Giving Back for the 32nd Harambee

To attend an HBCU (Historical Black College and University) is a learning experience. The pride and confidence most students receive is insurmountable! Graduates leave their institution of higher learning with nuggets often not received at other schools. They essentially enter into the world and make strides of excellence.

My client, Dr. Jacquetta M. Chatman, is a proud and successful graduate of Benedict College. After leaving Benedict, she went on to attain her Masters in Divergent Learning (Columbia College) and Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership (Nova Southeastern University). She has made tremendous impacts throughout these United States and Benedict College found it was the perfect time for their child to come back home.

For the 32nd Annual Harambee Festival, Dr. Chatman was asked to be the Keynote Speaker for the Black Intelligentsia Series Honor Inductions Program. How cool!!!! I think I was more excited to receive the call to document her speaking engagement than she was excited to be asked to return to her old stomping grounds. All I could think about was hearing of her story of being a college dropout, who returned to school, graduated, became a successful educator and entrepreneur along the way. When she took the stage at Antisdel Chapel, I almost forgot to start taking pictures because I was ready to hear her speech.

Eventually, I got it together and began to do the job I was hired to do. Needless to say, she didn’t disappoint me at all.

Wow. I had no idea she was going to sing to the people!!!! I have heard Dr. Chatman speak many times over the years but this one was a little more special. She was able to pour into her speech a summary of who she is and package it for the students to see she too had been where they sat. She spoke from experience that hard work, dedication and perseverance speaks volumes. Not only does it speaks volumes, it is recognized and makes you Keynote speaker at your alma mater.

I guess this is where I get off.  Snap at you later. BE EZ. PEACE!!! #moseawell #clickclique #beEZpeace

Long Weekend for The Baby

48 hours is a long time.  48 hours is so long that A&E created a show called The First 48. Though that show is centered around crime and murder, Amaya’s first 48 hours of her prom weekend was quite eventful and lead to no one being placed in a body bag.

On Saturday, Amaya and her date, Bryant met me for a pictures before going off to the prom.  Now a senior at High School for Health Professionals, I was anxious to see my little buddy.  Having known her all of her life, I was stunned at how she had grown and matured over the years …MSP_5867

Once she was camera ready, it was time to let the good times roll MSP_5757MSP_6095MSP_5792MSP_5814MSP_5890MSP_6022

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But wait: there’s more.  Amaya found herself back in front of my camera on Sunday.  This time it was to snap a few images of the young lady after she had partied and had a great time at the prom.  Now this time, it was all about capturing Senior images.  You know … just a little a cap and gown action.

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And just like that: Amaya is almost out of the nest. Here is a link to additional images from Amaya’s weekend: AMAYA’S WEEKEND. Although she is undecided where she will attend college, the future is bright for my “daughter.” Watch our world. Here she comes.

Snap at you later.

I’ll Take a Slice of the SkeeWee

Life is interesting.  You can make a choice to walk to the mailbox or  you can run to see what the USPS left.  You can decide that you want to get up on time or you can decide to smack the snooze button one (or two) good time.  A few weeks ago, I had a chance to hang out with a group of ladies that chose to tie their eternal sisterhood to the first black Greek sorority and celebrate their 20 anniversary with a photo session.

In the spring of 1998, 39 young ladies at South Carolina State University were tapped to represent the latest inductees into the illustrious sisterhood called Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.  The name of their line was called 39 I.V.I.E.S. (Innovative Visions in Everlasting Sisterhood).  On the day we gathered together, one could feel the love between those that entered into a sisterly bond that many will never understand.  Anything in life that is to go smoothly, requires some dedicated pre-work.  Even if the work is texting to ensure everyone shows up before the session starts …Beta Sigma 2018 Reunion-6

… or strapping on the shoes that will seperate you from all of the others who have walked on earth as an AKA …

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… or saying one last prayer …

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… or getting that initial selfie …

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… a lot happens before all minds are put together for the directions on what shall happen.

