Musing On Self

TRUTHS about self...

1. i am an "only child". while having two older brothers, i have never lived with them, which has shaped my experience in certain ways, namely...
     a. growing up, i didn't get whatever i wanted, but i was "SPOILED" in that i never had to fight for what was mine. i didn't have to contend with siblings for love, attention, food, toys, etc. (unfortunately, there was also no one to blame things on)
     b. this has given an impressive selfish streak (it has taken a lot of training to get me to immediately think about others when something comes to me. i am still a work in progress.)
     c. i can be very lazy about "gettin' up, gettin' out, and gettin' something". i'm not a natural "go-getter".

2. I can at times be insensitive. 
more often, i don't immediately express myself clearly. 
but i NEVER fix my lips to say something that i will have to apologize for later.
i strongly disbelieve in loading my words with intention to hurt. 

i do, however, aspire to be truthful. 
truth hurts.

3. I often miss the big picture, but i am endlessly fascinated with the nuances of things.
This strongly affects the way i capture imagery and create.



typically, i pick up my camera when i want to intentionally set out to capture beauty. i don't take my camera to family reunions. i don't randomly photograph parties. i've never been crazy about photographing moments that i should be experiencing with my five senses. the reason being, that anything less than an amazing photograph just seems like a disappointing one-dimensional depiction of a very real experience.

 this weekend i lost My Inspiration. i find myself looking through pictures of her that have been posted online, but contrary to giving me happy memories, it creates a deeper sense of loss. Carlleena wasn't a dreamer. She was LIVING - spending all day of each day learning, loving, creating, and touching the lives of real people in a very real way. now that she has passed away, i know that i can never again experience Carlleena through all of my senses. It's too early to look at photographs of her. i'm not ready for my relationship with a real, full of life person to be relegated to flat one dimensional photographs. the memories - and even more so, her work - serve me better.

but to some extent this experience is also changing the way i think about photography. i don't have any of MY OWN photographs of Carlleena. we made plans for me to capture her for my In Her Own Skin series, but she only wanted to be captured nude in a very specific way and we never got around to it. and that's cool. but I never want to lose someone i feel so affectionately for without having an opportunity to sit them in front of my camera and capture them in a way that shows how real and beautiful they are to me.

Our Last Interaction (via facebook) 
Saturday May 19 at 3:26pm
CHD:WCK!: "who will get in front of my camera first thing in the a.m. tomorrow? info@chdwck.com"

CARLLEENA: "Might be the only time you can pin me down Lol You need a car :/ so you can get to my house Lol #onedaysoon"


KaBoom! Playground Day at the Johnston YMCA

"Over the past 15 years, KaBoom!, in partnership with community businesses, brings to life dream playgrounds for communities in need one slide at a time. Through a generous donation by Forester's Life Insurance, the Johnston YMCA built a KaBoom! playground, creating a fun, safe environment for North Charlotte, NC. As part of the YMCA's commitment to be for youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the playground will be open to our community to encourage healthy and safe play for families."

on october 8th, i was honored to be able to capture the combination of volunteerism and diligence at work. over 300 volunteers descended on the grounds of the Johnston YMCA in North Charlotte to build a beautiful playground for the neighborhood children, all in less than six hours. In addition to KaBoom! and Forester's Life Insurance, many volunteers took part in painting much original art including a mural designed by local artist Will Puckett with John Hairston, Jr. painting and coordinating the painting of many other original pieces that hang throughout the playground. the images below capture how beautiful it is when people come together to work for a good cause. also, check out Johnston YMCA's website to find out more about the positive work they do "To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. "

mural design by will puckett

other original artwork painted and coordinated by john hairston, jr.

more images on facebook.com
and don't forget to "like" the Johnston YMCA page!



"i guess a diamond ain't nothing but a rock with a name
i guess love ain't nuttin but emotion and game.

...gotta change how it's goin down."

-de la soul


note to self:

i MUST grow. i want to be of value to those i've been blessed to have in my life.


...in her own skin.

i think the human form is incredibly interesting, but i find the female form is especially beautiful. i often find myself in awe of how much variety there is to the feminine form and how it can still be beautiful. i see thin women, fat women, tall women, short women, black women, white women, indian women, spanish women, asian women, fit women with chiseled physiques,soft women with squishy parts, busty vuluptous round women, long lanky linear women, women with large butts, young women with firm bodies, older women with bodies that bear the celebratory marks of creating life,

mature women with the fine lines of living, breast that defy gravity, breasts that embrace it, red heads with pale faces and fiery freckles, dark smooth skin, women with straight flowing hair, women with thick bushy hair women with short curly hair, women with...

and while i appreciate the typical standards of beauty that we see in western society, very few women are beautiful in that way. i hope to see the day when everyone embraces the beauty that is theirs.


Kanye West's Time Has Come!!


I'M BLOGGING THIS BECAUSE I HAVE A HARDCORE EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE DIGGING THROUGH OLD MAGAZINES (in order words, it's an experience i'd love to talk about, but i'm not articulate enough to make people understand how i feel.)

my favorite thing about old magazines - besides ripping up the pictures and gluing them onto something else, is being reminded of the time before you knew what you know. THE FADER mag was my first exposure to kanye west and it's interesting to read an old article to remember my introduction to a person before this thing called life transpires and changes your whole view of things.


meet Netchem

in 2009 when i took a trip back home, i stopped at a show i heard about online of work by artist/photographer nakeya b. i had met nakeya online going to the show was my first time meeting her in person. also meeting nakeya for the first time was emerging artist and photographer netchem hairston. nakeya briefly introduced us, but through keeping up with nakeya i began keeping up with netchem. mutual respect for each others' photography as well as desire to grow as working artists, has built a very positive relationship between netchem and i. now when i go home to visit Jersey, i always try to go over to Brooklyn to connect with netchem. last time we got to roam around, build, and capture some images. (she was craving a soy cheeseburger, but when her favorite place was PACKED! she dragged me through three neighborhoods before we settled on a great burrito spot. lol)

there are certain activities that lend themselves to getting to know people better, and walking around and shooting with new people is definitely one of them. of the things that i love about netchem here are three.

1. she's a lot bigger person and personality than her small frame reveals.
2. like me, she loves to eat and not gain weight.
3. she's a soldier: she shared some negative experiences in her life, with no sense of bitterness or complaint. she wants to be better, and just keeps her eyes focused on being that.

and since i'm done talking, check out netchem for yourself.


FUSE rooftop cookout in BKLYN

The Band Called FUSE had a rooftop cookout before the release party of their brand new album "Suckerpunch Gospel" at SOUTHPAW (NYC) yesterday. For now, dig this live version of "Texas North, 5AM" performed at 92Y at Red Clay's Rugged Soul release party on 3/4/11. and here's a few pics i snapped while at the cookout.


Arielle Chambers as My Creative Process

if my creative process where an attractive young woman with fixations for chai tea, t-shirts, cold brew, coffee, magazines, and [pepperoni], i imagine this is what it would look like.