http://www.ashay.com/) and they are going to incorporate everything I do into a single centralized location (my photography, blog, workshops, e-commerce, etc.). So this, my dear readers, may be the last blog I write on Blogger. Hopefully, I will be launching the new site in January. It’s been a good run here and I am happy that because of readers like you, I was able to flourish and grow as a photographer and writer as well.
As the year comes to an end, I always take a moment to reflect on the past year and I begin to make plans for future endeavors. I am still on my course and as I venture forward, each and every task that I perform moves me one step closer to the ultimate goal: becoming a better photographer.
This past year was a busy one. I shot for a lot of hair salons in the New York tri-state area. I shot no less than three clothing campaigns. In the month of October alone I had editorials in three magazines (Essence, Bleu and Hollywood Weekly, respectively) and recently completed the Fall collection of Adha Zelma jewelry (affectionately named "Solstice") (http://www.adhazelma.com), as well as their upcoming Spring 2012 campaign. I have now joined the ranks of the "big dawgs" and acquired a Hasselblad H2 along with a Phase One digital back. So now equipped to shoot like the big dawgs my one true love is still, and always will be, film photography. There is a magic that I cannot explain and unless you shoot film, you won’t understand it either.
There are a multitude of people instrumental in this endeavor and I wish to thank them one by one (in no particular order). Without these wonderful and influential people in my life, I would not be the photographer I am today. I normally write this blog on my anniversary (in April), but it seemed so befitting to do it now.
Mother Logan – Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you and every time I think of giving up, I hear your voice in my head and my heart telling me: “it is not an option.” You are sorely missed.
Butch Johnson (http://www.styledbybutch.com/) – To the brother that I never had and glad I do now. Without you in my corner, my work would’ve suffered immensely. Thank you.
Sidnie Johnson – For being with me from day one. Without you in my life, I would’ve never known that I could do this. ‘
Jordan Brown (http://www.fullcirclecounseling.net/) – To my soulmate. You make me a better person every day. I thank you for being in my corner and for being who you are. I love you.
Michael Maddox (http://www.dearmichaelmaddox.com/, http://www.michaelmaddoxrunway.com/, http://www.michaelmaddoxblog.com/ and all the Cali boys) – The true spirit of the definition of “twin”. Not a day goes by that I am not saying your name. You have elevated me to heights that I never would’ve dreamed possible. You taught me to win by using grace over conceit, love over hate and humility over brawn. You and all the “West Coast Posse” have made it possible for me to be a major influence from coast to coast. (Much love to B.J. Williams, Justin Shaw, Michael Calloway, Robert Dowdy, Brandon Rice, Broderick Hunter, Brandon Lucas, Billy Payne, Marcus Hill, Christopher "Kobe" Gray, Marlon Yates, Vince Allen, Nathaniel Hamilton, Norman, Quay Fields, Tarrance Gardner, Keith Carlos, Steph Jones, Terrance Gant, Anthony Gallo, Antonio Richmond, Kevin Calloway, Chris McCain, Zion Babbs, Melvin Diggs, Daimion Henry, Davon Brown, AnDre Washington, Mamadou Sall, Nathaniael Wade, Nathaniel Lamar, Stephen Cole - I know there are countless others, these are the only ones I could think of off the top of my head!).
Goldin Martinez (http://www.getfocusedfitness.org/, http://www.youngnationinc.com/) – To the “Little Gemini That Could”. I am a force to be reckoned with because you taught me all about perception. I may not be a million dollar photographer yet, but you made sure that I shot like one. I thank you for your friendship, your love, your support and most of all, your loyalty.
Yusuf Myers (http://www.getfocusedfitness.org/, http://www.yusufmyers.com/) – Thank you for letting me know that I am better than I am. For never allowing me to doubt myself and for pushing me like I push you. Together, we will make history.
Shae Fontaine (http://www.shaefontaine.com/) – From stalker to friend to sister. I thank you for letting me know that I need to quit playing and making me realize that yes, I can play right alongside the “big dawgs”. Thank you for getting my book in front of the right people and for never letting me slack. Thank you for understanding my true Aries spirit.