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We put our heads together and we Passed the Peas like they used to say!  First stop was the AKA Plot

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Next pause was to see what the remainder of the campus had in store for the ladies of ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA. Oh yes, IT’S A SERIOUS MATTER!Beta Sigma 2018 Reunion-32Beta Sigma 2018 Reunion-35Beta Sigma 2018 Reunion-36

Oh yeah, did I mention another selfie popped off … well 2 more (but who is counting) …Beta Sigma 2018 Reunion-49

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As we slowly moved to our last few spots, I felt iconic magic about to happen …

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And as we walked away, I felt another … ummm … selfie on the horizon

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As the gears churned to stop this train of Greek Locomotion, we popped off a few individual shots where the ladies were throwing pinkies, mirrors and smiles allll over the place …

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And that my friends, was a wrap on the session!  Here is a link to the complete collection of images: AKA’s on The Yard.  It was safe to make that final call and let everyone know that the 39 I.V.I.E.S. were done with their Reunion Photo session.

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Deeply humbled and honored by the opportunity to photograph individuals that I met while matriculating at SCSU.  Blessed that they found it not a shame to patronize a Bulldog that was one of many that they could have chosen.  Glad that our paths crossed and all know when it is time to GET UP FOR THE BULLDOGS, EVERYBODY GETS UP!

how did THAT work out for you?!?

And we’reeeee back!  This past weekend was Thanksgiving weekend.  Totally appreciative for the holidays.  Moreover, I was happy to had celebrated the 69th Birthday of my first best friend: my mother.

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I guess this is where I get off.  Snap at you later. BE EZ. PEACE!!! #moseawell #beEZpeace

The Gospel of John gone Wild

When you hear the name of John, it is easy to equate it to the GOSPEL OF JOHN.  When you hear the word Gospel spoken, it is common to think of music.  But where does one’s mind go when they hear the words, “John singing gospel in the Carolinas?”  Puzzling.  Your mind could go to South Carolina or it go to North Carolina.  What if I told you that both are correct and South Carolina was able to craddle both in one day at one time.

South Carolina John (aka John Lakin) and North Carolina John (aka John P. Kee) decided to lend their talents to a local venue while targeting the Millenials.  Mission: provide a concert primarily to the young men and women between the age of 18-32, to let them know that Millennial Worship Matters.  Lakin pulled from his talented group of friends and packed the Brookland Baptist Church with a worship service that left attendees (young and old) happy to had been in the place.  The lineup was powerful with the talent of Mike Brown and F.O.C.U.S., Regina Skeeters, Kenny Smith, Derrick Bull and Remnant, Kimberly Sumter and Big Redd.  People came from near and far and then Lakin started the house to rocking …

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Once the atmosphere was set, Derrick Bull and Remnant brought their “A” game

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After the crowd was calmed down from Bull’s singing, Big Redd blessed all with ears.

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When Big Redd finished, Kimberly Sumter took the roof further off the house.

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Barely containing their excitement, the crowd was fed a treat in gospel music from Kenny Smith.

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When Kenny left, it was all about Regina Skeeters (and Mama Skeeters).

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Mike Brown and F.O.C.U.S. grabbed the stage, it was hard to keep your seat.

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Wide open from all they had seen & heard, it was time for North Carolina John to give the people what they wanted.  Boy did he bring THE FUNK.

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Oh what a night!  Here are more images from that fantastic night: Click Here.  Whether you were unsure if THERE’S A LILY VALLEY or if you had questions about if JESUS IS REAL, everything fell into place on that night.  Young and old had a great time.  Not only was it evident that Millennial Worship Matters, all in attendance was in agreement that THERE IS NOTHING FINER THAN GOSPEL MUSIC IN THE CAROLINAS.

Snap at you later. BE EZ. PEACE!!! #moseawell #beEZpeace

Never Shall We Forget

Life is an interesting gift from God.  The gift sometimes is sprinkled with rays of sunshine that allows one to feel that nothing could be sweeter.  Often, the gift is tossed with salt and pepper, where one has bright and dark days.  And there are times when life is like looking in a mirror and questions you to say to yourself, “How did I get here” and “Where do I go from here?”

