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The Trolleys Are Coming Back!

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       All images taken with Sony a7iii with Samyung 35mm F1.4 and can not be used without written consent. 

       Finally the Memphis trolleys are coming back! Downtown just hasn't been the same without them. I mean, how can you have Trolley Night without trolleys? Kinda defeats the purpose, but I digress. I saw a trolley in training while walking around exploring and got so excited! There's just something magical about the trolleys. They define my time living downtown. They were an alarm clock of sorts lol.

I remember my first trolley ride with my parents when I was about 11. I was so excited. I do remember it being an extremely hot Memphis summer day and little sister was being a pest. I still enjoyed that day. Partly because of the trolley, but also because we were downtown. I kinda have always had a thing for downtown Memphis.  

          I'm just glad to have them back and let's hope they don't catch on fire again! Are you excited about the trolleys coming back? Have any cool trolley story? Drop a comment. 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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I Judged A Gumbo Competition!

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I Judged A Gumbo Competition!

           Yep! You can add food judge to my resume! I was given the opportunity to judge the gumbo competition for the Rajun Cajun Crawfish Fest over the weekend and it was definitely a unique experience. The weather was absolutely dreadful! It was unsually cold in Memphis and the river was surging. 

          As far as the gumbo? Well, let's just say you can't go around eating everybody food. I tasted about 7 and none were anything to right home about. The first was the best but it needed some seasoning. One tasted like Lysol. Seriously, Lysol. I am thankful I got the opportunity to judge in spite of some not being very good. I met some really cool people. 

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Life is for Living,

Michael B.  

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It’s Festival Season!

           Spring in Memphis is amazing and it’s the best time to be in Memphis! Why? Because it’s the start of festival season! The weather is usually nice and every weekend until late summer and early fall, there will be a different festival each weekend. Sometimes you get two in one weekend. It starts off this weekend with the Memphis Brewfest, which happens to be one of my favorites, and followed by the The Rajun Cajun Crawfish Fest. 

             For those that say there's nothing to do in Memphis, you're so wrong! Every weekend there is something to do. It's all about whether you actually want to do anything or just complain. As for me; the plan is to go to each festival in the city. Pray for me. Here's a list of upcoming festivals. Memphis Brewfest date is wrong. It's actually 4/14/18. 

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             Here you go! Now get out there and enjoy the Bluff City's festival season. If you see me, come speak!  

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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A Family Shoot at Crosstown

           Crosstown Concourse has pretty much become my second home lately. I’ve done countless shoots and visited the repurposed structure numerous times. I basically live there on the weekends. Whenever I’m approached by someone for photos, Crosstown is usually pretty high on their list for clients. When Quaneshia of According to Q blog contacted me about a family lifestyle shoot, I was all in! If I know anything about Quaneshia, it’s that when she does a shoot it’s for real and she already knows the looks she wants. Check out the dope tees they wore!

              I moved some furniture around to create a living room and then we rocked it. Everyone showed up ready and even the little one was a natural! Here’s a recap of the session. 

Gear            

Camera: Sony a7ii  

Lens: Sony FE 85mm, Zeiss 55mm and Sony 28mm

Flash: None

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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My first visit to The National Civil Rights Museum

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My first visit to The National Civil Rights Museum

          Yes, you read that correctly. At the age of 35, I took my first trip to The National Civil Rights Museum. Yes, I was born and raised in Memphis. I've been called Mr Memphis by several people, but this is one of the few places I haven't visited in my city. Why? I'm not entirely sure. I guess because I know a lot about that Civil Rights Movement from my dad protesting in his younger days or maybe because I didn't want a reminder that would potentially make me angry. 

          I decided to take a day off from work and visit. I owed it not only to myself, but to the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King Jr and all those who sacrificed so that I could write this blog today. I packed my camera just in case. I quickly found out, I need either a smaller walk around camera or a more compact lens 

          I enjoyed the experience but I will have to go back to fully take in the museum. I went during MLK50, the commemoration of 50 years passing since the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. The museum was very crowded and I felt a bit rushed. 

         I didn't leave the museum upset or angry. I actually left with more questions than answers. I wondered how people could treat others so badly based purely on skin color. How a person could live with themselves while treating others so terribly. To think, these were also "good, church going" people. 

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

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Big KRIT at The New Daisy

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Big KRIT at The New Daisy

          Big KRIT is one of my favorite all time hip hop artists. He's country as hell, yet insanely lyrical; something Southern artists aren't necessarily known for. I prefer lyrics over beats, but KRIT gives me both as he not only rhymes; he also makes his own beats. I don't know if he's better as a producer or an MC. Either way, he's that dude. 

