… and then came 2021!

2020 was not an ideal year for an abundance of folks and reasons. Although there were some high points, there were some untimely deaths and the arrival of a pandemic. Yes, a pandemic ya’ll. However, we made it through. And then came 2021!

At the conclusion of last year, Jacquetta and I devised a plan to bring in the new year with power and purpose. Being that she is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Sorority, Inc. and even prouder graduate of the Historical Black College and University (HBCU) of Benedict University, we felt that it would be wise to circle her session around with some color(s) that offered some smoothness and popage. After our consultation, we decided to grab the Nikon and take it to the streets of Columbia. Since we couldn’t forget that we’re in pandemic, it only made sense to factor in a mask for an opening shot


Creative, right?!? Mask image: done!!! Now, it was time to get the official part of the Birthday Session started. Here are a few images that spoke to the magic we made:

Yessss. Yesss. The pictures are tops in my books and “The Doctor” slaughtered the session. I am not sure when but Jessica Simpson, PoshMark and Carlos Santana needs to pay my client a few coins for making their gear have some life. We were able to make images that speaks to her spirit, success, smartness, and strength. Having known her for nearly half of my life, it didn’t seem like work make her vision come to life. Hats off to “The Doctor” .. the AKA. Speaking of AKA, today (January 20, 2021) marks the day we shout out Attorney Kamala Devi Harris for becoming the first woman (and woman of color) to become the Vice President of the United States of America. Beyond exciting for the Howard graduate and the great things we know she will do. Heck, why not drop another photo in her honor …

Happy January, Ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated!!!!

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.

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 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.

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 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