Class of 2017… It’s YOUR Time!

Class of 2017 you have NO idea how fast your senior year is going to fly by! The first day of school will quickly turn into homecoming, mid-term exams, prom and finally your last day of school and graduation!

Take time to take it all in and enjoy your Senior Experience. It may not seem like it now but your senior year will be something that you will reflect on for the rest of your life. It’s your first major milestone, you and/or some of your best friends that you grew up with and saw just about every day will begin to move across the country.

Be sure to take your class work serious, your grades and overall GPA will play a major role in you attending your “dream school” or getting the job that you want. So have fun but take care of business!

How Quickly Time Flies

How quickly time flies…

Seems like just yesterday I was rushing to the hospital to welcome my first born into the world, now here we are some 18 years later she’s leaving the nest and off to begin her college years at “The Mecca” Howard University.

Where did all the time go? It seems like we should still be laying on the floor with the lights off making shadow figures and listening to music, “she was raised on D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Raheem DeVaughn and well… good music!

 Whether we like it or not our kids will not remain children forever. Time will pass, milestones will pile up and if we as parents have done our job, they will grow into young adults and move forth to claim their place in this world.

Don’t get me wrong… I will definitely miss her, but I’m excited for her to start the next chapter in her life.

I have invited by my daughter “AND afropunk contributor” to attend afropunk  in Brooklyn on August 27-28 so I’ll be seeing her soon so we’ll get a chance to hear good music, vibe with other creative people and more importantly continue to cement our bond. 

How Did I Get Here?

So I’m on a plane with my wife heading to Ocho Rios, Jamaica to photograph a destination wedding and I keep asking myself “how did I get here?” Seriously “how did I get here?”
In 2011, I bought my first “serious amateur” Nikon camera with hopes of taking better pictures as I traveled. I never had any thoughts or aspirations of starting my own business or even taking photography seriously  for that matter. I just enjoyed the challenge of learning something new, the process of growing and getting better each time I picked up the camera. With photography, no matter how long you’ve been shooting or how skilled you are with the camera, there is always a new challenge awaiting you or something new to learn. 

In 2012 I launched AP2 Photography. I’m proud of my business and where I am as a photographer. That doesn’t mean that I’m satisfied or resting on my laurels. And while I challenge myself to not only satisfy but exceed my clients expectations the thing I pride myself on the most is providing them with a great experience. This concept is true to who I am as a person. I love to engaged and connect with people. Which brings me back to “how did I get here in beautiful Ocho Rios, Jamaica?”

Well in the winter of 2014, I met Anna who at the time was graduating from Wright State University and on her way to Law School at Michigan State University. During her “extended” shoot we talked, we laughed, discussed politics and got some pretty dope images along the way. In fact I even promised her a free photoshoot when she graduates from Law School and when she’s elected to public office. Since that time we’ve kept in touch through instagram and have maintained the relationship we formed two years ago.

That relationship is what led me to Jamaica. You see going the extra mile for Anna made an impression on her which led to her referring me to one of her fraternity brothers. From there it was up to me “and my work to seal the deal.” I’ll take those odds every time. So here I am, on the balcony of my room in Ochos Rios, Jamaica. Enjoying time with my wife, taking in the view and wrapping up this blog post. Life is good my friends! Life is Good!

Something Old, Something New

Growing up in the Residence Park neighborhood of West Dayton my mother always accused me of having an old soul. This was usually related to music which has always been a constant in my life. She’d walk past my room and stick her head in to hear me listening to music from well before my time. Songs from her teenage years. I’ve always had an appreciation for things that managed to stand the test of time.

Being a photographer in this digital age it’s easy to get caught up chasing the latest and greatest gear on the market. This is an expensive “and often unneeded” habit within the photography industry. Early this summer I was at a thrift store and decided to buy an old Super KSX film camera “it was 50% off!” with thoughts of using it to decorate my studio space. The camera came with a roll of film so I decided to test it out. The whole process was stimulating. From the way that it felt in my hands, to fumbling around the old mechanical dials to the unnerving anticipation of waiting to see how the film came out.

Since that time I’ve added an old Nikkormat FTN and an old Mamiya/Sekor 1000 DTL to my collection of film cameras. The Mamiya/Sekor is special to me because it belonged to my late “and favorite” Uncle. He always had a camera out during family events. I love shooting with the film bodies because it forces me to slow things down and focus on what I’m trying to accomplish.

These old film cameras have sparked a new flame for me. I love the anticipation that comes along with shooting film. There‘s no screen on the back of the camera to show you what you’ve captured. No blinking lights to let you know if your image is under or over exposed. I love the look and feel of images captured on film, especially black and white images with just the right amount of grain so I’ve decided to only use Ilford black and white film and to also develop and process my own film.

So the next time you want to try something new consider something old…