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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 Begins: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

Author: Tafari, Thursday, September 8th, 2011 at 11:30 AM

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I'm at Lincoln Center & Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is going down. The fashion savvy & fashion victims are all out & about making this the place to be for the next week. Stay tuned to my [mis]adventures on Twitter here: @photosbytafari.

Rap Star Longevity

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 at 7:11 PM

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Based on this image & this image alone, I think the key to Lil Wayne's continued success throughout the next 50-11 years will be do to bad facial tattoos & sagging while wearing leopard print jeggings. I'm just saying... Art Credit: Unknown

Runway Talk

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 at 12:33 AM

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This time last year, I was nervous as hell about photographing at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week for my friends at The NYLA Report. I had an idea of what to expect but that did not settle my anxiousness at all. You may remember me talking about it non-stop. With two seasons of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week under my belt now, I am relaxed. Perhaps, I may be too relaxed because I have not contacted many designers for access, which means that I will be emailing my butt off over the next few days. Right now, these shows are on my schedule to photograph: Thursday: Nicholas K BCBGMAXAZRIA Tadashi Shoji Candella Friday: Electric Feathers Luca Luca Rebecca Taylor Concept Korea Saturday: Lacoste Pink Tartan Jill Stuart Vivienne Tam Farah Angsana Rafael Cennamo Venexiana Sunday: Lela Rose Derek Lam Tracy Reese Diana Von Furstenberg Tommy Hilfiger Monday: Carolina Herrera Rebecca Minkoff Tuesday: My regular life begins again…. T-8 days before it all goes down!

Rainy Wedding Days

Author: Tafari, Thursday, August 25th, 2011 at 6:13 PM

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Last weekend, I took a road trip clear across the state to photograph Jeff & Ximena’s beach wedding. Jeff contacted me because Ximena’s sister, Linda was a wedding client of mine a few years ago and she suggested me for this occasion.  Now, I am considered to be the family photographer and friend. I love that! Jeff & Ximena’s wedding like Linda’s wedding was going to be casual and intimate with close friends and family.

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Fast forward a few months since our initial conversation and it’s wedding day.  It started out with a storm then it cleared up slightly, then rained a little more. The weather was all over the place. While I was photographing the wedding prep, the clouds got thick & gray.  Before you know it, heavy rain. Then it started to rain harder and the call was made to move the wedding from the beach to the reception site. After we moved to the wedding/reception site, the rain got really wild like a monsoon!

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Once everything was revamped, nerves calmed etc, the ceremony took place and it was smooth sailing from there. Outdoor weddings are an iffy thing & you must have a plan A, B, C & D in some cases. As you would expect, the rain stopped, the clouds disappeared and the sky became bright blue all after the ceremony & reception. Talk about bad timing but you know what they say; rainy wedding days make for happy marriages…

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--------------------- Friday, the day before the wedding was my 1st chance to actually sit and talk with Jeff & Ximena together, so I was able to get their backstory. Jeff & Ximena randomly met in Cleveland while they were both in town on business. As Jeff tells it, Ximena was flirting with him after they along with others decided to have drinks. Fifteen days after Ximena laid her flirting moves on Jeff, he visited her at home in Mexico City. How courageous was he?  Ximena did not know what to think of this guy that she randomly met and had drinks with but she indulged anyway. Six trips to Mexico City later over the course of a 1.5 years, Jeff popped the question. Love moved fast. They are now one and exude happiness. If all goes well, I will join Jeff & Ximena in Mexico City in 2013 for the Mexican wedding jump off, which I hear will be some kind of spectacle. You know I’m down & my passport stays at the ready!

Picking Up a Canon

Author: Tafari, Thursday, August 18th, 2011 at 1:40 AM

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Last Sunday, I attended the honeyBOOM launch party, which was held midtown Detroit at the Alley Deck. Initially, I was going to enjoy myself, kick with my girl Ris Tena (owner of honeyBOOM), have a few cocktails and enjoy the fashion show. When I got to the event, I was in such a great mood because I had just taken my last photo in my summer film series project. The DJ was playing my jams! Most importantly, the Captain & Coke was putting me in the zone.  It just seemed like everything was right. Shortly after getting settled in, the fashion show started and all of the sudden, I slipped into photographer mode but all I had was my iPhone. As you know, I love the camera on the iPhone 4 so it was all good.

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As I was getting some images with my iPhone, my homie & Detroit hip hop blogger Marcel F of WhatUpDoe offered me his camera to use instead. My first reaction was like are you serious? I don’t use Canon cameras; YUCK!  My second reaction was, fuck it, give it here, let me rock it out….. As I got my initially images with Marcel’s Canon EOS Rebel T3i equipped with the Canon EF 50mm f 1.8 II lens, I was like oh, this is fun. The features on the camera were just as simple as Nikon bodies,  and the comfort of the grip was nice so my learning curve was all of 5 minutes. From what I saw on the camera’s display, I was impressed with the appearance of the photos so I continued to shoot until it was time for a break and another Captain & Coke. After all, I was there to chill right???

