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 • 2 Comments

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….??


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….!!

Skyla’s Sweet Sixteen “Rahway NJ” (09-10-2016)

•September 12, 2016 • Leave a Comment

skylas16I got a call last week at the 11th hour in regards to the photo booth, the funny thing about it was I originally wasn’t hired. Thought maybe the client found a more local company or a cheaper price tag. Not sure what changed the guys mind but i’m blogging so that means I was the guy for the job. The clients name was Paul, and Paul has a super corny/ funny email address which I won’t disclose but over the phone I couldn’t help but laugh when he told me what it was. It’s an AOL email address so I guess I have to give him the benefit of the doubt. Skyla “The Birthday Girl” is the young lady with the Tiara on in the top embedded image (right hand side). I think her Dad did a good job by surprising her with this because he did mention that she had no idea the photo booth would be there. Since the job was only a 2 hour gig it worked out well because my assistant and I were able to get the booth in and build it up before she even walked in the door. Shout out to my man Andy Panda…!!

skylas161I still can’t remember the name of the venue where the party was taking place, the address led me to either The Firehouse Eatery & Pub or Robby’s Banquets in Rahway NJ. I think both venues were on the same lot, I just couldn’t figure out which one I was in. That’s crazy right…? Ran out of ink and photo paper while on this job, I did panic for a minute because when teenager’s can’t get their photo booth prints when they want them they make a huge deal out of it. I wasn’t worried about that, I was just concerned whether I had an extra kit on me and I did. A kit meaning an extra roll of photo paper and ink. Had to shut the booth down for 5-10 minutes while I changed everything out and after that… we were back in business. Happy Birthday to Skyla and thank you to Paul for hiring John Flowers Photos Inc. Oh, and to make up for the 10 minutes I had to shut the booth down to change the paper and ink Andy and I stayed an extra 20 minutes. How about that….!?!?!?!



Happy Birthday Bev…..!! or Beth, wait… Bev right…?

•July 28, 2016 • Leave a Comment

bevcarpetThe title of the post is basically me not hearing Bev correctly over the phone when she contacted me in regards to capturing some moments at her 60th birthday celebration. At first Bev was only interested in taking some family portraits at the house before her, her family and friends would party it up on a yacht that sails out of Chelsea Piers. I got the call on behalf of my man Delroy of HVP Classic, him and I met at a Sweet 16 a couple months ago. He does video, I do photos, we exchanged numbers and since that he’s sent me 3 referrals. I owe dude a couple drinks as well and a couple gigs too. Good looking out Delroy….!! So, back to the birthday girl Bev.. yes, so Bev was debating on whether she would do video as well but I think she figured that would be a bit too much being that it wasn’t a private party. We talked invoice and such and upon ending the call I called her Beth by accident, she laughed and corrected me “No, it’s Bev”.  My bad. She said she’d go with the family portraits for now and if she changed her mind she’d like me to board the boat with them too and capture the entire evening. A couple days pass and yes.. she decided to do the entire day which came out so much better for her and her friends.

bevcakeA few days before the event Bev and I exhange text messages just confirming everything and guess what….? I called her Beth AGAIN via text message but she didn’t correct me. She just ran with it. I arrive at the house the day of and I’m like “Damn, this lady must be rich”… such a nice house out there in Piscataway NJ. I call her and she doesn’t pick up and the last thing I need my client to think is I was late so I leave a message and I call a couple more times. A car pulls up and the gentleman driving it looks as if he’s going to the house I’m parked outside of. I ask the gent whether he was there to see Bev and he says “yes”. I tell him who I am and he goes and rings the bell. Bam, Bev answers the door but I don’t know it’s her because I haven’t met her yet. I approach the woman at the door and she extends her hand and says “You must be John?” and I’m saying to myself “there’s no way this woman is 60 years old”. Bev can easily pass for 40-45 y’all, Black Does Not Crack I tell ya…!! I run back to the car and grab my equipment and I start my job. The portraits that were taken at the house were red carpet like, that’s right.. she had the back drop and the red carpet already set up. Side note: her husband Wayne told me in advance that she was a picture diva but I was ready.. lol.

bevsmileWe had a good hour or so at the house for photos and even had a chance to drive to a park real quick and grab a portrait of everyone in one shot. From there we had a party bus pick us all up to drive to Chelsea Piers so we can get on the yacht and party it up. Good drinks, good conversation and such a wonderful group of friends and family. I don’t normally drink while working but Bev’s niece insisted so, lol. Dinner was great and I learned a few things about Panama while conversing with a gentleman named Jimmy, his wife is Bev’s cousin. We just had a good old time. The cake got a little messed up during the commute from Jersey to NY but we staged it good enough to be captured in some of the the candle blowing photos. While at the house earlier that day I asked Bev whether she noticed I called her Beth once again via text message by accident and she said “Yes, but I figured I’d let that one slide”. Again, such a great client and an awesome group of people to photograph and spend the evening with. That drive home was something else though because I was tired as hell, the party bus picked us up and brought us all back to NJ. I had to pack my car up and drive all the way back to Staten Island, the life of a photographer I guess.. I want to thank Bev again for her business and thank Delroy once again for the referral. I really do appreciate it..