I feel in my heart, that the latter analogy is something that creeps into the mind of individuals that have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  Confused to how the disease enters their bodies and will they survive are common thoughts, from what I’ve heard from many.  In 2008, the Brookland Foundation believed that saluting Breast Cancer Survivors was a noble act.  Their mission was to have a celebratory, recognition program that served as a vehicle to recognize Breast Cancer Survivors.  On October 10, the group held their 10th COLOR PINK GALA

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This year’s event was emceed by the Dynamic Duo from the Brookland Baptist Church: K. Allen Campbell and Marnie Robinson

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There were many observations throughout the night but below are the Featured Survivors for 2018Color Pink 2018-68


The featured artist was none other than the talented songwriter and artist, 
Avery Sunshine

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Avery electrified the crowd with her powerful renditions of popular songs which placed men and women on their feet while praising God

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10/10, also known as October 10, was a memorable day in the lives of many.  Lots of hugs were given to survivors.  Many tears were dropped in remembrance of those no longer living.  The proof is in the pictures.  Here is a link to the gallery:  The Color Pink 2018.  All in all, the awareness of Breast Cancer was further amplified.  Prayerfully, there will be a cure one day soon.  Until that time, it is highly suggestive that women (and men) do self-examinations and receive a mammogram.  Early detection is the key and thank you Brookland Foundation for starting the Color Pink Gala.  As the years roll on, NEVER SHALL WE FORGET what you have done.  Snap at you later. BE EZ. PEACE!!! #moseawell #beEZpeace

And The Beat Goes On

Strong and determined: this girl stood out to me.  Big smile and commanded attention by her actions: this girl stood out to me.  The oldest daughter of parent educators that openedly loves the Lord: this girl stood out to me.

At the conclusion of the 2017-2018 school year, I completed my SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHY SEASON with a Graduation Celebration.  The celebration was for Spring Valley High School Graduate, Reagan Davis.  Reagan is an active member of my church and has always carried herself in a positive manner.  In the fall, she will be attending the University of South Carolina.  Proud of her accomplishments and accolades, I share with you some of the sites from her big day …

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how did THAT work out for you?!?

And we’reeeee back!  This past weekend I ran 10 miles for my long run. However, on the 4th of July, I ran the BORN IN THE USA 4 MILER. The course was quite hilly but I survived. And to prove I made it, here is me POSTRUN

I guess this is where I get off.  Snap at you later. BE EZ. PEACE!!! #moseawell #beEZpeace

Well Done, My Son

Friendships can be fun. Friendships can be memorable. Friendships are taken to new heights when emotions are involved & you are asked to do grown folk stuff. After graduating from South Carolina State University, one of my dearest friends, Tiffany, was blessed with a child that she named Tyler. During the pregnancy, she asked me to be his godfather. Still young, I quickly accepted not thinking of the “true meaning” of being a godparent. Before he was born, I reflected on my godparents and our relationship and was reminded of the dutiful task I had accepted. In a nutshell, I was to treat Tyler as if he was my child (just like a father does) and agree to be there for him in the event anything happened to his birth parents.

Fast forward close to two decades from me signing up to be The Godfather and Tyler residing in multiple states and excelling in basketball, high school graduation was upon us. He was scheduled to be a graduate of Atlantic Coast High School. Anxious to see him march & document that day, I pulled out the Nikon.

Once inside and the clock said so, the festivities begun …

Those were just a few highlights that came through my lense. Glad I pushed against the grain of the venue and took my 70-200mm. It allowed me to get closer to the action with room to crop in on my final pictures. Anyway, here are a few after-graduation images of the graduate hanging with his family & friends ….

Another young black male destined for excellence and defied the odds stating that he wouldn’t graduate. Tyler will be matriculating in the fall at Troy University. I am very proud of this young man and even more proud of Tiffany. She started the early part of her adulthood as a single mother of one and blossomed into a married mother of three.

