Recently I took a much deserved break from the hustle/bustle of NYC and went back home to get dose of southern love from my family and friends. Its also a time for me to refresh myself and remember why I left home to conquer the dog eat dog world of the fashion industry.
this is the house I grew up in - in South MemphisBeing back home allowed me a chance to be around my family and friends and submerge myself in love from people who genuinely care about me. I got to go back to the house i grew up in and eat some real home cookin' and get alot of granny hugs.
this is a portrait of my grandparents (my grandpa died on Father's Day a few years ago) Grandpa bought me my first camera ...a Pentax K1000 35mm camera
Being back in Memphis forced me to slow down and take a little break. One of the plus factors to coming back home is returning to my old studio space. It was my bedroom at my grandparents house. They helping me clear out my bed and furniture and convert it into my studio. I spent most of the time re-absorbing the things that inspired me before I made the move.
this is my studio...where all my magic took place
I also looked thru old journals I kept and artworks i did during my college days.
sketches and notes that were in my notebooks and journals....
paintings and drawings i did before my move to nyc
I sat in the middle of the floor of my old studio/bedroom I spent most of my life looking thru my massive archive of magazines like HONEY, SUEDE, TRACE, CODE, V MAGAZINE, INTERVIEW, AMERICA, as well as Vogue, GQ, and Elle.
People who I useta photograph stopped by and we'd reminisce about our college days, fashion shows, and past photo shoots
ONLY PPL IN THE SOUTH KNOW ABOUT "FREEZE-CUPS" (frozen kool-aid in Styrofoam cups)
One of the things that tripped me out was that alot of businesses and homes were forclosed or just completely gone. Living in NYC has made me completely blind to the effects the economy has had on this entire nation.
there use to be a house in that empty lot next to my Granny's house - and you can see one of many foreclosed homes that litter my old neighborhood.
I was surprised to see the old poetry spot Precious Cargo boarded up...
After about 3 days of eating, eating, hanging out, and more eating, ....I came to the realization of how much I NEED to do art and I could never do it at the level I want to in Memphis. I became restless and longed to get back behind my lens.
During the last few days of my "vacation", I contacted Brian Peters who wasn't available for shooting ( he was in the middle of dealing with his brother's wedding). I then reached out to Tanieka Carter and Mercedes Stafford, wonderful models whom I collaborated on some amazing images together ( and they still had their "model" bodies). I also linked up with Najee Strickland, a model/ designer who has a line of t-shirts called Heartless. I will do a separate post about their shoots and you'll see the results of those images soon.
photographer Darius Williams
Aquarius Creative Studios
Photographer Darius Williams of Aquarius Studios gave me free reign of his studio during my time at home. I met him during my return trip last year at photographer S Julian's birthday party. He let me use his studio space when I shot model, Ty Parker. During this trip, I got to spend some chill time with Darius and get to know him a little bit better.He's a very nice guy and very talented. His work with Najee was what made me interested in working with him too.
photograph by: Darius Williams - behind the scenes photographing model Najee Strickland and assisted by Mercedes Stadford
All the food I ate, the parties I went to, and the time with old and new friends and loved ones was priceless and contributed to one of the best times I had at home.