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Lessons learned…. A camera is a camera & as a photographer, I can make an image with anything operable. I’m happy that Marcel was generous enough to trust me with his new camera to get some great shots that I could share with Ris for her new venture. To see a few more outtakes from the event, visit here.

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More on honeyBOOM: honeyBOOM (HNYBM) is a retail boutique & brand specializing in vintage sportswear, along with streetwear, bboy/bgirl gear, jewelry, accessories, art, & custom pieces. Founded by all-around creator, hip-hop aficionado & fashion enthusiast, Ris, also known as Ris Money, Dissris, Ris La Rock, Ris Regal, or just good ol' Christine Tena. honeyBOOM is inspired by the cultural revolutionaries: the bboy & the bgirl. With the style & charisma that breakdancers characterize, they epitomize what it is to be "fresh;" as Bgirl ShaBoogie from Renegades Crew says, "ain't no swag like a bgirl's (bboy's) swag." honeyBOOM brings it back to the foundation with this boutique as a play off old school gear - this is an ode to the hip-hop heyday. --------------------------------- Pictured above in order: Krista Ashley Mcgee, Abigail C. Brown, Anastasia Miller, Star Misskemi, Ris Tena

The Art of Story Telling

Author: Tafari, Saturday, August 6th, 2011 at 11:30 AM

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Last night, I did something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time, which was to attend the Detroit edition of The Moth story hour and tell a story. When I learned that the theme was food for the most recent event, I made it my business to make sure that I attended. Once I arrived at the event, I started to get nervous about telling my story but I sat with a table of friends and random strangers who encouraged me to just do it. After a Tanqueray and tonic, I had the courage and submitted my name. The place was packed and many people were submitting their name for the random selection process, which I found comfort in because my name is NEVER called for anything. Things jumped off at 7:30pm as the host walked up to the mic to call the 1st person to the stage. My fingers were crossed hoping that I was not called 1st. Going 1st in a competition is never easy. After the 1st person/story, I waited and waited nervously until my name was pulled from the hat. I believe I was 7th. Actually, my name wasn’t called because the host could not read my handwriting. He asked 2 or 3 people in the audience to see if they could make out the name until they figured it out. I was a little embarrassed but I do have fancy penmanship. Now! I’m on stage under the lights and I have five minutes to tell my story about FOOD... Tons of people in the room watching me. May hair looking shiny & luxurious (not my words). A big video camera taping my every move, word, gesture, mistake! My story was about a restaurant experience that I had with friends in Barcelona, Sp many years ago where I had the best fried chicken ever, got white boy wasted on sangria, rolled down hill and waking up naked in a hotel room with no sheets on the bed and a bottle of wine. I can be very longwinded but I managed to get my story out in the five minutes. Along the way, I had the crowd laughing and I felt pretty comfortable. Guess I was nervous for nothing… I walked off stage feeling confident but I didn’t feel like my story was as good as a few others but it was good. When it all boiled down, I received 25.5 points out of a possible 30, putting me in 4th place for the night. I was proud of my score and happy that I was able to make this happen. Next month, the theme is struggle. I have some great struggle stories and I think that I may give it a go once again....

DEMF Weekend: It’s a Wrap

Author: Tafari, Monday, May 30th, 2011 at 10:45 PM

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2011 marks the 12th year for the Detroit Electronic Music Festival (D.E.M.F), which brought 34,820 lovers of all things beat driven to downtown Detroit on the 1st day. While the festival boasted an all star line up of 25+ acts across 5 stages with the likes of Felix da Housecat, Carl Craig, Loco Dice, Soulclap & Fatboy Slim, the special guest seemed to be the schizophrenic spring weather. The 1st two days of the festival were packed with rain, thunderstorm & tornado warnings.  The rain was no big deal because I even put my camera up to dance as Tortured Soul performed on the Vitamin Water stage. The tornado warnings became another story when many saw the swirling clouds above the Detroit River as people scattered to the four corners to avoid being raptured… On the last day of the festival, the Gods smiled upon D.E.M.F with sun, 90º & gentle breezes. Weather aside, the festival was nothing short the best thing on earth for an electronic music fanatic, especially for me; a true house music lover.  I enjoy a little techno but house is my thing… Some of the festival highlights outside of the ubiquitous after parties, club/candy kids & weed smoke were some killer performances! I mean KILLER!!! Saturday was all about the Vitamin Water stage for me, which was were Tortured Soul, Kerri Chandler & Felix da Housecat brought the house down! The music was so good that it was a challenge to leave to capture the goings on at the 4 other stages. Sunday, I spent most of my time at the Made in Detroit stage where some of Detroit’s best DJs had the crowd hypnotized with soul house beats and classics.  DJs Al Ester, Hot N Funky (Mike Brown), Minx & Bruce Bailey (Google them) illustrated for those who “ain’t know” that techno & house all started in Detroit. After my not so good experience last year, I can say that, I’m again down with D.E.M.F! Not only did I enjoy the festival over all, I felt that the event organizers really worked hard to make things confortable for the media by providing plenty of workspace, fast and convenient WIFI, cold drinks and SNACKS!!!! Honestly, a better media experience than what I've encountered at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. You can see some of what I saw in my photos here. Hope you enjoy & had a weekend as good as mine!

