So there are times when impromptu happens. Spur of the moment occurs.
I had set up a shoot with Jackie, and reached out to J Autrey Cosmetics to do the make up. I plan on having a makeup artist on hand for model shoots if needed and he is one of the ones that I will be using.
Well the day of the shoot it was raining and overcast and so we decided to scrap the shoot for another day but we still wanted to meet up and game plan, brain storm. Of course when we meet up the rain had stopped and the sun was out. We decided to just go ahead and do a trial run with makeup just for fun.
While Jackie was not dressed for a shoot I decided to snap a couple of photos anyway and I love the way they turned out!
I cannot wait to do the actual shoot!
I have worked with Jackie before and I absolutely adore her! The camera loves her and she is a blast to work with! True model potential!
Thank you so much Juan for the makeup magic! This is just the beginning my friend!(next time I will hook my camera up inside and actually photograph the makeup artist at work)
There is nothing like coming across genuine, honest, from the soul, people.
There are times when it just flows, and you have this natural and sincere connection.
It is like a breath of fresh air.
That is what it was like working with the Oteto family.
I had an amazing time with this family and getting to know them.
Even with a rain shower in the midst of our overcast day, it was a fun and fulfilling experience.
I truly appreciate and treasure this opportunity to be able to photograph these beautiful women. Their beauty truly resonates from the inside out.
Rose is expecting her second child and while all of her sisters were available she wanted to take photos to commemorate the special occasion.
Mother Dorothy and her daughters Mariam, Julia, Carra, Gianniana, Rose and her three granddaughters donned traditional Kenyan Maassai jewelry (the Oteto family is Luos) with beautiful bold prints.
Thank you Rose for entrusting me to capture your vision and congratulations on your growing family!!
Today confirmed one thing for me and my photography journey.
I do want to be a photojournalist.
I went down to Rosa Parks Circle today for the Solidarity March for Charlottesville, simply on a whim. I realized I actually could, and should make it down there, especially since I am getting back into the swing of things with the editorial/journalistic side of it all.
I am so glad I went. It was interesting, it was enlightening.
Not sure about the numbers, as I did not do enough research and I did not ask questions (NOTE: As a freelance photojournalist must remember to ask the pertinent questions for the subsequent blog/article that will be written to go with the photos) but there was a decent turn out and the people that did show were passionate and empowered.
The thing is, even with the short 24 hour window that the rally was thrown together more people could have, and should have responded. If we do not take a vested interest in each other as a people, as a community, as a nation, we are doomed.
Funny thing, I literally almost missed a very important part of the rally. I had walked off, and was actually going to head home but I decided to sit outside for a minute to “Snapchat” and look at my photos. Once I was done I felt the urge to go see what was going on. The thought was, maybe more people showed, maybe there is something else interesting to capture.
Well… there was…
While the rally was going on, just before the march began, a couple of “Three Percenters” (I guess that is how they identify) showed up. Just their presence of course was enough to shake people up and get them fired up. Things were very tense for a moment but thankfully it deescalated. The guys were in camouflage gear and yielding guns in holsters.
The crowd dispersed as the march began and those who stayed behind to handle the situation eventually left as well as the conversation was going no where and they felt it was a diversion from the march.
I loved being in the thick of it, of capturing the images as life happened.
Yes, I want more of that.
And that is why, as aforementioned, I am getting that photojournalist itch and I am going to figure out how to expand on that and make something of it.
As far as the socio-political climate I have to say this.
We cannot continue to fight each other. We cannot continue to not see each and every person on this planet as connected to us in some way, shape, or form. We are one… and unless we learn how to let go of prejudice and become an inclusive species we are doomed. What does that mean? It means treat people as people. It means be quick to listen and slow to judge. Of course there are some not so good people and some are unreachable, but we do not need to add to whatever it is they are going through with negativity. I was always taught to put yourself in the other persons shoes, see things from their perspective, also I was taught that no matter what you treat people with respect. There is the rule “innocent until proven guilty” that the courts are supposed to uphold, we need to do that in our personal lives. Let’s not pass judgement or assume a thing until you get to know someone.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
“A house divided against itself cannot stand” ~ Abraham Lincoln, 16th president of the United States
So. If you have ever had a conversation with me you inevitably will find out I am an NKOTB fan and have been since 1989. I have also written a blog or two about my concert going experiences on my personal blog Chellebelle416
You also will know Paula Abdul was one of the women I admired most and looked up to. I loved the fact she was 5’2 (I am 5’0) and was a dancer and singer, which is what my dream was growing up. It gave me hope that if she could do it so can I. She is very much an inspiration in my world.