        KRIT performed at The New Daisy on Beale St to a sold out crowd. I've been to every single Big KRIT concert he's had in Memphis. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Last night I decided I wasn't bringing my camera and I would just enjoy the show. All I took was my iPhone 8 Plus. 

           Let's just say the iPhone 8 Plus showed up last night! If you can manually control it, the iPhone can take some amazing images. Not only that, it's so much lighter than my Sony a7ii with my huge lenses. It's not only good for photos. It takes amazing video!! 

           Shout out to the iPhone 8 Plus and a special shout out to Big KRIT! The show was amazing! I do love that you got on stage at a decent time!! 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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Overton Square's Newest Edition: Hopdoddy Burger Bar!

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Overton Square's Newest Edition: Hopdoddy Burger Bar!

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         I had the privilege of attending the Hopdoddy Community Mixer last night and it was awesome! Of all the people I could have heard about Hopdoddy from, Maddy gets the credit for putting me on game. She speaks very highly of Hopdoddy in Houston and joked that Memphis didn't have one. Well, she's wrong because Overton Square's Newest Edition is Hopdoddy! It's located at the corner of Cooper and Madison in the same strip as Lenny's Subs. Parking will be a huge challenge but Overton Square does have the new multi level parking garage. 

            You don't care about all that. You want to know about the food. Well, I will say that what we were provided last night was very good! We sampled the ahi tuna burger, the impossible burger and the breakfast burger. I give my nod towards the breakfast burger and the ahi tuna burger.  The impossible burger is very different. It was my first ever vegan experience and it was interesting. Not bad at all, just different. 

            We also had margaritas (lots and lots of margaritas), whiskey Long Island teas, and boozy shakes. Nothing was watered down and you felt that liquor in every sip! Death to watered down drinks! They also will have a daily Happy Hour from 3-6:30 PM featuring $5 drinks! 

         Should you try out Hopdoddy? I would say yes! Will their burgers take the crown from Roxie's Grocery? Nope, but it's a very good burger and a welcomed addition to Midtown and Overton Square. 

          Hopdoddy officially opens to the public on April 2nd.  

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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Chicken Biscuits and Natural Lighting

           Hey! Weird title,huh? Yeah, I was trying to be artistic and mysterious lol. It will all come together soon. Just keep reading. 

           I recently did a photo shoot of David Quarles( LINK ) and he mentioned that 409 South Main had been transformed into a chic new indoor market and I had to try the chicken biscuit from Kinfolks. I shrugged it off initially, but decided to go anyways. I let Maddy tag along and it turned into a complete experience. Let’s start with the chicken biscuit. 

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           Ok I have a love and dislike opinion of this sandwich. The fine folks over at Kinfolks call this chicken and biscuit. This doesn't look like any biscuit I've ever seen. My first thought was this is chicken on conrbread. I was partially right. The bread was actually really good. Crunchy up top and semi moist in the middle. Kinda like cornbread.

           Ok, that was the dislike part. Other than that I freaking love it! Yes, it's a very good sandwich. A quick pro tip; you'll need a fork and knife to handle this bad boy. I tried to two hand it and failed miserably. The hot honey and spicy slaw worked well with the chicken. I was very impressed by this creation. Just don't forget to get lots of napkins!

Oh, that natural light part! 409 is natural light heaven! Trust me on this! Your iPhone photos, which is all I used here, will look amazing! Don't believe me? 

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It even inspired this video!  

Go check 409 S Main and Kinfolk out! 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B

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In Frame: David Quarles Swag Personified

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In Frame: David Quarles Swag Personified

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           I do lots of photo shoots with lots of interesting people, but none have been as super crazy, dope as the shoot I did with David Quarles.  Not only is he a super fashionable brother, he’s also a jewelry maker and Zumba instructor. He’s basically one of the coolest people on earth. When David showed up in his colorful outfit, I was instantly intimidated. Not just because he was dripping in swag sauce(that’s totally a real thing), but because I knew instantly I needed to step up my clothing game fast!

          This was by far one of my favorite shoots. Mr Quarles not only knew what looks he wanted, but also was open to letting me pose him as well. Being completely comfortable in your own skin definitely helps when shooting with a client. Since this shoot, I’ve definitely stepped up my fashion game. A special thanks to David for that one. 

 

All images were taken with a Sony a7ii with Samyung 35mm f1.4 and edited on iPad Pro with Lightroom Mobile.  

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          You can check out more of David Quarles on IG @sancochin89 and also his jewelry line at @ivjd. 

 

Life is is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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Urbex. Because Nothing Is Off Limits.

