Thursday, May 5, 2011


Naoumie Ekiko of Q Models

A beautiful aspiring model said to me last night “Well I am going to give this modeling thing a chance...” I had to stop him immediately. No matter what you do in life, in order to be successful, you have to give it 150% or nothing at all. It is just that simple. I don’t care if you are a model, a surgeon, or a Navy SEAL. No one can take your passion away from you and no one can make it more important than you. Remember that.

For those people who are not in the arts (be it dance, music, painting, etc.), they don’t truly understand what it is to have a driving artistic passion. They look at what we do as hobbies, or something to do to pass the time, or better yet… A phase.

It is usually met with the question of “How is that [FILL IN THE BLANK] thing coming along?” I have to give pause to such a question, because if you actually THINK about it, it really is an insult. Do you go to a doctor and say “how is that medical thing coming along?” Do you go to a lawyer and say “how is that lawyer thing coming along?” Do you go to a married person and say “how is that marriage thing coming along?” Of course not.  So why do you belittle what we do and reduce it to a “thing”? Is it the monetary aspect? If I made the salary of Bruce Weber or Steven Meisel and had billboards at the Crossroads of the World, would that make me more legit?

When I first embarked SERIOUSLY into photography, I got that question a lot and at first it didn’t bother me. I guess in their eyes, what I was doing was a hobby or side hustle. But as I proceeded to bust my ass with sleepless nights and endless hours of technical study. Learning to understand focal planes, memorizing mathematical equations that resulted in Fstops or understanding the science of light, I realized very quickly that this was not a “thing” that I was doing. It was a serious, unadulterated craft that I was partaking in and I won’t let anyone take that away from me.

I remember something that my mother said when I was a teenager. “Be the best that you can possibly be, and never be ashamed.” I walk with that quote in my heart and little did she know, she planted a seed of personal excellence in my heart. Anything I decided to do in my life I did it to its fullest. When I sang, I practiced a minimum of 4 hours a day. Due to that intense training, I received a full scholarship for college and traveled the world. When I decided to become a personal trainer (yes, believe it or not), I took it to the level of Master Trainer, when I decided to pick up the camera, I decided to be the best that I could possibly be (and I am still on that journey).

If you know anyone in the arts (be it your child, loved one or friend), encourage their gifts. Never doubt their talents or ability. It can make the difference between a John Doe and a Michael Jordan.

If you’re a model, pose like Kate Moss and walk like Naomi Campbell. 
If you’re a singer, be sure to make God cry and the angels weep.
If you're an actor, deliver your lines like Lawrence Olivier and light up the screen like Elizabeth Taylor. 
If you're a dancer, glide like Gene Kelly and moonwalk like Michael Jackson. 
If you’re an artist, paint like DaVinci, and sculpt like Michaelangelo
If you’re a photographer, shoot like Avedon, and light like the sun.

But above all else. Never let ANYONE reduce your passion to a “thing.”

Think about it.


  1. Epic.
    Great post D!

  2. You speak the truth, I love that about you and this blog post xoxox

  3. EPIC to the infinity indeed. I am already in awe of your dedication to the art of photography but your writing skills are right up there with everything else you have mastered. In short, I really admire your writing style and what you have to say. You are an truly an INSPIRATION.
    Thank you!

  4. Very well said!

  5. Very powerful message in this entry. Love this!

  6. lol! This is great Dallas! this is another insightful post. i still get that after 10 years? "how is the photography thing going?" lol or meet somone i didn't see for 2-3 years and they will say... "so are you still doing the photography thing?" i look them in the eye and say.... "yea i still do sometime the days im not dancing"... they look at me puzzled... "dancing...?" - "yea the days im not stripping at hustler club i still try to get a shoot in" and the sad thing is they usually dont get im joking... lmao