The Looney Bin Comedy Club (Feb. 11th 2017)

•February 13, 2017 • 1 Comment

tlb_feb11th2017-20Get ready to see more blog posts from my adventurous nights on Staten Island, that’s right… from the Looney Bin Comedy Club. I’ve been shooting there for a few years now and it’s pretty much been my go to location when and if I’m not working. Like, I work when I’m there but I’m not on the payroll.. I’m just freelancing or whatever the term is. At one point, I was just taking the pictures and giving them all away and then I started to watermark my images because a couple cats were right clicking, saving and using without crediting me. I was okay with it for a while and then I got bitter about it. Stopped watermarking again and then conversing with my man Tommy Gooch last week had me thinking to begin watermarking my images again and I did. Shout out to Tommy Gooch and #wekiddin

tlb_feb11th2017-93Okay, so as a freelance photographer I’m out there hustling… Leaving my business cards on tables and I’ve done this for years but it’s something about this grind I really like at that’s probably why I can’t stay away from it. Do I get a call or two from people I’ve left cards with?  Yes… Do I make a couple dollars off of 4×6 prints I can print out while after taking photos of people in attendance? Yes.. It’s how I built this machine I’ve become but let’s start talking about how awesome the show was because the 3 of you that read my blog already know my story. Okay, so I’m going to do a better job at remembering the comedians names because for some strange reason the only one I can remember is Tommy Durnin and that’s probably because him and I had a good half hour conversation before the show started. We talked about everything from marriage to the arts and how we all have to hustle to keep the lights on in our respective places of residence.

tlb_feb11th2017-7I need to talk to Victor and ask him to keep a calendar of past dates on the website just in case people like myself need to remember the names of a comedian they saw perform. Victor owns the Looney Bin Comedy Club but why do you guys care? Okay, I won’t be at the Looney Bin this weekend coming FEB. 18th due to other obligations but look for me, take my card, follow me on social media, tell all your friends about that cool @$$ photographer you met at the comedy club. Notice I only remember the names of comedians named Tommy…? How weird is that…? To see ALL of the images I took last Saturday at the Looney Bin, just CLICK HERE….!!

 

There will always be a first…

•February 6, 2017 • Leave a Comment

jan7th_-14_32339098191_oI’ve been very lucky with some of the work that’s been dropping in my lap, and some of the stuff is everyday what I’m so used to stuff. I’ve been coming across those “well, that’s a first” types as of late and it’s been amazing. It all started with the Bar Mitzvah, then the Bat Mitzvah and then the most recent was a B’not Mitzvah which is the female plural form. Yes, the Mitzvah was welcoming twin girls to womanhood. It was a big event for me for 2 reasons, the first being it was a first for me and the second reason is because a colleague of mine Liborio of http://3clickphotobooth.com/ was hired for his photo booth and like any other event we always get asked “Hey, do you know someone that does blah blah blah and those 3 blahs were photography. That’s where I come in, Lib hit me up to see if I was available on that date and as a collective unit we took care of business.

jan7th_-568_32339093731_oI don’t know why the name of the venue escapes me, I do remember it being a headache in a half getting all of our equipment into the freight elevator and the walk from one side of the lower level to the other just to get in the elevator. Oh, and I had to park my car 15 or so blocks away. Oh, and it was snowing that day. Oh, and we got all of our equipment out and half way set up only to find out we were on the wrong floor setting up in the wrong room… How crazy was that…? The venue was on East 44th or 49th and 1st Ave I believe. A very nice spot too, people that use that venue clearly have money. I’d have to say the party was fun, the food was delicious and the kids all enjoyed themselves except for this one young man that wouldn’t smile. There was also and MC there named Kevin that reminded me a bit of R. Kelly and not because of bathroom breaks. He resembled him a little bit.. My dude kept everyone up beat and entertained. The parents definitely hired the right guy for the job…

jan7th_-231_32082428890_oI did miss a certain shot which happens every once in a while, it’s a bad thing but you can always turn bad to good if you’re a quick thinker. Here’s what happened, the MC called the entire party in real close. I had no idea what was going on but I was right in the middle of it all. He surprised us all and asked the girls to blow out the candles on their cake. I was so close that I couldn’t focus, didn’t have the right lens on my camera or something. I just couldn’t focus, but I did take 3 terrible shots. I was like “damn, the parents are going to hate me when they notice that shot isn’t there”. What I did was I waited and watched the cake as the staff rolled it off the floor and back into a corner that was lit very well. I chased the girls and got them back together and explained to them what happened and they were down to do a do-over. Ha, now that’s how you fix a problem…!! Shout out to my guy Liborio and thanks once again to the Price Family for hiring us.

