Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Frances Jane Beasley

On Friday November 19th in the early hours of the morning in a little town in Northern New Jersey, I lost my biggest fan; my Mom.  It was a very unexpected loss for us that came with no warning and still to this day has me shaken to the core.  Like some, I did not lose or question my faith but leaned on it and my family/friends to make it through a very tough time. 

My Mom, pictured in this collage below with my Dad, was a Nurse who lived a life that aligned with the oath each Nurse takes to all she came in contact with; she was a caregiver.  I heard many of those stories and others (wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend)  during her homegoing celebration and continue to hear more about her life as my family bands together to cope with our loss.  BUT, I had to understand two things in order to get through this and put things into perspective.  1) She belonged to God first and that He took her back home to be with him so that has helped tremendously.  2) She IS still with us in LOVE and in SPIRIT and although she's no longer here physically, she lives on through those who knew and loved her.  I can still hear her voice in my head telling me it's going to be ok and that she will see me soon. 

I am writing all of this not as closure but as part of my journey.  An early part of that journey was to be transparent within the Facebook community as to what I was going through.  I couldn't express through the 420 character "status" limit how much the support I received through Facebook meant to me but I can through my Blog.  We all know the bad rap Facebook takes as some people have chosen to tell all of their personal business in that venue but we don't talk enough about how people have been blessed through the support of the Facebook community; family and friends.  I was blessed tremendously by their support through my journey back to the East Coast and travels up/down the highway from North Carolina to New Jersey and back again.  I didn't get a chance to respond back to every person who posted on my wall, who sent me a personal message or just prayed for me/us but I want everyone to know that I read each and every note.  Words truly cannot express how much it all meant and I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.

Getting back to my passion of photography is proving harder that I thought it would be.  I have made some small steps with plans for two January shoots because it's what my Mother would have wanted.  My Mother never saw a lot of my work so I plan on putting together a slideshow of my favorite pictures from the last few years as a tribute to her.  I am what I am today and have achieved what I've achieved because of both of my parents pictured below.  Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers...

God Bless...

David N. Beasley Jr.

P.S. I have a major backlog of all the shooting I have done over the last 4-5 months and will be blogging about all of the shoots very soon.  In the meantime, please go to my website at http://www.davidnbeasleyjr.com/ to see the new content across the entire site.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The New "Station 220"

Several weeks ago, I did a shoot for the new Station 220 restaurant which is the old Central Station in downtown Bloomington. I met Steffan Block who was returning to Central Station to help re-invent and re-brand the restaurant into Station 220.  A key to that rebranding was the acquisition of Executive Chef Rick Sipovic who brought in a new menu of exciting and very tasty dishes; this isn’t your old Central Station folks.   I was asked by Steffan to be part of that rebranding through what I could deliver with my camera and I was more than happy to help out. 

So I trotted over to Station 220 one late afternoon with my white satin shoot through umbrella, Alien Bees, Pocket Wizard and started shooting.   Shaista Hussain, another very capable photographer, helped me arrange my lighting, suggested angles, did some shooting herself and also helped sample some of the dishes after we were done.  The entire experience was very surreal for all of us as I shot tethered using that new feature in Adobe Lightroom 3 and a very loooong USB cable attached to my camera.  Shooting tethered allowed Steffan and Chef to see the pictures right as they were coming off the camera and provide me with immediate feedback.  At one point we had the staff from the restaurant and some of the guests engaged with the shoot as they wondered what we were doing.  It was an awesome experience for all of us and getting immediate feedback was also awesome. 

I just finished the job this week and you can see some of my pre-work on their new Station 220 website.  If you haven’t been to the new Station 220, I highly recommend it as they have and continue to make changes to the restaurants ambiance
as well as the menu.

Btw, you can wipe the drool off your computer screens now!!! J

Sunday, October 3, 2010

got Inspiration, giving Inspiration

Two simple question to my blog readers domestic and abroad, onshore and offshore, PC or Mac, Adult or Child, Man or Woman; doesn’t matter if you populate this Big Blue Ball we call home than you’re included.  Very simply, 1) Where do you draw inspiration from?  2) Who do you inspire?  Respond in the context you feel most comfortable with, respond using your blogger profile, respond anonymously, I don’t care as long as you respond…..

