I Used To Be 22 …

… but that was over 22 days ago. But to capture the excitement of an progressive, young lady in pictures is almost as fantastic as my birthday in the early 20’s. I won’t harp on the fact that she attends the greatest institution of higher learning: South Carolina State University. Word on the street is that her parents both are graduates of the university. I will not make a big deal that she is a member of the oldest Greek Black Sorority: Alpha Kappa Alpha. I am told is that my client is sorority sisters with Senator Kamala Harris. I am going to brag on the fact that my client has her eye on a career in Mortuary Science. I would say that Sidney is thinking smarter than most 22 year olds.

Our session was full of tons of fun and creativity. A good shot is always one that illuminates the model reflecting on the good and bad they have experienced over the years. I call this image, YOU CAN’T SEE WHAT I CAN SEE.

This session was all about photographing the Queen of the Month. Crowned from the top of her head, we continued to let the good times flow. With a slight glance into empty space, I like to reference this snapshot, WELCOME TO MY QUEENDOM.

We concluded our time together with pomp, circumstances and spunk. Who wouldn’t be happy about seeing another trip around the world? Who wouldn’t be excited to know as school comes to an end, there are mounds of opportunities that await you. This reflection, I refer to this as CELEBRATE MY BECOMING, illustrates the joy each person should have about not only our birthday but for everyday we are allowed to see God’s green earth.

Happy Birthday Month, Sidney. Continue to remain humble, sweet and young. #punintended

Not 1, Not 2, Not … but 58 Years of Bliss!!!

For a whopping $0.31, a gallon of gas was yours.  There was a baby boy born that went onto become the 44th president of the United States, while answering to the name of Barack.  A young Seward found it not a crime to make a stunning Barbara his wife.  The year was 1961 and life was good in Hemingway, South Carolina.

From that union, life was greater than great.  Seward, a high school principal/chemistry teacher played golf in his free time and accepted the additional role of Daddy, over the following years.

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A Licensed Practical Nurse, Barbara thrusted herself into church/community service and became the ideal mother for little ones.

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Time was on their side and God allowed the couple to see life take form in 5 children: D’Ette Weaver, Adreane Grant, Bernita Stuckey, Seward Weaver, Jr. and Sherwood Weaver, Sr.

 

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Although Sherwood passed at an early age, his life is still cherished and the family bond remains strong.

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My session with the family was nothing short of fun.  Seeing the chemistry of the couple was great after being together over 50 years!  They fed off of each other for energy and admiration.

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I sprinkled in the kids and the skies opened up.MSP_6571MSP_6644

I WEAVEDd out some astonishing pictures while capturing the Weavers.    Grateful to have snapped the pre-anniversary photos, the couple was quite funny when getting their “5” and “8” together.

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Yeah, they had it right but I scripted it to appear even more exciting!  Here is a link to the other magic that we made: Weaver’s Session.

Check back in a few days for the highlights of their 58 Anniversary Celebration coverage for Mr. & Mrs. Seward Isaac and Barbara Joe Mention Weaver Sr.  Snap at you later!!!!

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.

The Queens of My Heart

Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is something that not everyone feels.  To find love is a beautiful a thing. But to be birthed from love is something worth talking about.

Being a resident of Orangeburg is to be a product of love.  Though a small city in the state of South Carolina, the majority of folks that are raised in the 29115 zip code have great pride & admiration from their upbringing.  Not a place with a lot of fancy restaurants or million dollar homes, the town has been the heartbeat for a lot of successful persons.

I was called on to capture press images for Miss Orangeburg County and Miss Orangeburg County Teen 2018.  Having worked closely with the Genius behind the Pageant, Angela Clark, this was certain to be a memorable session.  It was going to be solid because not only was I photographing two positive young ladies, I was spending time with residents of Orangeburg that held a title that would include them into the national history books.  Cadra Salley, Miss Orangeburg County, is currently a student at South Carolina State University.  Zaria Sumpter is presently matriculating at the High School for Health Operations.

As the session started, the beauty of Miss Salley was snapped without any hiccups
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Next up was time to photograph the elegance of Miss Sumpter and things fell into place effortlessly.

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Proud of what we had accomplished, I threw my Nikon down as if I just scored a Touchdown.  Okay, maybe not … but I was pleased with the work we had done.  Without a shadow of a doubt,  I feel the residents of Orangeburg should have a chip on their shoulders knowing that our place was represented outstandingly in 2018 with those two jewels.  The 2019 Pageant is scheduled on November 3rd, where Cadra and Zaria will release their crowns to Qualified and Orangeburg-a-fied ladies that will represent the Garden City.