Jack’s Bar Mitzvah (June 11th 2016)

•July 26, 2016 • Leave a Comment

JackLogoI was a bit busy and all over the place as of late so if you’ve been waiting on another blog entry…. HERE IT IS…!! Jack’s Bar Mitzvah, which happened on June 11th on the Island Of Staten. Jack’s mom Jody liked my work, we had a conversation or two and she booked me. Before that, I had never attended a Bar Mitzvah but I had an idea it would be a bit different than the Bat Mitzvah I shot a few days earlier. Yes, it was.. Although the ceremonial elements were similar, the celebration and venues were totally different. Which is fine, again… I learned so much that week about Jewish tradition and I couldn’t ask for more. Life is all about experiences…

FamilyWhen Jody and I got to discussing some of the traditional things I should look out for, she hinted me to “zap photos” which I honestly never heard of. I had to hop on Google to see what I was working with. Come to find out, the term is for images taken and then immediately being displayed digitally. At the time, Eve’s Ultra Lounge was under construction and I needed to know whether they actually had the technology in the space to pull this off. I ended up speaking with an event planner that I believed worked there before and she wasn’t 100% sure but when the day came… we tried it and it didn’t work. I honestly think it was my fault, after I decided to look at my camera settings a week or so later I noticed I had what I think was the wrong settings applied. I’m a decent photographer but ask me have I ever read a manual to any of the cameras I own. Yikes… I had it set to take RAW & .jpeg images but for some reason it was only taking RAW images which couldn’t be displayed. When the event planner gave me back my SD card jackChairshe stated that the file type couldn’t be read and I didn’t know why. Besides the brain fart I had that day, I must admit.. I shot the hell out of that event from the family portraits all the way down the the celebration itself. Jack was having a blast and it showed in every single image I shot. On a side note, when I met my client Jody that evening.. Oh My God, she reminded me so much of Alison Victoria from Kitchen Crashers on the DIY Network. I actually asked her that in a text message, she said she didn’t know who she was and so she Googled her. She got back to me and said “I can see what you’re talking about a little!” Lol

Happy Bar Mitzvah to Jack, and a super big thank you to Jody & her husband Michael for hiring me. You guys have a beautiful family…


Ita’s Bat Mitzvah

•June 28, 2016 • Leave a Comment

ita2There have been a lot of first times in my short career as a photographer but this right here had my mind blown. Not for one reason either, but stay tuned. Yes, I was hired to shoot my first ever Bat Mitzvah. A Bat Mitzvah is a religious initiation ceremony for a Jewish girl aged twelve years and one day, regarded as the age of religious maturity. I copied that right from Google by the way, I didn’t know the exact definition until I looked it up. That’s right, a very nice client hired me to capture the moments at her daughter’s Bat Mitzvah and I was flattered and shocked all at the same time. Not only did she book me for the event coverage, she also wanted the photo booth experience. I couldn’t wait to call a few of my colleagues to tell them the good news, loving the fact that i’m getting the experience working alongside other faiths and religious groups all for the sake of great moments captured. This is a big deal for an African American photographer, these types of events are normally not captured by someone like myself BUT I was chosen. Lol, Lisa was great to work with from the invoice on down to the contract. She was very detailed and asked plenty of questions which is good.

itaWhen she introduced me to Ita, I was saying to myself “there’s no way this girl is 12 years old, she’s so tiny”. Lisa told me that Ita gets that all the time, she can pass for a nine year old. Such an adorable young lady though, her smile can light up an entire stadium. She was just too cute….!! I loved watching the ceremonial parts of the party, I learned so much that day. Talking with Ita’s father before the event was great too, he gave me some insight as to what the day would be like and that kept me at ease. I get a little nervous when I have no idea as to what’s going to happen and just that 5 minute conversation put me in a better place.

ita4Shout out to Kenny Watz for the assist on the photo booth man, you are a life saver my dude. Oh, and I forgot to mention how cool the entertainment was at Ita’s Bat Mitzvah. The entertainment was a cool group of young ladies, I believe 2 were DJ’s and the emcee who’s name was/ is Shimmy was so super cool. They kept the party live and with all the games and songs there was never a down/ dull moment. While Kenny & I were packing up all of the equipment Lisa wanted to thank me for the work we put in and asked me what my weekend looked like. I told her “it’s so funny you ask, I actually have a Bar Mitzvah on Saturday”. Lisa says, “See, Jewish people love you….!!”. I want to thank my client and her beautiful family for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of such a festive day. From all the people at John Flowers Photos Inc., we appreciate your business..