For me, I draw my support and inspiration from above; first and foremost.  I’m never let down, disappointed and it gives me the conviction to do better in spite of myself.   I am a “giver” by nature and have been told that I can at times be inspiring and insightful.  I am drawn, by nature, to people that are inspiring and for me it’s people and things that make me “think”.  As I look around the planet with these new eyes of mine, I am intrigued and inspired by everything that has been placed here to meet our needs, dreams, hopes, etc.  It’s amazing when you realize how perfect it all works together once we get the right pieces and place them right where they belong.  Even when the wrong pieces collide it can be quite awesome and inspiring if we just open our mind…..  That’s the perspective I come from.  From a day job perspective it’s Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters, Rhonda Byrne, Marianne Williamson and FastCompany magazine and not necessarily in that order.  From my other day job perspective it’s Ross Oscar Knight, Carlos Baez, Zack Arias and Art Wolfe each of who have a specific gift for capturing “all the pieces” of the puzzle in their exquisiteness and getting them to make sense, “fit”, defy the odds, keep you wanting to see more and challenge your paradigms… 

Who do I inspire?  That’s a little trickier because sometimes I/we never really know.  It could be “all of you” or “none of you” who view my work on this Blog, my travel Blog or my website?  It could be all or none of the people I photograph for weddings, lifestyle sessions, family portraits, fashion, etc.  It could be all or none of the people I mentor at my “day job” on a monthly basis who provide me with just as much insight and drive as I hope I give back to them.  It could be all or none of the photographers I’ve opened up my mind to over the last 12 months as these photographic concepts are finally sinking in.   It could all of the above or none of the above which makes realize I have room to improve, “do more” and “do more better”.  Conditionally I’d like to stipulate a sincere ‘thank you” and “pay it forward” for the people I engage BUT a “gift” with conditions isn’t a gift and inspiration should be “free of charge” right?   

So, please respond from the context that makes sense for you.  Respond as  “you” or “anonymously “; I don’t care I just want to have a conversation with the Blog community on the topic.  Don’t wimp out on me U.S. as this Blog has been visited by each US State.  Offshore/abroad, I know you are reading as well as I’ve gotten hits from each country except Greenland, Central Africa and South Central Asia.   So read, reflect and respond…

Be blessed…..

Thursday, September 23, 2010

No Place Like Home

I have returned from my travels back home to the East Coast to visit my family and shoot Mr. Kenneth Hitchens.  There are about 7-8 different and distinct stories to tell about my travels (NY/NJ/MD) of which I will be blogging about in the near future with the accompanying images.  I had a great time and the highlight of my visit was seeing my little (22yr. old) daughter Nichole.  I had a great time hanging with her and her boyfriend Kyle and I am hoping we can all see each other again real soon. 


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chris and Erica - Sweetest Somebody I Know

I met this couple a year ago at a wedding reception that I shot for Twyana and Darnell who will be celebrating their 1 year anniversary in a few days. I met Chris and Erica while walking around the reception hall taking pictures of couples while waiting on the bride and groom to arrive. After the wedding I connected with Erica to get their picture to them from the reception and found out that they were engaged and that the picture I took was the BEST picture they had taken together. It was at that moment that they decided that they wanted me to shoot their wedding which would take place in a little less than a year.

We all got busy as we do in our daily lives and we went back and forth with schedules trying to coordinate their engagement session. We finally got a date down and a beautiful house for their shoot and I took the first picture below which says a lot about the couple, their story and what would be the foundation  for their marriage ahead.  Well their wedding was this past Sunday at Kickapoo Creek Winery and as I was uploading their images to my computer, I came upon the second picture in this post which now becomes one of the best pictures I have even taken at a wedding. Enjoy this sneak peek for now.....  


Monday, September 6, 2010

Finding North

I haven't blogged about my goals in quite some time and I thought it would be a good time to get back to this practice. Although I am still learning Photoshop and didn't officially get published in 2009, it was still an outstanding year!!!!! I did 4 weddings and several other shoots that have really helped me grow as a photographer and in my ability to engage clients. I got a chance to travel and do a wedding in Negril-Jamaica, Spokane-Washington and a couple weddings closer to home. I met and photographed a two tour Vietnam Veteran, Ms. Island Mokihana 2010 and shot a slew of other people who graced my camera with their presence. It was a very good year and I am excited about what’s next for me and the business.

