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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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Archive for the 'Blackanomics' Category

Happy at Home

Author: Tafari, Friday, February 20th, 2015 at 3:08 PM Mindspill

Three years ago, I made a plan to purchase a home. Last week, the plan materialized & I'm beyond happy. Staying committed to the plan was a little rough as I had to really resift my priorities to make things happen but it was worth all of the sacrifices. Waking up to a home drenched in sunlight, covered in love is where my happiness stems from! I've never been a morning person but I find myself waking up early to enjoy the quiet peace of my new home. Still kinda feels like a dream; a great dream in my dream home.

Ain’t No Freebies Here

Author: Tafari, Thursday, May 31st, 2012 at 8:52 PM Mindspill

I get requests often from agencies, individuals etc asking me for permission to use my photos for various projects. More often than not, the request come with the following line "I don't have a budget but will give you credit." When I read that bit, it's a wrap. I don't need credit, I need cash! Why are people so crazy to think that I will offer free product for them to use to get paid off of? Maybe I'm the crazy one? Yesterday, I got the request below from architecture firm, Diller Scofidio + Renfro & I started to cuss when I read the last paragraph! See for yourself:
"Dear Tafari Stevenson-Howard, I am contacting you from Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the architecture studio that designed the Lincoln Center Redevelopment in New York. We are currently designing a book in collaboration with Lincoln Center covering our work on the campus from 2003 through the present. The first edition will be a run of 5,000 books, with an expected publication date of December 2012. We have found that the Revson Fountain at Lincoln Center has been a focal point for pictures posted online and we would like to feature this phenomena in our publication. We are interested in one of your images of the Revson Fountain on Flickr and would like permission to use it in our book. The image would be small, approximately 2" x 1", alongside images by other Flickr photographers, and we are requesting the reproduction authorization of this work. It is found here: The book is being produced in house and due to our limited budget and the limited run of books being produced, we are unable to provide you with pay or a copy of the book. If you do allow us to use your image could you please provide me with how you would like to be credited? We look forward to your reply, with kindest regards. Sofia Balters"
My was response was:
"Hello Sofia, Thanks for inquiring but I am not interested. The time, effort, creativity energy and cost of my camera equipment that I used to create this image is worth more than photo credit. I'm an award winning photographer, Getty Images contributor, style icon and US citizen that has bills to pay. Should you be interested in purchasing this photo, I'd love to talk more. And yes, this offer is insulting! Best, Tafari"
Who are these people? And did they Google my name before they sent that request?

Color Outside the Lines

Author: Tafari, Sunday, May 6th, 2012 at 11:21 PM Mindspill

Since graduating last week, I know that this world is mine.  I will color outside the lines because I can & have the know how. - I am an artist - I am a human - I make shit happen…
“It's like you come onto this planet with a crayon box. Now, you may get the 8-pak, or you may get the 16-pak, but it's all in what you do with the crayons--the colors-- that you're given. Now don't worry about coloring inside the lines or outside the lines. I say, color outside the lines! Color right off the page! Don't box me in.” “Waking Life” ~ 2001

African Men: Hollywood Stereotypes

Author: Tafari, Friday, April 27th, 2012 at 10:30 AM
This video is AWESOME!!!

Black Folk Don’t Tip

Author: Tafari, Saturday, March 24th, 2012 at 1:55 PM
video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player I certainly tip! I also have some friends who don't or they tip poorly, so I tend to avoid going to full service restaurants with them. I'm just saying...

On Seeing Korto Momolu

Author: Tafari, Sunday, February 5th, 2012 at 10:43 PM Mindspill

Most invitations to New York Fashion Week shows are quite mundane to say the least. For the most part, they do not get me excited, make me want to RSVP or know more about what’s going to be shown. Yesterday, I got this HOT image as part of a fashion presentation invite from designer Korto Momolu. You may recall Korto as being one of the designers on Project Runway who was robbed by the judges when it came to the big prize. Yeah, I know that it’s been years since season 5 of the show that I love to hate but I am still mad about it. Anyway…… I will be at Korto’s 2012 fall/winter show next Monday to photograph the goodness that I know she will bring… As an added bonus, it is quite possible that I will run into Heidi Klum whom will be at Korto’s show filming “Germany's Next Top Model.” Stay tuned…. On a side note.... This photo stirs my soul! The tones, the lines, the everything. I wish I knew who the photographer was. Image credit: Korto Momolu / Photographer unknown

MLK: Made in China

Author: Tafari, Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 at 11:29 PM Mindspill

