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Many of my post may be filled with typos, ignorant statements, untruths, bad English, & anything else that may make me appear to be uneducated. Please note: all of these things combined make my Blog the perfect one, because you know I have issues & I am not ashamed. With this said; enjoy, fuck mistakes & read between the lines!

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So…It’s Been A Long Time Since

Author: Tafari, Tuesday, April 10th, 2018 at 9:20 PM
Not sure if this is a comeback but here I am. Who’s still here? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone??? It's been YEARS since I last posted here and I miss it. WAIT... It’s been 3 years… So many reasons why I stopped writing and all centered around depression, drama still circling from my divorce/child custody battle and a general unhappiness with life, which led to the erosion of my creative spirit. Today, I am well both mentally & emotionally. All the divorce and child custody drama is OVER! AND… There are so many new things in my life that give me joy, happiness, & satisfaction. THE SKINNY:
My Ex: She died 2 years ago.. I found out on Facebook through a friend that I hadn’t talked to in ages. Although she was dead to me years before she actually left her body in a very tragic death, my daughters Olivia and Amelia are still hurting over their loss but WE ARE HEALING together and that has been beautiful. After $75K spent fighting my ex... fighting to love and support my children... there are so many layers to this story and over the course of a few posts, I will be sharing my experience to hopefully help any man who is out there struggling through a divorce, child custody issues, and just needs a map to well-rounded mental and emotional help. My Kids: Although unfortunate for my children, the death of my ex was a turnaround moment for me and my kids as a barrier to love was removed. I HATE looking it like this but I know things would be much different if this life event would not have occurred. I take no joy in her death but I certainly LOVE where me and the kids are. Olivia 2017 Olivia is approaching 20 this year, in her 2nd year of college, just purchased her 1st car, ready for a successful summer of internships and music festivals. She’s doing so much and I love it! Amelai 2017 Amelia is approaching 13 and is such a little self-determined spitfire. She’s doing great in school, has a true sense of humor that can light up any room, and is a creative entrepreneurial thinker full of hustle. Also... Sade is ALMOST 21!!! OMG! Really? Yes! She’s attending the University of Alabama, working really hard & is super focused! She’s survived some crazy odds and situations and continues to be a fighter. She makes me proud. My Job-Job: Most people know, many don’t… but I usually have a day job. Actually, my last day job was with Michigan Medicine/University of Michigan Health System. I was employed there for the last 15 years and decided to call it quits back in December 2017. I had a few roles in my time there but the last role was that I shaped and shifted in for 12 years. Why did I leave??? Bad management. Stress. Hostile work environment. All things that I am not having in my life anymore. The decision came after I suffered a tremendous breakdown at work and was carted off in an ambulance. Days later, I found myself on the couch of a therapist. A woman that helped me pull my life back together over a period of several months; six months to be exact. She helped me search for happiness within myself, helped me with strategies to control my anxiety, coached me through my fight with depression. She essentially helped me to evolve & focus on the things in this world that truly matter and while employment matters, my Black life, mind, & body cannot be governed by a pay check, especially when faced with a dangerous manager/director/boss…. On December 18th, I was so damn happy to submit my resignation. Handing that woman my letter was so freeing… so sobering, it gave me life as they say. watch her read it with her quivering lips warmed my cold heart. “December 18, 2017 Dear Laurel Barnes, After just over fifteen years of employment with Michigan Medicine, with twelve of those years in Learning Management, I enthusiastically tender my resignation effective 12/29/2017. Over the past several months, I have had time to reflect, and determined that it is in my best interest to no longer work in this damaging environment. After submitting complaints to the compliance office and getting no follow up from human resources, specifically Sarah Diebold after multiple attempts, it is clear that Learning Management under your leadership is not a safe nor positive space. It appeared that your intent was to tear apart rather than team build based on several incidents: 1) You told me that I lacked analytical skills without even knowing what I did within the department specifically, 2) You accused me of instigating workplace turmoil between XXXX & XXXX , 3) You suggested that XXXX and I had deep seated issues that interfere with work. After sharing untruths in regards to my behavior with XXXX & XXXX , who were shocked and confused by your statements and accounting, your bullyish behavior was further exposed. Under your leadership, the office is a very dangerous toxic environment ran on fear, bullying, intimidation, & deceit. The emotional intelligence and technical aptitude to effectively manage a diverse team positively was clearly absent and I suffered tremendously as a result. I will not be taking your three offers of a reference letter as you can’t effectively speak to my work, skills, abilities, work ethic or anything related. Reclaiming my time, Tafari K. Stevenson-Howard” Since I reclaimed my life and time, my purpose is clear. My satisfaction with my actions is clear. My zest for life is renewed and sustainable… The crazy thing is, before I quit, one of my good friends quit. Just quit! No job, no nothing because the environment was so ridiculously bad. After I left, four more of my team members left for the same reasons. We all worked together for 12 years or so. The cool thing is, we are all in better places but unfortunately, I had to suffer a mental breakdown… Life continues! With that said, I am now in a new job-job situation and it’s great! A positive work space doing something that feels meaningful. Working with a team that’s agile, fun, and diverse. My Passion: My photography is still a thing & has been really fun, especially since I have a renewed energy pushing my creatively, which was missing for so long.

Bygbaby.com Mindspill

So that I don’t bombard this post with too much, you can read about my latest work & project at these links below. City of Detroit: How a Detroit native's 'total fluke' couch purchase turned into a legendary photo series Michigan Chronicle: Couch: Beautiful – An Exploration of Beautiful Black Women To Debut Feb. 10th The Root: How Detroit Photographer Tafari Stevenson-Howard’s Couch Became a Work of Art Shondaland: Stunning Photo Series Showcases the Beauty of Detroit's Black Women
I’m committing to getting my thoughts out of my head. All the things that I have been wanting to release here in my journal are coming. This is part of my healing and I now feel ready. And damn, it’s time to refresh my blog look… I’m ready for the new new!