 Urbex Gear: Jacket - Ben Sherman | Sweater - Embraceyourinner | Jeans - Old Navy | Camera Strap - Brave Straps   photo cred: @aleksworks  

Urbex Gear: Jacket - Ben Sherman | Sweater - Embraceyourinner | Jeans - Old Navy | Camera Strap - Brave Straps

photo cred: @aleksworks 

         Some folks like a spa day. Some like a nice cold beer (I actually like that as well), but URBEX, short for urban exploration, is my preferred method of relaxation. Something about going into a bando or rooftop is a huge rush. Finding something new that no one else has seen before is incredibly addictive. I’m sure that’s exactly how the explorers from the past felt. They just never found the random homeless person or walked into a room with a few dogs that see you as lunch. 

   photo cred: @Aleksworks

 photo cred: @Aleksworks

          I do it for “The Shot” mostly. All photogs know what that is. We are all trying to get that one dope shot so that Insta-fame goes up! Getting featured by a big IG account is addictive and also dangerous. Some push the limits for the shot and have lost their lives. So, always be safe and cautious. I tend to travel alone, but I also prefer to go with friends as well. Why? Who else is gonna take that dope ass shot of you?

           I’m not condoning breaking into places and vandalizing anything. I believe in being respectful and leaving places intact for other explorers. Keep in mind that going into some places is illegal and comes with a nice trespassing charge. Explore at your own risk. Stay safe and don’t forget your tripod!

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

Disclaimer: All photos belong to www.one901.com and can not be used without written consent.  

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Don’t Get Finessed Out Of Beyoncé Tickets

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Don’t Get Finessed Out Of Beyoncé Tickets

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           Beyoncé and Jay-Z recently announced a new tour. I can’t say that I’m the biggest Beyoncé fan, but I do respect her work ethic and hustle. She’s basically a god walking amongst mere mortals to some of her fans known as the BeyHive. Her concerts are sure to sell out every venue. 

           Now fellas, the real issue at hand is this is the time when women you’re dating (or not even dating) might hit you up for money for the tickets. Don't get finessed! Not sure what being finessed means? Here's a definition from Urban Dictionary:

“When one person sweet talks or verbally lures another person into a particular situation or action that he or she would not normally be in. A situation that only benefits the finesser”.

  Here’s a scenario to further illustrate my point.  

Him: “Hey how are you today?”

Her: “I’m sad.” (The bait)

Him: “What’s wrong?”

Her: “I only have two days to get Beyoncé tickets and I don’t get paid for 2 weeks.” 

          How you respond to this is very, very important fellas. She wants you to offer her the money so she can buy the tickets, but has no real intention of actually paying you back. Trust me, she will give you the run around long enough so that you either forget about the money or stop asking for it. Don’t be the guy getting suckered out of some money. Unless you like being a sucker.

Your response should be

“Dang that sucks, I hope you figure it out.”

or

“Yeah, that's when I get paid as well."

          Why? Because you're about to see her true colors based on those responses. If you barely know her and she only hits you up when she's hungry or wants free drinks, you can bet she's going down the list of other guys that she feels she can con. By saying no, you might see a social media status referring to her getting her own money and not needing a man or other petty post similar.   

          Say No! Not in 2018. If she’s never bought you a drink or checked on you, don’t buy her a Beyoncé ticket. Run from this type of woman! I recently posted this on my Facebook page, and I was called a hater by a couple FB friends lol. Why? They all know the game fellas. Using you is part of it. Save those hard earned dollars for someone that actually is concerned about you and wants you. There are lots of great women out there. I was even called the President of the He-Man Woman Haters Club, lol. Well, I will hold that title with pride. 

         I know some women will read this and think I'm totally wrong and that it's a sweet gift. They will say there's nothing wrong with a man giving a woman he likes a gift of a Beyonce ticket. I would have to agree and partially disagree. There's is nothing wrong with it, only if her intentions with him are more than manipulating him for money. I'm all about giving gifts to a good woman. If she is your girlfriend or wife, then you can gift that ticket. Hell, it could be a great couple date. Jay Z for you and Beyonce for her.  Anyone else asking for money for a ticket, tell her she needs better financial manangement skills. Look alive in 2018 fellas. 

 

Life is is for living, 

Michael B.  

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10 Things My Dad Taught Me That All Guys Should Know

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10 Things My Dad Taught Me That All Guys Should Know

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           The title pretty much speaks for itself. My dad, or Papa Bear, taught me some great lessons in life. Pretty much everything I know was taught to me by him. He taught me that there are just some things every guy should know. Some are pretty obvious, but some aren’t so much. This isn’t intended to bash the fellas (we get enough of that already). This is more of a refresher course of sorts for your skills. Trust me, I stick to the Guy Code faithfully. We all know how important skills are to guys, so get in, buckle up, and see if you have these important guy abilities.


