Category Archives: Topic

Why I Took A Break from Photography

Good Morning New World,

So, how is your life? Mine is getting better. I am starting something new, with my blogging routine. I decided to come up with list of topics to blog about. This week’s topic will be on why I decided to take a break on photography.

I’ll start with how I came up with this topic. At the current moment, I work for a temp agency in the DC area. I was working in the mail room in a local firm. One of the guys, from the mail room, was interested in photography. So, while we talked on photography tips, he asked the question “Why did you take a break?” So, I’ll tell you what I told him.

I have so many reasons why I needed to take a break. The first was family. I am a single mother. I have raised my daughter, with only my mom’s help. I had to work, period. Now that my daughter is a senior, in high school, and preparing to go to college, I have some leave way for free periods in my schedule.

Money would be the second issue. I can remember when I was younger, and just starting in photography, I would go to the PS World conference, and one of the photographers I met, said to me, and this is true, “Photography is more expensive than cocaine!” I, literally, ROFL’ed. Now that I am in the photography game, his statement was so true. A good example would be the newest Nikon cameras. Nikon has a mirrorless series called the Z series. I am so dyyyyyyyying to get my hands on it. The body, alone, is $3,400, and don’t even get me started on the lenses. So, with me being a sole provider for me and my daughter, it can be kinda tricky, to say the least.

Time would be the third issue. Not to bring it up, but most single mothers are a little pressed for time. Don’t get me wrong, when my daughter was in catholic school, I took her along to most of the events I shot, which is cool. I think that after a while, I became “burnt out”. Thus, needing a break.

I think that life and time go hand and hand. Life had to be my fourth issue. I had two major surgeries. The first was my foot surgery. I had fallen a long time ago, (story was hilarious, but won’t go into it.) and it created a bone spur in the middle of my foot. I could not stand for long periods of time, because of the pain. The second surgery was the gastric sleeve. From the bone spur, I was unable to workout out. I had picked up a lot of weight and my doctor offered the option to me. I am so thankful that he did. I lost over 50 lbs, but I just picked up a quick 10 lbs. Insert sad face here. Recovery has been uphill struggle, but it is all up hill, though.

My last issue, just creatively stuck. You know, I do a lot of jobs that are outside of my scope. I love being around and meeting new people, which is why I temp. I often wish that the agency would offer me more “creative” positions. Let me rephrase, more “creative” positions that will offer me a good deal of money. LOL! So, I often become creatively stuck, every now and then. Since my life is coming together, naturally, I have been getting more and more ideas to shoot. In fact, I have revamped my website and planning to reorder my business cards. I have even gone back to the old design of my logo. I know, I am feeling it again.

In closing, these are my reasons to why I had to take a break. Some may not understand it, and some may. At the end of the day, I find them justifiable, and that is what counts. So tell me your thoughts. Did you have to take a break? Or did you work through your problems?

TTYL!

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Camera Tips for Beginners

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Good Morning New World,

First and foremost, I know. I have been through a lot, and still going through situations that are now on the up and up. Recovery from both surgeries and life, are getting better. I wanted to post some tips about photography. As most may know, along with the help of my friend Leah Jones, I learned my camera by playing around with it. I wanted to share some tips that I learned that I think may be helpful to someone who just got a DSLR and may be confused.

  1. Take note of your Auto Mode Settings.

All DSLR cameras, that I have encountered, come with an Auto Mode. “Automatic mode is a mode in a digital camera where the camera’s software fully controls all aspects of the photograph, from the shutter speed to the aperture setting to the focus. The photographer has no specific control over the settings for a particular photograph.” (Schurman, K. (2016, Oct 24). Learn to make the most of a Camera’s Auto Mode. Lifewire.com, https://www.lifewire.com/automatic-mode-in-a-camera-493267) With that being stated, use that info to your advantage. Take your camera out, and run a few practice shots, in Auto Mode. Take note to what those settings are. What is the aperture settings? What is the ISO setting? What is the shutter speed set to? All these questions create a triangle, which creates your photograph. Jot down or try to remember what those settings are. Change the mode from Auto to Manual. Input those settings and look at what you have done. It should be the same image that you would have in Auto Mode.

