Assistant Mike

           Most people don’t realize the hardest working people on most projects are actually the assistants and interns. Their work behind the scenes is extremely vital to the daily operation of everything. From small tasks such as emailing customers to making sure a director has the right lens for a $75,000 camera system, they are seriously the most vital to any project. 

          I got to switch roles for the first time ever and be an assistant. I got a text from photographer Erica Dunlap (@arekahthegoddessphoto) to help assist her for a shoot. I didn’t even ask for any details and instantly texted back YES! I really admire her work and I knew I would learn so much working with her. We both recently worked on the “Wonderland” project together and the chemistry was amazing. Here’s a link to the Wonderland video. LINK

            I went in thinking it would be a breeze, but I did some serious working! From unloading the car, setting up and testing lights/strobes, making sure the lenses were clean, setting up the scenes, and packing all back up. I did all this all while taking behind the scenes video! Needless to say I was so dang tired! I learned a lot so it was worth all the back breaking work lol. Erica is an amazing photographer and her shoots are all about business. I’m thankful for the opportunity. 

Its Erica!  

Its Erica!  

All these bags!!  

All these bags!!  

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Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

A Thanksgiving I Will Never Forget

         Thanksgiving. A day for family and to be thankful. While some don’t like the history of the day, I still see it as a great day to enjoy family and stuff your face. As I’ve grown older, I’ve grown to appreciate being around family and making memories. Which led to one of the best Thanksgiving Days ever. 

Maddy and I take over Florida! 

Maddy and I take over Florida! 

            My mom has never seen the beach in her life and really enjoyed seeing the images from my last stay at the Shores Resort and Spa in Daytona, Florida. So I did what any son would do. I bought my mom a plane ticket from Atlanta to meet me and Maddy in Florida for Thanksgiving! I really want to thank everyone over at Shores Resort and Spa for making this day possible! They were so accommodating and even left us a special gift in the room! #swag 

Shores Swag! 

Shores Swag! 

View from our room

View from our room

            Upon arrival we got a s’mores kit from the front desk and headed to the fire pits. This was my first time ever making s’mores and we failed miserably lol. Marshmallows roast fast as heck, but hey we tried. They still tasted better than they looked. 

           Waking up the next day proved to be a super challenge. Don’t set a time while on vacation. It will never go as planned!! Maddy refused to leave the bed. I got up early to check out the sunset and it was breathtaking! I recently bought a 16-35mm lens and it was the perfect lens for this trip. 

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          We learned two very important things Wednesday. Disney World is very crowded on Thanksgiving and the tickets aren’t cheap. They were $129.....each! I love Disney like the next person, but those prices coupled with having to wait in line a minimum of an hour and supremely overpriced food, makes Disney not a vacation I would recommend  unless it’s something you absolutely have to do. We enjoyed our time, but after paying $409 after taxes for 3 tickets, we didn’t feel we got our money’s worth. That and we were only able to ride 1 ride. 

         We headed back to the hotel to change and hit the beach! My mom literally cried when she saw it. That was the highlight of the trip for me. Just seeing how happy she was made my entire year. I’m so glad I had the means and the opportunity to do this for her. Maddy, on the other hand, had to be dragged from the ocean each day. This little girl loves being in the water and on the beach. 

          This was just day one! I’m going to do a part two for the amazing brunch we had on Thanksgiving Day at Shores Resort and Spa. You’re going to go into a food overload! Trust me, it’s worth it. 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

A Walk Around Mississippi University for Women

            I recently got to take a quick road trip to Columbus, Mississippi for an event on the campus of Mississippi University of Women. I must admit this was my first trip to Columbus, Mississippi and I wasn’t really expecting much. The event was.....umm rather boring. I literally fell asleep and decided to take a little walk around the campus to burn some time. I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The campus is absolutely beautiful and very well manicured. Shout out to the landscapers! I got lost on campus. No, I literally got lost and had to find my way back. Luckily I did make it back safe and sound. Here are some of the shots I took on my little adventure. 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

When Bloggers Unite

           I love when my fellow bloggers decide to collab and not compete! We all win in that situation. I've met some amazing people through this simple concept, especially the amazingly talented Kim Thomas (KPFusion.com). Recently she organized a blogger meet up at the uber luxurious Guesthouse at Graceland hotel. Not only were we awarded with an amazing tour of the grounds, but it allowed me to meet more bloggers in the city. I'm not sure if I enjoyed the hotel or people more; either way I truly loved the experience! 