For more images of the Price’s B’not Mitzvah, CLICK HERE SON…..!!!!

Hanukkah Themed Photo Booth “12-31-2016”

•January 3, 2017 • Leave a Comment

0200-copyThe day after Christmas I said to myself “I want to get one more photography related gig before 2017”. I was patient and I saw one out there that caught my attention. Now, the photo booth has been my go to as of late. It’s so much easier to execute and such a smaller headache Vs. all of the other services I provide. I put a price and a package out there and the client set up a time for her and I to talk. The talk happened and she paid the invoice immediately, no deposit either. The entire balance right there over the phone. Wow, what a great way to end the year. Now, seeing that this event was only 4.5 days away I needed to know the theme and she stated it was a Hanukkah Celebration. I told her “I’m going to try my best to find some props in time” and she said “it’s fine if you can’t because it’s so last minute”. That if I couldn’t it would be totally fine. I know better than that and since she was so good at hiring me on the spot I put in a little extra effort and ordered some props off of Amazon.com that same evening for a next day delivery. I actually did stop in at Michael’s & Party City but they didn’t have anything.

0289-copyAfter such great email and phone conversation I was ready to drive out to Long Branch New Jersey to put the show together, my client wanted the enclosed photo booth Vs. the back drop set up and with the enclosed booth I usually try to hire an assistant to help me because it’s a big to do for one person but it was New Years Eve. Who was I going to get to help me out for fifty to one hundred bucks that night? Everybody I know is either partying or trying to find a party. Me, I have another mission… I’m Tryna Pay Some Damn Bills, I don’t have time to party. Lol, got to the location way in advance and although it took me 5 trips from my car to the Synagogue I didn’t care. My back is feeling it though as I type this. My client wanted me to set the photo booth up in the basement and when I saw those stairs I damn near fainted. I was sweating like a pig as 5-6 10-12 year olds kept asking me “Is it set up yet?”. I said to one of the young ladies “The photo booth goes live at 7PM, it’s only 6PM. Can you guys come back down here in an hour?”. Of course they didn’t, those kids had me under pressure. Lol..

0156-copyHad a technical difficulty once I got everything set up, for some strange reason the printer began printing the last photo booth event I had prior and I was scratching my head like WTF??!!??. I’m here wasting photo paper and ink and I have children on my back wanting to use the booth. I asked my client for an additional 5 minutes so I can figure out what the issue was. Logged onto YouTube looking for a video on how to cancel the print queue in Windows 10 and found it. Man, I think half of the last photo booth event came out of the printer. Crazy right…? I’d have to say, this event was by far the best photo booth I had. The kids were so much fun, although they were a pain in my butt in the beginning I began to enjoy them as the night carried through. I want to thank my client Leah for hiring me and I also want to thank her husband for greasing my palm on my way out. I’ve been doing this photo booth thing for a while now, I never thought I’d be in a Synagogue with it though. Props to me for making 2016 a year I’ll never forget…

L’Chaim….!!!!

The wedding of Lillian & Jack (Jersey City/ Nov. 2016)

•December 22, 2016 • Leave a Comment

dsc_0646-copyIf you’ve been following my journey you probably know that I owe a lot of my work load to a certain website. That site is Thumbtack.com, I browse it daily looking to see what kinds of photography services are needed. Recently I started using another site called GigMasters.com because I’ve never been one to rely on referrals, Facebook and such to get work. It’s out there so I just go looking for it, just like Thumbtack it took some time to understand as well as land a job. I think it was a full 2 months I went without landing something until I saw a user named Jack looking for a photobooth for his wedding reception. I reached out to him and he called me within minutes. He says he noticed I also did event photography and wanted to hire me for both services. I’ll tell this one funny story about the official day I met Jack & his beautiful wife Lillian. We were to meet at this Train Terminal near the 911 Memorial out there in Jersey City so I arrive there on time the morning of. Jack & Lillian are running a bit late but it’s all good. They’re going to arrive and I’ll be all ready because I had plenty of time to set my shots up as well as put my exposures together. About a half an hour later Jack & Lillian arrive and we get right to it. BAM, 3 minutes later a pigeon craps on Jack’s suit blazer.. LMAO, i’m sorry Jack but that was hilarious.

