Saturday, February 28, 2009

Graffiti Train

While in Dallas the week before last, I passed by this train on the way into the office. I got a flash of the graffiti as we rode by and thought, "I need to shoot this train before I leave Dallas". So, I got up the next morning around 6:30am and hit the tracks!

In order to pull this off I had to deal with three issues; 1) I only had 30 minutes, 2) fear of a live train coming down the tracks and 3) fear of the police or another public official stopping by to pay me an unexpected visit. You'd be amazed with the number of vehicles and other things whose sounds resembles that of a train. This is what happens when you let fear rule your thoughts as it did mine that day. I was thinking to myself about the headline (s) I didn't want to appear in the paper. "Man gets drug on train tracks with camera in tow" OR, " The "popo" arrest suspicious man claiming to be taking photo's of an out-of-service train".

The very fact that I am Blogging this lets you know that I accomplished my mission without harm but I was startled a few times as this was an active rail and there was a brand spanking new train on the tracks beside this one just waiting for "the man" so he could get its "choo-choo" on.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Alexia "Miss Teen Tennessee Latina"

This evening, I was in the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott in Franklin Tennessee taking pictures of this wonderful ceiling. While there, a lady (Rose Medina) asked me about my camera and whether I took pictures professionally. She quickly realized that this was my passion, I handed her my business card and we were off from there.

I explained the places I have been, where I've shot and learned more about her and her daughters backgrounds. I learned that her daughter Alexia was "Ms. Teen Tennessee Latina 2009_2010", a freshman in high school with ambitions towards practicing law. I asked her Mom if she wouldn't mind me taking her picture, she said yes and off Alexia and I went to another part of the lobby. I shot her for a quick minute and we talked for about 30 minutes until she had to go. This is where I learned a lot about her, the places she's lived, her life ambition, love for animals and animal rights. This is a wonderful, awesome and driven little woman and I can't wait to see her blossom as she represents Tennessee latinas in her "teen" title and as she pursues her dream. Now Alexia wasn't real excited about me taking her picture cold where she didn't have time to prepare but you tell me, isn't she beautiful and isn't this a great shot?

Best wishes Alexia and I will be in touch....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Girlz

I know I haven't blogged for a while (10 days to be exact) but I have been busy at work and traveling (just got back from Texas). It hasn't stopped me from shooting , just slowed down the editing and blogging process for me. I have some very cool shots from Texas including the Gaylord Texan and will be visiting another Gaylord Opryland Luxury in Tennessee during my visit to there.

Anyway, before I took off to Texas, I met with the two of the teens (Brie and Ashlyn) in our Model in You (MIY) program. If you frequent my blog then you see Brie's picture or half picture in my banner. I have had the pleasure of shooting her, her brother, her mother, mother and aunt, grandmother and grandfather so her family is featured all over my work. Don't tell anyone but Brie is my favorite.

There's also Ashlyn and I am really looking forward to shooting her with the project and watching her smile and personality blossom as she gets more comfortable with me and Angel. She has a very cool personality and the camera loves her.

So, here are "The Girlz".

I'll be blogging you later...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

MIY Models - All about the Pets

Last night we had another quick MIY meeting; kinda puts you in the mindset of Mission Impossible doesn't it. LOL. We met with Eileen and Atoi and at one point I felt like it was "girl night" and I didn't get the memo. I sat back and listened to them share stories about pets, cats, etc. and just laughed/marveled at how well these ladies and Angel clicked. Both Eileen and Atoi were tired after working all day, then our meeting so we got some quick shots and sent them home to beddy bye. For now, here's Atoi.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More MIY Models

We are making progress with our MIY project and added two more models (Kelli and Jeff) to the fray. I continue to be impressed with the diversity in looks, background and initial ideas for their shoots and how we may pair up some of our models. Each one add something very unique to the group and that is awesome.