I was blessed to be asked to be GODFATHER TODD. I was and still am happy for him. Seeing Tyler embrace the start of his new phase of life was refreshing. Having his family there was surely a great thing for the graduate that he will never forget. Here is a final image of his village.

“Son, go forth and be greater than great because being great is not the greatest thing that you can do.”

– Godfather Todd

how did THAT work out for you?!?

Very grateful weekend where I celebrated Fathers. I started the weekend with a quick 7 mile run before heading out to photograph the Daddy & Me 5K. The event will be covered in a future blog. Thennnnnnnn, I spent time with my little Princess for Father’s Day.

She makes me happy. Well, time to bail. Snap at you later. BE EZ. PEACE!!! #moseawell #beEZpeace

You Can Get With This or You Can With That

There comes a time in every young man’s life where he must make a choice in high school.  He must choose if he wants a school ring or finish the year with no bling.  He must choose if he wants to continute his eduation at an institution of higher learning or purse other career opportunities.  He must choose if he wants to parade through the promenade or pump his brakes foregoing the formality.

Justen, son of one of my closest friends (Dr. Jacquetta M. Chatman), made the decision to get formally dressed and attend the promenade (aka PROM) for his high school, Dutch Fork High School.  Once the decision was made to attend, he had three items of contemplation that he had to nail down: (1) who would be his prom date, (2) what would he wear and (3) where would he took pictures.  Insert MoSeawell & question number 3 was answered.  After a consultation over pancakes, we concluded that the stage was set and we should proceed forth with PROM DAY 2018.  Here is an image of the Prom Dude …Chatman Prom 2018-3

Although he was stunning in his Verse 9 bowtie & pocket square combination, the Diesel time piece was an excellent complimenting accessory.  Entering from stage right, he had on his arm the lovely Maya.  Maya commanded attention from the camera with her rose gold fashion display Chatman Prom 2018-18

Justen’s long time friend, Blake, stopped by with his date for a few shots.  Feast your eyes on the FABULOUS FOUR …

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And there you have it.  Justen on his way to his senior prom.  Special moment and wonderful choice.  Here is a link to the images from that day: Justen’s Senior Prom . Life presents opportunities that we should experience for ourselves, instead of hearing what others may say.  I read a quote once that summarized my thoughts to my clients for the day, “The purpose of life is live it to taste experience to the utmost to reach out eagerly and without fear for never and richer experiences.”  Amen!

how did THAT work out for you?!?

Wow!  The busyness of last week reminded me of the pre-parent days.  My trigger finger was very active and I loved every moment of it.

The weekend started with a slow 75 run in preparation of an upcoming road race.  Following that great display of style and grace, I was off to my sessions.  Those sessions include time with a family, a senior with their cap & gown, and a local chapter of a sorority.  All times with my clients were great moments that I am excited to share with you.  In order for that to happen, I will need for you to come back.  Come back soon and very soon.  Snap at you later. BE EZ. PEACE!!! #moseawell #beEZpeace

… before we go any further …

In 1984, three wise men put their lyrical quest for understanding into a simple catchy hook that jumped at the musical savy saying, “Friends – how many of us have them? Friends – onces can depend on … before we go any further, let’s be friends.”  Just 10 years later in the summer of 1994, I established a great friendship with one of the starting defensive players from the South Carolina State University Football Team.  He and I worked as Counselors for the 1890 Research and Extension Program. Years later, he married his College Sweetheart and started a family.

As we became adults, we kept in touch & frequently hung out during football seasons. As friends, we never hesitated to call on each other to aid where a need was to be met.  I was elated when my phone rung to capture the Sweet 16 Birthday session of his daughter, Amaya.  What a great time was had with her and her friends. Here, see for yourself: Amaya’s Sweet 16. Needless to say, I was really excited a few weeks ago when I got a text from his wife’s phone … well, his daughter texting on his wife’s phone … requesting that I make my way down to Orangeburg to capture images from Amaya’s prom date. Oh gosh.  Was I excited and nervous!  Here I was about to take pictures of one of my favorite couple’s baby girl.  I was summons to take images of the little girl that ran from me in Walmart as a toddler.  My duty was to swoop in and make memories for my friend.  You know, the one that I established a relationship with years ago.  Now, I was there to show that I was one that he could depend on.