dsc_6036-copyLillian is such a great person, she says to Jack “I have make up remover wipes in my bag, let’s try to clean it off with those”. She gets the jacket cleaned off and we’re ready to start the portraits before the ceremony. It was cold and I was really worried about Lillian being cold and on top of that we’re at Jersey State Park right at the water and that breeze was brutal. She was a soldier though, she was good to go. We did a couple locations within the 45 mins to an hour we had left and we produced some good stuff. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful, from the church to the many tears I witnessed dropping down the sides of Lillian’s face. She hid her face from me at one point because she didn’t want me to catch her crying. That same day I had help coming in from Queens & Brooklyn. I had a good friend of mine Annette coming in to man and operate the photo booth and Kenny was my 2nd shooter to back me during the reception. I really needed Kenny because if I was too busy setting up the photo booth, I didn’t want to get caught out there and miss the bride and grooms entrance. Kenny was late though, sent him the address the night before and he puts the wrong address in his GPS. Big dummy, lol… It all worked in the end though.

ljDuring the reception Kenny holds up what I think is a Jack & Coke and I look at him like he’s crazy, he says “Jack wants you and I to have a drink” and we try not to drink around clients because if something goes wrong then that can become a case. Jack insisted on it so we all had a drink or two or three. Oh my god, I can’t believe I had that much to drink while shooting a wedding and shout out to Jack & Lillian for being so nice to us. The photo booth was a huge hit and everyone from the kids to some of the employees as the venue enjoyed it. That’s right, a couple of the waiters and bartenders at the venue where the reception was being held couldn’t resist and inquired whether they could take a few pictures in the booth and i’m like “why not?”. Good times had by all… Congratulations to Lillian & Jack, you guys are such a beautiful couple and I wish the both of you the best.

Shannon & Christopher’s Wedding – July 2016: “Risky Business”

•December 13, 2016 • Leave a Comment

shannonchrisI’m not going to get into how I wasn’t the original hired gun to shoot this wedding but was asked to cover it by another photographer because he was double booked. I will give you a set of hints and you can ask me the real story when you see me. Okay, so I’m thinking I’m covering a wedding because the original photographer couldn’t make it and that’s something that the client knew. I’m just happy to be shooting and to get a fist full of cash at the end of the night. I get to the venue and I’m greeted by a young lady at the door, I reply back to her and she says “wow, you sound so different over the phone”. Bam, that’s the first hint right there. My assistant Angie knew what was going on from the jump but I didn’t want to believe her. We proceed to do what we do. The young lady that greeted me at the door was the client but I didn’t know, I never talked to her nor had I ever met her. I get a lump in my throat thinking about this as I’m typing. At some point while in the bridal suite the client finds out my name because she originally thought I was the other guy and now I’m basically lying to her because of some conversation the original guy didn’t have with her. Not to worry, I’m a decent photographer and everything will be taken care of. My cover was blown…

sc_exitNow, when we cover events for other photographers and I think this is a rule we all go by. We send the final images to the original photographer so he or she can move forward and finalize business with their client. Sounds exact, right…? Nope, that didn’t happen in this instance and this wedding took place in July 2016. The images were sent to the original photographer a week or so after the wedding because I had time to run a quick edit on them. We fast forward to October, I then get an email from the client requesting the images and now I’m so tight that I forward the email the client sent me to the original photographer but not realizing I’ve CC’d the client on the email. Now, she reaches out to him and instead of him contacting me first when he realized the gallery I sent him months ago had expired he may have told her to reach out to me directly. WTH??!! Bam, my cover was blown again…!!. Now, I use a program that tells me when a client downloads all of their images and the original photographer downloaded them back in July so I’m wondering what in the hell did he do with the clients images? I’m thinking this wedding was all wrapped up, it wasn’t. He never sent her the images. WTF…..!!??!! I no longer have the images on my server because I deleted them from all my hard drives. The client and I are now just exchanging emails at this point because the hired gun didn’t do anything he was supposed to do.

groomsmenI reach out to the company I rent server space from and they were able to find the original images I uploaded and were able to send them back to me. At the end of the day I saved the day and the original photographer’s ass. I don’t know if he reads my blog but I couldn’t hold this in any longer. In a real world, he’s to get credit for shooting this wedding but I’m not going to allow that to happen. I’m taking full credit for this wedding because if it wasn’t for me she’d be suing him right now. Now, I’ve pretty much given you all more than a few hints and you can see how risky this business is and can be. I’ve told a couple people the entire story and they ask would I ever work with the original photographer again and my answer is yes. With every bad story there’s a couple good stories that come out of them. This was definitely a learning experience and the relationship I created with the client during this time will be treasured because she knows I came through for her… EVEN THOUGH I WASN’T THE ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHER….!! Lol. I didn’t want to get into how beautiful the wedding was because that’s easy to see by the images I’ve embedded. This was just an entry I’ve been dying to put out there because I can’t believe there are people that do super messy business and leave their clients out to dry.