How Lovely Love Can Be

Love is the medicine that manufactures a smile. Love is the pulling force that makes you stay a while. Love makes the heart beat fast. Love is something we all want to last.

For my session with the Wilsons, I experienced unlimited love amongst the family members. When Tristyn and I arrived for our consultation, I could tell this session would be different. And I liked it! As we talked, I could tell they sincerely enjoyed being together. It all started with mom, Twanda. Being the matriarch of the family, kindness & love oozed from the top and downwards. The direct benefactors are her children, Devyn and Jenna. Devyn is a new soldier with the United States Air Force. Our session was a few days before he reported to duty. It was a special moment photographing someone that has the potential & hunger to be very accomplished soldier for our country. His sister, Jenna, is a rising sophomore at W. J. Keenan High School. I stutter in saying she was the “average teenager” because she was extremely nice to her elders. I feel that some of today’s youth miss the boat on humility and kindness when it comes to dealing with us old folk. Jenna seemed to be a miniature version of her mother. That was refreshing. Refreshing to know that adults still put the basics into their kids, which starts with love.

Our time together started off with some small talk between the group

Once we figured out our flow, it was SHOWTIME. Off to the races we went …

Our time concluded and all of the images (group & individuals) can be found here: Wilson Family Session. It did my heart well to feel the love flowing over the grass and into my camera from this family. Smile: love makes the world go around.

You Can Say You’re Strong or You Can Show Your Strength!

When asked, the average will person say they’re strong.  When someone touches a person’s muscles, one will be quick to say, “Yes, I am strong!”  When an achievement receives high reviews, you will hear echoes of, ” … yes, I am strong.”  Rarely do we allow for our strength to be shown.  My client, Justen Chatman, is one who showed his strength.  After faithfully rising through the sub-varsity & varsity levels for Dutch Fork High as a point guard, he was scheduled to lead the Silver Foxes’ Boys Varsity Basketball team as a Senior and Captain.

However during pre-season workouts, Justen tore his ACL and Meniscus .  This injury eliminated any opportunity  he thought he would have to lead his team to the 5A State Championship.  Instead, he opted to not walk away from the program but serve as a student coach.  He showed his strength to act as point guard without a uniform.  He PUSHED, DIRECTED and TRUSTED.  He pushed the players to understand that team work was the ONLY way that all things would work in their favor.  The team defeated Irmo High School for the first time in Justen’s 4 years at DFHS.  He directed the team from a perspective where the team would understand that Justen had played on the Varsity level before and his experience was a jewel that gave them an edge over other teams.  Moreover, Justen trusted that God made no mistakes and this was His will for him, concerning basketball.  He showed his strength to endure a setback that would have left many crying and questioning our Heavenly Father.

Time was well spent with Justen!  Deep inside, I wondered if we should include a basketball in our session, considering he didn’t get to play this year.  But I got rid of that thought and out came the ball, as we put up some solid shots under the gate …

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We wanted to pull in some brick to accompany his green cap and gown.  And with that being said, here are those images …

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Wanting to finish off the session with a SLAM DUNK, we looked around and tried to figure how we could conclude without a turnover.  Great minds came together and we factored in some stairs …

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Buzzer went off (well, not really) and the session was over.  In a few weeks, Justen will be graduating with honors and headed off to the college of his choice.  Very easy to explain how proud I am of this young man that could have let his circumstances overshadow his ability to finish strong.  He went against the grain, gathered those that were weak, and showed his strength to those within earshot of hearing how true determination rises.  In the words of my client, I’M DONE.  Here are all JTC’s final images.  Snap at you later.  Be ez.  Peace.  #moseawell #beezpeace Justen's Cap & Gown-91

Dead Man Walking His Graduation Walk

Graduation is a time that everyone gets excited. Whether it is the graduate, the next door neighbor, an old teacher or the usher at church, graduation time is a joint effort of cheer.  I was extremely excited when John Lakin, III started talking about graduation.  I wasn’t excited because John FINALLY met all his requirements to walk across the stage at Benedict College.  I was excited because John could have been dead, sleeping in his grave after a brief illness and spending time on life support.  #YESlifesupport