There are way to many professional photographers and other people to list here who have helped me along the journey. They all know who they are, I have already thanked them personally and will forever be in their debt. As you can see, I am back from my blogging hiatus trying to catch everyone up from the work I’ve done this year. Stay tuned for more; you can also find me and my fanpage on Facebook at www.facebook.com/davidnbeasleyjr

I’ll be Blogging you…


1. Consistently pray before getting out of bed, starting any shoot and ending my day – In progress

2. Shoot two weddings (1- second shooter and 1 primary shooter or some derivative of the two) – Done; shot four wedding in 2009; one down and two more scheduled for 2010

3. Do a shoot with another professional photographer – Done; Bloomington Shootout and Macy’s Fashion Show

4. Streamline client meetings – Done

5. Identify someone with marketing and graphic design experience that can help me with plans, logo and designs for website, Blogs and print materials. – Done and still in progress.

6. Develop logo, branding and other marketing materials for business – Done

7. Develop new business cards with new logo and theme. – Done; rebranded my old one a bit

8. Develop theme for business – Done (“FOCUSing on what's most important!”)

9. Add new innovative and creative elements/offering to the Blog – Done but accomplished through my website. www.davidnbeasleyjr.com/flash

10. Identify opportunities for small impromptu shoots – Done and have leveraged to diversify my portfolio

11. Improve comfort level with on/off camera flashes, strobes and umbrellas. – Done; thanks Carlos Baez and Zack Arias

12. Refine my photo editing processes in Lightroom and Photoshop – Done and I am still growing

13. Refine process for managing (archiving/backing up)images – In progress but I am in good shape

14. Get work published in print (book or magazine) – In progress and I have had several pictures that are magazine quality right out of the camera

15. Make time to post to other photographers Blogs – Fell off the wagon on this one a bit.

16. Start new innovative project leveraging photography - Done “The Model in You – The Beauty in Diversity”

17. Start new Blog – Done  http://www.themodelinyou.blogspot.com/

18. Consistently “Thank God” for giving me the inspiration, ability, creativity, insight and strength to pursue photography and bless others through my work! – Done, he is present is all my accomplishments and carrying me through all my struggles.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Macy's Fashion Show - Sneak Peek

Did you get em off the hard drive???  My Best Friend/Frat Brother (Dr. Willis Lonzer III), and I have a long standing joke started by his wife about getting our work off the hard drive; but I won't go into that right now...  I just finished uploading all the photo's from all the Macy's Fashion Show practices and event to my computer and I have over 4,500 shots.  That's a lot of pictures to backup, edit and get "off the hard drive" to all the wonderful models.  Whew!!!  I am headed to rehersal and dinner for a wedding I am doing tomorrow but wanted to leave you guys with a picture from the show of one of our "still" models; the lovely Nickki O. 

Be blessed!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Beauty and Elegance Becomes Her!!!

This is one of my favorite shots from a wedding I recently finished editing. I tried something new with my editing which almost doubled my editing time but I learned from that experience and a little about double RAW processing photos to get detail back in a brides dress. Live and Learn!!!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Macy's Annual Fashion Show

This past weekend our Bloomington/Normal Macy's store hosted a fashion show for the local community.  I had the honor of being among three other photographers (Angel Sallade,Chris Sallade and Monte Holiday) to shoot the event which was coordinated by Mrs. Sofia Reed of Macy's.  It was an awesome fashion show and our professional models (Terrance McSwain and Isoken Uzamere) as well as the local models (kids and adults) did an outstanding job!!!

I was at almost all of the practices where I took over 2,000 pictures and have a lot of editing to do in the coming weeks.  As I was importing the photo's, I came across this one which I had to edit real quick and put on my blog.  The next few weeks are going to be a challenging as all the models want to see pics, I have a wedding to prepare for on Sunday and a trip back to the East Coast to see my family and do a shoot in Atlantic City.  For now, enjoy this picture from a practice the day before the show.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Relax, Play Games, Take Care of You

I paid a quick visit to Chicago this past weekend to do some shooting for my portfolio.  I always love seeing different parts of the city from different angles, etc.  I actually got a chance to see one of my favorite views from the other side and I LOVED it.  Sometimes we miss things in life because we pay too much attention to things from JUST our perspective...

While I was there I paid a trip to a park in one of the suburbs and took this picture.  I am fresh from seeing the movie Eat, Pray, Love and I when I looked at this picture I thought about the movie.  This summer has been busier than heck and it's easy to forget to just relax in the midst of everything going on in life. I also thought about the joy of playing games. Doesn't need to be anything special as the main ingredients are family and/or friends and FUN!!!  Sometimes the simplest games suffice. Last part is taking time for yourself.  We do and we do and we do and we often forget to "Take Care of YOU"... 

