Thursday, July 28, 2011


I got an email today.. these are my thoughts;

I come from a place where many don't get out and make something of themselves. Not even from a standpoint of going to college and taking all the traditional routes. I'm talking about people just being happy and enjoying life. Living a free life. I'm just like everyone else, I have legs and feelings. Who am I not to be humble and use my gifts as a blessing to help and love others. Seeing what I have seen, staying true to who I am, and trying to have the impact that I want to have...I don't know how to be any other way. If I can touch your soul, you will do the same to someone else, and we all will pay it forward.

I just got back from my trip to Chicago and Omaha. I had a really awesome time. One thing about being a freelance artist, when you leave where you are sets you back a little bit. For me, it set me back a lot of bit. 
Well, lets see how I navigate with $18 dollars in my pocket and heart filled with dreams. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

keep dreaming..

I was told once, that we often need to sit and just be... 

Being creatives, I think a lot of our challenges lay within being originators of something. By default, we are a product of everything we see and come in contact with, and influences play a huge role in all of our lives. I was texting Des about my frustration of not coming up with a button design yet.. sometimes I get in a zone of always searching for inspiration and connecting the dots for everyone. But won't that kill the art? 

I want to create more in the sense of how I create/capture photographs or moments... random and spontaneous. Often times not even planned out, I guess that's just the type of person I am. I'll go and shoot someone and sometimes the only photo that I like will be the last shot I take when they aren't even ready. Or the first shot that I get on accident when I'm just checking lighting. We often search for so much meaning .. when art was created to express. Meaning lies within the way we live our lives. Art is to express all the frustration, happiness, failure, unknowing and beauty that we encounter while living our lives with meaning.  So if we live right, well create right, and we don't have to explain any art because its created in the midst of loving as much as we can. 

I just want to keep dreaming, imagining, letting my mind fly into the clouds and mountains and trust our eagle wings that we can soar.. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Find Love.

Things have been awesome since I wrote you last. I’m working on a new chapter of ‘The Passion Project’. I think that’s all I’m going to say about it at this point. I currently have three artist left to shoot and I’m hoping to have that wrapped up by the end of this weekend. I’ve shot three amazing people so far. I’m really loving the interview process that goes along with the project. It’s an element that I never knew I would get into, but it all makes sense…I love people, their views and perspectives. The interviews are definitely helping me grow, build and stretch the mind on some powerful levels.

This weekend I went to Glen Spey, NY. I used to work at a summer camp in the area so I went back to visit and get tons of hugs from the kids. Kids will make you feel loved beyond measures, and that nothing else in the world matters except what they want to do at the moment.. [talk about truly living in the moment]. It was an awesome break from the city. I leave and realize I hate the city, I return and realize I love it. It’s definitely a digestive process with all that comes with New York. None the less, Glen Spey treated me well. It was good to catch up with old friends and take pictures in a house that was chopped in half…not to even mention the views and crystal clear air. Some things can only be captured by living in that time.

Lastly, I have to say that I have never been so comfortable with myself.  At the age of 25 I feel like I am just now getting this thing started. Ever since I started taking pictures 2 years ago, my life has slowly been transforming.. and I’m at a place now that I never seen coming. From my since of love, compassion, style, thoughts, and the way I try to live everyday. I’ve always tried to be a man of character, but now it just seems so much more organic. I think this is what happens when you find your true love. I’m happy I get to take pictures for the rest of my life.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

shower of feelings.

The feedback from ‘The Passion Project’ has been pretty overwhelming. I’m glad the project could touch people in such a way. I just want to inspire people to pursue their dreams and aspirations. That’s the goal of it all, and I'll most definitely will continue to do things as such, in artistic and creative ways.

I’ve also had the amazing opportunity to document ‘The Strivers Row’ movement. I’ve started working with them about a month ago, and it’s been all love since. It’s truly a blessing to be in the midst of such great artist, and for the energy to be full of love and geniuses. It’s hard to get that feeling from your own family members, let alone people you just met a month ago.

As I push forward, I want God, the universe, and my spiritual connections with the earth use my art in a way to heal, inspire, and change our standard mold of life. Next week I’ll begin to work on some new projects, and I’m in a great headspace as far as indulging into the art form. Photography is art, but it has been so abused that people don’t see it that way anymore. I hope people see something different when they come across what I do.

In a perfect world, I would hitchhike, create, and love. .. I might just do that. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

From Me, To You

I’ve been thinking long and hard about The Passion Project and what it is that I really want to say to you. Feeling like I’m not a strong writer always makes this process hard because I want to articulate how I feel completely. There are so many influences and inspirations behind the concept, and that also makes it hard to decide where to start, and who or what to talk about. But, I want to tell you how I feel right now, at this very moment.

