Sunday, September 30, 2012

.037 day 27


his hat. his keffiyeh (tied around my body). his lock. his scent. his humor. his love. his spirit. his everything. now lives in me, too. he brought back my art. brought back the self that lived pre-lost, pre-aneurysms and life going left. vulnerability and fearlessness. the staple of my me'ness. it's there. it's coming. it's here. it's showing. dear daddy, i hear you. i feel you. i am you. i honor you. goddammit, i cry for you. i ache for you. i heal for you. and i'm going to show the world, how a daughter raised by you, loved by you, unabashedly praised by you, will be EVERYTHING i'm meant to be...because of you. heart.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

.035 day 25

i says, i gots me a baby, babaaa and i gots me some dimples too

b's blues riff

Thursday, September 27, 2012

.034 day 24

ask me did i care about this challenge today. 

nursing the mother of all toothaches and swollen glands, i house the patience of a saint - gone rogue. a sista can't even enjoy a burrito. i would kill for any type of doctor prescribed, pain-relieving drug at the moment...or just really good weed.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

.033 day 23

meet lamont. libra born. philly raised. spanish, black and caucasian mixed. drunk off cheap beer, sitting in corner store, charging up busted phone...alone. asked me for my number, i declined. asked me for a light, i had none. asked me for 'just a moment of my time', and that i freely shared. 

spoke of his recent divorce, the loss of his home and of the justice system dictating his right to parent. of his sons, nine and eleven, getting caught between the cross-fire, of how without them in his life, his world meaning nothing, and cheap beer and stale smokes, now everything. professed his unwavering faith in the power of love and how deeply saddened he was when he found his wife to be a non-believer. of wanting nothing more than to abandon his high and get lifted off of love again. 

asked me did i believe (i do), have i ever felt it (i have) and would i do anything in my power to keep it (i will). the last of his beer, gone, he thanked me for listening and i thanked him for talking, as he stumbled up to the window to elevate his low-lying high...

.032 day 22

Sunday, September 23, 2012

.031 day 21

"back in the day, when i was young, i'm not a kid anymore, but some days, i sit and wish i was a kid again
(the pharcyde)

i feel as strongly about cassettes, as folks feel about 8-tracks. an 80's baby, bred in the era of mixed tapes and radio recordings, word up! magazine and rap posters, i have an affinity for the memories they conjure. of lying by my radio for hours, waiting to record desired songs, then having to rewind, and pause, the exact moment the d.j. chimed in. of making mix tapes for neighborhood friends and school-girl crushes. of having to fast-forward past songs just to get my 'jam'. and having the inconvenient task of using a #2 pencil to roll it back up, whenever the tape unwound. 

i have no clue what is on this tape.
i hope to be doing the 'kid-n-play' while listening to it.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

.030 day 20

quiet day. quiet thoughts. this lamp is older than me. the end.

Friday, September 21, 2012

.029 day 19

i'm so tired, it's unreal. 31 years (young) and i am tempted to say "these bones ain't what they used to be" while rubbing my knee with one hand, and raising the palm of the other to the lawwwd

i had a collaborative shoot today with elmeka, in which, she and i both played parts of model and photographer for ti kendrick randall's online boutique, deluxe life & style (website debut, oct. 1st). it was nice. and casual. and full of love. and smiles. and inappropriate jokes. and sweetness. and newness. ti, face full of smiles and beauty and energy just as pleasant as i imagined. meka, looking all nubian gorgeous with "child bearing" hips and glowing skin. and me. nappy hair. and loss of baby weight. and feeling wonderfully awkward being on the opposite end of another's lens. 

my day 19 photo, however, is not of any of us. it's of the shoes of the dapper man whom we saw, stopped, donned with a scarf, and made a willing participant in our photo shoot on our way out of the piazza. and since he will be on ti's site, i cannot post his actual photo...but this is just a taste of the man's uber flyness. 

god knows how much i love a tailored man.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

.028 day 18

i forgot le gourmet name my neighbor actually called this. but i know a fancy smancy oreo cookie when i see one. even if you dress it up with cr√™pe paper.

i'm not impressed. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

.027 day 17

we didn’t venture far today. in fact, so close were we to home that panties and pampers the only clothing needed at all. the house, so dark and peaceful. the only sound, the howl of wind passing by an open window. the curtain in my room, flapping, fleeting, flying high, while toots chorused squeals of amazement. i grabbed my phone to first record, then snap, a quick shot of our fabric's dramatic flight, but was halted by the eerily feel of raggedy ann peeking between each take-off. a gift from my father, to his grand-daughter, i know it's of good energy. but being so old and touched by so many different hands and energies along the way, i couldn't help but think she spoke an even greater story. past my daddy spotting her in a thrift store when toots was still cradled on my shoulder blade, past sitting in his home awaiting to be washed, and found again only after he transitioned

after posting it on instagram, i decided i wanted an actual photo and scooped my camera from besides my bed (it sits there now as i add photos from it daily for this challenge) and snapped an almost similar photo. the curtains paused their soaring, and up close raggedy ann looked less like a horror story. and more like my father simply saying good morning to his babies...and i silently whispered back "good morning, daddy", while swallowing back the urge to drop to the floor. but toots was clapping and giggling and ooh and aahing so much, i calmly chose to giggle, too.

