My love for photography began as a young teenager, but it was enhanced when my mother bought me my first camera…a Kodak 110 pocket camera. That little camera had me taking pictures of anything and everything! On the professional level, I have been taking pictures within the entertainment industry for over 30 years, and I’m still going strong! During my early years, record companies and independent publicists would hire me to photograph their artists when they appeared in and around Chicago for promotional appearances. That led to meeting many industry veterans, and maintaining working relationships with them...some of them long-lasting! One chance meeting early on at the Cincinnati Jazz Festival was meeting Earl Calloway, who was the Fine Arts Editor at the Chicago Defender. Mr. Calloway has since passed on, but it is he who I owe a debt of gratitude to. It was Earl’s doing that I became a freelance entertainment photographer for the newspaper, and it was also my first professional paid job as a photographer. Soon after, my work was seen on a regular basis in the entertainment section of the Chicago Defender. That led to other assignments at The Defender, and other rewarding opportunities including my first ever published photo of the late Roger Troutman, which appeared in Rock & Soul Magazine back in 1983. Also during that time, my work appeared in other publications such as Fresh!, YO!, Black Beat, Right On!, Word Up!, Rap Masters, Sister 2 Sister, Ebony, Jet and Popstar?
Years later, my work was recognized by the prestigious Michael Ochs Archives, a major stock photo agency for archival photos of various entertainers. My affiliation with Michael Ochs Archives opened new doors for me as my work began to receive worldwide exposure via cd covers and inserts, television commercials, Time and Life books and countless other outlets. I’m deeply grateful to Jonathan Hyams and the rest of the staff for doing such an awesome job during that time. And things got even better for my career when I received a letter from Michael Ochs himself in February 2007. The letter informed me that his company was acquired by Getty Images. I was like, “What? That Getty Images?” This was truly a blessing in disguise!
Today my photography business continues to thrive. I’m currently a contributing photographer with Getty Images where my work has "skyrocketed" to levels and heights I never imagined. Getty Images is the “go to” photo agency for any and everyone who is seeking images of any celebrity, landscape, cityscape…you name it! Getty is that everything! My work can now be seen regularly in print and online at: The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone and rollingstone.com, TIME, New York Times, New York Daily News, People, abcnews.com, ESPN and espn.com, Biography, BET, MTV, Business Week, Forbes.com, The Hollywood Reporter, The Grio, PBS, CNBC, Urban Daily, Guitar Blues, Auto Blog, AOL, The Root, MSN, The Huffington Post, National Geographic, Houston Chronicle, SB Nation, Travel and Leisure, Travel Channel, Connecticut Post, Detroit Free Press, Yahoo!, The Tennessean and US Magazine...amongst others. My work also appears in various outlets from around the country in Japan, Great Britain, Africa, The Netherlands, China, Austria, Spain, Chile, QATAR, New Zealand, China, United Kingdom and Australia. Additionally, my old school hip-hop and R&B photos can be seen regularly on various episodes of TVONE's "Unsung" and “Unsung Hollywood” documentary series, The Wendy Williams Show, The Real and TMZ.
As my career progressed, photo galleries began reaching out to me including the EYEJAMMIE FINE ARTS GALLERY in New York. The owner Bill Adler hosted a special photo tribute to Run DMC called, "It's Like That: 20 Years of Run DMC". Bill requested some of my photos for the exhibit, one of which was purchased by comedian Chris Rock. Other gallery showings have included GOVINA GALLERY in Washington, D.C, where a group photo I took of rap group N.W.A. back in 1989 was displayed and sold. Sock Bandit Productions owner Matt Suroff requested and used my photos of N.W.A., Luke (2 Live Crew), Run DMC and M.C. Hammer in his Hip-Hop Immortals Remix book. Matt also had some of those "classic" photos displayed at the PROUD GALLERY in London. Recently, I was contacted to be part of an exhibit called: “Hip-Hop, A Golden Age 1970-1995”. Twenty (20) of my photos were displayed during that exhibit at La MAC de Marseille (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Marseille, France.
Through my years of photography, I have traveled a lot, learned a great deal and have developed some special friendships with photographers and just regular common folks. And it amazes me how 30 years later, I'm STILL traveling, STILL learning, STILL meeting new friends and I’m STILL having fun! I love what I do! And that's what it's all about. I’ve also found time to give back to my industry by mentoring several photographers, locally and in other States I visit, who are trying to get their feet wet in this thriving photography industry. Some get it, and some don’t. But that doesn’t stop me from trying to spread the knowledge.
Feel free to explore my website! Your comments and criticism are well appreciated!
You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s to pursuing your dreams!