Shawn Yon – Another person from another time and space. Thank you for revamping my eye every time I am in your presence. Thank you for opening up my eyes and my mind. And lastly, thank you for calling me out on every thing I SAY I am going to do and forcing me to actually DO it.
Jimi Sweet (http://www.jimisweet.com/, http://www.bigcitybaby.com/) – To one of the most under rated photographers I have ever met. Your talent humbles me, your wit floors me and your sarcasm keeps me on my toes. I look at your work and always say to myself: “really? REALLY?” Thank you for keeping me on the cutting edge of technology and not filling my mind with useless gadget chatter.
Greg Konop (http://www.gregjkonop.com/) – To one of my biggest supporters. You force me to become better with every photo shoot I do. Mud ducks included.
Marcus Gary (http://www.legendmanagementgroup.com/) – I thank you sir simply for just you being you and trying to make it a better place for models outside of New York and allowing me to help you mold them.
Kamran Khan (http://www.kamphotography.info/) - I thank you and all your talents, wisdom and patience for molding me into a better photographer and not allowing me to rest on any misconceived laurels I thought I MAY have had. Thank you for the introduction to Marco Grob and thank you for never letting me settle for anything I do.
Zenith Pimentel – To one of the most diligent and hardworking people out there. Thank you for being my homie, lover, friend! Thank you for pushing me when it was needed and thank you for being in my corner. Sometimes I don’t know what I would do without you.
Vaughn Jereaux (http://www.vaughnjereaux.com/) – When talent, craftsmanship and loyalty comes together, there is no other. I thank you for allow me into your sick and twisted world and allowing me to showcase your talent when so many others were trying to take you away.
Tim Johnson (http://www.timjohnsoninternational.com/) – With the talent and ability to shoot with ANY photographer around the world, you STILL decide to let me into your microcosmos. Thank you for training my eye as it pertains to hair. Allowing me to actually SEE hair as a character all unto itself. Thank you for ruining other hair stylists for me.
Steve Reganato (http://www.stevereganato.com/) – If nothing else, you will ALWAYS be my foray into the digital back world. It was YOU who allowed me to enter the realm of the big boys and allowed me to play with “big boy toys”. Without you, I would still be sitting in the corner playing with 35mms.
Sean Toussaint – No matter what ANYONE says, my life would never be what it is today without the famous words of “I cannot teach you photography” From every image I take, to every person I mentor, we ALL owe thanks to you. Without your artistic hand and no nonsense approach you molded me into the artist I am today. I thank you my friend, mentor and teacher. Thank you for making me LOVE film and TOLERATE digital.
Maya Guez (http://www.mayaguezart.com/) – Every artist’s obligation is to mold other artists (either deliberately or subliminally) and I thank you for that. You were (and still are) instrumental in my growth as an artist and photographer. I thank you for letting me into your world and allowing me to say: “Yes, I know Maya, and she is BAD ASS!” There is no one like you in the game and that’s the kind of status I want.
Rick Day (http://www.rickdaynyc.com/) – Thank you for producing the images that you produce, so I can go home and study what it is I need to study. There is nothing more thrilling to have my name mentioned in the same sentence as yours. You force me to stay on my toes and learn to develop myself as an artist and business man.
Stephen Eastwood (http://www.photographersportfolio.com/, http://www.stepheneastwood.com/) – My ultimate goal is to become a Master Of Light. Every blog, every workshop, every lecture, you are the go to man. You taught me how not to hoard information. You taught me how to share what I know. You taught me the true meaning of Light Is Light and without that, I would still be in the dark. Thank you.
Third Ward (http://www.3rdward.com/) – I thank you for allowing me to have a home away from home. I wish I could list everyone’s name individually, but each image I photograph, I love with people say “you shot this HERE?!!!” Oh yeah…
Luqman (http://www.luqmanfotography.com/) – From the very first day I met you, you have been quietly pushing me towards the realm of “that’s where I want to be”. Though you may not know it, you were one of the quiet influentials that have helped me grow as an artist. I thank you Luqman. I thank you very much.