I just came back from getting breakfast near my apartment in New York City, and on my way, I see what looks like a homeless man lying on the ground with his dog. Some people may ask why he has a dog if he’s homeless. But, when hundreds of seemingly happy people walk by you, and your condition goes unnoticed, your dog might mean the world to you. Others may think that this person deserves to be where he is in life, but we don’t know his story, nor do we ask. My thought process was first to ask God for forgiveness for not giving thanks for another day, and second, to thank God for providing me with a meal.

I don’t want to see people struggle. Seeing homelessness, poverty, and pain motivates me to help, to make a difference, and to live life with passion. Everyday in the city, I see hundreds of people. At some point in every single day that I live, I ask myself if the people I see are truly passionate about what they are doing. I know for a fact that passion goes so much further than clocking in and out of work every day, so much further than going to college, so much further than our physical appearance, and definitely so much further than who we are as human beings. Passion is the reason I wake up everyday. Passion is why I am the way I am and why I think the way I think. Passion is the reason why I moved to NYC, it’s the reason I spend countless nights coming up with creative ways to reach people, it’s the reason I traveled to various locations, took hundreds of photos, edited tons of video footage, and worked hard everyday to give all of this to you, with no compensation.

Living a life with passion will change your surroundings and the people that are in your life. Living a life with passion will organically manifest  as greatness in the things you are called to do and the people you meet. It will demand people around you to be and do their best and the energy will multiply tenfold.  So, I guess the only thing I want in return from you, is for you to live harder, to work harder, to love harder, give harder… and to pursue your passion!

"The Passion Project" spread  
Saturday, June 11, 2011, 1:08PM

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday Morning

Right now I'm fighting this sickness, but I'll be ok. I'm supposed to be meeting this really awesome painter today, so that should be really cool. And I'm also shooting the last part of my project today. I can't wait to show people what I have been working on for the past month and a half. More importantly, I hope I can really change/impact lives of people.. I mean thats what my art is all about. I hate to be on the surface with things; meaning, I could really care less about clothes/style, status, & who you think you may be. I'm all about spreading love, impacting culture, and helping people reach their maximum potential. Breaking these systems that we are unconditionally trained to be in.
I just want to love & create.. not have to worry about the business side or my art, or worry about where my next meal will come from..

Well, keep pushing & living with passion..

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I'm on the metro north right now heading to Yonkers to meet with Marcus & Toya from The Strivers Row. He has some video equipment I'm going to play with, as well as studio lights.  I'm not by any means a studio photographer...but it may be cool to do portraits and stuff. 

I'm also shooting this wonderful artist I met a couple weeks ago. I'm featuring her in my 'Passion Project'. She's a painter and just graduated from Columbia. Should be pretty cool. 

This weekend I realized that I'm not truly happy unless I'm working. Working on my craft, brainstorming creative ideas, studying videography, or at least  talking with other artist. I don't like being taken out of my world and put in bullshit conversations, talking about politics, or people that are content in their systems. None of that shit has soul. None of it has meaning. None of it is helping my people. 

My purpose here is to impact culture. Continue to love and create as an artist. And break systems that will give my people hope! 

Btw: I don't think I want to have kinds, this baby just made everybody on the train switch to the next one... Even me! Haha. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lovely Faces

So I was thinking about how I really want to document my generation. I want to be able to look back 5 years from now, 10  years from now.. and be able to view some of the culture that I live in. I started a project called "Lovely Faces". What I am doing is documenting all the Lovely Faces of people I meet and create with.. should be pretty cool and fun..

Well, here is what I have so far..

 View the rest here

Friday, May 13, 2011


I apologize if my posts are repetitive, if my grammar is incorrect, or the spelling is horrible. I just write how I am feeling at the moment. I don’t really read over anything…I just want to keep expressing and recording this process.

As I lay on my air mattress, the time is pushing 4am Friday morning…
I’m realizing that I don’t really have a social life. I think it’s because of multiple reasons.. One, I don’t want anyone to outwork me…period! Two, times are pretty hard financially and I can’t afford to put myself in a bind. And three, well…I just feel like there is a time and place for everything.

I love to hang out with friends and just enjoy time with people. But when you feel like you have so much to do, its hard to give up that time … Even when I do hang out, I’m always thinking about my work. I’m always looking at interactions, inspirations and just ways to keep pushing myself. I think that’s because my work is who I am .. and I don’t know how to separate any of it.