Congratulations to Shannon & Christopher and the new addition to their beautiful family… You FINALLY got the boy Chris….!!

I think i’m going to start doing yoga again…

Roman’s Baby Shower (Oct. 29th 2016)

•November 8, 2016 • Leave a Comment

roman1I had the pleasure of attending my colleague/ homegirl Francheska’s baby shower for the new addition to her beautiful family. Let us all say hello and welcome baby boy”Roman” who will be here on December 9th or before or after. I also had the pleasure of providing my photo booth services which was a total blast during the shower. EVERYONE LOVED IT….!! I want to thank Francheska & Travis for everything and a big special shout out to my man Kenny Watz for operating the photo booth for me. The baby shower was super cute, chill and detailed to the bone. Everything surrounding the theme “Woodland” was showcased at the shower, on the cake, the decor, the backdrop for the photo booth, the venue itself on down to some of the snacks I remember looking at and wondering “who in the hell put these together?“. I mean, I believe they were donut holes decorated/ designed as acorns? I thought I’ve seen it all with the number of events I cover and attend but I’ve never seen anything like that. Oh, Francheska’s mother put those together… shout out to mom dukes.

roman2I arrived at the venue super early with my wife and son so I can set up the photo booth and run a few tests on it. Everything worked well and I couldn’t wait for 4PM, PHOTO BOOTH TIME….!! I told Travis at some point that he had good taste, I was helping him bring some of the things inside the venue and I noticed some Belaire Rose bottles, I knew him and Francheska were super fancy like that though. I’ve only seen those bottles in Rick Ross’ videos to be honest with you, maybe I need to get out more. Lol… I wasn’t moving fast enough and missed out on seeing what it tastes like. Maybe I’ll cop a bottle this upcoming weekend, hmmmm… Oh, did I mention how delicious the food was? God Damn…!! I was looking forward to eating and I purposely didn’t eat breakfast that morning because I knew what I was getting myself into. A little taste of Puerto Rico & Haiti, such a beautiful combination, such good flavors, such a beautiful family…

roman3My poor son was having a blast too running around in circles with the other toddlers until him and another little fella collided, it was a wrap after that for him. He hit his tooth but nothing was loose, he was just a bit shaken up and fell asleep instantly after that. Other than that, probably one of the best, well enjoyed baby showers I’ve attended. I want to thank Francheska, Travis and lil Miss Leabella for having us. We are looking forward to meeting Roman soon. The DJ was doing his thing too, really enjoyed watching the kids dance to the Cha Cha Slide. Good times had by all… Congratulations once again guys….!!

Shout out to the parking spot I was able to get right outside of the venue too, over crowded Brooklyn for the win..!! lmao

Annette’s 60th Birthday Bash… (She Ain’t 60)

•October 12, 2016 • 1 Comment

annettedance-1-copyI know, where have I been…? The question my subscribers have been asking and thinking to themselves. I haven’t been that busy but if you know me and you read my blog you know my dates and entries are all over the place. A good friend of mine Annette Nichols-Williams turned 60 a couple months ago “June 25th to be exact” and I had the pleasure of shooting her as she prepared to stun her friends, family and birthday party attendees.. From the hair, to the the dress to the jewelry to the shoes to the make up.. home girl was doing it. Talk about someone that loves to be photographed, you would have thought she was the Guyanese version of Marilyn Monroe out here. Love you Annette, and I know you read my blog… you can punch me in the face later for being so damn late posting about our shoot… Shout out to your husband Kelvin too for being a good sport, when the 10 year wedding anniversary comes around I got y’all. Or did that pass already….??

60

I had a pleasure my dear, there’s something to say about close ones that hire friends/ close ones and you are indeed someone I consider both of those. We may not see, speak or hear from one another much but when we do it brings me back to all those free drink week night events starring crazy ass Sandra some years ago. It’s almost like it never stopped. Why are we always out somewhere drinking…? Lol, I guess we do what we do best.. Did I just tell on myself? LMAO, it’s only in moderation people. It’s celebratory, we’re talking celebratory drinks…

Happy Belated Birthday Young Lady….!!