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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 'Google My Name And Do My Resume' Category

2011Holiday Baar Bazaar

Author: Tafari, Thursday, December 15th, 2011 at 8:04 PM Mindspill

Detroit: Join me Saturday at the Majestic for the Holiday Baar Bazaar. I'll have deep discounts on Quench Essentials products (my other hustle)! And...... There will be great music and other artsy hustlers peddling their wares for the masses!

Meeting Kevin R. Free

Author: Tafari, Monday, December 12th, 2011 at 11:41 PM Mindspill

I met Kevin maybe a little over a year ago on Twitter through a mutual connection. Maybe it has been longer. I don’t know but time on Twitter flies. Earlier this summer Kevin visited Detroit but we were not able to link up, unfortunately… But we were able to catch each other in NYC a few days after Hurricane Irene rocked the Northeast coast. He introduced me to a new favorite eatery in the East Village named La Palapa. The great thing about this eatery was that it was not like a dancer with hateration and there was plenty of good food and drink. I have to say that I have been VERY lucky meeting people in real life whom I have only known online.  Everyone that I have interacted with in real life has been cool as hell & totally someone who I would have long-term friendships with. And this goes for Kevin. A cool funny brother who loves to chop it up. Kevin like most of my friends is a right brain thinker and artist.  In addition to being a regular social commentator via Twitter, Kevin is a voice, stage & screen actor. He has been seen in Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU and more.  He has also served as the audio book voice for authors such as Charles W. Chesnutt, Touré & Hill Harper. After I captured this image of Kevin, we parted ways & he headed to his first meeting as one of the playwrights of The Fire This Time Festival, which opens January 19 in NYC and it features his new play, “The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual.” Me, not being as fancy or reknown, headed to Washington Square Park where I enjoyed the sights and sounds my most favorite place on earth. Check here to view more of my NYC Analog Street Portrait series.

About Last Night XVI: After The Show

Author: Tafari, Sunday, December 11th, 2011 at 6:12 PM Mindspill

Last night was the art show & reception that I have only been talking about for the last several weeks. In a nutshell, everything was perfect! Many of my friends came out to show love & support, I met some great new people & I was able to talk about my art and share my passion through the theme of Black Women and Food. When Olivia & I finished hanging the work last Thursday, I took a step back and felt very proud of the presentation. Prints on metallic paper, great custom framing and vivid color really gave me what I wanted. The event lasted for about three hours but it felt like only 15 minutes. I was in a time vacuum with my new church shoes on… I could easily say that the highlight of the night was selling 5 pieces of art off of the walls but it was not the highlight. The highlight for me was having my people there to support me, the art and the community of Detroit area photographers. Now of course, I am looking at my sales receipts and smiling like a mofo! I'm just saying. Another fine highlight from last night other than me looking like a million dollars in my Versace was that someone purchased one of my BEST photos ever, “The Giver” (pictured above). I’m looking forward to installing it next Saturday……. This photo has been looking for the right home for a while now. So happy that the right person decided to make that move. As soon as I have photos from the event courtesy of my official unofficial photographer, L O T I, I will post them…. Thanks for hanging in there with me my friends!!! Tafari

Getting Ready for the Show…

Author: Tafari, Thursday, December 8th, 2011 at 12:10 AM Mindspill

Been running around all evening getting some last minute framing done. Got off work later than I wanted to, had to deal with rush hour and make it to two frame shops before 7pm. I was able to make it all happen but I was wiped out of energy big time. Since I've been home, I realized two mistakes with my framing that I made, which have to corrected by tomorrow evening when I go to Detroit to hang the art. I really wish, I could just have someone do this stuff for me. Being an artist, semi-perfectionist & having little time to fit everything in is way too much right here, right now. And you know how sensitive about my shit I am... Hoping that all of the pieces are back in place tomorrow. I really am… Getting ready for a show, in my experience is never fun. So much to do, so little time…. And of course, I do EVERYTHING at the last minute. A good friend asked me if I was ready for the show. I told him no, not hardly but I know what I’m wearing…. Gonna pull out some Versace, just to be fancy. You know how I do… BTW, my show theme is Black Women & Food.... 2 of my favorite things. On some unrelated notes: - Yesterday, the new hygienist at my dentist office told me that she liked my Jamaican accent. Then she told me that my hair was interesting. I'm from B'ham, AL & grew up in Detroit. I don't have an accent until I go back home to AL... They all think I sound fancy & proper. - An older woman told me that I reminded her of Stevie Wonder. Not sure if it’s the hair or if she things that I make random body movements like Stevie. I'm just lost on the comparison. - I registered for my LAST CLASS at Eastern Michigan University. Graduation is just a few short months away!!! - My kids put up a Christmas tree and it is short of looking like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree. Since I stopped celebrating Christmas, the tree has been looking like a mess but it makes them happy & that’s the important piece. BTW: Bet there, bitches! Date: 12.10.11 Time: 7pm Location: Woodbridge Pub | 5169 Trumbull, Detroit, MI

