The decision to move to LA was a spontaneous one and if you know me then you wouldn’t really be surprised. I tend to do things a little willy nilly at times — a sense of reckless abandon of you will. As last minute as the move may seem (6 weeks from inception to execution) it is a move that needed to be made. I’ve lived in South Florida for the last 7 years. 3 of those years I spent in Corporate America, the last 4 years exploring. Exploring the medium of photography, my creative limits, my passions and the world. Miami has played a huge part in defining me — it’s even a part of my twitter handle (l10_MIA) and 305 is not only the area code but my bday as well. So needless to say I feel a huge connection to the city but I’m ready for more. I watched this video where Oprah talked about listening to the “whispers” in your life… And I realized that Miami wasn’t whispering to me anymore. I considered NYC — I’ve tried it before — but it didn’t feel right (not yet at least). A conversation with my good friend James Bland
was what sealed the deal.
Truth be told… I’m not a fan of earthquakes, bad traffic or that dreadfully long flight back to the east coast but all “Hollywood talk” aside, I actually feel most honest in LA. And that is what this creative pursuit is about… finding the honesty in your work and in your subjects.
I am also starting to define my focus in the photography world. I am a commercial/lifestyle photographer. Sometimes the simple act of declaring your purpose or goal will help you stay true to it. Breaking into the commercial world isn’t easy and its a total shift from what I’m used to. Art Directors, portfolio meetings, image licensing, promo pieces, photo editors are all part of a new language that I’m trying to learn and there is no Rosetta Stone of photography to make it easier. The good thing is LA inspires me and I’m excited about turning this inspiration into action.
*A few shots from my first days in LA – 5D Mark II, 35mm lens, 580EX II flash
You either love Issa Rae or you haven’t heard of her yet… either way you will LOVE Issa Rae. She is the hilariously, witty star and creator of “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” and I had the pleasure of shooting with her a few months ago. When I reached out to set up a shoot, it was with little expectation other than some great images. You see, every year I have a summer muse — a young woman who is talented, beautiful and inspiring in her own right. It’s my way of sharing their greatness with the world. What I didn’t know was that the shoot would end up in Rolling Stone Magazine! Yeah… I semi-fainted when I heard the news myself.
Issa pretty much embodies one of my favorite quotes, “Good work has legs”. Within the first few minutes of episode one I was a fan… and by episode two I was a full-fledged cheerleader. Much like a friend told me about the show, I told as many people as I could about the show and so on and so on. That’s how good work spreads and that’s how this “Awkward Black Girl” became an online phenomenon. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, make sure you click here:
And make sure to pic up the latest issue of Rolling Stone!
My good friend James put together an amazing behind the scenes video and thanks to my LA team for making this shoot happen:
Wardrobe Stylist: Ayanna J
Creative Director: Kelechi Kalu
First Assistant: Cendino Teme
Video Direction: James Bland