Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Other Guy Named "Harry"

I was archiving negatives the other day and I suddenly realized that there was one model with whom I have taken several hundred of images of! Yeah hundreds! Up, down, right, left, forwards, backwards, nudes to formal wear to runway! I met Harry at a motivational mens group which met on Tuesday. He was very solid, definitely into working out, yet he was so unlike the gym type, very kewl to be around! Having seen my images, he was very interested in having me take his pictures. We started shooting images for a comp card as he was definitely the modeling type. It was kewl to see him do runway for Marc Buchanan's Pelle Pelle line! (Marc also made his mark in Birmingham a burb of Detroit) Harry and I have had the opportunity to hang out allot... seen our share of action movies at the Southfield Star, always wolfing down these crazy wicked nachos and talkin shyt!
I try and see him when I go home now... best place to find him is in the gym.. he just gets better with time!

PS. Whos the other Harry? If you gotta ask you need to go to the movies!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

A Lesson in Thankfulness

As we come into the thanksgiving season I began to think on the past year and found such a mixed bag. In March I had lost my job to a corporate move to Florida. By August I was back employed in a new an even more exciting job! And what was taken away turned into something given that was better than before. In February I found out my best friend of nearly 14 years Montrice had been diagnosed with cancer of the kidney. In March a group of us threw a party at Half Past Three in Detroit to help raise some money to help cover the bills while he went through treatments. He was up and around and I was happy to talk to him in person. The distance from Detroit and Toronto never seemed far with Monty, he was always calling me from his job, and if he missed the call I would be callin him back. He would always greet me with a “Hey what’s shakin!” or “What’s the T!” it would transform my worst day to good when he called. I had met him through one of his roommates I was dating at the time. “There was something classy about this guy”, I would think to my self and eventually even after I broke up with his roommate, I would still hang out with Monty and his other roommate at the time Jerris.

There were lots of house parties, and cabaret’s we would attend, Friday nights at Bookies and Heavens where Monty would meet the man with whom he would spend the rest of his life with, Corey. There was a connection between us, born out of shopping for cloths at Summerset Mall, going to eat at the back stage dinner, clubbing. Eventually the circle of friends would become so large as to be legendary. The birthday parties, Christmas parties, and jazz swarays had become equally legendary. Christmas most of all was a time that I will always remember, I would not always make the party but was there nearly every year on Christmas day where most everyone came back for the leftovers! Oh did I say he could cook? Monty put his foot into everything that hit his stove!

We lost Monty in August… The treatments proved to be worse than the cancer. Just a week before I had the chance to see him twice in the hospital. He was on a respirator and while awake he was unable to talk. I could talk to him and he would move his head yes or no. He and Corey had just closed on their first new home, and I wanted to tell him what a fantastic home they had picked out… he so loved to do interior decorating! He squeezed my had for 20 min, until it lost all feeling and I knew all I had to know from the gesture, I was able to hold back my tears until I left the room… I left saying what I needed to say.

Unlike the job I lost Montrice was someone I would not be getting back. A week later he was gone and I was back in Detroit to say goodbye. For months now I have had a stack of pictures on my coffee table and as I began contemplating all that I had to be thankful for It suddenly struck me that what I felt most thankful for was having Montrice in my life. While he was gone from my everyday world he was always going to be in my life. He taught me that there was a way to live my life, with a little more class and pinosh. He lived his life well and as a result drew many within the circle of his life. I’m thankful for all of my friends and family, I’m thankful for my god given talents, and I’m thankful for all of the images I have taken that remind me of those in my life and how good I have lived my life!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Monday, November 14, 2005

For The Leather Set.....