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week: Planning Has Begun

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 at 7:36 PM Mindspill

Is it déjà vu?
"CONGRATULATIONS! We are happy to inform you that your application for Press and Industry Accreditation for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week In New York F/W 2012 has been approved."
Seems like I was just in NYC for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week & here I am on the cusp of December solidifying my plans for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week’s 2012 fall/winter shows. Since Monday:
  • Credentials approved
  • Assistant hired
  • Room at the W booked
  • Bags mentally packed
Yet to be done:
  • Airfare
  • Plan NYC Sip & See
  • Actually pack
  • Hit my dougie
I’m excited & not only that, I’m just happy to be getting out of Michigan even though it’s going to be cold in NYC but a trip is a trip! My friends from The NYLA Report & I are going to be bigger & badder so I hope them bitches at Lincoln Center gone be ready for us!

Exposure.Detroit at The Woodbridge Pub

Author: Tafari, Saturday, November 26th, 2011 at 11:30 AM Mindspill

My friends at Exposure.Detroit have invited me to exhibit at the upcoming photography show at the Woodbridge Pub.  I'm really excited and nervous because the date is rapidly approaching. I really need to get my materials together. I know what I want to show but... So much to consider. I have 2 weeks to work my magic... Date: 12.10.11 Time: 7pm Location: Woodbridge Pub | 5169 Trumbull, Detroit, MI Hope to see you there!

Shooting Helen V. Simpson

Author: Tafari, Saturday, October 15th, 2011 at 10:55 PM Mindspill

My good friend Jasim DeForrest of Word Play Tee’s recently contacted me about a project that she is working on for her mother, Helen. The project being Helen’s huge upcoming retirement party. After 41 years with the Social Security Administration, Helen is calling it quits. When I read 41 years, I just said WOW. Thinking about having a job that long seems like a fantasy in today’s world. Anyway, so when Jasmin shared with me her needs, I came up with a plan that involved my photo session with Helen this afternoon. Nothing major, just a few quick shots for the graphic work that I will be doing. Mindspill

When I suggested meeting at  the DIA today, it was all good because it was supposed to be 70º today. At least that is what the weather app said on my iPhone. I woke up this morning to verify the weather & it still said 70º but when I stepped outside, it felt more like 50.  Later Jasmin called & asked if I had a plan B because of the cold. I said "well, it’s going to be 70º, we should be OK." Then I assured her that the session would be rather short. After that discussion, I checked the iPhone weather app again and discovered that it was indeed supposed to be 70º but not in Detroit. I had been looking at the weather for Washington DC for at least the last two weeks. Sadly, I was wondering why it was so off daily.  I felt so silly. Mindspill Fast forward to the session where it was windy & quite chilly. I mean really chilly! The session was quick, perhaps 20 minutes or so. Although breif, I had fun and loved when Helen offered to buy me something to eat. She is such a mother and a beautiful person! Also making Helen special is that she is an 11 year breast cancer survivor who is living her life like it's golden!

Autumn Senior Session: DiShawna Marks

Author: Tafari, Friday, October 14th, 2011 at 12:05 AM Mindspill

Last Sunday, was the day that I had that photo session where I whispered all the way through because I had no voice. The session was with DiShawna Marks, a Detroit high school senior for her senior portraits. Aside from my voice issues, the day was perfect! The sun was out but not too bright and there was a nice breeze. Totally a gift from the Michigan weather Gods. Mindspill

DiShawna along with her family (I think there were 8 people with us) & I started the session in East Detroit at the Detroit Dry Docks Engine Works complex, which is an awesome gritty space.  She was not afraid of rocking it out in this long abandoned structure so it was on like Donky Kong. We ended at Detroit’s Hart Plaza, which I thought would be perfect because I knew very few people would be there because it was Sunday & no one hangs downtown outside of the summer months…. Well, I was wrong because the place was jumping with activity. It actually was quite beautiful to see people out enjoining themselves. Mindspill Mindspill