A few years ago when I learned about the Martin Luther King Jr. monument that was to be constructed in our nation’s capital, I got excited. When I learned that the artist assigned to produce the sculpture of perhaps the most notable Negro in American history was a Negro himself, I got even more excited. Not too long after hearing this news, I learned that the project leaders decided to go with another designer for the MLK monument. Not really a big deal because things often change on large initiatives, right? The project leaders flipped the script and decided to bring on Chinese stoneworker, Lei Yixin. Making the changes even more controversial was decision to use Chinese granite for the memorial. - Why not an American sculptor? - Why not with American materials? - Just why? Yes, I was one of those people opposed to the statue after those changes. I wasn’t angry but I was very turned off. Fast-forward to this summer when the MLK monument opened… I decided that I would not visit. Fast-forward to this past weekend when I actually visited the monument… I broke down in a moment of DC tourist weakness. The monument is HUGE. On grand scale. Attractive. And obviously missing the “Made in China” markings. Even after being impressed by the size & style, I’m like meh… Then you add the fact that the monument is directly across from the Jefferson Memorial. Jefferson was not only a slave owner but a rapist of his female slaves. OK, let me calm down. I’m starting to get a racial tension headache up in here. I wonder what MLK would think of his monument being constructed by people living under a communist regime that oppresses, jails and tortures citizens while restricting internet access… Wait, some of that happens in the US also. Your thoughts? Am I tripping? BTW, the photo above was taken with my iPhone 4, which was “assembled in China.” I’m just saying.

A Collector of Rain

Author: Tafari, Monday, October 24th, 2011 at 7:26 PM Mindspill

"I am reciting the rain caught in my spleen These lips can not swim Only my breast wild as black waves I met the collector of rain once who went to sleep in my sleeve Is his alibi still under my arm? I keep coughing up butterflies My entrails trail albinos' tunes His voice cums in my hair Is the flesh tender where the knees weep? Is the flesh tender where the knees weep? Is the flesh tender where the knees weep?"
Sonia Sanchez ~ Humbled (2006) ---------------------------------------------- I was walking down Broadway jamming to something on my iPod and not really caring about the rain. Actually the rain felt good. Before going underground, I spotted this gentleman. I assumed he was homeless because of the smell & gross bags that he was carrying. No matter what his actual social situation was, he mos def had swag. It’s all in the glasses! Check here to view more of my NYC Analog Street Portrait series.

Back in Business

Author: Tafari, Monday, October 10th, 2011 at 10:32 PM Mindspill

I purchased a pair of V•Moda Crossfade headphones back in December randomly while in NYC. Typically, I don't get those extended warranty deals but for some reason, I did this time & I'm happy that I did. The small cost of insurance plan paid off months later & got me a new pair of headphones after the original pair experienced some pretty bad cosmetic issues. Cool thing is that the new ones are almost $100 cheaper than the original pair so I had a "profit" if you will. I'm hoping that these don't get all janky on me because I really like the sound quality & comfort... I guess we will see. And thank you UPS for delivering while the US Postal Service took a holiday on Columbus Day. Who does that??? What's to celebrate?

Rejection Doesn’t Last Always

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 at 10:23 PM Mindspill

Let me start here - I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit! -------------- Prior to becoming a creative Getty Image contributor via the Flickr Collection, I had dreams of becoming a regular contributor though their “normal” application process.  I actually started the application process then got all nervous and backed away. Finishing the application process remained on my mind for many months but I was afraid of being rejected and honestly, at that time, I was not all the secure with what I would submit. Months after I kinda said, "I’ll just wait," I received an email from Getty Images inviting me to join their Flickr Collection.  I had to read that message a few times to make sure that I understood it correctly.  That was back in February of 2009. Since then, I’ve added over 100 images (small number) to the collection & have been lucky to get sales every month with some months being really GREAT. Because of the success that I was having with the Flickr Collection, I said that I was backing away from iStockphoto where I had been contributing images for a while. The decision to walk away from iStockphoto was because, the royalties are low & I was basically getting no sales. For instance, over a 3 year period, I made maybe 100 bucks.  The stock photography thing is a total crap shoot. You may win, you may win a little bit or you may just lose. With iStockphoto, I just lost & that was OK. Since I was losing, I started to remove my images from their site and concentrate on getting more on Getty Images. While I was in NYC for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, I got an email from the Getty Images Flickr Collection requesting me to add 30 more images to the site. I was pretty geeked about that. Now back to me applying to become a regular contributor… Back in April of 2011, I completed my application, sent in test images & uploaded model releases in hopes of getting that email welcoming me to the family. Thirty days went by; no word. Sixty days went by; no word. I decided to email asking for a status update & got a canned response saying that they were swamped and that someone would get back with me. No one ever did. Last week, I decided to send another status update request & got this:
“Dear Tafari, Thank you for your interest in Getty Images. Due to the high number of image submissions we receive, we cannot respond to all applicants. If after the 60 day period you have not received mail from us, this means we have reviewed your imagery for our Creative Stills Collections and unfortunately, after careful consideration, your portfolio has not passed our requirements. As an alternative, you may wish to consider submitting your images to iStockphoto, which accepts a wider variety of file sizes and formats and has excellent resources for adding to your skills…”
When I read it, my jaw dropped & I was just like damn. Why? - My skills, quality and talent obviously is Getty worthy, hence the continued success with one of their collections. - I’m so done with iStockphoto - I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit. I’ve been rejected before and I’m a big boy so that’s not a problem. I think the iStockphoto referral is what threw me. I’m like ughhhh, I’m so past them. But… I have to say that as a designer, I often use iStockphoto because there is some great work there. The option just does not work for me as a seller with them. Oh me & my 1st world problems….

