Monday, December 29, 2008

BRIAN PETERS AND BO-BO the teddybear

This is Brian Peters @ Ford models talking about castings and how important Bo-bo is to him booking jobs...LOL


Recent postings of my work contain "the watermark" as my attempt to protect myself, the models, and everyone involved from the misuse of the work. At first I didn't want to do "the watermark" but over the years I have seen more and more of my work and my fellow photography friends work slattered on websites and other paraphanalia that misrepresents myself and the models. As the use and misuse of the internet becomes more popular, I felt some effort of protection on my part is necessary.

I came up with a watermark that looks more like magazine credits to not take away from the work as art.

Today I saw a series of images I shot of a particular model who opt'd against using "the watermark" images on his facebook, myspace, modelmayhem and other internet pages. As I was resizing a set of images and adding the watermark I explained to him the importance of using "the watermark" versions. He totally disregarded my request and use larger non-watermark versions ...telling me that he was about the art and felt it was more artistic without "the watermark". He felt like my watermarking the images made them look like advertising and he want the shots to look like art. As my mom would say " he must think my name sammy sausage-head." i gave him the non-watermark versions so he could print them. His art belongs on his walls not on myspace and facebook. Who goes to myspace and facebook to look at art?
True enough if someone wants to steal the images bad enough they can remove the watermark off the images but if someone wants to steal your car or break into your house bad enough, they can pick the lock. What's the point of locking your door? Its always good to take some measure of precaution.

Allura Pulliam - one of the original girls I worked with in Memphis...

One of the models I shot told me he wished I had done "the watermarks" sooner because he saw images of himself plastered on gay event flyers during his last trip to Atlanta. I know I have seen images of other models on club flyers on the street here in New York.

This situation with this model and the experience has made me implement a series of new practices when working with people in reference posting images I have shot on the internet. Understand that I do see my work as art and value it as such but I definitely don't like being out and about and see my photographs on club flyers or surfing thru other people's blogs and websites and see my work in a misrepresentative manner.

Despite this one model's blatant disregard and lack of respect, I hope that the rest of the models I have worked with and work with in the future respect and adhere to posting "the watermark" versions on the internet....

Because this model has put myself and my work in a vulnerable state, I will never work with him again. He gets the middle finger from me.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

pictorial #2 - BOHEMIAN GLAMLUXE:things don't always turn out like you want them to...

The day I was suppose to shoot Vianna and Angelica of Next Models in Miami it seemed like everything that could go wrong went wrong. It rained the day of the shoot and I had to reschedule for the next day because i instisted on shooting outside. The last minute schedule change left me without a stylist. Everyone was late and that affected the lighting conditions terribly. Then the weather took a turn for the bitter cold and high winds. after i redesigned the plan for the shoot Angelica came at me with this whole "i'm a conservative model and i prefer to be modestly dress shit." Not only had i planned for the outfits to be sexy and provocative, Brandon was suppose to be nude for one of the shots and the girls were gonna be fighting over him (some Dolce and Gabanna type of shit)...all that got tossed out the window. I really wanted some more girls in my portfolio so instead of arguing with her and disrupting the mood, I kept modifying my concept until she was comfortable. (if you could see my face right now while i'm typing...) I started thinking about the rumors that i was difficult and had a bad attitude. I didn't want these girls to go back to Miami thinking I was an asshole.

I made the girls outfits out of oversized t-shirts. I was inspired by the deconstruction designers of the nineties and old Gucci by Tom Ford. Once we got the girls dressed and Brandon in his Prada suit, we went up on the roof. the wind was blowing like crazy and it was super cold. It was so cold I couldn't even think straight. I shot Angelica first and I told her i wanted fashion posing ...i wish i coulda concentrate better so i could been clear about what i wanted. She kept crunching her body and shortening herself.....all wrong for the long lines i needed to accentuate her outfit.

I kept seeing Brandon out of the corner of my eye laughing. The wind was furiously banging against my head and I started getting a headache. Vianna got in front of the camera and turned it out. she was a real trooper induring the cold and wind like a pro. I could tell she was the more experienced of the two. She put on what ever i told her and never complained....she made me feel like she want the shot as much as I did, maybe even more.

The shoot was long and exhausting and we took our asses to IHOP to experience the worst waitress ever ( the one in Brooklyn and her name was Wendy). During the shoot I tried to make the most it but i wasn't happy because I wasn't getting nothing like what I wanted for this shoot. The girls were really nice people and I totally enjoyed them. I especially liked Vianna and I would definitely work with her again. She was tha bizness. Brandon is always a trooper.

