If I were a super hero, this would be my origin story. But where do I begin? Many would say at the beginning, but I don't know where that is. My earliest memory of me finding an interest in photography was my dad's film camera. Something about that camera intrigued me. I used to play with it when my dad wasn't home. I used to look through the eye piece and focus what I was seeing inside. I never pressed the shutter because I knew that would be evidence that I was playing with it. At that time, it would have been like a young Superman not knowing he had super powers and not knowing what to do with it when he discovered it. Many years later, I brought a camera from a friend and re-discovered my interest in photography. Later, I discovered that I had an interest in video production and rightfully so since photography and videography go hand-in-hand. So I began taking video and photography classes in college. After college, I began traveling and taking pictures everywhere I went just to capture what I saw. I think what I most wanted to do was document history. I loved seeing all those iconic images from the past, from wars, protests, civil right marches, and general life. I just wanted to shoot it. Even though I love to shoot all types of photographic work, photo journalism seems to be my next path.
While waiting for a ferry to take us from one port to another, I saw this little African girl playing and running as if she didn't have a care in the world. I wanted to capture her care free youth. I only got a few shots in before she saw me taking her picture and then she stopped and walked away. I didn't mean to interrupt her playing, but I don't blame her because what would you do if you saw some strange man with a camera taking your pictures.
These three little boys saw me with my camera and wanted me to take a picture of them. So I gladly pulled out my camera and took a picture of them. I don't know if it meant more to them or me, but I'm glad I did. I never got their names. Never got to sit down and have a conversation with them, to ask them their names, how old they were, how many girlfriends they had, and what they wanted to be when they grew up, and yet I sometimes wonder how they are doing.
I don't know where to begin with this image. I saw a little guy sitting and crying. I didn't know if he was lost, hungry, or just needed some love. I didn't know who or where his parents were and if they knew where he was. So I took his picture because he had my attention. I didn't want to leave him alone as I saw him, but I didn't know what to do otherwise. Maybe his mother was near by and was in visual site of him and was just letting him pout because he couldn't get some candy he wanted. After I took his picture, he seemed ok. I had to move on and I truly hope he was alright after I left. I wish I could have done more for him.
Sometimes, I really believe we forget just how truly blessed we are. This child seemed happy to just have a piece of mango. No need for the newest iPhone, or the new Jordans, just a mango that he can share with his sister.
Erica Campbell Dr. Bobby Jones Fred Hammond Jonathan McReynolds
I loved working the Red Carpet during the 31st Annual Stellar Awards in Las Vegas, and Love is Alive: The Final Concert kickoff tour at the historic Murphy Center on the campus of Middle Tennessee State University, in Murfreesboro, Tn.
Little Big Town
Lisa Nichols speaks to a captive audience at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurship Conference in Atlanta, Ga
Steve Harvey speaks and answers questions during the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurship Conference in Atlanta, Ga.
Roland Martin, CNN contributor, Journalist, and talk show host, speaks to the audience during the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurship Conference in Atlanta, Ga.
Jermaine Dupri speaks about leadership at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurship Conference in Atlanta, Ga.
Comedian Nephew Tommy, of the Steve Harvey Morning Show, hosts the Black College Quiz. A show where students from Historically Black College and Universities, represent and compete in quiz bowl fashion to win scholarship prize money and bragging rights for their school.
Comedian, Nephew Tommy, holds up the hand of the overall champion of the Black College Quiz.
Kirk Franklin hosting the Stellar Awards
Rickey Smiley and LaToya Luckett hosting Black Music Honors
CeCe Winans, one of my all time favorite artist to photograph. I enjoy her music so much which makes it even more enjoyable to photograph her.
BeBe and CeCe Winans receives the Black Music Honors award for Gospel Music Icons .
One of my favorite shots of CeCe Winans, this shot was taken during the Stellar Tribute to Hope. A show dedicated to the promotion of hope through music but also in celebration of Easter.
This was a performance by the R&B group "Next". I just love the lighting in this image. The group was performing "Motown Philly" in honor of Dallas Austin, the producer who wrote the song for the group "Boyz II Men".
Chris Young, taken at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tn during their Salute to the Troops show.
I took this shot of Vince Neil (Motley Crue) during the Music City Grand Prix. It was cool to see the rocker in action.
I was not scheduled to shoot this concert. I was 30 miles away working another event. I knew I had credentials to get up close to shoot though. So I did. Didn't make it in time to shoot the whole show, but still got in a few clicks at the end.
Truly enjoyed shooting Jamey Johnson at the Music City Grand Prix and Luke Combs at the Grand Ole Opry's Salute to the Troops.
The Isley Brothers
So, I was tasked with the job of taking a few portraits of the honorees at the Trumpet Awards as they came off stage from accepting their honors. One of the honorees was the Isley Brothers. It was a total honor to photograph such legends in the music industry. Also pictured is Johnnie Gill.
Aretha Franklin and Rev. Jesse L. Jackson
Here is a perfect example of why I got into photography to begin with. Two iconic figures of history sitting next to each other having a conversation. They are not posing for this picture, nor are they aware that I am taking this pic. I wish I could have been allowed to hear this conversation. What were they talking about? Was it something political or entertaining. Who was it about or what was it about? Was it something from the past or something to come in the future? Ms. Franklin's intense stare at Rev. Jackson's thought-filled conversation can only make you wonder.
The March on Jena, La
I've always admired historical pictures. I think it's one of the things that got me interested in photography. That and my dad's camera. I've always been intrigued by that special moment in time captured with just a single press of a button. That's what was on my mind as I travel to Jena, La for the march. Capturing history as thousands of people from all over the country converged on this small southern town that no one had ever heard of until now. Thousands of people lead by Rev. Jessie L Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, and radio personality, Michael Baisden, marched in the streets of Jena, La, to protest the unfair treatment of 6 young African-American men and the racially motivated injustice they had to face.
Dennis Edwards, former lead singer of The Temptations. This photo was used during the second annual Black Music Honors where he was honored In Memoriam.