Ted Williams: Not So Shiny & New

Author: Tafari, Monday, May 30th, 2011 at 12:05 AM Mindspill

When things are shiny & new, everyone wants a piece. I’m happy that Ted was "discovered" & I’m VERY happy that he is in recovery now but it's a shame how it all played out for him under the media pressure. Shame on Kraft, The Cavaliers & them other bitches who dropped Ted like a hot potato. I mean, come on, did you really expect that he had a squeaky clean past. Perhaps they should have did some background checking before they started sucking his dick & making offers because they wanted to look "nice & caring." I’m just saying. I’m hoping that Ted heals the areas of his life that were neglected for so long. While healing, I hope that the money/fame hungry vultures are kept at bay. Let a brother be successful the right way. Now that I said my piece, peep this story I found on Good.Is. “A Month Later, "Homeless Man with a Golden Voice" Is Abandoned by His Corporate Friends” by Cord Jefferson
“In early January, a journalist in Ohio came across a homeless man possessed of a "golden radio voice." That man, as you probably know, was Ted Williams, and the journalist's video footage of him quickly became a hit on the internet and television. Williams got a makeover seemingly overnight, and soon he was doing voiceovers for Kraft products, appearing in TV ads, and fielding an announcing job offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers. But then reality struck. After getting into an altercation with his daughter, an altercation for which he was not , Williams was pressured into going into rehab for alcohol addiction by TV psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw. He then left almost immediately, saying he felt rushed and that the process (i.e. being broadcast on Dr. Phil live from rehab) felt "scripted." Williams then checked himself into a sober living house for voiceover actors in Los Angeles, where he could come and go as he pleased, but where he still needed to submit to drug tests and promise to remain clean. Eventually came word that Williams had long ago abandoned his nine children. And then The Smoking Gun released his rap sheet. Ultimately, it turned out that the man with the golden voice did not have such a golden history. Alas, in the aftermath of his troubled second chance, Williams is still making minor appearances—the Los Angeles Times reports he was recently at a milkshake shop but Kraft hasn't brought him back, his TV ads have been pulled, and the Cavaliers' job offer has been reneged.” Read More Here...
Photo Credit: AP

Apple Gadget Overload

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 at 3:54 PM Mindspill

So I got ahold of a 2nd generation iPad last week after waiting nearly a month for it to be delivered. Not sure if I mentioned it here, but I was not feeling the idea of buying an iPad since it was 1st introduced in  spring of 2010 because it seemed like a big ass iPhone without the capability of making voice calls. Some of my iPad evangelist friends have beat me up saying that the iPad is all that and a bag of chips, but I was not hearing it. Well, with my official hands on experience, I can confidently say that the iPad is just a big ass PRETTY iPhone without the capability of making voice calls. Everything that ‘I’ need to do can be accomplished on my super portable iPhone. Honestly! I found holding iPad awkward at times, especially when lying down. Also, if your in the sun or a bright location, the glare can be an issues. Who wants to read an ebook or blog while being blinded? I do like the layout and usability of some of the native apps like mail & iCal.  I also like how the official Twitter & Netflix apps function! I won't talk about Angry Birds on the iPad because I'm still in addiction recovery. On another note; I let Amelia (5 year old) check out the iPad & she thinks that it's the best thing since non-singing Justin Bieber. So yeah, I would not invest the base 500 bucks for an iPad although it’s a pretty little thing. For my 9-5 purposes, it will be good for on the go communication (email, Skype, Facetime), note taking and for presentations. For my everyday life, the iPhone & my trusty Macbook Pro when I need a serious computer power will serve my purposes. I'm just saying. Freebie: Like the wallpaer? You can download the iPhone version here.