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

… 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

.. and from Beautiful Bride to Marvelous Mommy

The say that TIME WAITS FOR NO ONE!  It seemed like just a few months ago when I shot bridal portraits for my cousin, Lauren.   Well, actually it was almost 3 years ago but who is counting?!?  I thought she would wait for me to published in Essence or Black Enterprise before we shot images again.  Silly me!  Looking back on that blog (From Brown Baby to Beautiful Bride), I was so happy for her.  Now, here she was, standing before me as a married graduate of Winthrop University.    This time, she was with her husband, Ben, a fellow Winthrop Eagle.  She looked a little different from the last time I had seen her in person.  Lauren was with child!

The session started very smoothly. I asked the PARENTS-TO-BE to sit and get comfortable, as I prepared my lighting.  It was time to put the Nikon to work. As they got comfy, I shot some candid images of them enjoying the South Carolina pre-summer air.
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Once they were set and I was in place, we got a quick image of the couple (and the bundle of joy).

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Not to be selfish and throw Cousin Ben away but this session was all about Lauren.  We slowly helped her up (she is in great shape: I’m just being dramatic) and she took position in front of a flower bed.  Lauren is a Nutritionist/Lactation Counselor.  Therefore, she has fitness, well-being and youth on her side. ūüôā With her dress flowing and the sun shining, the beauty of her maternalness was on full display.

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I am a caring photographer.  So it wasn’t uncommon for me to allow the mother to catch a seat and hold her bundle of joy.  I managed to steal a moment of her caressing her baby.  A mother & her baby: what a combination to behold!!! 

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Not only am I a caring photographer but I am an inclusive photographer.  Lauren and I had made some great memories.  I felt that it was time to get “Dad” back into the scene.  An Interal Auditor by trade, the image incapitulates Ben auditing the happiness of Lauren enjoying the day with him and the “little” one. Lauren's Maternity-25

As we moved toward the end of the session, we paused to allow Ben a chance to further appreciate the mother of his child in the form of an embrace and kiss on the forehead.
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Quick to arrive and quick to leave, it was time to send my clients off on their way.  They had driven in from the city of Rock Hill to spend some precious moments with me.  Grateful for the opportunity, we ended our time together with one final shot of the three of them.  World, I present to you Ben, Lauren and Brayden Ndubuisi Ikenegbu!

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how did THAT work out for you?!?

Special shout to all of the fathers that celebrate their day on this past Sunday.  I hope you had a great Father’s Day weekend and you feel more encouraged to do more than you have done already. We can always do more and make the world a better place to be.

Welp, that wraps up the latest blog.  I’ve been missing for a few but I’mmmm back.    Snap at you later. BE EZ. PEACE!!! #beEZpeace

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