Hmmmm.... not into the leather scene for my self, but I can apreciate what it means for others. Took these on the saturday before halloween. They are for a local establishment, who wanted pictures of JR for their advertisement. JR is Mr. Steamworks 2005 here in Toronto. For those who love leather! ....enjoy!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Portrait

I want to start tonight post buy talking up Duane Thomas and the publisher Universe who have brought out a stunning sequel to their previous edition, Body and Soul. More Body, More Soul: Beautiful Black Men. If you live in the states I’m sure you have already seen this, but it just hit the shelves here in Canada. Like the original the new volume is a compelling collection of photographs of black men from sports, entertainment and the modeling world by an equally impressive list of known and relatively unknown photographers. Some of my favorite images are the photographs that might be considered portraits in the truest form. Its books like these that give me both the creative inspiration and the push to get out there to find the best models I can find! Tonight collection are some of my favorite portraits from my work! Enjoy!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

A Chance to Dance Before Winter

Through my photography I continue to find myself in the presence of some very talented dancers. Robert Johnson was one of the most talented local talents I had ever met. It was common to see Robert in the middle of the circle at Heaven’s after-hours on Friday or Saturday. Those days were nothing short of legendary with Ken Collier (the godfather of house) spinning the latest house beets. Robert was part of the house of Charles and there for dance was the centerpiece of the Detroit house scene given that the Detroit houses clearly didn’t follow the east coast balls. Robert had definitely trained in the art of modern dance and was destined to go on to greater things. When last we talked he was trying out for the Lion King. The day we shot these pictures it was one of those last warm dry October weekends in Detroit. We had met up at palmer park with a plan to take some shots he could use to send around on auditions… A backpack of outfits, film in the Pentax and a walk in the park gave us the recipe for some of my favorite pictures.

To see more of my photographs dont forget:

Friday, November 04, 2005


There are a few people I have photographed who had the ability to give me a multitude of looks. As I was just getting started, this ability offered me the chance to have several models wrapped into one person. Michiee was just the person who could pull this off, sometimes in the same shoot. The images I have picked tonight represent two different shoots. In the nine-panel group of images, Michiee was wearing a silk club shirt with the over-laid images of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe (uber-gay iconography for sure).

The images were shot with a Nikon film camera, the shutter held in burst mode as he maneuvered into multiple vouging poses…. Strike a pose!? I created a birth day invitation for him using the same images a few weeks later… it was a big hit!
The second group of images clearly shows a transformation to a more trade masculine look. Which he caries with great ease. So who is the real Michiee? You can decide for yourself, one things for sure he’s a very talented personality I love to shoot!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Citizen of North America - Eight Years in TDot!

Ok it was a year ago that I finally became a landed imigrant to Canada! Thanks to 9/11 it took more than three years and several thousand dollars! But the wait was worth it. Dont get me wrong, I'm as American as they come! Its just that I have been in Toronto for eight years and when your on a work visa, life just isn't a very whole existance. Ok for all the Americans, yeah it can be cold up here in the winter which seems to last a few weeks longer than back home. But in the summer it can be as hot if not hotter than anywhere.... Living on the northern shore of lake Ontario gives the right mix of humidity!

Let me tell you whats great about Toronto, the mix of culture here is amazing... North Americas biggest Pride fest in June and Caribana at the begining of August are the perfect book ends to the summer. Un like the melting pot that is America, the people of Canada live life as a mozaic, each welcome to live their cultural life to the fullest. And while there are some culturaly specific areas, most live in a kewl mix! Everyone lives with equal rights under the law here, up to and including the right to marry, no matter who you choose to love! While taxes are higher than back home in Detroit, I have socialized health care, which came in real handy when I had my gal bladder removed last year bill! If you want to talk about feeling safe, the numbers speak for themselves, Last year Detroit a city of 1 million recorded hundreds of murders, so far this year Toronto is just over 60, which is increadible for a city of 4 million! It just feels different not having to walk around with your guard up.

With that said I do miss back home, mostly the food, Coney Dogs (not in Canada!) Soul Food! (Caribien food, close but not there). I miss my family and my friends all the time! Lucky for me that I have had good friends which transend the distance!
Ok nuff about post we get back to the photography! PS. The city scape is what I wake up to everyday! gotta love it!