but - i cried while taking this
and i'm crying while posting it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

.026 day 15 + 16

today, the chatter of city around me, buses and car horns, tourist and locals, blurred together, like chaos and clutter, reminding me of why young me lived mostly in my head. turning the tops of lotion bottles and hair spray cans into little people, and the entire downstairs bathroom into their nation, i was fascinated by things. worn and used things touched by human hands. created stories and identities from the energy left behind by those hands.

walking under a wooden tarp from one of the city's infinite building projects, my mother and daughter casually ahead of me, i blocked out all of the clutter and stared up at the light hanging down from the ceiling. rusty and creaking, almost speaking, swinging awkwardly from stray wind. i imagined the life attached, of the man in tattered hat, and gray dickies, straddling steel ladder to string it. the laid-back loner, who brought his lunch, and never joined in on cat calls, but enjoyed the banter of his co-contractors just the same. 

midday, and the sun shining everywhere but under this tarp and i turned off my flash, removed the lens hood, just to get the darkest, brightest shot of my loner's memory. and no sooner then i take my picture, his image fades, and the volume of life turns way back up. 

my stills are like creative earplugs. sometimes i need to shut things all the way out just to be able to hear anything at all... 

p.s : it turned the next day while uploading and writing this post. so...yeah.

Monday, September 17, 2012

.025 day 14

while washing dishes, i remembered this challenge.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

.024 day 13

i love books. grew up surrounded by them. words and imagination my peace, libraries, nirvana. the crackle of spine, a brand new book makes when first opened, the ridges of pages worn from years of use, causing an almost fetish fascination inside of me.

my day 13 photo is purposeful. i used to love shooting products, objects and stills, and today, unfazed by human life, i channeled that same energy. a fan of natural light, i set this up a little after dawn, near a partially drawn window... 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

.023 day 12

nosiness is an art-form.

i spy, with my little eye, two teenagers smoking weed at the end of an alley. the one on the left saw me, too little, too late and put the 'L' down by his leg. silly chile. i care, not, what you're doing. but, if you're gonna least smoke some ish that doesn't smell like it was dipped inside of chemicals. if only whole foods sold organic doja...

Friday, September 14, 2012

.022 day 11

kim. friend of seventeen years. the leo who taught me how to apply flawless nail polish. mother of tatiana and jalen. teaches positive thinking by banning 'kiddie curse words' (the word hate, is one of them). applies make-up so well, i've seen her become several different people. she adores marilyn monroe, has collectible books and calenders and photos of her neatly strewn throughout her 1940's hollywood glam styled bedroom. my day 11 photo is of her primping for her night job. simply because i have never been this girly, and yet, i am low-key in awe of the woman who are. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

.021 day 10

i dig this kid.

jalen. ten years old. virgo. gentle spirit. loving as all get out. second child of aforementioned friend. presently squinching from the sun, not from a growl, never from a growl, for jalen mostly smiles...and makes you smile, too. 

told me. "my mom, cut my hair". 
asked me. "do you like my new glasses"? 
told him. "i love your hair cut, jay! and you look rather dapper in those specs".

he's gonna play baseball. he loves video games. but loves being outside and running and playing and daring and doing. and he, innocent and untainted, makes me miss my childhood, and miss it for all of the kids of today who never played 'freeze tag' or 'hide -n- seek'...or skinned knees, while riding bikes...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

.020 alter ego

.019 day 9

this mug is ritualistic for me. the first time my heart was broken, i drank cranberry and chamomile tea every morning for a month straight. after that, it became my comfort mug. whenever life dealt me blows, i sought it out and steeped tea in peace and sipped my way back to sanity. 

*soft sigh*

these days i favor mint.

Monday, September 10, 2012

.018 day 8

this is the 2nd shadow photo of toots at play i've posted. probably because the only time she is this in her own world, is at the crack of dawn, when it's too early for flash and the sun peeks in. every AM, after 'good morning' hugs and kisses and gibberish dominated girl talk, she grabs a toy and floats sweetly into her ever-present aquarius imagination. most days, that toy is elmo. more recently, it's been this small, plush, blue suede car (a token from grandma) accumulating more miles than my own vehicle. driven on walls, legs (whose ever may be near), kitchen tables and sometimes, even, the actual floor, it's quickly becoming my favorite toy simply because it doesn't make a sound...

:: pause ::

i am so ridiculously sad. it's a settle, barely there sort of sadness, but it's there, none-the-less. lingering just beneath skin, hiding behind my heart beats, i feel it when i swallow. the biggest tear is trapped somewhere in my throat.

but if i have learned anything in the past two that tears...and screams...don't do a damn thing. doesn't prevent your brain from malfunctioning, doesn't bring back the dead, doesn't make someone love you with all of themselves, doesn't keep a baby from being vacuumed...

i feel like i'm at my breaking point. tired of images. of privacy. of looking "normal" while dealing with some of life's greatest turmoils for appearances sake. 

this challenge is good for me. needed. healing. something light and purposeless has taken on an even greater purpose...