Week of prom arrives and the camera was ready but the venue was still unknown.  I could have asked the favorite couple to pick the location but why would I do something like that?  I was one that they could depend on.  So after rolling into the Garden City and meeting up with Amaya and her date, Skylar, it was time to let the good times roll.  Put on your seatbelts and take a quick pre-prom stroll with us …Amaya & Skylar Prom 2018-16Amaya & Skylar Prom 2018-17Amaya & Skylar Prom 2018-27Amaya & Skylar Prom 2018-38Amaya & Skylar Prom 2018-41Amaya & Skylar Prom 2018-61Amaya & Skylar Prom 2018-64Amaya & Skylar Prom 2018-73Amaya & Skylar Prom 2018-58

Pre-Prom 2018 was a success.  Here are the images: Amaya & Skylar’s pre-prom pictures The weather was great.  Skylar and Amaya had fun during the session.  The Village enjoyed seeing Skylar and Amaya make images that will never be forgotten.  Moreover, my friends got to see their daughter attend her first prom.  It’s amazing how life takes you from one phase to another with constant moving parts.  It seemed like it was just yesterday that we played pool on our lunch break as college students.  In actuality, it was just a few days ago when I was able to hug the teenager that ran from me in the frozen food section when younger.  To hear her say, “Thank you Mister Todd” was confirmation that I did a great thing yearssss ago in cementing a friendship with her father.  Before we went any further, we became friends.  #rackEm

how did THAT work out for you?!?

OMG!  I literally don’t know how to act.  Last week made the second week in a row with no road race.  I logged very close to 20 miles for the week but nothing worth screaming about.  However, if I had to make some noise about anything, it would be about capturing some future leaders in pre-graduation and pre-prom images.  OH YES!  Two sessions on last week and we made magic.  If I were you, I would show in a few days to see for yourself what transpired.  Snap at you later. BE EZ. PEACE!!! #moseawell #beEZpeace

Bury good, Doc! Bury good!!!

Growing up with my father as my hero, I was able to easily identify how a man should act and carry himself.  I saw the importance in always presenting your best.  I was frequently reminded of the strength in standing behind what you believe.  I never will forget the lessons that were taught from non-verbal communication.

In the mid 80’s, I was introduced to the family that belonged to Dr. Willie Woodbury. During that time, he was the Director at The Felton Laboratory School on the campus of South Carolina State University.  Dr. Woodbury went on to lead Felton for well over 20 years and graduated some of the top students in the Orangeburg area.  Since meeting Dr. Woodbury, I have always drawn a similarity to his personality to that of my father.  Like my father, he is a man of very few words but the words that he speaks are very powerful.  Like my father, he is a man that is well respected by his peers and those that are in direct contact with him.  And moreover like my father, he is a man of God.

I was blessed to be at Thee Matriarch Bed & Breakfast, when Dr. Woodbury celebrated his 70th birthday party.  It was such a beautiful event hosted by his family.  A number of his friends and family members were on hand to witness his day.  Pause for one second as I share a few snaps of what I saw …
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Thanks for all that you’ve done for yourself, for your family and for you community, Doc.  What you’ve done is good.  Very (bury) good. Bury good, Doc!  Bury good!!!  To see additional images from the event, click on this link,  Dr. Woodbury’s 70th.

how did THAT work out for you?!?

Extremely light week last week.  No race in the book.  No medal around my neck.  No fatty food that was a reward for running a ton of miles.  I poured in less than 20 miles total for the week in preparation for upcoming races. But I did capture a pre-prom session that I’m excited to share with you. Stay tuned.  I think you will like what you will see.  Snap at you later. BE EZ. PEACE!!! #moseawell #beEZpeace