Check out a few of the shots we captured that day…
Yesterday, I had an amazing time with my family celebrating the Resurrection of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I couldn’t help but whip out my camera a few times to capture some of the love in the room! It’s been a while since we took some good ol’ family pics.
Family Photo Set-Up
Before each shot I asked my family a simply question or graced them with a unique suggestion, the reactions were quite interesting to say the least… Gotta Love My Family!
1. “Love thy Neighbor as Thy Self”…
2. Who’s glad God sent his only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for ours sins so that we can all spend eternity in mansions?!
3. What dork created the Easter Bunny and tried to make this special day about Easter egg hunts?!
4. NOW ACT LIKE Y’ALL GOT SOME SENSE AND STOP PLAYING!… LOL
Oh and I decided to include a pic of PopPop and my beautiful niece Zoe, to show y’all where I get my handsome looks from… LOL
A couple of weekends ago, a good friend of mine presented me with the opportunity to capture his BIG moment…
Trayvon spent weeks making plans with family, friends, and co-workers for what would be one of life’s biggest surprises for his girlfriend, Talia. For months, Talia had been asking him to schedule a couples shoot. However, with them living in Macon and only periodically returning back to the Metro area, there was never a good opportunity to do so. It just so happens that a Saturday night Hawks game proved to be the perfect opportunity. Since Talia knows who I am and would probably recognize me trying to capture the moment, I decided to bust out an old favorite of mine: “The Stache.” That’s right, I showed up to the game as an old man! If you only knew the looks I got when I entered Phillips Arena with that thing on! Some thought it was real…and others were convinced that I was with the TV show “Cheaters” scouting out the next dirtbag! LOL. Talia was absolutely clueless about their BIG moment! Even after she said “Yes” and I attempted to take a few celebratory photos of the two them, she had NO clue I was the photographer. I got absolutely no “camera love” from her with “The Stache” on! Afterwards, she told me that she thought I was some creepy old man “Doing The Most.” LOL
Check out Trayvon and Talia’s Engagement Slideshow 2012 (along with a few shots of me and “The Stache” on Gameday, Hawks vs. 76ers)
Love does more than just restore…
So, my wife Tia completely out did herself this Valentines Day! She gave me one of the best gifts I have ever received. Not because of the amount of money she spent, but because of the heart behind it. She knew I’d love it so much that she couldn’t wait until Monday to give it to me. So, she gave it to me on Saturday evening. She comes out of the back room and tells me to close my eyes. Like any husband I’m thinking, “Game Time Leggo!” LOL… No really. Finally, she said open your eyes! And there they were… my 6 year old pair of red plaid Baracuta PF Flyers. They were completely restored with a few upgrades. To most, an old pair of kicks wouldn’t mean much. But for anyone who really knows me, these things are my world! I’ll wear them with absolutely anything and not think twice about it. Back in October I was contemplating doing a photo-shoot of them and afterwards laying them to rest in the Oakland Cemetery. But I just couldn’t. To say the least, they were finished! The fabric was tearing away from the sole of the shoe on both sides to the point where both pinky toes had their own AC units! And the back of the right shoe had completely split to the point that it sounded like a flip flop when I walked. Oh, and did I mention that Tia absolutely HATED these shoes!
I asked my wife why she would take a pair of shoes she hated with a passion, have them completely restored, and add materials that would extend the life of the shoes for years to come?
She then told me not to focus so much on the shoes. But what she really wanted to give me through this gift was the freedom to be myself.
“The greatest gift you can give your spouse is the freedom to be him or her self”- Radical Love
Once again a client of mine has managed to influence my desire to have a daughter of my own. It’s so hard for your heart not to melt when you meet such a beautiful little girl like Miss Kaylah…
This little chick right hear is absolutely adorable and she poses like a pro. The shoot location was River Street Sweets candy store within the Mall of Georgia. My “Wingman” did a superb job scouting out shot locations within the mall. The new addition to the team, D. Britt, captured some of the behind-the-scenes coverage showing how Kaylah and I became homies during the shoot. When I first met up with Kaylah and her mom, I got super excited about how dope her outfits were! As the shoot got rolling, I wanted to make sure that Kaylah was completely comfortable. So, we came up with a handshake that we did after each mini session to loosen things up. The people in the store provided awesome customer service and really allowed us to push the envelope. They even let Miss Kaylah pose behind the cash register. Towards the latter end of the shoot, we transitioned over to the ferris wheel and Kaylah pulled out her pink guitar and totally rocked it! Anyway, I’ll let you be the judge…
Check out some of the shots we captured during the session. Oh, and Happy Sweet Seven to the Lovely Miss Kaylah! I can only imagine how it’s gonna be when she turns sixteen…
Job 36:27-33 (NIV)
27 “He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams; 28 the clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind. 29 Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds, how he thunders from his pavilion? 30 See how he scatters his lightning about him, bathing the depths of the sea. 31 This is the way he governs the nations and provides food in abundance. 32 He fills his hands with lightning and commands it to strike its mark. 33 His thunder announces the coming storm; even the cattle make known its approach.
