From their wedding to maternity to the baby being here, I love watching their family expand. I don't normally photograph newborns, but when Brittany e-mailed me and told me Bodie had arrived, I was there the next day. Check out some of the photos from beginning to end :)
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I've known Shari since we were teenagers. We used to work at a movie theatre (we have some movie theatre concession confessions lol), but in 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated our home. We lost touch after awhile, but saw each other for the first time in years in January. She'd started her own mental health care practice, and when she asked me to photograph her, I was elated. I love photographing my family and friends. We joked and laughed at talked about the days when things were simpler, but also confided in how much we'd grown over the years into the women we are today. I'm so proud of her and all that she's accomplished, and I'm happy that she chose me to capture her essence in photographs!
We don't get traditional September weather in NOLA. We won't even have boot appropriate weather until mid-October. Fall is my favorite time of the year though, and I can't wait to break out the fall attire. The summer to fall transition is therapeutic for me because the planet isn't the only thing that goes through changes. The falling leaves off the trees always reminds me to let dead things go: stagnant relationships, anger and resentment, weight and even bad habits. As we get older, I believe we should constantly develop our mental palettes, make it an effort to constantly learn new things and reinforce our values with action. August was a great month, but I'm going to make this a September to remember.
As an ode to my Babes & Beignets Portrait Special, I thought it was would be cool to look up a unique homemade beignet recipe!
INGREDIENTS (yields up to 4 dozen beignets)
3/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 cups bread flour plus extra for flouring work surface
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Peanut oil for frying
Confectioners' sugar for serving, as much as you think you'll need—then double that!
Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until small bubbles form at the surface. Remove from the heat, add the buttermilk, and then pour into a stand mixer bowl. Whisk in the yeast and the sugar and set aside for 5 minutes. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix on low speed, using a dough hook, until the dry ingredients are moistened, 3 to 4 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue mixing until the dough forms a loose ball and is still quite wet and tacky, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set the dough aside in a draft-free spot for 1 hour.
Pour enough peanut oil into a large pot to fill it to a depth of 3 inches and bring to a temperature of 375°F over medium heat (this will take about 20 minutes). Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.
Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out on it. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour, gently press to flatten, fold it in half, and gently tuck the ends under to create a rough-shaped round. Dust again and roll the dough out into a ½-inch- to ¹/³ -inch-thick circle. Let the dough rest for 1 minute before using a chef's knife, a bench knife, or a pizza wheel to cut the dough into 1 1/2-inch squares (you should get about 48).
Gently stretch a beignet lengthwise and carefully drop it into the oil. Add a few beignets (don't overcrowd them, otherwise the oil will cool down and the beignets will soak up oil and be greasy) and fry until puffed and golden brown, turning them often with a slotted spoon, for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the prepared plate to drain while you cook the rest. Serve while still warm, buried under a mound of confectioners' sugar, with hot coffee on the side.
The beignet dough can be made up to 8 hours in advance of frying. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it with nonstick cooking spray. After cutting the dough, place the beignets on the paper and place another greased sheet of parchment paper, sprayed-side down, on top. Wrap the entire baking sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The beignets can be fried straight from the refrigerator.
A couple of weeks ago, I photographed Conroy Blake and a few dishes from his restaurant, 14 Parishes, for a BMWB Beard Spotlight. I got to know the owner and the many projects he was into, and even did a little day drinking and had some jerk chicken and fried plantains - super delish btw! Check out some of the images from the shoot below!
Megan went all out for her 30th Birthday Party! She had a disco light installed, Coffy playing on a wall projector, and good old fashion tunes from the 1970s! Her guests were decked out in some of the retro trends, everything from bell bottoms to picked out afros dancing in the soul train line. Check out the good times below!
I love art. Art has a way of telling stories, whether through lyrics, paintings, dance or photographs. Art is born out of an idea, created by humble minds and beautiful souls. Art can also be an expression to bring awareness to injustices. When I received the email to RSVP to the Arts 4 Rights, I knew it was something I had to witness. #Art4Rights is an exhibit in the Bywater area of New Orleans that sheds light on the people around the world who face inprisonment for fighting for equal rights, self expression, and speaking out against injustice.
"Through the Write for Rights campaign, organized every year in acknowledgement of Human Rights Day on December 10, hundreds of thousands of people around the world send a message to someone they've never met. Letter writing has always been at the heart of Amnesty International's human rights campaigning. With 54 years of human rights activism on our side, we see that the collective actions of our members really have the power to change lives.
SPECIAL GUEST: Usher Raymond IV, in partnership with Sankofa.org, will join Amnesty International USA’s Art for Amnesty for Art for Rights.
This year, Art For Amnesty is doing something different. We are amplifying Write for Rights with art. On December 12, a historic event will take place: ART FOR RIGHTS. Through a partnership with New Orleans artist, Brandan “BMike” Odums, we are collaborating with 12 artists to highlight the stories of 12 international cases through art and creative installations. The murals created by these 12 artists will call attention to cases of solitary confinement, torture, forced marriage, forced eviction, imprisonment for a miscarriage, LGBTI rights, death penalty, enforced disappearance and prisoners of conscience. The goals remain the same: to inspire participants to write letters and to take action.
Art can be a cultural tool during times of unrest to expose truths, helping to humanize social struggle and actualize grievances and fears. Often, art inspires us to take action. We've chosen to hold the inaugural event in New Orleans, the prison capital of the world. In New Orleans, Albert Woodfox, one of the 12 cases, has been held in solitary confinement for over 40 years. Art for Rights will be located in StudioBe, 30,000 square foot art studio, where we hope over 5,000 people will join Art For Amnesty for a one-day, free, pop-up art event, with the unveiling of the work by these amazing artists. Art for Rights will also feature local Cajun food and big brass band music for that New Orleans flair."
One of the first shoots that I planned with a friend, Tamara Soup, a talented Make-up Artist, was one that we came up with over the summer. We'd put together a look and locations only to have to keep rescheduling because of weather and life haha. It was kind of funny when we finally settled on a date and time only to realize that in the process of moving, one of the key elements needed for the session, the dress, ended up in storage. So, we decided to wing it. We spent about an hour on make-up before we headed to the Bywater area. If you’ve ever been to New Orleans, this area is known for it’s artistic energy. The houses are adorable, painted in various colors that really make the neighborhoods pop, and you can find just about the best graffiti in this area. As we were shooting (again, perfect weather and lighting lol), we saw a really awesome mural that said The Hip Kid (which I regretfully did not get a photo of). After we wrapped up the session and I got home to edit, I couldn’t quite figure out what to name the session. After scrolling through these beautiful images, I remembered the mural, The Hip Kid, and it fit the session perfectly, Check out the images to see why :)
Make-Up: Tamara Soup/www.www.artistrybycamille.com
Model: Anastasia Bostick
My good friend April Dupre with Footprints to Fitness approached me about a month ago to help her with a few projects. April has dedicated her life to helping others live a healthier lifestyle and in doing so, she has helped transform the lives of so many people with her positive mentality and generosity. She needed beautiful imagery for her social media, website and blog. I was super stoked to help out and we came up with a few ideas to complete the look for a few healthy styled photoshoots. We ended up meeting in City Park in New Orleans and having a blast! The weather was perfect, the light was even better, and we captured some amazing photographs! Check them out!