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…
As a photographer and business owner I’m ALWAYS looking for ways to sharpen my skills. I want to give my clients a great overall experience from the first time they call or email me all the way up until the time they pick up their prints and beyond.
This spring, my wife and I packed up and headed to St. Louis to attend Shutterfest which is the largest photography convention in the Midwest, as well as one of the best in the country. I attended classes instructions by Miguel Quiles that opened my eyes to new techniques and philosophies on capturing headshots, dramatic portraits and beauty portraits.
We also participated in a class on video fusion which will allow us to provide an additional service to our clients.
We also walked the trade floor to look for new products and services, networked with other photographers from across the country, discussed opportunities amongst ourselves to enhance our client’s experience and of course ate plenty of barbecue!
Inspiration, we all need it and find it in many different forms. This year I have made a point to make time to seek out art from all different genres that inspire me. It’s been a wonderful experience for me and has been even more impactful than I ever imagined.
This particular painting is by Tim Okamura. And although I have only been able to view his work on Instagram and on his website it has still left a lasting impression on me. This painting embraces strength, passion, beauty and feminism with an urban edge. I imagine it hanging on my wall every time I look at it.
It’s made me challenge myself to visualize and capture images that will have the same impact on my audience. To inspire women to be confident in their beauty, to stand strong and embrace their purpose in life.
I love capturing Love Stories! Engagement Sessions are fun and really helps me develop relationships with couples before their wedding day. It’s always nice to hear how couples met, get details about the proposal and just have a good time getting to know each other!
I have a thing for The Blues… I’ve always kinda listened, laughed and related to Blues Music but in the last year or so I’ve really developed a great apreaction for it. My favorite Blues artist happens to be John Lee Hooker. His music is RAW, simple but attention grabbing and definitely has some stank to it. His catalog is extensive with many versions of the same song.
I stepped back and looked at my images from the past year and noticed that John Lee Hooker’s music has made a undeniable impact on my black and white images. There’s one song in particular that puts me in a zone when I process my images in black and white, Black Night (live.) I can see the formula in my head every time that song comes on. Dark, strong contrast, a little bit of grain, that old film look. Black and white photography done right. I usually produce my best black and white images as night too, lol!
Just another reminder that you never know where you’ll find inspiration or the impact it can have on you and/or your work.
This brother right here! been an inspiration since day 1!
I met Uncle McGyver about four years ago at a photography convention in Las Vegas and we’ve stayed in contact every since. Always quick to give advice, provide inspiration and is definitely one of the DOPEST photographers I know!
I always enjoy talking to Jasmine Brown! Are conversations are usually short, but inspiring and ALWAYS involve are love for “Dayton” and “Ohio” themed shirts. I’m always inspired by her Love for the Gem City. For those that don’t know Jasmine Brown is the owner of De’Lish Cafe located at 139 N. Main St. In downtown Dayton and has been recognized as one of the Dayton’s Top 25 Women to Watch.
While many people in similar positions as Jasmine often choose to leave Dayton for bigger cities Jasmine has not only continued to build her foundation here, she has also invested in Dayton’s future with the recent purchase of another building right here in the heart of Downtown Dayton.
X caught my attention back in January when we both attended “Redeem The Funk” a function held by Jair Crooms of Redemption Dance Company at Therapy Cafe in Dayton, OH. We nodded at each other that night but never exchanged a single word. A few weeks later fate brought us together again when I went to meet up with a videographer to sit in on a project he was launching.
I had NO idea that X would there or that he was a spoken word artist until that day. I was moved by his passion, word delivery and sense of style. I was inspired. I took two or three photos of him that day and reached out to him about getting together to do a shoot as part of my Art Inspires Art series.
During his shoot we talked about life, dreams, passion, the Dayton art scene and the pursuit of happiness. We developed a mutual respect for each other and have crossed paths numerous times since our initial meeting.
This February I started a project photographing creative people from multiple genres. The first in this series is Dayton, OH native Tripp Fontaine. Tripp is a spoken word artist and member of The Underdog Academy. He is also a rapper that is quickly making a name for himself.
Every now and then I will cross paths with someone that captures my “creative” imagination. Tripp is one of those people… We crossed paths working on another project and I reached out to him about linking up. The day of his shoot I was going back and forth trying to pick out the perfect location for our shoot. We ended up at a place I had been wanting to shoot at for quite sometime but never used. As fate has it the location was a block away from Tripp’s childhood home. Needless to say we vibed on his session and his pictures came out DOPE!