(Take the journey)

Goal: to become the greatest visual storyteller.

Hard to believe this record was released close to two years ago.

I was in a store a month or so ago when I heard it for the first time and just stood motionless, unable to move. I thought it was just random store filler music - despite how beautiful it sounded.

Then I began to hear this record on the radio and the obsession/fascination grew more and more. It took me close to 15 minutes of Internet super-sleuthing to find it (which is like forever this day and age).

Thank you, Disclosure and Sam Smith, for making this joint.

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Interview with my Pops in November 2005 as New Orleans began to rebuild after Post-Katrina. Employed with the city’s Sewer & Water Board, he wasted little time getting back to the city and getting to work.

Yes, I used to host a podcast a long time ago (I really, really wanted to become a notable radio personality…seeing as I have the face for it and all).

As much as we remember the pain the storm caused, I smile when I think about the resiliency of so many who were determined to rebuild the city. 

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Mason is one the coolest two year olds I’ve ever met. By far. 
The homey Bernard and his li’l one. Photo taken as I crashed the birthday cookout for Bernard’s mom.
I don’t believe the narratives that are frequently force fed to us because I witness the opposite more often. I’m on a lifelong mission to capture and share our true narratives.

Mason is one the coolest two year olds I’ve ever met. By far. 

The homey Bernard and his li’l one. Photo taken as I crashed the birthday cookout for Bernard’s mom.

I don’t believe the narratives that are frequently force fed to us because I witness the opposite more often. I’m on a lifelong mission to capture and share our true narratives.

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.@Alex_Wiley rocking the stage at the 2014 DURM Hip Hop Summit.
S/O to my fam, Toon & The Real Laww, for hosting another dope summit this year. It no small feat to coordinate and produce what they have done for three years now. Hats off.

.@Alex_Wiley rocking the stage at the 2014 DURM Hip Hop Summit.

S/O to my fam, Toon & The Real Laww, for hosting another dope summit this year. It no small feat to coordinate and produce what they have done for three years now. Hats off.

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Excited for the projects planned with fitness guru (and the super cool) Dom Talley.
S/O to my nephew, EJ. No way I would’ve pulled this shot off in a well-lit, open gym without him being there to assist.

Excited for the projects planned with fitness guru (and the super cool) Dom Talley.

S/O to my nephew, EJ. No way I would’ve pulled this shot off in a well-lit, open gym without him being there to assist.

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The homey Rashida recently had me (along with my nephew/2nd shooter, EJ) shoot her family reunion in Philadelphia.

As I’m making the rounds capturing memories, her grandmother says, “Hey, look at this…”. A photo of Rashida from what had to be 20-some years ago that Grandma proudly showed off.

Adorbs.

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.@angieluvboo was giving the homey Ashley’s Aunt Helen an in-home line dance tutorial - a gift for her birthday - then a record from back in the day came own and Aunt Hell just decided to do her own thing.

Not mad. Not mad at all.

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When people (especially someone who just paid me) tell me that my work is dope I just smile.
On the inside though I’m all like…

When people (especially someone who just paid me) tell me that my work is dope I just smile.

On the inside though I’m all like…

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This video is probably the most influential reason I shoot video today. There’s a unique backstory that goes into the correlation between this video and where I am today in my career.

I remember like yesterday the Saturday in April 2010 that this video dropped. I was throwing parties at least once a month with my sister CC and Birmingham’s #1 radio personality (at the time) Chris Coleman on top of working with my guy CJ here in NC, the owner of Cafe Beyond in Chapel Hill and the host of parties throughout The Triangle. 

In both instances we would have solid parties (along with some duds…but that’s neither here nor there), but I was scratching my head on how to get what we were doing in front of people who were not in attendance in a better way…then I saw this video on Luther McElroy’s Facebook page, shot/edited by the crew The Club Nation.

My mouth dropped.

"How the fuck niggas making movies in the club!?!?"

(Hey…that’s what came out of my mouth)

This shit was so slick! I watched it like ten times in a row and had NO idea how they shot it. I was the marketing guy at the time on both teams, recently laid off from my marketing gig in radio. Cameras were nowhere on my mind. 

Until I saw this video.

That video also made me make a bad investment, convincing Chris and CC to have us bring Lance Gross to host our Memorial Day Weekend Party in Birmingham (no knock on Lance, at all. I think we reached too far before we - CC and I - truly had enough traction in events, nightlife, etc. and that bad move was the beginning of the end of that venture. Solely my fault).

Back to the point.

I go to pick up Lance from the airport and we’re talking about that video. 

"Yeh, and they shot it with a DSLR camera (note: I had no idea what "DSLR" meant when he said it), a Nikon…Nikon D90. It’s like $1500 or so," he said.

We small-talked about some other things on the remainder of the ride - we were at Howard at the same time…I ain’t get an alumni discount though…but I ain’t mad. Hell, my mind was on that camera.

I gotta get it.

My notable post on fear details how I got the camera. Five months later, the D90 was mine.

I’m about to KILL these nightlife videos!

My first video was trash.

 My first nightlife video was ass.

…but I got the same camera?

I learned a valuable (but not cheap) lesson. 

When I’m out shooting, I have fellow shooters as well as people without a camera in their hands ask me, “What you shooting with bro?”

Without hesitation, I tell them. Currently, a Canon 5D Mark II. Not the top of the line, but that point compliments the point of this post. Hang with me.

Around the time of getting my first camera, I met my mentor Ivan Watkins who taught me so many principles and techniques about photography that probably have helped me even more on the video side. All of my projects, photo and video, began to look a lot better (just browse my blog. Eh!). 

There’s so much more that goes into working with a camera besides just the camera.

You can make whatever you shoot with work for you as long as you know what the hell you are doing. Google the Roll Royce commercial shot with an iPhone 5.

The key is to learn what the hell you’re are doing.

As much as one may try to, there is no shortcut to working to becoming a true master of your craft. Trust me, I’ve tried…

Remember that, the next time you’re moved to ask a photographer, “What you shooting with, bro?”

The proper answer should be experience, knowledge, and talent.

(Note: I’m not proclaiming myself to be a master. I’m far from it, actually, as I’m still seemingly in the toddler stage of this journey.)

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Before adding your (self-righteous) opinion, remember. Note to self, first and foremost.

Before adding your (self-righteous) opinion, remember. Note to self, first and foremost.

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That one time I stayed in the bathroom too long. It was like The Most High knew I would have to go potty in Parker & Otis.

That one time I stayed in the bathroom too long. It was like The Most High knew I would have to go potty in Parker & Otis.

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I want to do great things. In no particular order or timing.
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@Angieluvboo

She’s always dropping gems in the midst of a casual convo that I want to catalog in my memory. 

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"Who Shot Ya?"

Getting “off set” shots while shooting for Proverbs Clothing Co’s Fall/Winter Video. Behinds the scenes photo courtesy of Jamila Davenport.

"Who Shot Ya?"

Getting “off set” shots while shooting for Proverbs Clothing Co’s Fall/Winter Video. Behinds the scenes photo courtesy of Jamila Davenport.

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