Brian Mann Nance (http://www.mannatwork.net/) – ARIES ARIES ARIES ARIES. Thank you for being an ARIES. Thank you for the phrase “mud duck” Thank you for teaching me the difference between salon hair and shoot hair. Thank you for coining the phrase “illegal cable” and lastly thank you for never abandoning me when you are surrounded by some of the greatest talent in the world.
Damion Gerardo – My heart swells every time you post an image. Regardless if you painted a face, curled a wig, or photographed an image. The growth in your artistry is staggering and it makes my day when I get the text from you: “when are we going to shoot again?” It let’s me know that I am still a viable force in the industry.
Marcus Turner (http://www.marcusturnerphotography.com/) – Oh young Skywalker. You force me to take a hard look at myself and realize my true talent as a teacher, an artist and a technician. You counter everything I say with a “why” and it forces me to learn to say everything I say clearly and concisely. Though your ego is big, your heart is bigger and thank you for making me a better teacher with each passing day.
Stacy Etienne (http://www.stacybephotography.com/) – I see myself in you. I see my eye in you. I see my passion in you. I see my artistry in you. Above all, I see my Love of Photography in you. You teach me as well as show me grace in the arts. You show me where I’ve come from and realized that it doesn’t get EASIER, it gets HARDER, because WE become harder on ourselves. Never change who you are, because you are destined for greatness.
Angel Colon (http://www.steadyhandphotos.com/) – To my soldier boy with disposable income. If nothing else, I thank you for your support and I thank you because every image you take, you become more and more like a beast and you let me know one thing: “yeah, I am a pretty decent teacher.” Light Is Light.
Ivan Hicks (http://www.ivanhicksphotos.com/) – To one of the biggest supports of Light Is Light. I thank you for believing in me when no one else in Philadelphia would. They will see the light one day.
Lamonte Gwynn (http://www.lamontegphotography/) – I thank you for being a supporter of Light Is Light. The constant growth in your work lets me know that I am doing the right thing.
George Favios (http://www.georgefavios.com/) – Thank you to the man that has ALWAYS been in my corner even though he is half way around the world. You let me know that I am better than I am and to keep striving to become even better.
Isaiah Richardson – Of all the models I have ever shot, you have been THE MOST supportive in my career. I thank you. Every job you get, every shoot you do, every movie you make let’s me know that if you just keep grinding, you will be there.
Bruce Weber (http://www.bruceweber.com/) – Thank you for recognizing my talents. That means the world to me.
Lesley Pedraza (http://www.lesleypedraza.com/) – Thank you for just being such a fan and thank you for allowing me to be your friend.
Alva Page – From the runway to the studio, I want you to know that I love you and thank you for helping me mold models.
Rick Crank – To my NC connection. I want to thank you for your support. You’ve been there for me when I needed you the most.
Amy Dresser (http://www.amydresser.com/) – Your retouching skills astound the world. Thank you for allowing me into your vortex and making me a better retoucher.
Jill Greenberg (http://www.jillgreenberg.com/) – With you ramming lighting down my throat, how could I NOT give you a shout out. Thank you, Jill.
Joel Grimes (http://www.joelgrimes.com/) – Though we haven’t met face to face yet, I feel a connection that goes beyond lighting, beyond photography, beyond art. Thank you, Joel. You are an amazing talent.
Adha Zelma (http://www.adhazelma.com/) – Cherise/Sheanon thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to grow with you. You force me to grow and change every single time you walk into my studio. Each time becoming more magnificent than the time before. Rock on, girls.
Thank you to all the endless agencies, models, stylists, makeup artists, hair stylists, designers, bloggers and fans… Without you, there would be no me.
This list will be constantly updated and I am sorry for anyone I have left out. I want you to know I will do my damnedest in the upcoming year to make all of you proud.
Until then, shoot beautifully… Or go home…