Monday, February 9, 2009

"We Serve"

We had another meeting last night with a couple new models to the project so I got home kind of late. I was a bit frustrated with the lighting; ok with myself with the lighting issues I was having, so when I got home I sat in front of the TV and watched the end of the movie Troy. As I sat there and watched the bad guys get what I thought they deserved, it hit me how we sometimes miss the blessings others bring to our lives (even the bad guys); maybe because we’re not paying attention or not just connecting the dots….

I thought about the “hurt” I wanted them to feel for their evil ways/pain they’ve caused the good guys. As I thought more about this I quickly realized that “hurt” is a strong and strange emotion but after the pain and discovery we always come out better if we focus on the self-awareness piece. This came to me as I was urging on the good guys to kill as many of the bad guys as possible. As I reflected on my own life, I needed my pain and disappointments to help me with my FOCUSing on what’s most important…

In our meetings with the models, we’ve been talking about our backgrounds in an effort to get to know each other better. I made the mistake in our meeting with Elaine, well it really wasn’t a mistake, but I asked Angel how she would describe “me”. And after I said the words I started to get a little anxious on how she would respond. It was very cool to hear someone else describe you and how you’ve influenced their lives in a positive way. Basically Angel described how I influenced her to set and realize some goals for herself and her work and it was very touching, flattering and maybe even a little embarrassing to hear how much that meant to her as I wasn’t expecting it. As I meet people, there is a part of me that wants to help them reach their true potential and realize their path has always been there and that they just needed to step from behind the "post" or maybe the "building" to see what’s there before them. Sometimes they find that it is a post and not a building (basically a smaller much more manageable obstacle).

We (Angel, Elaine and I) went on further to talk about the fact that the encounters we have with each other are not by chance but are part of our destiny. Sometimes we know the purpose, other times it is revealed to us much later in the relationship or in our lives. In my own life there have been friendships I have formed that I have depended on so much but never knew how significant those friendships/relationships would be in my life as they were forming. Seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years have passed with each of us experiencing life’s good times and hard times but we’ve been there with unconditional love and support for each other. The one thing that is true about these relationships is that we’ve figured out that “we serve” one another and that it’s not just about us. I must admit that I have been struggling for about 4 years with one past relationship where I have been harboring a good amount of anger and hatred. As I wrote this post I realized that had it not been for this pain, I wouldn't have discovered my passion and this Blog and my other 4 wouldn't exist. I'm not going to lie, I am not all the way there with this person but I am on the road to forgiveness and that's progress.

This project (MIY), which is still very young but maturing, has already been a blessing to Angel I behind the camera but I am more excited about what the project will mean to each of the people who are modeling for us and what it could mean to the community. Connections will be made, friendships formed and who knows how and when each of us will need to call upon each other for advice, help, etc. I believe in calling things out for how I envision them and claiming the prize. We (Angel and I) are about building portfolios but quickly realized that we are doing so much more in serving each other and these people through photography. Bringing out what makes them unique as a group and as individuals is they key and “The Beauty in Diversity”.

Stay tuned for more... – I bet you’re still wondering how this entry started with a “bad lighting day” and the movie Troy and ended with “We Serve”. I may take you through some stuff but I WILL bring you back home. LOL.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Meet Elaine

More meetings with models this weekend and today was all about Elaine. I approached her while she was working and discussed the latest project (MIY) I am working with Angel Sallade on. I had my doubts about whether she would agree to participate and actually show up for our meeting but as it turned out, we had her, I mean she had us all to herself. Tomorrow will be a challenge as we will probably meet with our largest group yet but today was all about Elaine.

We visited with her for almost two hours and shared our stories and we got to learn a lot about her. I already have several ideas on how to shoot her but you're going to have to "wait and see". She was a lot of fun and VERY comfortable in front of the camera and I even asked her twice whether she's modeled before. This was her first time though and she's a natural.

Enjoy these and more to come from our last meetings tomorrow.