I also have a big place in my heart for Boyz II Men. I have all their albums and have been a fan since day one. Even made up a dance routine to Motownphilly in 8th grade in hopes of auditioning for Star Search and becoming famous.
So of course this concert was like my inner 14 year old’s dream come true.
My friend and I bought tickets when they went on sale.
Fast forward to about a week and a half before the day of the show.
I follow Local Spins, which is a local radio show on WYCE and online publication that showcases local music and events. I saw their post about the upcoming weeks events and of course the Total Package Tour was mentioned.
I decided on a wing and a prayer to reach out to them and see if they needed a photographer to cover the event. A few days went by and I honestly had kind of not thought about it or expected not to hear back because it was so close to the day of the show. Well, I got an email on the day before the show saying that they did need a photographer and that I would be able to work!! I was so excited! It was like a dream come true!!
So thanks to Local Spins I got to fulfill my photographer dream of shooting my favorite guys for a publication and bonus that Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men were part of the show.
It was an experience I will never forget, and one I want to do again.
I knew that I wanted to be a concert photographer but now that I have had a taste of it I am hooked! Now time to save up and make sure I have the proper gear!
Thank you so much Local Spins! I cannot wait to work on future projects!!
On Saturday March 25 select businesses in the downtown Grand Rapids area got creative and put on a live mannequin display in their window in an event called Downtown Live.
I had so much fun photographing I Got Face‘s entry and watching all the hard word and creativity that goes into an event like this.
The team that put together I Got Face’s store front won best makeup and that was very exciting! Congrats to you all!
So, I am a very open, and caring person. I am a very understanding person.
When I first began my photography business my vow was to make sure that I could get quality photos to those who could not afford the prices of the other photographers.
As someone who has struggled her whole adult life to keep afloat and make ends meet money is always an understood.
I became so wrapped up in helping others and making sure that I was getting my name out there that I forgot to take care of myself. I became the “for exposure” and the “pro-bono” photographer.
I forgot that in order to keep my business it has to be lucrative and profitable for me.
While I do what I do because I love it, I have to be smart about the business side of things.
I see people who started their businesses after me passing me by, and I wonder “what am I doing wrong?” I wonder, “what is missing from my business”?
I began doubting myself as a photographer.
It is difficult to see other photographers growing and and making a name and see your friends decide to go elsewhere for their photography needs. I struggle with self doubt and insecurity.
That self doubt and insecurity carries into my sessions sometimes. I get nervous, I go into the shoot feeling less that adequate, and I swear it shows sometimes.
I am changing my vantage point on who I am as a person, and as a photographer.
I am starting to see my value, my worth.
I am ready to earn my worth.
Photography isn’t just about putting a camera up to your face and snapping a photo for someone.
When you are a photographer a little piece of your subject, and a little piece of you is in each photo. You put your heart into it.
As an artist when you begin the editing process you critique, you evaluate and you have expectations.
I know when I am transferring the files from my memory card to my notebook, and as I open up my editing software I am full of anticipation, anxiety. I get nervous.
I want to see the photos and feel confident, and content in my work.
There is nothing worse than looking at a session and that anticipation deflates because the
photos aren’t satisfactory.
I am learning, first and foremost, how to be a better photographer, and secondly how to push through the disappointment and know that at the end of the day the photos are going to be just fine regardless.
Oh, but there is nothing better than opening up a session that you completely adore and get that tingle while you edit and you are reminded of why you do what you do.
I love being a photographer. I love being an artist.
Now it is time to make a living doing what I love.