1. Know how to tie a neck tie or bow tie

         This is an essential skill passed down to me by my father. I spent hours in the mirror trying to master this and failed miserably countless times. I once attended a wedding and none of the groomsmen knew how to tie a necktie. I was utterly amazed. I didn't realize some guys didn't know this basic skill. I ended tying everyone's tie and I was just the photographer! Also, if you’re over the age of 12, you shouldn’t be caught dead with a clip on. Nope, Nope, Nope.  Don’t do it to yourselves, fellas. Trust me, you’re not fooling anyone. We know it’s fake. YouTube has countless tutorials on this, so use it to brush up on your skills.

2. Know how to change a flat tire

Imagine having a lady in the car and the tire goes flat. You don’t know how to change it and you have to wait for a wrecker. Yeah, you've pretty much told her everything she needs to know about you. No matter what she says, she’s definitely telling her friends how terrible of a man you are. Don’t be this guy. Again, YouTube is a valuable resource. 

3.  Know how to match your clothing and shoes

Simple rule fellas: your shirt and socks should match. Wearing a blue shirt? Your socks should have blue in them as well. White shirt? You have an endless possibility of sock colors you can wear. Wear something other than white socks, though. Also, the belt must match the shoes. Brown shoes means brown belt and the same for black. 

4. Be a gentleman

Blame it on my Southern roots, but I still believe in being a gentleman. There are 3 basic rules you should know:

1. Open the door for her.

2. Help her up and down stairs.

3. (The most important) make sure to never let her walk next to the curb.

Trust me, that last one women really, really pay attention to. I see guys all the time letting their ladies walk closest to the street. My dad would call them out, but I don't necessarily want those problems lol. Basically, you’re supposed to get splashed by a truck or hit by a car. 

5. Always flirt with older women

This is a super pro tip! My dad told me this when I was around 12. I thought he was crazy. Why would I want to flirt with older women? Fast forward to my 30’s and I realize my dad gave me some of the best advice ever! Don’t be a creep. Flirting should be subtle. Very subtle! For example, greet an elderly woman as young lady and watch how her eyes light up! This also works perfectly for networking. Many business deals are closed with the wives of businessmen. 

6. Have basic repair knowledge

My dad told me he couldn’t respect a man that didn’t know how to use a wrench. I experienced what he meant by this later in life when I had to teach a guy how to change a flat tire. Having some basic knowledge of the difference between a Phillips and a flathead screwdriver and the difference between a pair of pliers and a wrench is very important. Also, fixing things for your lady will get you a million brownie points. Even if you don’t fix whatever it is, she will love the effort. For some strange reason women love to watch a man work on things. I'm also told they like toolbelts. 

7. Have 3 go-to drinks at the bar

This was something I learned later in life. When you go to the bar, go with confidence. I say to always have 3 go to drinks that you can riddle off to any bartender. My 3? Old Fashioned, Whiskey and Sprite, and Moscow Mule. Don’t be the guy at the bar that needs a menu to order a fruity drink, lol. Also, have 3 drinks in your arsenal that a woman would love. My 3 drinks for women? Red Snapper, Pink Panties, and Riesling/Moscato.

8. Know how to cook a steak

A man that can grill is a real man’s man. Nothing is more fulfilling than grilling for people and everyone sings you praises about your grilling talents. It’s close to the feeling of throwing the game winning touchdown. Now, anyone can throw a steak on the grille and cook it to the God awful well done point. But no one should eat a steak well done. Ever! Medium is where it’s best. Grille a great steak and win the Super Bowl. Simple. Also, if your steak needs anything other than salt, pepper and butter, then it’s a terrible steak. Leave the steak sauce off!

9. Have good personal hygiene

Fellas, learn how to wipe your own ass. Yes, I said it. We can be simply disgusting in the personal hygiene arena, but we can change that. Take daily showers, clean the dirt from under your nails, get pedicures for your rough feet, keep your hair neat, change your socks, wash your bed sheets, and wear deodorant. Stop being slobs fellas. 

10. Know how to unhook a bra with one hand

This is another PRO TIP. My dad didn’t teach me this one, but an older woman did. (Remember what I said about flirting with older women, right?) This move will get you where you want to go fast. It’s a simple move that takes practice and patience. It’s a slight pull, squeeze, and presto! Can’t pull it off? At least be able to take one off with 2 hands and not stumble and mess up. Nothing kills the vibe like a fella that can’t unhook a bra.

          That's all! 10 great skills every guy should have. How did you do? Do you have any other things all guys should know? Drop a comment! Don't forget to subscribe for updates!  

 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

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