In late October/early November, John had arrived back from a mission trip from Jamaica.  While group texting, John told us about how great of a time he had but went on to say that he wasn’t feeling well. After joking around for a while, John admitted himself into Providence Hospital.  The text messages slowed up and eventually they stopped.  I was later told that he was in the hospital on life support.  The usage of the words “life support” and “John” worried me quite heavily.  Already praying for him, it made me pray more.  Here it was a young man that went on a mission trip and doing PRAISE AND WORSHIP with a genuine heart … returns home sick and needing help and ministering to himself.  BUT GOD!  But God saw fit to bring John out of his near death experience and eventually become a candidate for a degree at Benedict.  Needless to say, I was estatic when he told me that we needed to get his cap and gown photos done in preparation for graduation.  My mind (on the low low) crept back to when he couldn’t respond to my texts and now he was about to be in front of my Nikon with that Kool-Aid smile.

The morning of our session, John had Baccalaureate Services.  During that time, he received the Outstanding Senior Award.  After he got his “BLING,” it was time to shoot those cap and gown photos.  And off we went … John Lakin Graduation-1John Lakin Graduation-8John Lakin Graduation-4John Lakin Graduation-6

We decided to survey the campus and pull in some buildings (and other items) of interest for the final product …John Lakin Graduation-16John Lakin Graduation-34John Lakin Graduation-39John Lakin Graduation-46

Time was starting to move and it was time for John to go write another song.  I think he wanted to write the song there during the session …John Lakin Graduation-53

But Ms. Kitty Cat broke up the session.John Lakin Graduation-52

The end!!! Hilarious session with my friend and Praise & Worshipper Leader, from the Brookland Baptist Church.  Here are the other images from that day: John’s Cap & Gown pics.  Not sure what he has up his sleeve now that he has his ‘ploma but I am sure he we will enter into greatness, while WALKING HIS GRADUATION WALK.

Snap at you later.  Be ez.  Peace!!! #moseawell #beezpeace

Can you hear me now?

When your mobile phone alerts or vibrates with a text message, there is a split second that you try to guess who the text message could be. A particular sound could notify you whom the person could be. Other times, it is a mystery. My phone alerted me that someone needed my attention. The message came from my childhood friend, Adeire. Graduation pictures were needed for her daughter. THE END!

Adeire and I are classmates that first met at Nix Elementary School and we graduated together from Orangeburg-Wilkinson High. Since becoming adults with our different careers, I was called on by her to shoot her son’s senior high school photos and her daughter’s pre-prom pictures. This time, I was called to shoot her daughter’s graduation pictures. Upon reaching out for the daughter’s info, I found it was her daughter, Hydeia. Hydeia was the daughter whose pre-prom pics I had taken three years earlier. We produced excellent event images that were taken at Edisto Memorial Gardens. I was very excited to see the energy that we create for our second session, considering we would have a special attraction on set: Savannah. Savannah is the daughter of Hydeia.  Anxious to see her, magic was made from the first click of the Nikon …

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After snapping a few images, it was time to include Savannah …

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We were rolling perfectly until it was time for wardrobe change …

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After a little pep talk (ORANGEBURG STYLE), we were able to complete our time together …Hydeia Graduation-68Hydeia Graduation-71Hydeia Graduation-80

Session over!  Everyone was happy.  Next up is graduation from Midlands Technical College and Hydeia will be continuing her education in the fall at Coastal Carolina  for Intelligence and National Security Studies.  Needless to say, I am on speed dial for both Hydeia and her mom.  We’re closer.  We’ve hung out more.  I know them.  They know me.  No need to act clueless when I am texted for the next big milestone because they both have special alerts and I can hear them now.

how did THAT work out for you?!?

And we’reeeee back!  This past weekend I picked up a little hardware. Nothing major to brag about but I was able to get in some organized cardio and be awarded for it.  This race is special to me because of the emphasis it puts on Breast Cancer Awareness.  It is called Get In The Pink 10K/5K Race.  I placed 3rd in my age group. Yay Me!!!  I’ll take it.

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Concluding my weekend was time watching my daughter participate in her second tennis clinic as a 3 year old. I will write a blog on that a little later and keep you in suspense for those images.   To say it was interesting is mildly stating it.  Ohhhhh yeah …. quality time with mom for Mother’s Day.  Just lovely!!!

MSP_5182I guess this is where I get off.  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