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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 'Hot Ass Mess' Category

Ain’t No Freebies Here

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

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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: www.flickr.com/photos/bygbaby/6952930643/?? 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?

2012 Hot Mess Oscar Winners

Author: Tafari, Monday, February 27th, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Forget best & worst dressed Oscar picks! I've come up with my own hot mess Oscar winners based on last night's performances? Like to hear it? Here it go.... - Best Stunt Queen performance during a red carpet interview - Sacha Baron Cohen / Although funny as hell, he goes over the top way too much. - Worst wig on a Black woman during a video montage - Gabourey Sidibe / What was that on her head, a mangy wig or a Persian wool coat? - Best white person rocking black face during a movie vignette - Billy Crystal / I was like really? It was too much but it was funny. - Best partially exposed nipple during an award presentation - Jennifer Lopez / At first I was like is that a nipple or a shadow of a nipple, then I realized that it was not a shadow, just a straight up nipple. - Best attempt to be sexy while looking malnourished during an award presentation - Angelina Jolie / She killed me doing her leg. I felt her thought but she looked like she needed healthy meal.

The Bird Man

Author: Tafari, Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 at 10:33 PM

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Washington Square Park in Manhattan is one of my most favorite places on EARTH!!!! Over the years while chilling in Washington Square Park, I’ve witnessed sex acts, homeless people fighting, grand piano performances, naked sun bathing women, mentally challenged costumed folk scaling the Washington Arch, African/Afro-Caribbean drummers drumming, hustlers hustling and transvestites strutting. Because of these things & more, not much shocks me around NYC. The day before Hurricane Irene hit NYC, I took a stroll through Washington Square Park & this pigeon lover was the 1st thing I saw. Onlookers surrounded him while the flying rats pigeons perched on & around him. I have to admit that I was grossed out! It’s one thing to feed the pigeons; it’s another to have them all over you. From a quick Google search, I learned that this pigeon lover prefers to be called “the Bird Man.” Others refer to him as:
  • “The Pigeon Whisperer”
  • “Paul The Pigeon Man”
  • “Pigeon Paul”
  • "Bird Man of Washington Square Park"
I also stumbled upon a documentary that someone is working on covering the Washington Square Park celeb. Very interesting! Check here to view more of my NYC Analog Street Portrait series.

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

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 You, Pay Me

Author: Tafari, Thursday, May 5th, 2011 at 5:38 PM
I’m contacted often from companies who are interested in purchasing work of mine that was spotted on Flickr.  I have been lucky to have to make some sales independently, some sales were done via Getty Images, and other times the potential sale fell through the cracks because the would be client wants the imagery for free with the promise of giving me credit. I have been past the “I’ll give to credit” shit for years. And of course you should give me credit because I’m giving my work to you. Are you crazy? Air Canada has contacted me twice before to get photos with the promise of credit & I declined. Most recently, I decided to flip the script when I got a message from an Air Canada marketing rep who was interested in this red snapper ceviche photo for an upcoming spread. I’ll stop here & let the email conversation take over. And yes, I’m still laughing!!!!!

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American, Earth, Sky

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 at 9:09 PM

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Now that President Barack Obama has proven for the 50-11th time that he was born as a human in Hawaii, which happens to be an American state, we can go back to reality where the sky is blue, the grass is green. Yesterday, I got to a fever pitch with this birther bullshit & posted this:
“The people questioning Obama's place of birth & scholastic record are proof that some people really think a Black man is not worthy of greatness. Reminds me of when Malcolm X's schoolteacher told him that he would be nothing. Reminds me of when a high school teacher (Michelle Ries from Mackenzie, I just put you on blast bitch!) of mine told me that college was not for me. I'm actually taking it personal.”
Racism is so institutionalized in this country to the point that some people just don’t know it when they see it. Maybe they do know & see it, but just don’t care because they feel & are privileged. WOOOOOSAAAAAAHHHHH!!! With that rant out of my system this image is a play on “Of Earth & Sky” from 2009. The field where I photography the grassy portion of “Of Earth & Sky” is no longer there. Three weeks ago it was razed by bulldozers making way for two new charter schools. I swear I don’t know why we need more schools in this area when two closed within the last year. Will students magically appear? WOOOOOSAAAAAAHHHHH!!

It Is Written

Author: Tafari, Friday, April 8th, 2011 at 1:18 PM

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With that wide availability of PCs, word processing software and consumer grade printers, I struggle to understand why some businesses create these tacky, poorly written signs. I saw this one yesterday while grabbing a quick lunch at Lou’s Deli in Southfield, MI. Bad handwriting, shady message & painter’s tape all combing to create an unprofessional hot mess. The hot mess was worse on the inside of the spot when I noticed an older gentleman selling mixed gospel CDs in one of the new wider booths. I wanted to get a photo of him but he was watching me like a hawk. All I could do was shake my head & laugh about the ever increasing size of American asses.

Hate Looks Like This

Author: Tafari, Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 at 10:52 AM

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I met Damian Furtch last month in New York while I was at that Patricia Field party that I posted about recently. When he saw my camera, he asked if I could take a photo of him and his friends. Then next thing I know, he asking me to take all these other photos. Jokingly, I said "this is not a photo shoot,"  but he was cool. After I took some shots, he asked for my card so that he could follow up. Days later, he reached out to me via Facebook for the photos so I hooked him up. At the same party that I met Damian, I also met Manila Luzon who posted on Facebook last night that Damian was attacked in New York because he was gay. I was like damn! When I read the story, I was just like WTF! Where does this hate come from?
“26 year old Damian Furtch was on his way home from work at a restaurant late Sat night (Sunday morning), when he stopped off at a McDonalds in NYC’s West Village ( a predominantly gay area) to get some food. It was approx. 4:30 am. While inside the restaurant Damian noticed 2 men staring at him – giving him “looks” – we have all been there, we know what this feels like. It was late, Damian was tired, he felt uncomfortable and he didn’t want any trouble so he left. He was across the street, walking away while on the phone to a friend when the 2 men from McDonalds approached him and asked him “if he had a problem” before he knew it he was punched in the face by one man, then instantly felt another punch by the second perp, and then he heard it – “You Fucking Faggot”, the words as hurtful as the punches. Damian managed to get away – but not before suffering a severe beating to his face – and head to the nearest hospital where the police were called. He filed a police report and the cops appropriately asked him if they used any slurs. Damian said yes “they called me a faggot.” Now these 2 thugs are wanted in connection to a HATE crime. Damian got 4 stitches and they have to break and re-set his nose. One of the perps has a huge tattoo of a gothic cross under his left eye..it was approximately 2 inches…Damian will be going to the precinct to go through mug shots and the police have subpoenaed the video surveillance tape from McDonalds.” (Source)
I don’t know Damian, but when I photograph people, I feel connected to them in a way and more often than not, their stories interest me. I hope that he heals from these physical wounds soon, while working through the emotional scars. This world can be fucked up and sometimes I struggle to understand hate. It makes no since to me for anyone to consciously put that much energy behind something causes harm to others on any level.

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Author: Tafari, Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 at 10:09 PM

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