It’s hard, because a lot of people in my life don't understand.

I think there are three types of people in this world…

There are people who have no desire. These are people who just live life day to day, and don’t really push their self. They accept their status quo and don’t strive for change.
There are people who have desire, but that is it. These people may want better, but are too afraid to go after and do/be better. Or maybe just have obstacles in front of them from doing better. But to have JUST desire is not enough.
Lastly, there are people that go after anything and everything that they want. Nothing will stop them! They will work hard, they will push through, and they will stay standing in storm!!

There are so many people in this world, so many different problems, and so many things that could be better. If I could, I would change it all… straight up world peace! Lol, but hey.. I guess that would kill the journey.

The universe put us all here for a reason.. and I’d be damn if I didn’t reach my full potential! I know the goodness in life is for us that continue to believe.. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

No Transitions

I was on twitter this morning and started to rant, so I stopped myself and decided to make a post. It's funny, cause I almost use twitter as a journal.. not so much of tweeting things that are going on in my life. But from a sense of expressing beliefs that others can pick and choose to listen to, or not.

I just realized that I haven't lived at home for the past five years.. neither have I been in the same state as my family. Growing up in Omaha, I always wanted to be in the big city. So once I got to college, I always went home with friends on holidays and weekends. We would go to Chicago a lot! And then during basketball season, there was no chance of me going home much, because of travel and practice. Even after I graduated undergrad, I didn't even go home. I was in NY for the summer, went to Maryland for a little over 3 months after that, and then went to Chicago for another 3 months. I have now lived in NYC since mid January.

I always had everything I needed growing up. But seeing my parents struggle from week to week did something to my psyche. Don't get me wrong, I've had the best times with my family! Money or no money.. we have always been close and never let money determine our happiness. But as a kid, you don't want to see your parents struggle.

I have been working extremely hard mastering my craft. Trying to learn and push myself to be more creative. Working hard to change things for my family. Working hard to break cycles in my culture. A lot of times, I get so caught up in working, and not wanting to waste time, that I don't really slow down to just enjoy.. but I feel like I cant enjoy. I know people are counting on me, i know i have lives to touch.. kids to save. I want to accomplish things that are out of this world!! How can I do that, and not work all the time?

How do you find that balance... family, friends, life, school, love, reading, creating, changing, challenging, enjoying...

Well.. right now, i only have one speed.

I love you momma!

Friday, April 29, 2011

In due time..

I've been living in NYC since mid January, and in another week and a half, my first semester of graduate school is coming to an end. It's no surprise to me that time is flying by. I had specific goals set on the move here...and I'm not too far off. My art is being appreciated by people that I respect, Nerdy is making great moves forward, I'll get A's in both of my classes and I'm doing my best to continue to challenge myself to be the best man of character I can be. I just haven't got a million dollars yet!! haha

This morning I made it to my train at 7:37am and it departed at 7:39am. I attempted to pull an all-nighter and fell asleep somewhere in the mix. None the less, I went to Yonkers, NY to film Alimi Ballard speaking at Saunders Trade & Tech HS. I had a good time, and Ali is really a genuine, good brother. He's in the movie that come out today, the 'Fast Five'. 

This week I also met with the beautiful people of "The Strivers Row". An awesome management company that has amazing artist that they represent. I'll be doing some artistic direction for them and their artist. It's a beautiful opportunity because what they do aligns up with who I am as a person, and what my art represents. I'm excited to get started and create some magic. 

Stay tuned on my tumblr site as I will be releasing some videos soon. I'm also working on a project that is close to my heart, and I'm look to have it done within the next two weeks. 

As the summer approaches and people begin to enjoy the weather, I'll be in the lab creating! 

Never be outworked! 

One love.   

Friday, April 22, 2011

.. just thoughts.

I think about a lot of different things, throughout one whole day. Between school, my creative world of photography, nerdy, and trying to have money to live.. you can only imagine what those thoughts are; especially living in mid-town manhattan. I live in graduate school housing on 58th, and I really relate to what Lupe said.. about being teased with the upper crust. But hey, who am I to complain..being in graduate school and eating dollar slice pizza everyday is upper crust to most.

In the world that I live in, i feel like I don't have to search for inspiration much. Its the simple things to me. Like yesterday when I was at McDonald, and a brother asked me for some change. Or when I get on the subway, and everybody is sleep. Or even when someone from across the country reaches out to me.

All of it is right. All of it is beautiful. All of it is a beautiful struggle!

With love.