From Old Hollywood to a “Classic Love”…
When I first sat down with Mariel and Tony, Mariel had a vision of Old Hollywood. She immediately whipped out her computer and began to show me the photos she compiled from all of her favorite old Hollywood films. I just love it when my clients bring a little creativity of their own to the table! It really enables me to grow my perspective. In the beginning, Tony seemed to be a bit apprehensive about the entire idea. But with a little verbal imagery (and a couple of bow-tie references), I knew I could persuade him by reminding him of his Ol’ Kappa days at TSU. LOL… As we continued our discussion, I learned that one thing they shared was a heart of an old soul. This later prompted me to ask what they envisioned when I mentioned the word love…..and, immediately, both of them began speaking about the love their grandparents showed to one another. This is when the concept of Old Hollywood evolved into a “Classic Love” story.
Take a look at a few shots from their session. I think we accomplished our goal….
So, for the last couple of weeks my lovely wife has been bugging me about taking family Christmas photos this year and believe me, I wasn’t trying to hear it! I knew how tuff it would be to dress up a puppy, set-up my equipment, and shoot the photos with no assistance (but I don’t think she did). Boooooooy did we have a time… We got the GREAT shots but let’s just say she got a little frustrated with Dood and me for our lack of cooperation. Check out the video below I captured for a bit of her moment… LOL! I hope she doesn’t mind me posting this.
Oh and most importantly…
At this special time, we pray that you and your family have a blessed holiday season! We are enjoying our time here in North Carolina while hanging out with family and creating great memories. Dood is adapting well and already weighs 32 lbs at only 4 months old!! We miss and love you all and are excited to see you in the New Year!
Billie Board, Tia & Dood
What can I say Mario and Britt? It’s here just in time…
Here is a simple timeline into the love that these two share. Let’s just say, they go waaaaaaaaay back. So, it started at Peachtree Middle … then Dunwoody High … and now they are getting married … THE END. Okay, maybe that’s a little too short of a story … especially for the history these two share. When we first spoke over the phone and they told me they went way back to those school bus and locker days, I knew we had to use those elements to emphasize their journey through time together. During the shoot, I couldn’t help but laugh as they began to reminisce about how they first hooked up. Brittany even brought a bag full of old letters (most of which were written by Mario)! I know, not what I expected! But in his defense he said this was before texting, Facebook and Twitter. A brother had to do what he had to do!
Anyway, throughout the session, a lot of unexpected things popped up … like how we finally arrived at Peachtree Middle after driving right past it the first time. The school had been torn down and rebuilt, so Mario & Britt didn’t even recognize it! The one thing that they did remember was the vintage school sign out front. My Wingman got his Vanna “Black” on and used the board letters to spell out what you see in the pic below. I must say, I think it came out pretty dope! Oh, and let me not forget! When we arrived at Dunwoody High, where Britt cheered and Mario hooped, the students there just so happened to be decorating the gym for the homecoming dance that night. We even ran into one of Brittany and Mario’s (a.k.a “Mr. Homecoming 2001″) old teachers from back in the day. To say the least, this couple share a timeless love that will only grow stronger through the years. I can’t wait to shoot the wedding in June. SEE Y’ALL in Mexico!!!!!!!
I’ve been literally drooling over this kid’s Fro, it was a must for me to capture. I begged his parents for months to be patient and hold out chopping off the Fro. During the shot Adam, A.K.A “The Fro” didn’t smile much but he definitely was a character, the kid is only one but he carries the temperament and mannerisms of the smoothest ol’skool guy you know. Check him out, Adam Johnson “The Fro”:
I’m a little disappointed that I couldn’t post this sooner…but things have been kinda hectic for me over the last couple of weeks. With the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 just passing earlier this month, I wanted to take some time to salute the men and women who serve our country and the families that support them. Earlier this week I was watching a TINY bit of the “Tia and Tamara Show” with my wife (you know being the great husband that I am). Tamara was participating in a “Joining Forces” event led by First Lady Michelle Obama. Joining Forces is a call for Americans to show their support for our military families who sacrifice so much in their service to our country. During the First Lady’s speech, she placed a huge emphasis on doing the little things like: sending a small care package, giving a small donation, or even just verbally showing your appreciation by saying “Thank You” to those service men and women and their families. After hearing that speech, I wanted to put what I heard into action. So yesterday, while traveling through the airport on the way to Vegas, I ran into a Commander in the US Army. I proceeded to tell him how much I appreciate everything that he does for our country. I’d have to say I was overwhelmed by his humble response. He really seemed to appreciate me taking the time to say that to him and it didn’t take but a second of my time.
Also, as you all may know, I shot the wedding of Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Lee in New York last month. Bruce recently completed his training and received orders to be stationed in Washington State. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that, just hours after their reception, the couple headed west to start their new lives together as an Army Family. So, in support of Sacia and Bruce Lee and all the troops that proudly serve our country along with their families, I SALUTE YOU! Below are a couple of shots taken of the beautiful bride and soon to be “Army Wife”. Stay tuned…I will be posting more shots from their wedding soon!