Crystal did her thing with the makeup and I love working with her. It was another situation where i serendered my vision to please other people. The last time that will happen.... I learn't to never compromise my vision and allow other peoples limites and restrictions become my own. The pics turned out okay....but it wasn't what i wanted.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


me on the corner of 41st and park ave....a redbull junkie on the street having my

Yes I will be the first to admit my addiction to the energy drink Redbull. I drink one every morning before I start my route at work. Nothing like a little taurine, caffeine, glucose and B12 to get the juices flowing. If I don't drink one I instantly start suffering from some weird withdrawl where I start feeling sluggish and tired. I have tried going cold turkey a few times but when i'm walking up and down midtown manhattan, I constantly pass street vendors selling them..... the urge for that tangy taste kicks in and I haveta have one.
Starting today imma quit....well i'mma try....

Friday, December 19, 2008

ONE TO WATCH: Kyle Saunders @ Ford Models NYC

I was sitting at home bored surfing on the internet when Sean Bennett of Specimen models popped up on the instant messenger. I was telling him how bored I was and he asked me to test one of the guys he had placed with Ford. The model was leaving to go home for the holidays and that he wouldn't be back in New York until feburary for fashion week. I really didn't feel like shooting but I reluctantly said okay. We quickly discovered the guy was staying with people directly around the corner from me. Literally 5 minutes later my doorbell was buzzing and it was ..... lankly framed Kyle Saunders with lip piercing in the bottom right corner of his mouth. He was naturally gorgeous and i felt the best way to display his beautiful face was to just do these clean, high quality images....

Kyle was very easy to work with and unlike most male models, he is very aware of his strengths and with each pose he exemplified them with confidence.I was glad I had the chance to create these amazing images with such a character.

what do you guys think? ......Kyle Saunders of Ford Models NYC is definitely a star in the making.

Monday, December 15, 2008

introducing DURAN BUNCH @ Wilhemina Models NYC

One of the girls i useta take pics of back in Memphis actually introduced me to Duran Bunch. He was a guy from Nashville detailing bikes who was trying to break into modeling. She was in a fashion show with him and thought he needed my touch to help, so she gave him my contact info and called me insisting I work with him. I said ok after she emailed me photos of him backstage at the fashion show.

Duran would drive from Nashville to Memphis regularly to work with me. I totally believed in his look and definitely though he'd do well in this business. He has. With the help of my images, Duran is currently signed with Wilhemina. Duran has stomped the runways of damn near all the top European designers , appeared in a solo spread in L'official Hommes, Vman, Nurmero and recently appeared in a controversial spread in Vmagazine shot by Steven Miesel. I am so proud of Duran and I cain't wait to see what he does next.

Next time we are in Memphis together we need to hit the Cheesecake Corner again and indulge in their amazing turkey and dressing quiche...that shit was off the chain. lol!

pictorial #1- HOMME MADE KNITS.....

I wanted to shoot Brandon Parker in a really great set of sweaters. My bills are kickin my ass right now so i didn't have the money to splurge on sweaters for a photoshoot nor do I have stylist at my disposal with whom I could have got the sweaters from so I applied my creative energy into making them.

I took a cable knit skull cap I paid $5 bucks and cut the top out and used it as a turtleneck and glued pieces of a broken mirror to it. I think the results turned out pretty good.....I am very pleased

Monday, December 8, 2008


for as long as I can remember i have scouted modeling talent on my own for my own projects. When i was in memphis , i would hit my college campus and the mall and anywhere on the streets for interesting faces that inspired me. Since working with the top agencies in nyc, I have decided to not limit myself to the selection of models agencies have to offer. Most of the agencies tend to offer the same type of models and that has gotten a bit boring. All the white models tend to blur together and look the same....they look like brothers and sisters. All the black guys and girls tend to look like they just just stepped off the boat from the motherland - and black people are way too diverse to be limited to a selection of 3 or 4 models on an agency board.

The New York city streets are full of interesting people who are inspiring. Walking thru midtown Manhattan, Harlem, or Brooklyn makes my toes tingle with the amazing selection of beautiful and interesting people to chose from to create amazing images.

I also OVER the self-important attitudes many agency bookers tend to give a newcomer like myself. I feel like i'm in a "Mean Girls" movie sequel with mean fashion people. I don't haveta deal with none of that when I hit the streets.

I don't need the validation of the agencies, other photographers, or industry insiders when chosing people to shoot for my projects.

Brian Peters wasn't with Ford when I started working with him 4 years ago. He was a fellow co-worker at fedex in their hub headquaters in memphis. I spotted him in the parking lot, gave him my card. I worked with him every saturday for almost 4 years - which has led to a long term working relationship and friendship. When I moved to new york i introduced him to his former mother agent, sean bennett @ specimen who placed get him with Ford NYC.

Andre Douglas wasn't with any agency when i started working with him. He was basketball player in Lawrenceville, Alabama who max'd out his credit card on a plane ticket to new york city. He stay'd with me when I was living in the Bronx because he had no money for a hotel or no where to stay. He arrived with a broken foot that was swollen like he had elephantitis but we worked around it. I also introduced him to his former mother agent, sean bennett @ specimen and helped him put a package together that helped get him placed with Wilhelmina NYC.