So with the summer ending soon and all the back to school stuff around the corner, taker time to "Relax, Play Games and Take Care of You". 


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Who Dat?!? - Man Behind The Lens

If you know me, I am not one to take pictures of myself so why should I mess up a good thing at this point?!?! This past Fall, several of us "Pros" got together and did a "shoot out" here in Bloomington/Normal.  While we were just playing around and acting goofy; one of my favorite things to do, "Dr. Eric Codrington" took this picture of me.  It's a very cool pic and want to thank him for it from the bottom of my heart. 


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Party Like it's 1969

Yes I am a Prince fan but this post has nothing to do with him or his music but has all to do with this "1969" Jacket from "The Gap".  I fell in love with this jacket from the moment I saw it and I couldn't help myself; had to shoot it.  I started my shoot having the mental picture in my head of what I wanted and I got my vision down for the camera after a few minutes.  I just LOVE this shot and how the buttons punch out against the jacket.  I hope you guys enjoy this.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Macy's 1st Annual Fall Fashion Show

I have the distinct pleasure of working with Macy's and some of the most fashionable kids and adults in the community for Macy's 1st Annual Fall Fashion Show happening August 28th at the Bloomington/Normal store. The theme of the event is "Fall into the Magical Essence of Macy's".  These local models have been working hard over the last few weeks getting their runway "Model T" pose and fierce walks on.  Last week were were graced with the presence of Chicago's own "Terrance L" (renown model) who took the group to another level as he coached and demonstrated how to wear and walk into that "Macy's Magical Essence".

Come join us on the August 28th to see some exciting fashions here in our local Macy's.


Sunday, August 1, 2010

I LOVE Adobe Lightroom 3

A few weeks ago I was doing a shoot for a local restaurant (Station 220; formerly known as Central Station) and I tried out one of the new features in Lightroom 3; shooting tethered.  I absolutely loved it!!!. The head Chef and Manager got to see the pictures as they were coming out of the camera and I was able to keep on shooting in the process.  Adobe, thanks for the two home runs you guys have hit with Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010


The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen...

I had such a great time with this couple and their engagement pictures.  The wedding is going to be very exciting as the union of this awesome couple comes together. More soon on this.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

I'm Still Alive and Kicking

I'm still here, shooting and trying to give more love to the Blog. Enjoy this for now...


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Photographer on Duty

Just needed a title so there's nothing more to it then that.  Been trying to figure out which is better, natural or artificial light.  I have gotten some great shots in natural light lately; especially on those days with "even" light or a cooperative cloud or two. However, here comes the flash with shadows being the only thing to deal with other then strapping on a battery pack and/or lugging equipment around.  Here are some pictures I shot last year and over the last couple months as the weather has permitted.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Preaching to the Choir

When I left work yesterday, I came upon these tulips as I was driving by; I truly hope that's what they are as I am not an expert flower person, I just know what captures my eye.  As I passed them in my rush to pick kids up from activities, I said to myself, "I have got to shoot these".  Towards the end of 2008, I made a conscious decision to focus on people photography through portrait and lifestyle sessions as well as weddings; I am blessed to say I have two (weddings) booked for 2010 thus far.  Anyway, I made a decision to shoot these tulips the first chance I got which was two days later.

I picked up a 24-70mm and 16-35mm lens from my bag along with my Canon 1D Mark III and off I went.  There were landscapers close to where I was headed and I was hoping they weren't going to be a problem in terms of me being in their way and visa-versa.  When I got there, I wasn't going to get one of those shots everyone gets but I wanted something unique and different.  Being a little rusty with non-people shots, I was hoping I still had a few tricks up my sleeve.  This first shot hit me as an example of the power of God's love in allowing us to prosper in his Grace thus the title "Preaching to the Choir".  Here's hoping I got there folks.  Enjoy your spring and summer ahead from David N. Beasley Jr. Photography.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Got Knowledge? - A Different Kind of Blog Entry

Talking with another aspiring photographer today reminded me about my journey over the last few years as a photographer. No more “similac” and “pull-ups” if I can use those two analogies; we’ve made it to solid foods. I’m almost like the teenager who just got his/her license and is asking Mom and Dad for the keys to the Buick. Photography to me has been one of the most rewarding, inspiring, life changing, difficult, frustrating, annoying things I have ever developed a passion for and I would have it no other way. There is still so much to learn, experiment with and explore that will keep me occupied for quite some time but if it didn’t, I would be bored out of my mind and uninspired.