(i'm glad only 2 people read this blog)

.017 day 7

i loathe built in flash, but she's worth it. 

my magical tati. eleven year old sagittarius with energy twice her size. a gymnast in training, with one-handed cartwheels, so fluid i call her liquid. so pure, she's lucid. so smart, she's ageless. and toots adores her, follows her room to room, mimicking her every word and movement. and she adores toots, reading and singing to her, kissing and twirling her, so sweet and genuine, tonight she even bathed and washed her hair. 

my magical tati. daughter of my friend of seventeen years, is the only reason my day 7 photo is one i wouldn't typically use (i really do loathe built in flash). but i love her eyes, and her glitter make-up and her orange lips (she painted mines, too) and so it's here. just because i adore her.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

.016 day 6

not quite a spa, but close enough.

i am most at peace when driving, even more so when i have no purpose. it's where i listen to nirvana and wu tang clan at high volumes and unabashedly sing off-key to random ballads. where i people watch and pretend i'm in a music video. where i flirt with fellow drivers, knowing full well i'm turning off the road if/when they call me on my bluff. 

on the road, in my jeep (back then it was a blue, gmc jimmy, a gift from my father) is where i use to blow smoke and vibe on long highway rides...

driving these days, i reminisce about my life pre-motherhood. (pre) car seats and baby toys and music at low volumes. i cherish the solo trips i have, when going to the market or to a shoot or to "the store" just to get some air. my day 6 photo is a simple self-portrait of me in my happy place. it's like a spa on wheels. there is something quite calming about being everywhere and the exact same time.   

.015 day 5

toots at play. 

i still marvel at every little stride, none smaller than the rest, as she moves farther from being my baby, and closer to being who she is to become. we had a mini birthday party, her father, my mother and I, when she was just one week old. lit the same cake candle we used at one week, when she turned one, vowing to light it every year until she is grown (or the candle burns out). i am lovingly addicted to her. cheering at any and all she learns and leaps and giggles for. these days, she can finally jump with both feet off the ground, knows where all her body parts are and can stack her circles in size order. that's right. insert balloons and blowy things here (smile).

Friday, September 7, 2012

.014 day 4

the stuffier the event, the better the wine.

full spectrum: prints from the brandywine workshop
 (click here for more info)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

.013 day 3

b loves nail polish.
meet b's toes.
b's toes wear nail polish.

the end.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

.012 day 2

it was gloomy when i left the house. 

dark skies, damp air. 

pulling my "i'm not about to lug my baby and this camera in the rain" card would have worked perfectly but i'm saving that for an emergency  (i.e: hangover). and true to my innate inability to follow "rules", no matter how trivial, i took more than one photo. what can i say? a broom stick, my jeep handle and a gate just did it for me today.

i's a simple gyal.

(i'm still using my old camera)

Monday, September 3, 2012

.011 josh & dana

josh and dana johnson's wedding, beautifully serene, yet, silently solemn...

their special day, full of eternal promise, and ease, started out with so much chaos, that if one believed in omens, then one would have felt it's presence looming over the entire ceremony.  everything that could go wrong, tried: a storm the night before, caused a power outage. dinner was by barely there candlelight. the day, moist with suffocating humidity, clung to necks and shortened breaths, the grass, stale, wet, and sticking to shoes, and bottoms of feet and ankles, the only place not cluttered with utility trucks and fallen lines, became our only backdrop. the groom was late. the bride cried. my brand new camera malfunctioned. (elmeka, like a photo warrior, bought me hers to use)

so they prevailed. and i prevailed. while the grooms mother (also the pastor of the ceremony) barked orders bitterly to anyone who would take them and 50 year old men licked lips anytime i dabbed sweat off my skin and damn near orgasm'd if i didn't.

there are times, when editing, that i vividly recall the mood of the shoot and its energy seeps into my process. though periodically chaotic, there did, however, exist a peaceful calm that surrounded josh, dana, and their two children. they've been together since high school, loving each other through loss, babies, growth and proclaiming marriage well beyond and before this ceremony. 

i envy them. 

when i see two people who are so in tune that they're simply one tune, i realize that i've simply lost the faith to believe in such a melody...

.010 day 1

i decided to join my friend (elmeka)'s 365 personal photo challenge. i'm excited. it puts photography back in a place of cherishing the presence of moment. same place that gets lost between clients and shoots and deadlines of "fast food" photography. 

there are no themes (as it's a personal challenge). it's simple goal is to consistently 'be' in your art regularly. 

my day 1 picture has no real significance. outside of the fact that, while i await the replacement charger for my newest camera, i had to sulk and use an older one. and par, me not actually starting this on the 1st, and my love|hate relationship with procrastination, this was a last minute shot, my deliciously horrible late-night snack. i threw in toot's baby spoon simply because it matched and i love color.