Duran Bunch detailed motorcycles in Nashville, Tn and would ride his bike to Memphis to shoot with me. He wasn't signed to anyone. I saw his potential and help'd him delevope his book so he could have a competing chance in this business. He's currently represented by Wilhelmina NYC

Tiffany Fairfield I met in college while painting the set for a fashion show she was modeling in. I worked with her for years as we both developed and grew. It was my images that got her placed with Ford in LA and Arizona where she currently lives.

Philip Gadsens was my first discovery from myspace. He was going to school in Alabama and I saw him in a fraternity group pic and he eventually came up and stay'd with me for the weekend to create amazing images that got him placed with Ford.

Chris Clark Cates was waiting tables at Chili's up the street from the university of Memphis in Memphis, TN. We worked closely every weekend for months until he got enough strong images that got him placed with VNY in new york.

I remember when Tyson Beckford first appeared on the scene in the First Down outerwear ads in Source magazine and his look wasn't that of a male model. People thought he didn't have the standard looks of a model. They thought he  looked more like a nigga off the block and now he's the most famous male model in the world and his look is the stardard template for black males modeling. Someone was inspired by his look enough to to shoot him and work with him and thats how I work.
I choose people who inspire my ideas and I believe in their potential. It is cool to work with agencies but that has never been the driving force behind my model selection. I am proud of the work I have done with a lot of aspiring models and i am happy to know that it was my belief in them and the work that we have done together that helped the industry see the potential i saw. I understand my work and the vision i see helps these agencies and models get paid..... now i'd like to see to $$$ on this end. :)

I'm not trying to take full credit for these and other people's success in this industry. I am just acknowledging my contribution. Some of theses people's success in this industry would have happened totally differently if my involvement wasn't there. I have extended myself beyond what most photographers because i wanted to help them. My grandma always told me to be helpful - especially if it doesn't put me in a bind. I helped those models and others because I am able....not with the expectations of anything in return. I was raised by good people to be a good person and to have a good heart....NYC and the people in the fashion world makes it real tough to be that....

Sunday, December 7, 2008

one to watch......BRANDON PARKER

Hailng from Va. my latest discovery, Brandon Parker is currently unsigned and seeking representation. Brandon was the prepper for Ralph Lauren style team of Kelli Browning and Randall Jacobs when I shot Pierre Woods for Uptown magazine. Me and makeup artist Crystal Clark couldn't stop staring at him. His presence and energy was very strong and capitivating. So much so, that Crystal spent most of the day flirting with him, lol. After the photoshoot we exchanged contact info to set up a session.

Brandon was a basketball player for Marymount but after a foot injury that pretty much caused him lose his scholarship - he has set his sights on a modeling career here in nyc. Like myself, he arrived with no money, no family, and a few connects to start life in ny. I been working with Brandon alot for the past few months helping develope his portfolio and him to become a better model. I did the same thing with Brian Peters, Andre Douglas, and Pierre Woods .... now its Brandon Parker's turn to break into the fashion industry and its next big thing.

His classic "guy next door" looks and damn near perfect 6'2" body makes him a definite choice any client from Abercormbie to Armani....
He reminds me so much of my fashion illustrations from my college days - them long limbs, poppin' cheekbones and that long neck... Brandon on his way to becoming a coldmuthafuxah in this industry....

Most of the models I worked with and helped developed, I never see or hear from them again. In the same fashion as Brian Peters @ Ford, Pierre Woods@ NY models, Shylow and Lamar James@ identities and a hand of others I developed a connection beyond a one time session. We developed a friendship that made me take a interest in seeing these people shine. They help make being here by myself less lonesome.....

me and brandon kickin the convo.......

( special thanks to momma Parker for cooking us some real baked mac and cheese on Thanksgiving and Brandon hooked me up with a new chair, hehehehee)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

one to watch......Geremy Alexander Perry


This is Goldie aka Geremy Alexander Perry @ identities models nyc. I found Geremy thru a social/ network website myspace. While visiting my family in Memphis, TN, a friend suggested I go to his myspace page and check out one of his top friends with lots of hair as a possible person to shoot with while I was home. I saw webcam pictures of Geremy and was drawn to his look. I sent him a message and set up a session when I got home. It turns out he wasn't the person I was suppose to be checking out and that guy ended up flaking out on me. I show'd Tim at Identities the webcam pics (below) and he was interested in signing him.

Geremy Perry's webcam pics that i saw....

Goldie and his grandma flew up to nyc and after meeting Tim, he was signed and his development process soon went underway. After Goldie graduated from high school he made the permenant transition to making NYC his new home and get his modeling career in full swing.

He booked runway time for Edwin D'angelo and Nico and Adrian Spring 2009 shows during NY fashion week this past season and well as landing the upcoming Pelle pelle campaign shot by my boy William Springfield ( who was once the face of Pelle Pelle). I am excited to actively be apart of another model's successful career and look forward to seeing him develope into a superstar in this industry.