  1. Then “Tweak” those settings.

Now that you have the image the camera has, “tweak” (flip, finagle, re work) those settings. Still trying to figure out what I’m talking about? Well, let me break it down even more. What do you “wish” the image had either more or less of? Do you wish it was a little more darker? Did you want more brightness in the image? Did you want the background to be tack sharp or a little more blur? Well, adjust the aperture. Change the ISO for grainy or “clean” images. I’ll go into more detail about what “clean” is, later in this post. Either way, and imagination, sky is the limit.

  1. Shoot “clean” in Daylight, and at Night, shoot “dirty”.

Okay, so the term “shooting clean” means to shoot an image without “grainy” (noise) within the image. In my opinion, shooting in the daylight, with an ISO set to 100-200 will give you a “clean”, sharp image. However, when shooting at night, it’s fact that you will be shooting at a high ISO (800 +). In this case, you are “shooting for the shot” meaning you are shooting for an image. You are just shooting to get that prime shot that really speaks. Thus, the term “Shooting dirty at night”.

  1. Landscape=Tripod

IMG_2090Now I state this with a lot of nerve. It’s rare that I use a tripod. In fact, I wrap my neck strap around my wrist, flip my camera in a portrait orientation, and shoot like crazy! However, since coming back into the photography arena, I gotta do everything “by the book”. I have read this tip on so many emails and books, so I put this tip to the test, and it worked. I shot this couple, using a tripod, and the image is framed perfectly. So, yeah……….landscapes = tripod.

  1. When in doubt, Black and White it out!

Well……..you used the tips and still the image is crap! What do you do?! Well, try to turn the image black and white. I found that most images that just did not look right, in color, seems to work in black and white. Go figure!

In closing, try these tips out, on the next time you decide to go shooting. I hope these tips work for you as it did, and still does, for me.

 

Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest 201

Good morning New World,

I know this is early, but I felt the need to blog. I saw an IG post, this morning, about DMX failing a drug test. It hurt me because I am a fan. I am a 90’s hip hop head, which not too many people know, and there isn’t too many rappers where I buy their collections. DMX is one of them. Needless to say, when Brooklyn Hip Hop Fest came in, and he was the header, I was there. So, I wanted to share the images I took over the summer. Please enjoy!

Women’s March 2018

Hey New World,

Here are a few images form this year’s Women’s March. Please, enjoy and thank you for viewing.

TTYL!

Something New?!

Hello New World,

First, I want to apologize for the length of time I’ve been away. I have so many things to tell and so much to fulfill. So, the last time I caught up with you, I was in the process of getting bariatric surgery. Well, since then, I did it! The recovery was an uphill struggle. I don’t regret my decision, because it is my decision. I felt that this was the right path for me. I feel better, about life and myself. I look at life more grateful, now. I started at 255 lbs. and since I have been 207 lbs. I still have to work at getting the weight off, because I want to be 190 lbs. Since the cold weather, I have been stuck in the house. It drives me up the wall.

The second is that I have finally settled into DC. I know what you may be thinking, but DC has finally made some strides to gain and retain residents. I applied for an apartment, in Southwest DC. Anyone that really knows me, knows that I love living by the water. It is something about the water that is so calm and so peaceful. It allows my creativity to flow. Right now, I am waiting on the list, and patiently waiting for my opportunity. Me and my fiancé. Yes, I will be getting married. We applied for the apartment. I can’t wait to move in.

The third is I am adding a product, to my repertoire. Yes, I am a candle lover. I have been burning candles for years, and I decided to start making my own. So, I bought some supplies and started making my candles. The first few did not work out right. It took a few try’s and I finally got the candle process down. Don’t get it twisted, I am still learning. I am not bad, but I’m not great at it. So, I decided to come up with a side project. It’s called Chubby Cake Candles. They will be available for sale, very soon. When they become available, I will post to my blog!

Oh, and I will be posting a year in review, soon. It will showcase some of the events I shot.

TTYL!

