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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 'On The Grind' Category

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!

2011 America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Author: Tafari, Friday, November 25th, 2011 at 3:51 PM Mindspill

Yesterday, I photographed my biggest one day event yet, The America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade put on by the Parade Company. This year was the 85th anniversary of the parade and allegedly the best weather to date. For that, I am so thankful but it was still cold. My day started at 4am. The Distinguished Clowns breakfast was the first event of the day, which started at 630am. The Parade started at 930am. Television coverage started at 10am. Working with me was Cousin Dee & Dapper George. They covered the other pre-parade events. It was crazy but we got all of the pre-events & met up at the beginning of the parade for the main jump off scattered around downtown Detroit. Mindspill Mindspill

Funny thing is, I have been living in Detroit since 79 & have never been to the parade. Always watched it from the comfort of my home wondering why people would brave the rain & frigid temperatures to see balloons, floats & bands.  Now I know why.  I have already determined that if I am not working the parade next year, I will be there with my kids and a boatload of blankets! Have a look some of what I captured start to finish here. You’re sure to smile. Or be frightened if clowns are not your thing.

Then I Hit My Dougie

Author: Tafari, Sunday, November 20th, 2011 at 4:37 PM Mindspill

Last Friday, I photographed The Parade Company’s “Hob Nobble Gobble” black tie event. The event always has a host of local & national celebrities that guest have the chance to interact with up close & personal. I’m not usually one who is star struck but this time around, I kind of was because Doug E Fresh was one of the celebrities this year. Mindspill

When I saw the celeb line up, I got excited & hoped that he would perform. I believe at the time I saw the line up, it was unknown if he would perform. When he arrived at Ford Field, fans young & old were excited to see him. Everyone was taking about the Dougie. It was fun to watch and listen. Once the entertainment for the evening started, the crowd was surprised with Doug E Fresh rocking the stage. He was hype. Super hype. Between snapshots, I hit my Dougie while maintaining my professional image. I think…. Mindspill

Funny thing is, Doug E Fresh was not even the headline act but he totally stole the show & offered energy that was not matched for the rest of the evening. I mean, how do you follow up to a hip-hop legend? Well, you don’t. I did have a chance to kick it with him for a bit & I had to let him know that his song “Summertime” is WAY better than Will Smith’s “Summertime.” He just laughed…. I wonder if there was a mini beef behind that? I’m just saying!

Talking With No Voice

Author: Tafari, Monday, October 10th, 2011 at 12:46 AM Mindspill

Yesterday, I had a senior portrait session downtown Detroit.  Days leading up to the session, I was dreading the worse because I was not sick but something was up with my throat leaving me unable to talk off & on. My voice sounded horrible but I felt no pain. Seems like since I got that flu shot, I've been having all kinds of body drama. I'm just saying. Saturday, I met with friends and at the end of the night, my voice was GONE.  I woke up Sunday & the voice was still GONE but  I was not going to cancel my session because I could not talk! I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through but I was going to make it happen. At the beginning of the session, I let the clients know that I was going to be doing a lot of whispering. It was actually kind of funny. I made it through the session with nothing vocally to spare. I joked on Facebook that I whispered through my photo session like it was a Ying Yang twins video. Yeah, I got jokes! On the way home, I was at a stoplight telling myself that I was not going to talk for the next few days to let my throat rest. Also, while at the light, I noticed this uniquely Detroit liquor store sign. The sign actually made me smile for some unknown reason. Maybe it was the colors. Maybe because the sign was lit but it was in a vacant lot. Anyway, I still cannot talk. Dammit!

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!

Winning Gigs

Author: Tafari, Sunday, September 18th, 2011 at 8:00 PM Mindspill

Telling you that I’m excited about winning a contract with the [Detroit] Parade Company for their fall events would be an understatement! When I submitted my RFQ, I was nervous as ever! Last week, my nervousness was set aside when I was contacted with the offer. Up next is the Parade Preview Party, The Hob Nobble Gobble & The America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Three great events that I look forward to capturing! Stay tuned for stories and photos as the events unfold…. GRINDING!

It’s a Wrap: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

Author: Tafari, Friday, September 16th, 2011 at 9:11 PM Mindspill

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is officially over & I survived the madness for five days…. This season for me was the best of the three that I have attended for one major reason & that is because I refused to let anyone or anything stress me out. This means that I got into no arguments with Italian photographers, I didn’t have to elbow anyone & I did not have to cuss anyone one out. On the way home, I thought about how calm & reserved I was, which is totally not me. Although I did not stress like in the past, I did have my fair share of incidents that were challenging such as:

- Twisting my ankle the 1st day of MBFW. A total bummer considering that photographing at MBFW means lots of walking & standing. When the accident occurred, honestly, I could have cried. It hurt like never before & walking on it was a bitch! A week later, the ankle is feeling better but not 100% so you know that I really messed myself up.

- Having my Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens die on me stemming from a drop months ago during a photo session. I noticed that it died moments before I was about to photograph the Lacoste runway show. In order to make it through the rest of the assignment meant procuring a replacement lens fast. Luckily, I found a replacement at THE only open camera store on Manhattan. I so did not plan on getting a replacement lens but I have to say that the updated version of the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is far more superior to its predecessor. Much faster, lighter & much more crisp. I guess it all came together…

- Losing my laptop charger. Luckily, the 5th Ave Apple store is open 24 hours!

- Missing several runway looks in six shows because my rental Nikon D700 camera mirror kept locking up on me. Fortunately, I keep a back up camera. And even better, when I returned the camera to Foto Care & informed them of the issue, they totally took care of me in a way that I did not expect. They have the best service and I appreciate their commitment to photographers.

- Losing my Metro Card on the last day & almost missing my flight after busting a cabbie who tried to rip me off by double charging.

Outside of the drama, I worked my ass off photographing twenty shows/presentations, processing and uploading images the same day & being in the bed by 1am. Mindspill Making my turn around time even better was the fact that my editor, Asia Willis and I were coordinating via phone, text and email as she was in LA whipping up our reviews over the weekend and posting on the spot. Technology is a beautiful thing! Without the company & humor of my friends in New York with me, I don’t know if I would have been able to stay sane because after the ankle, I was like, OK. After the lens, I was like, REALLY?!!!. After the camera, I was like, I must have a Gypsy curse on my life (as I screamed loudly in my head)… Mindspill On an interesting note, my friends at The NYLA Report and I are already talking about MBFW in February as we continue to wrap of our coverage from the past week. It’s not that far away & we are going to be bigger & badder with fingers crossed for less drama or at least some fun drama! To see images from that I captured on the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, check here. For coverage & show reviews, check out The NYLA Report here.

So it Begins: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

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

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.

Making it Happen in NYC

Author: Tafari, Tuesday, September 6th, 2011 at 1:30 PM Mindspill

My 3rd Mercedes Benz Fashion Week experience is officially underway! Telling you that I'm looking forward to spending a week in my favorite city living the life of an assignment photographer/social butterfly would be a total understatement. Today & Tomorrow, I'll be runnign around trying find a husky fit look to wer to a party in addition to photographing for my NYC Analog Series. Any leads on were the fashionable husky guys shop in NYC??? I will not bore you any further (for now), so stay tuned to my [mis]adventures on Twitter here: @photosbytafari. Holla!