A few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to capture The Hanna Family at one of the most meaningful times in their lives. That Saturday morning, with the Hannas running a little late because of the baby of course (go figure LOL!), I had a chance to do some last minute location scouting in hope of finding a couple of things to enhance the shoot. As I’m walking around the Carter Center looking for maybe a flower or even a really cool textured wall, I notice off in the distance, about 100 yards across the street, a garden. I knew this was no ordinary garden when I saw a rocking chair, tricycle, baby crib, little red wagon and even one of those horses….you know, the one with the little springs at the four corners. At this point I’m thinking, REALLY! God I know you told me you would direct my path as long as I acknowledge you, but REALLY! You lead me to a vintage children garden, marked by a Big Heart at its entrance. (SMH) At this point, I knew there was purpose in what I was doing that day. With the Hannas recently celebrating their two year anniversary (APPLAUSE) and with one in the oven, the dynamics of their family are quickly changing. I knew God wanted to use me and the photos taken that day to encourage their growth as a family and depict the love Donald and Shivaughn share through their unborn son. Take a look at what was captured that morning…
For many of you who know me, know I’m not the most responsible when it comes to keeping up with my wallet and keys. So with that being said, I believe I lost my wallet this past weekend and the reason I say, “I believe” is because I was at church when I lost it and of course nobody would ever steal a wallet while in the church parking lot, Right? So over the past couple of days I’ve been canceling credit cards, ordering new ones, applying for a new license(on which I nailed the pic, my smile was awesome on this one, just in case I get pulled over the photo may bring me Favor LOL!) and lastly looking for the coolest wallet ever. So, today I joined my Queen on her quest t to look for a new hand bag, you know the “Sista Girl Purse” and while on our search there it was, “The Mighty Wallet.” It hast to be one of the best ideas I’ve come across lately, I kicked myself for not thinking of it. Designed by Terrence Kelleman, the Mighty wallet is made of Tyvek, which is a material that is very strong, difficult to tear and for the most part water resistant. I love the concept of the wallet but most of all I was inspired by Kelleman’s story and his passion to inspire others to be “Mighty” in everything they do. Check out my new wallet and the short YouTube clip of Kelleman’s Inspiration to create it.
Ephesians 6:10 “BE MIGHTY”
So, to get straight to the point guys…I kinda wouldn’t mind having a daughter now. I know…such a random way to start off a blog post, even if it is about family. But in my attempt to keep up with the “Joneses”, my mind was renewed regarding my previous fears about having a daughter. With the tunes of Coldplay being played on the eldest daughter’s cello, complimented by the youngest daughter’s improvs and a little help from my “Wingman”, the scene was set to capture the family’s unique love story. With one daughter leaving for college and the other starting highschool, it was only right to incorporate a couple of elements to depict the family’s current transition. To say the least, this family is simply amazing! From their musical talents to their unique personalities and styles, they really define what it means to be a family. Check out a few of the shots that were captured during our journey…
One Man. One Drum. Two Drum Sticks held by wrist bands…with NO EXCUSES…only a Passion and a Love for what he was created to do. In the Heart of the Big Apple, there lies my latest inspiration to pursue my dream and calling in photography. I was overwhelmed with emotion and compassion when I saw this young man in Times Square jamming out to the tunes of “Stadium Arcadium” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers (one of my favorites). I literally had an encounter with a SuperHero, as shown by the drum head wrapped in a Batman t-shirt. This guy was sent to save me from EXCUSES. This experience further revealed to me the amount of grace and mercy God has shown me up until this point. I began to reflect on the number of times I have been tempted to make an excuse on why I can not bring my dreams to fruition. But when God allows you to have such an encounter like this, you have no choice but to change your perspective on how you view the simplest gift or talent God has instilled in you to share with others. God has given each of us “several ability”. The question is, what’s stopping you from using it to change the hearts of man?
“Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.” Psalms 127:3(NIV)
Wade Davis is by far one of the coolest 8 month olds I’ve ever met. With Light-bright skin, blue-green eyes, the “Don King” and a iPad, Fathers be sure to hold your baby girls close. Months ago when the Davis family contacted me about shooting him I immediately started scouting out the kid through his mom’s facebook page. When I seen this little guy’s expressions I knew it was going to be classic! Checkout a few of the photos from the shoot, I guarantee a few smiles…
A couple of weeks ago I was given the opportunity to capture an amazing couple, Paul & Joyce. With the weather working against our initial plans, MY vision for the shoot was quickly being washed away by the rain. I had absolutely no clue on how I was gonna pull this one off, so I took it to God. In that place is where God asked the question, “What is Love?” and immediately I thought of 1 Corinthians 13:4. After I read it I was like, “God you are Soooo Dope!” So the Creator’s juices started pumping through the Kid’s veins… I immediately called my WingMan for his assistance, told him what God shared with me and made sure he gathered his art supplies to help me put LOVE on display for the world.
The next morning we met the couple at Parish in Atlanta. At first, the couple was a little unsure of what to expect. But after sharing with them the scripture which inspired the vision for the shoot, they were ready to be used to display what “Love is…”