A Day @ 14th & U

Women’s March

Image: Jessica Sabogal


Hello New World, 
I awoke this morning to a Trump Presidency, and my heart went into dismay. The very first action he takes, is to use executive order to dismantle Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare). I was hurt. I want to be a living testimony of “Obamacare”. For the past few years, I have been hired and fired way too many times to count. In fact, this has effected my self esteem, as well as financial security. The stress has taken a huge toll on my health. I have stress induced migraines, high blood pressure, and a past foot injury that haunts me to this day. I know someone who is reading this is probably stating “So what!”, but hey, this is my story. I could not afford my medication, nor my surgery, and I thank God that Obamacare was available to me. Granted, I am not the best person with change, but I am learning that it is a part of life. However, a Trump presidency that dismantles the Affordable Care Act, should not be a part of it. I am better, but not to the point where I can stand of sit for long periods of time. I was hurt that I could not attend today’s march. I heard that it was a lot of people that attended today’s event. It was so many people that DC was closed until 6pm. I thank God for all the people that came out and stood up for rights. This administration can not stand. 

TTYL!

Sticker Marketing: Hip or Hype?

Hello New World, 

These past couple of weeks, I have been bored out of my mind! With any operation, you are confined to your home. So, I started something that I have never done before. Binge watching! Yup, Netflix is an addiction all it’s own. So there is a movie on Netflix that had caught my eye called “Exit Through The Gift Shop, A Banksy Film”. It was a documentary about a videographer on the search to meet the legendary Banksy. The surprise twist was that, once he met him, he realized that he was an artist and developed a love for graffiti. It was to be a story on the search of Banksy and it ended up on being a story about the creation of “Mr. Brainwash”. In the movie, he started his marketing, or his transition into graffiti by promotion through stickers. He had another artist create an image of him filming, and he turned the image into a sticker. He placed his stickers all over L.A., I believe. He used these stickers to create his own hype. I thought to myself, “That is a cool way to promote myself.” So, this is an idea I may expand on. It would seem like a brilliant idea, for self promotion. I began to research a few online sites that create custom stickers. There are quite a few online sites for sticker creation. Here are a couple of sites that you may be interested in:

Moo.com

Vistaprint

Sticker you

My thought, is to use my logo as a graffiti creation sticker. What are your thoughts?

Mos Def Retiring?!

Hello New World,
Yes, it is so true. On January 2, 2017, Yasiin Bey (a.k.a Mos Def) has officially retired from hip hop. I was shocked and saddened at the same time. One of hip hop’s vital minds, has now retired, and I’m in my feelings, here. My mind can’t comprehend this situation. I saw his last performance, in DC. He performed at the Kennedy Center and it was phenomenal. I can see how he has evolved, as an artist. Anyone that knows me, has heard this story, but I will tell you about it. When I was in high school, I shadowed with an entertainment lawyer, named Sherri Wyatt. I don’t even know if she remembers this, but I can’t forget this. Mos Def was performing at the University of Maryland, doing a campus show for the students. We, me and Sherri, was watching the performance from backstage, and he looks over at us, and I could not make this up. He goes into his hit “Ms. Fat Booty”. I was hype when he went into it. So, in my eyes, it was soooooo fitting that, at the end of his show, he performed a piano rendition of “Ms. Fat Booty”. I almost cried. I realized that he was the first artist I’ve seen with a career. He started, evolved, and retired, and I am proud to say that I saw it through. So, enough with the personal crap, how was the show?
Let me start off by saying I was surprised by the show. I did not realize how many DC cats was into Mighty Mos?! I know will sound stereotypical, but this was all I saw. I knew a handful of people that really listened to rap (hip hop). When I came up, people here was hard on go-go bands. The show starts with a screen displaying scenes from the movie “Wild Style”. I loved that movie. It made me love New York. Since going to the show, I, now, need to have “Wild Style” playing, while I listen to his music. Anyway, he starts off with new material, that no one has heard. Honestly, the new material can be kept to himself. It was garbage. Then, he goes into his established hits, like Mathematics, Oh No (with special guest Pharoahe Monch), Auditorium, and Respiration (with special guest Talib Kweli). This was the music that, literally, gave me the love of hip hop. He told a few jokes and preached to the crowd. I thought it was pretty cool. So, I have some good news and bad news. The good news is that I was able to record some of the show. The bad news is that I shot it on my iPhone. Not the best film quality, I know. Honestly, I did not think I was going to be recording. I was inspired out of left field. With that being stated, I put together a small something, something. 
Enjoy!

TTYL