            Of course I had my Sony camera handy and decided to turn the whole place into my own location shoot! I mean why wouldn't I take advantage of being in this fancy hotel!  

The Interior 

          If you're into interior design, you might go into overload. The Guesthouse at Graceland has some of the best I've ever seen. Admittedly, I'm not an interior designer, but I know nice things when I see them. Every piece has a subtle nod to Elvis Presley in some way. It's like a little scavenger hunt in each throughout. 

The Bloggers 

          I didn't get a chance to snap a pic of everyone in attendance because we were all pretty amazed by all the sites, but I did manage get a couple! Some I've previously known and a couple I had no clue even existed. A special shout out to Denzel Alexander for helping me step my fashion game up and Carmeon Hamilton of Nubi Interiors for showing me how to decorate a coffee table!  Both invaluable!  

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          If you get the chance, do yourself a favor and check out the Guesthouse at Graceland. You will definitely be amazed! Go see Charles at the Lobby Bar! He's literally one of the best bartenders in the city. If you know me, I try to stay as close to the bar as possible! Go check the Guesthouse website for upcoming shows, events, and other happenings. There's something for everyone here! I would like to once again thank Kim Thomas and the entire Guesthouse at Graceland staff for making this all possible. It's always great to showcase Memphis in a positive light and show how many awesome attractions we offer. Thanks everyone!! 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B

I Had My First Vegetarian Meal!

           Yep! I did it! My first vegetarian meal! Only took 35 years to finally try it. Before I go into my thoughts, I would like to thank Kim Thomas (@kpfusion), Justin Fox Burks (@TheChubbyVegetarian), and his lovely wife Amy for making this all possible. I was totally hesitant to try something drastically new, but they assured me I would enjoy it. So what did I have? 

The Vegetarian BBQ “Boss Man” Salad with Yogurt Ranch Dressing  

The Vegetarian BBQ “Boss Man” Salad with Yogurt Ranch Dressing  

             The Chubby Vegetarian whipped up his Vegetarian BBQ “Boss Man” Salad recipe along with oven roasted potatoes and banana pudding. You can check out the recipe HERE.               

             So, how was it? The “BBQ” didn’t taste like pulled pork, but it was oddly similar. Maybe my eyes and tastebuds were playing tricks on me. I’ve never been a huge fan of eggplant, but this was very good. I’m thinking the BBQ sauce helped make it more enjoyable for me. I could definitely have it again. I have to say the yogurt ranch dressing was absolutely amazing! OMG! I want a bottle of it! Now, let’s talk about this super crazy dope banana pudding for a second. Now, that I could eat every single day. You know how hard it is to keep the cookies from being soggy at the bottom? Those cookies were super crispy! Shout out to Amy for that banana pudding. You’re the real MVP!

           For a person that’s never eaten vegetarian food and has always been very resistant towards it, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by the food. Now before everyone starts planning the parade for vegetarianism, I want to say that I totally couldn’t change completely over. I love my meat way too much, but I could definitely incorporate some of the dishes into my diet maybe twice a week. I want to thank The Chubby Vegetarian for not only being a super cool guy, but for not forcing any food on me. Sometimes people who are vegetarian or vegan want to change the lives of us or shame us about eating meat. Justin never did that and I totally appreciated that immensely. Go check him out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more vegetarian dishes. There’s also a matter of a Carrot-Dog that I need to explore! Also check out KPFUSION.com as well. She’s so freaking fashionable! 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

          

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.  

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.