Thursday, February 26, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

it started on a night at the cafe...

It was Monday and I was already beat down.

It was a long workday, after a very taxing weekend and I was soooo sleepy, not tired, just sleepy.

My favorite joint was the Apache Cafe & Lounge on Art Monday nights. Harking back to the days of the beatnik era, the Apache Cafe, basically, is one of those joints where creatives of all types hang out in a eclectic, funky atmosphere. Poets, painters, musicians, singers, DJs, dancers, photographers and film makers all have a place here along with patrons, entourage and students. It seemed like each night of the week focused on a different art form. For example, Sundays it was Spoken Word and Wednesdays were Open Mic for singers and musicians. On Art Mondays, Apache would bring in a model or two and puts them on a model stand for painters, photographers, visual artists of all types to be inspired. And I got to tell you I went in there planning to having one drink, maybe two and calling it a night. I just wasn't feeling it, you know.

But I got there, had a shot of Grand Mariner and proceeded to find my Muse. And there she was. I was no longer tired. I was no longer sleepy. I pulled out my camera and grabbed a few shots of the scene.

I'm energized now; the music feels like my theme song and each image makes me want to shoot the next. I'm intoxicated by the Grand Mariner and the model's locs & curves. A couple of friends come over, we start laughing about dumb stuff. We talk a little about real jobs. I am enjoying the night. I take a couple more pics and order another shot.

The muse... the drink... the crew... the model... my captures...

I was in a moment and I was living...thriving... in it.

You feel me?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Khadeshia...West End Butta

New York To The Heart, But She’s Got Love For All!
Khadeshia is serious about her creativity. Never conforming to the industry standards, because, for her, the epitome of beauty is what’s true, so eventually the industry will conform to her as the standard, and if not she is just fine thriving outside the box. Poet, model, actress and the inventor of K. Beam Creations Custom Buttas, she is a beauty on the move. It was her beauty and her buttas that sparked the theme for these captures.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Empress Fiyah, the gracious amazon

Nobody's smarter because nobody's mind works as hard...

You might not see that right off. Right off, what you see is a the dredloc amazon beauty who's effervescence, charisma and pride all own the room that she walks in. She is pure grace that moves like the awkward queen. She can't help but to be a muse to any creative she meets.

And then this modest diva of an Atlanta underground Caribbean radio station has the nerve to talk and share her brilliant intelligence and broad awareness with you. Always fair and humble with no 'tude, she keeps you on your toes. You can't help but to admire her. Without ever trying, she makes you want to come correct. And we all love her for it

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A conversation about hair...

"You really think brothas are intimidated by your locs and that's the reason they don't step to you?"

"Yes, Vincent. I am sure of it."

That was the beginning of a polite conversation that, for me, led to an exploration.

I was on this thing called a date; something that I don't see a lot of folks doing anymore and kids don't appear to be doing at all. I was with a beautiful and intelligent dark-skinned sister with dreadlocs. As was typical between us, she was impeccably dressed and perfectly accented while I did my best to not make her look bad. She's a lean sister and she was not very tall but she carried herself with a natural pride and grace that was almost regal. Instinctively, she carried herself like a queen.

We both had a love for art. And on this Saturday evening in downtown Atlanta we had paid a visit to a gallery called Wertz Contemporary down in Castleberry Hill. The works were unique and provocative and, somehow, were the precursor to this conversation that we continued in the urbane bar next door called Noir. Its a really cool place with great drinks and tasty appetizers. So there we were.

"Its not the locs, darling." I told her.

"Everybody's not like you." she started...

"Nobody's like me." I blurted out.

"Not everyone is into locs and naturals." she continued."A lot of men are turned off by it. If you don't have long straight hair down to the exposed crack of your ghetto booty you aren't cute to most men, black men in particular."

"So to most brothas, you are ugly. Is that what you are saying?"

"No. I am not saying that. I am saying they are intimidated. And men do not find intimidating women attractive."

"Well," I responded, " you are intimidating I will say that."

"See, you agree."

"Yes, you are intimidating. You are beautiful and intelligent and that shows. On top of that, I have already told you about how you carry yourself..."

"Oh, here we go again."

" have a personality that is charismatic and full of pride. You are gracious. All of that WITH your looks is INTIMIDATING."

"That is what YOU see."

"THAT'S what is." I quickly responded. "That's what the brothas see. That's what men see. You are not the woman a man steps to. He HAS to have his shit together when he sees you. You are the woman that a man steps UP to."

She smiles.

"You are a queen." I say. Its one the lines all of us brothas used everyday back in the early nineties. I mean it when I say it here. "You are a queen. Live with it."

At that moment, Our waitress greets us and asks us for our drink order. She is a beautifully, curvaceous sista with caramel brown skin and thick red & black locs. She's dressed in Noir's uniform black which is form fitting and accents her curves extremely well. As she writes down our drink orders I asked a bold question.

"Excuse me miss, I have a question for you." I asked. "Do you find that men are intimidated by your locs."

"No," she responded, "If anything, they are attracted to me because of them."

"Really," my lady friend responded, "out of curiosity, are you approached by more black men or white men?"

"Well," she responded, "I am not around a lot of white men so its definitely more brothas that hit me up. But a lot of white men step to me too."

"Is there a difference to the way the brothas step to you versus the white men?" I asked.

"Yes." the waitress responded definitively. "White men always want to touch my hair. Brothas know better."


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