Ted Williams: Not So Shiny & New

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

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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

Fuck That Box

Author: Tafari, Friday, April 22nd, 2011 at 12:21 PM

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Back in the fall while in NY for fashion week, I along with my homegirl Asia Willis had plans to attend several shows in what’s known as “The Box” at Lincoln Center. The Box is where all of the presentations were held. In case you don’t know, a [fashion] presentation is where the models are in standing form vs walking a runway. When I learned the difference between a show and presentation then looked at how crazy my schedule was shaping up daily, I said to Asia, “FUCK THAT BOX.” We both laughed & it became our running joke for months. I never made it to The Box although there were several designers that I really wanted to capture like Andrew Buckler.

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Fast forward to Fashion Week this past February where I had a change of heart in regards to The Box after talking to my homeboy Mike Williams, who happens to be a kick ass fashion photographer from Baltimore. After a little encouragement from Mike I was determined to hit The Box. The first presentation that I shot was W Hotel’s Global Glam. It was not what I was ready for. 1st of all, they were serving cocktails, a DJ was spinning some hot shit, the models were hot & the lighting set up was midnight chic, which set the stage for a club theme.

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Before you know it, it was damn near 11PM, I was dancing my ass off & I was like 45 minutes late for dinner with my fashion posse. I mean, I was like whoa! The next day I showed back up and Lincoln Center and there were all these stories, video & photos of me. Can you say yikes!!!!???? It was all good fun, just me being crazy as hell, nothing new there, but the stories. Oh the stories… The cool thing is that I got some great photos before and after the buzz! And I swear someone was smoking weed up in The Box! That medicinal shit. After Global Glam, I was all in love with The Box! The next few presentations that I shot there were not nearly as fun or random but I got some great shots for my portfolio & that is a lot better than dancing around like no one is looking.

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Image 1: Yoana Barasci Image 2: Joi Cioci Image 3: W Hotel’s Global Glam Image 4: Callula Lillibelle

The Art Talk

Author: Tafari, Saturday, April 16th, 2011 at 12:54 AM

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So my 2nd Detroit Pecha Kucha Night presentation has come & gone like a thief in the night.  The evening could have not been any better!  I was supported by my family, friends, members of the Detroit art community & somewhat of a rowdy crowd. OK, the crowd wasn’t rowdy but someone had way too many glasses of wine and she kept calling out my name. That’s another thing though, but I will say that Suite Suzy caught her in the ladies room talking to herself. Anyway, as I stated before, I presented images from my NYC Analog Street Portrait series. I also included 5 images that I have yet post online. One being the image above of a model that was walking for fashion designer Nicole Miller at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week moments after I snapped her. I had a rough outline of what I wanted to say about the images & my process etc, but when the mic was handed to me as the music started playing, things changed. I actually started telling stories about the subjects and the events surrounding the photos, including a moment where I discussed my pimp boots in the Meat Packing District.  It was quite animated & I was really in the zone. Before I knew it, the presentation was over & the lights faded to black. I walked off stage feeling like a champ giving high fives & handshakes to attendees. Some comments I heard:
  • Those photos need to be in a gallery
  • Your use of color is inspiring
  • You really told a story and did not need words
  • Were those really taken with a film camera
  • I could listen to your stories forever
Shit, let's hope that the 1st one comes true! I really felt great! So what’s next? I'll be posting the rest of the photos over the next few weeks and talking about the people as I prepare to publish my next series on Detroit housing. In the meantime, check some of the other presenters that I saw who rocked it & inspired me! Maria Bologna - Office supply doodles Miguel Yeoman - Painting Marie Andrews - Painting and illustration Leslie C. Horn - Sustainable living through architecture Check here to view more of my NYC Analog Street Portrait series.

Working Her Thing: Rosemary Ponzo

Author: Tafari, Thursday, March 31st, 2011 at 8:31 PM

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When it comes to flamboyant fun, funky or fresh headgear, New York socialite & costume designer Rosemary Ponzo has it covered. Whenever she’s out & about, she’s sporting a look that makes people stop & wonder a) WHAT? b) Is that Liza Minnelli? b) Is that hat for real?

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When meeting her for the 1st time, it was clear that she is her own woman. The looks are a thing of nature and the styling is all her. When Rosemary & I last talked it was outside of Lincoln Center and she was wearing the first look posted here. During the strolling convo, we were stopped repeatedly by street/street fashion photogs wanting to get her photo. It was kind of funny, especially when I was asked to move out of the way by the photogs. Some times she's too much, some times she's not enough, but you have to love her! Rosemary makes fast frineds as do I, so of course I consider her to be one of my boos. Check here to view more of my NYC Analog Street Portrait series.

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Author: Tafari, Monday, March 14th, 2011 at 7:53 PM

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