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
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!
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a geek/nerd at heart.
Three years ago, when I first heard about Grand Rapids Comic-Con, I was super excited. For years I have been dreaming about going to similar conventions, like the big one in San Diego. When the first Grand Rapids Comic-Con was held, I was not able to go, due to it selling out immediately. It was a small space (the home school building in Wyoming) and they had no clue of the sheer number of people it would draw immediately.
Second year I was fortunate to be able work at the convention, which moved to the DeltaPlex, and I loved every moment. I got to meet Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhura, on the original Star Trek. That was an honor, one I will cherish always.
Now, in its third year, it has moved to it’s rightful location, DeVos Place. I walked into the convention center and was totally in awe of the costumes, the presentation of the convention and just how well ran it all was. The costumes are always the highlight and the convention goers really brought it this year. I wish I had a chance to catch the costume contest and some of the panels and such but, with me working most of the weekend, my time was limited.
This year I was honored to be able to meet Caroll Spinney. Meeting the man behind the bird and the grouch, surreal. To be able to speak with the man that had been a part of the amazing legacy that was/is Jim Henson and the Muppets, absolutely incredible. I have been a huge fan of Henson and the Muppets since I can remember. It was like meeting my childhood hero. Big Bird was my favorite when I was itty bitty actually. (Check out the cake for my fourth birthday)
Also at this years “con”, I was able to meet Mark Ryan, who voiced the character Bumblebee, and others, from the Michael Bay Transformers franchise. Marina Sirtis, who played Counselor Deanna Troi, on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Also Dickey Beer who worked on Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. I also met Walter Jones, one of the original Power Rangers but I didn’t get a chance to snag a photo which I regret. There were also many other comic book artists, artists and actors there as well. Plus a lot of fun activities and gadgets.
I am so happy to have the opportunity to work this awesome convention and hope to continue to work it year after year. It has been a completely amazing experience to see it grow so rapidly and have the chance to be a part of the beginnings of this awesome event.
It was a fun weekend. And one I will look forward to every year. I was dead tired by the end of it but didn’t want it to end.
I highly recommend going!
One of the many rewards to being a photographer is being able to watch the little ones you shoot grow up.
I have done quite a few shoots with Caius and am honored to have been able to document and create memories for him and his wonderful mother Latesha since he was a newborn.
This three year old has such a big, fun personality. An absolute joy to be around!
This beautiful young lady is my goddaughter (though I call her my niece).
I am so proud of the intelligent, strong and compassionate young lady she has become.
Stay strong, keep moving forward and always reach for your goals. (Yes totally cliche but I mean it).
What a sweetheart this 6 month old is.
I love babies and she definitely stole my heart.
I have known her mom since we were itty bitty so it was special for me to be able to capture a few photos for her.
Olivia already has an affinity for music (she loves listening to her daddy play the guitar) and books.
These photos were shot back in the beginning of October.