Welcome to the Humble Ranch

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 at 10:39 PM

Bygbaby.com Mindspill

Last week, I hosted my first official [housewarming] party of the year at my new home, the Humble Ranch. So many of my family & friends came out to celebrate this awesome life event with me.

It was a simple affair complete with excellent texture, color, design, drink, & food mixed with African flair.

Everybody knows that I'm all about a fun party flyer so for this occasion I decided to use a few vignettes from my home as a background to spread the word. With many of my friends not seeing my home before the party, the flyers offered a sneak peek into my life & design esthetic.

As you can see, the set was 4-8pm but things lasted much longer & it was all good. People love a good party, including me!

I'm so appreciative of the wonderful people that I have in my life, they really showed your boy some tremendous love!

I've been in my new home now for almost 4 months and it's honestly THE best home that I've ever lived as an adult for so many reasons.

As a matter of fact: The top image was taken with my Nikon DSLR, the last two were taken with my iPhone 6.

Bygbaby.com Mindspill

Bygbaby.com Mindspill


Music Break: Ibeyi

Author: Tafari, Friday, March 27th, 2015 at 7:29 PM
The visually stunning video for "River" by Ibeyi, a twin sister duo is enough to send me through changes but the haunting music & message really rock my world. If you're feeling "River" then you have to check out "Mama Says," which has an equally stimulating video & lyrical presentation. Get you some & vibe to their unique Afro style.

Out On a Work Night

Author: Tafari, Friday, March 6th, 2015 at 11:42 AM

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I am not a big fan of going out during the week, but when my girl Mayaeni organized a show, there was no way that I could not be there. She gave the standing room audience everything they needed and then some! And as an extra rock songstress bonus, she had Steffanie Christi'an on stage for the end of the set. It was a great night & I'm happy that I broke my rule.


The Guggenheim: Two Ways

Author: Tafari, Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 at 8:06 PM

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Photo Flashback: The Elements

Author: Tafari, Friday, March 14th, 2014 at 11:30 AM

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I rediscovered these photos last night & kinda got excited. I remember who much work I put into coming up with the concept then making it happen. It was one CLF bulb & some intense Photoshopping. Earth | Wind | Fire | Water

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Bygbaby.com Mindspill

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At The Disco

Author: Tafari, Sunday, November 17th, 2013 at 11:57 AM

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I was listing to some random house music mix recently and all of the sudden, I was caught up in a disco frenzy. I can't tell you how many times that I've listened to "Dance Dance Dance" by Chic in the last two weeks. Perhaps too much but I love it.
"Oh, what a treat, feels so sweet That body heat When I'm dancin' with my baby drives me crazy Makes me hazy Rumba and Tango Latin Hustle too Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah I wanna boogie with you"
Disco will never die!

Peony Paradise

Author: Tafari, Monday, June 10th, 2013 at 11:01 PM

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I know I say each & every flower is my favorite but I honestly have to say that peonies are my favorite late summer bloom aside from Dutch Irises. When I was a kid growing up in Detroit, I always looked forward to our 3 peony bushes blooming in the late spring. The big floppy blooms always cheered me up & the fragrance made me wonder if heaven had the same smell but that was then & this is now.

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Vivian Maier on Film

Author: Tafari, Friday, March 8th, 2013 at 11:30 AM
I've been fascinated by the work of Vivian Maier since her work made it's way to the internet a few years ago. Talk about a true hidden treasure discovery. I cannot wait until this film is released. Seems like she had quite the secret life.

All Things Artsy, Beautiful, & Fab

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 at 8:55 PM

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A few weeks ago, my friend and birch jewelry designer, Heather Fagan of Bettula hit me up because she had a very exciting opportunity to work with Fab.com. My job? To get great photos for her portfolio to make this happen! I own some of Heather's birch cuffs that I rock during the summer months that I totally love so this was a no brainer.

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I love when my artist friends find ways to keep their passions alive and active. Here are a few moody shots from our time together with 1st time model, Amelia White. The Bettula sale on Fab.com will run through March 9, 2013, so check it out fast!

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Bygbaby.com Mindspill


I Got Published!

Author: Tafari, Saturday, February 16th, 2013 at 2:03 PM

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It’s always exciting to see your work out and about in the wild, highlighted online or in publications. When “Popular Photography” made contact to request permission to use my work I was ecstatic! Looking at the finished product was even better. I took the photo about 4 years ago of a dogwood flower with a Lens Baby (macro kit). It’s been a favorite of mine. If you’re interested in photography or a novice wanting to pick up skills “The Complete Photo Manual: 300+ Skills and Tips for Making Great Pictures” is a good book to have nearby! The photos are all amazing and the tips really are good! And my work is in it….. so……….. 2013 just continues to be great!

Bygbaby.com Mindspill


Working [it] In New York

Author: Tafari, Thursday, February 14th, 2013 at 9:31 PM

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Last weekend, I was in NYC for Fashion Week working as a fashion liaison. I attended some shows, went back stage, did some art gallery tours, chilled out at the Hotel Chelsea in a SUPER swanky room that rocked my world & such. This was the 1st time that I did not attend as a photographer and it was REFRESHING! Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my experience photographing runway shows and presentations from some of America's top designers but the work is killer! You’re left drained by the end of the week feeling like you're near death... It would take me a day or two to recover; feet, back, mind… Who knows what the next season will have in store for me. Guess we will see. The image above is from Libertine's 2013 fall/winter collection & taken with my trusty iPhone! You can see looks from the show here. If you don't follow me on Facebook, you can go there to "like" me & catch up on some of my mini-adventures.