It was also fun rolling with so many people during the session. It was like DiShawna and I had a posse. And I never mind an audience watching me work. Next time I lose my voice and have a photo session, I’m mos def gonna make some cue cards and have an assistant nearby.  Days later, I am just getting my voice back but that's OK because I have a happy client with some great photos that are sure to make her classmates a bit jealous…. Mindspill

One Hot Wedding

Author: Tafari, Friday, September 30th, 2011 at 10:37 PM Mindspill

Tarian & Zahra Marks wed on a day in Detroit than can only be described as a scorcher! Well, maybe the day wasn’t a scorcher but the temperature inside of the First Congregational Church of Detroit certainly was. Mindspill

I mean it was so hot that I think I had two mini heat strokes. The day of the wedding rehearsal when I learned that the church had no air, I panicked because I sweat badly. If you add the fact that I’m working on top you have a bad bad bad situation. Now that I know the church is hotter than all of July, next wedding, I will bring ice packs to hang off of my body. Aside from the intense heat, the wedding went on without a hitch & was actually quite fun and casual. Mindspill

Weddings can be emotional as we all know & Zahra almost got me to shed a tear when she found out that one of her brothers who’s deployed on a US armed forces mission was viewing the event via Skype on an iPad. Not sure what sparked my knee jerk reaction to her crying but it was cool & I kept it together. Now, my weddings for 2011 are over and I’m looking forward to seeing what awaits me in 2012. Actually, I would not mind a few last minute weddings throughout the end of the year. I'm just saying Mindspill

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….

Shooting Megan Pouncy

Author: Tafari, Sunday, September 25th, 2011 at 12:34 PM Mindspill

I met Megan Pouncy thanks to a great referral from friend & client Amber Cabral a few months ago. When Megan & I initially talked, she shared her needs for headshots as part of a October 2011 launch for her brand new blog titled Vino Dream geared toward Detroit area wine enthusiast such as her self. Mindspill After I told her that I was crazy during my photos sessions and basically a hot mess, we set a date and the rest is history… We started downtown and worked our way to Midtown Detroit, where we stopped traffic, worked through cat calls and a meter maid who was about to go “Parking Wars” on us while we were at the Detroit Institute of Arts.  I’m so happy that there were no cameras around because I may have shown out! Mindspill After Megan reviewed her photos, she requested a follow up session that will pick up where we left off with a different look. I’ll take that as a win & another feather in my photo pimp cap. Mindspill I swear that I love my job!

Take Me to the Game

Author: Tafari, Thursday, September 1st, 2011 at 6:25 PM Mindspill

Yesterday, I photographed the “Parade Day at the Park” event for The Parade Company at Comerica Park.  This was my 2nd time working this event for TPC, with the first time being last year. Last year was one for the record books because it was soooooo super hot! When my assignment was over, you could wring out my shirt & get a cup of sweat. When I was contacted to work the event again this year, I had heat flashbacks that made me sweat. Parade Day at the Park is very fun as a spectator and from my angle as the photographer. Kids all over the place, face painting, clowns, a marching band, parade floats, beer, baseball etc. Mindspill

One of the cooler points of the event is being able to go onto the baseball field to catch the ceremonial 1st pitch. Yesterday, Makayla McCoskey, the reigning America’s Thanksgiving Parade® Queen tossed out the 1st ball on behalf of TDC. I met Makayla last year when I was one of the TDC’s “Princess Scholarship Program” judges. I was very happy when we learned she winner was because Makayla is quite a force in her academics, charity work & volunteerism. Mindspill

Some of the perks from winning the Princess Scholarship Program include:
  • Four Court members receive a $250 scholarship
  • The final candidate is named the America’s Thanksgiving Parade® Queen in addition to receiving a $1,000 scholarship
  • The Queen and her Princess Court ride in the America’s Thanksgiving Parade®, (seen nationally in 74.6 million homes)
On a related note, I was asked to come back as a judge again this year for the program. This time, I will be prepared with a little experience under my belt. Anyway, the other fun item from the day was the kids. I think they were kindergartners. I took a photo of one of the kids after his face was painted. Next thing I know, I’m surrounded by kids asking me to take their photo. Do me! Take my picture! Let me see! It was funny. Mindspill

After my camera was packed away, I relaxed with friends and enjoyed watching the Detroit Tigers beat the Kansas City Royals 5 to 4. It was a great nail biting kind of game... And for the record, I am not a sports fan.