Monday, April 18, 2011

25 years

Twenty-five years ago I was blessed to have life on planet earth. I had no idea where I would be on this day. I could sit here and name all of the things that I have accomplished, where I have been, things that I have done.. but what does that really mean? Does that make me better than anyone else? Will it make me happy about the life that I have lived so far?

On this day, the one thing that sits at the front of my brain is love. I want to love all that I do. So from this twenty-fith year and on, I promise myself to go after all of my dreams and aspirations.. not only for me, but for my brothers and sister. For my family, for my ancestors, for my fellow creators, and anyone that may come after me. Its crazy, because this road that I am going to take is all uncertain and unknown..but I'm ok with that. Because loving and creating is who I am!

a letter from  4/16/11

with love.

(photo by: Rog)

Friday, April 15, 2011

To be Hip!

To be Hip, Gifted & Black, a panel event I went to with my brother, Rog. This was a pretty good discussion about creatives, and what it takes to do what they do. As we all know, following your passion and heart may not be the easiest thing to do, but in reality, it may be your way to true self expression. You missed out on a treat, if you weren't able to attend.

Here is what I know best...

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Process

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to return to my undergrad university as an alumni and be apart of the Cultural Leadership Conference. Having not been back since May, I was excited to return and embrace being on the other side of the spectrum.

Of course, I had to take some stills and do a small/short film. The process of life is a beautiful one, and I'm just excited to keep growing and learning in every capacity. I don't want to take away from the piece, so you can view the full spread here.

I hope you enjoy this document, as I enjoyed making it.

With Love. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Your Path

Life is to be lived to the fullest. It's lived so you can reach and capture every thought and aspiration that you have ever wanted... that you have ever dreamed of. And now I live in New York, where they say all things begin...

You grow up and get an education, a masters, masters. House and a resort, kids and porsche!

9-5 and P.T.O, only because school won't teach you how to be the CEO.

I know life is to be lived to the fullest. I know I can reach my dreams and aspirations.
But what happens when your told to go right, when you want to go left?

...I guess time will only tell.

With love.

Monday, March 28, 2011

LifeStyle ft. Nneka

Today, I feature my first LifeStyle spread. A spread that gives you a glimpse of the life, culture and the natural hair of the beautiful queen, Nneka Salmon. Nneka has an awesome spirit to her. Have you ever met someone for the first time, and felt like you have know them for your entire life? That exactly explains her whole vibe. Nneka is the type of person that I love to hang out with, because it's an organic experience. We can actually discuss topics that are meaningful and learn from each other.

As of late, there has been a lot of comments about natural hair within the black community. I personally know a lot of women that have or recently switched to natural hair. And it's sad to say that I hear a lot of comments that are really ignorant and hurtful to our black queens. Obviously, most ignorance comes from lack of education and knowledge. This is another one of those topics that proves how powerful and strong our black women are!

Power to all black women that have to deal with society's oppression on how you are supposed to look and live your live. Power to all women! We all must join to continue to live a life of true freedom and fullness.

I hope you enjoy this first LifeStyle spread, as I enjoyed making it for you all!

Nneka Salmon!/thenewyorkan

With Love.

View the full LifeStyle ft. Nneka spread HERE

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


It's amazing to me, that we humans can have so many people in our lives and not even really recognize them. Friendships, relations, and associates are all powerful on so many levels. I truly believe that every person is in our life for a reason, and I guess its up to us to find out why...

Amanda's silent, angelic energy is awesome to be around. We are actually from the same home town of Omaha, and didn't meet until we both moved to NYC. It's crazy because I thought I knew everybody from home! But I basically had a random idea in my head, and she made it come alive...naturally. And even more important than the photography, it's the connection that I try to take advantage of on times like these. We have to be selfish, and get as much as we can out of people.

I sincerely deem that a lot of life is about sharing, and then passing on for those to come. I'm sure you have heard this quote, but I'll say it again... "what we keep to self we lose, but what we give we gain forever"


Full spread here

Thursday, March 17, 2011


On Wednesday, I linked up with one of my good brothers, David. We met about two summers ago working at a camp, and really been cool ever since day one. We were just walking around the park, talking about life and how we are going to take over the world. More than anything, it made me realize how we need to appreciate good people and friendships.

I once heard, if you feel like you're the smartest friend out of your group, you need a new group. Friends are supposed to encourage and support, but more importantly let you know when you're wrong, and to help you manifest into who you are to become. It's not so much about being the smartest, but its more about being truly committed to your friendship.

I know it may sound cheesy, but a lot of us dont apply these simple words to our lives.