Over the last 8 months, I have been put in situations where I’ve been asked questions about photography from other young and aspiring photographers that I actually know the answers to; how cool is that…? Way too soon to claim victory but it’s a great feeling none-the-less. So this is one of those Blog entries that’s not about the pictures but more about the thought (s). Inspire someone today! This can come via your photography… If you’re not a photographer use your words (kind words), sharing of knowledge or by reaffirming “yes you can”!!! Someone today needs to hear those words. Someone out there is struggling trying to figure something out that’s pretty important to them and YOU might be the one to help get them over the hump. Someone needs to hear YOUR story so they can “see themselves in it”. Remember, someone or someones did it for you at some point on your journey so now it’s time to “pay it forward”!

The beauty of having a photography Blog is that someone may stop by, maybe just for a moment, and see the pretty pictures. But us “real” bloggers share more than that in hopes that pictures might serve as a “window” into what we have in “common” versus what might “separate” us. Today everyone is choosing up who’s side there going to be on, like we did back when we played kickball on the playground. BUT, who’s going to pick the new kid and help him/her out… I have been blessed to travel across the United States, India, Jamaica, etc. and have learned that we all smile the same, have the same fears, share similar interest and all need knowledge to complete more of this puzzle we call life. Drop by someone today and give them the piece they’ve been looking for… Got Knowledge?

For A.Morris…


Monday, March 29, 2010

Point and Shoot - Part 2

About a month ago, I had a cup of coffee with a very nice young Indian couple; Shefali and Dushyant. They were friends of friends so I thought it would be a great to visit and talk with them to learn more about the Indian culture in our little town and doing some photography work with them in the future. Shefali was "all in" and immediately excited about things but we had to get Dushyant there. Well it didn’t take him long once he started sharing his own ideas with me about pictures he liked and some he wanted of the two of them. We spoke for several minutes doing some collab/idea kinda stuff and the love these two people shared with one another shined through in the course of the conversation which was very cool to witness. It’s always nice to meet people and people from other cultures to learn about their experiences and find out how much we have in common versus the things we think might divide us or make us different.

I needed to finish this post from last month so here are Shefali and Dushyant; stay tuned for more this


Saturday, March 6, 2010

I Got Schooled

That's what we normally say on the basketball court when we get a much needed hit to the "ego" in the opposite direction right? Well I stopped off at Starbucks to use the restroom, sit for a bit and review images after a morning shoot. I was going through the images trying to see which ones would make it to the Blog, website, etc. when I ran into another professional photographer. He noticed me from several others visits I made to this particular Startbucks to meet with potential clients.  This day he decided to introduce himself, start a conversation and four hours later he was off to a shoot and I was scratching my head trying to absorb all that I learned during the course of those four hours.

We talked medium format, large format, digital, film but lighting mostly. He did some napkin drawings as part of my impromptu course and I am sure the rest of the customers must have thought "get a room why don't you". I was hanging on his every word trying to get all my questions out in the middle of him explaining a prior question; I was like a kid in a candy store. The photographer I am referring to is Bobby Martinez and he lives right here in my town. I didn't get too far into reviewing my images but after his little seminar I thought, let me please do that shoot I just did all over again and please Bobby let me watch you shoot sometime??? Well we exchanged info and off he went to meet a client who came all the way from Chicago to take 5 pictures; yes I did say 5. This might seem crazy to us youngsters but Bobby has been doing this for quite some time and spends most of that time working with the customers on posing and breathing while the rest of it is getting his lighting "just right".

Here are a few of my early favorites of Atoi and Malcolm from the shoot today. I am also looking forward to putting into practice what I learned from Mr. Martinez today. Thanks Bobby!

I'll be back soon Bloggers!!!


Friday, March 5, 2010

Please Don't Stop The Music - Part 2

I did a shoot early this winter with Sandra which I posted a sneak peek of a few months ago. I've been catching up on my Blogging and wanted to share more of my favorites from the shoot. We went through 3 CDs and 5 outfit changes before the shoot was over. She had fun during the shoot and here are a few of her pictures that she will be sharing with friends and family.