I Went to Memphis Fashion Week!

          My media pass was approved to cover Memphis Fashion Week! Happy Dance mane!! I’m not the most stylish gent ever, but I figured I could get some dope photos at least. I’m still a marginally adequate photographer for crying out loud! 

I got backstage access!!

I got backstage access!!

The Wonderland Squad!!

The Wonderland Squad!!

            Well, apparently I’m a better videographer than photographer so I was asked to make a highlight video instead. I was so nervous because I’ve never even looked at a fashion show video before. I scoured YouTube for inspiration but I was so nervous. I think the final project ended up pretty good. Check out the video!  

 

             I really enjoyed myself! I totally know way more people than I thought lol. It was a great experience. I wish there were more things designed for guys though. I need all the help I can get. 

 Life is for Living,

Michael B.  

I Took Matti Haapoja’s Challenge

          Mane, I love YouTube! I really love YouTube! I literally learned everything about blogging, photography, and videography from YouTube. I know, it’s an insanely resource of knowledge. One of my favorite Youtubers, Matti Haapoja, issued a Solo B Roll challenge. The rules were pretty simple. Shoot a 1 min video featuring yourself without any help from anyone else. Seems simple right? Wrong! 

          This was the hardest thing to pull off. Do you know how crazy you look filming yourself? Lol. It didn’t go exactly as I planned but I made the most of the footage I did get. I also had to represent for the home town. I might not win but if Matti likes or comments, I see that as a win!  

Here’s the video! 

           Also, my friends seem to think this could be a sneaker or Footlocker ad. Yo Nike holler at me! 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

New Vlog!!

          Hey y’all! I don’t vlog much but I do love doing it. If I didn’t have to hold the camera and look like a weirdo walking down the street talking to myself, I would totally do it more. I decided to vlog my latest adventure. I was asked to joint the guys over at 247 Memphis at Memphis’ hottest new restaurants, The Gray Canary, to discuss sports and food. I decided to vlog about what I saw. Check it out! 

 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B

Linking Up With With Ameerah

Whenever I travel out of Memphis, I try to link up with an influencer in another city and do a shoot for them. It’s mainly to meet new interesting people and usually to test out a new lens or technique. This time was no different. I reached out to a couple people in Philadelphia. I must admit it’s gotta be kinda weird to get a random request to link up for pics from a stranger, but Ameerah responded! She was a finalist for 2018 Miss Singapore, so I was so excited when she actually wanted to shoot with me. What made it even better is that another IG friends, Don, drove up from New Jersey to hang as well. We all met up at a place in South Philly called Tattooed Mom. This place was awesome! Check out the images!! 

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I Got a Philly in Philly and Caught a 76ers Game!

That title made me chuckle a bit, but we are just gonna roll with it anyways lol. I got a real Philly cheesesteak in Philadelphia and I’m so excited! I was super happy when I found out that I was going to training in Philly and began looking for places to get a cheesesteak. The people up here literally argue about who has the best cheesesteak. It reminds me of Memphians arguing about who has the best BBQ. I ended up listening to my friend Will Weeks recommendation of a spot called Tony Luke’s.

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A quick stop in NYC

          I’m spending the week outside of Philadelphia on a company training trip. I usually treat work trips like mini vacations and try to take in as much as possible. This trip was no different. I took the opportunity to head to NYC for the first time. I also got to meet a guy I’ve talked to every day for the past 5 years that I’ve never met. Online friends are real friends y’all. Shout out to my guy Shawn Evan. 

          I learned a couple things about NYC. I learned that driving a car is pretty much a terrible option. I met up with Shawn in Manhattan and I was pissed the entire drive. Why? Well it took about 30 mines to go 1.5 miles and this was normal. That lead me to my next lesson. Parking ain’t cheap. I parked my rental in a garage and it was $60. Yes $60! The last thing I learned is that the people aren’t friendly like back down south. You speak and no one speaks back. 

          We went by the memorial for Sept 11th, saw the Statue of Liberty, ate New York pizza, and so much more. It was a truly wonderful experience and I’m glad I went. Check out the pics from the day. All taken with my Sony a7iii and Ziess 16-35mm f4.  

 

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.  

Road Trippin’!!!

          It’s been so long since I’ve been on a road trip! There’s nothing like packing up the car with friends and snacks and hitting the road. I was recently headed to South Carolina to do a shoot for a hotel, so I decided to make the road trip a part of the whole experience. I recruited the super, crazy dope Kim Thomas to tag along and we hit the road. Our plan was to hit the Smoky Mountains and explore a bit before arriving at our destination. Things didn’t go exactly to plan, but we have a great time either way!

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           First stop on the trip was Nashville. I know I have my little beef with the state capital, but I will at least say the city is very clean. I think eating off the ground isn't frowned upon at all in Nashville. The streets are literally that clean. Seriously, Memphis take some notes. Nashville also has an amazing skyline that’s even more impressive at night. Take more notes Memphis. Ok that’s about all the nice things I have to say about Nashville. That took a lot out of me. 

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           While in Nashville, I had to try some of this Nashville hot chicken that I’ve heard so much about. Hattie B’s recently opened a restaurant in Memphis that is ok but not great. I heard Prince’s chicken was way better, so we decided to give the a try. I will have a full review coming soon, but just know it was better than Hattie B’s. 

          We spent way longer in Nashville than we should have. I swore it was only an hour but we actually spent 3 whole hours there! We were totally off schedule for our Smoky Mountains plans. I really wanted the opportunity, so I might have gone a tad over the speed limit. Just a tad. Lol. We cruised into Knoxville and started to see those mountains we came for.  I was once told the Smokies weren’t mountains, but just big hills. Well when you’re from Memphis and you don’t have any mountains, big hills count! I really wanted to fly the drone but it’s illegal in national parks. I normally would do it anyways, but I didn’t want any issues in East Tennessee. 

           The plan was to go up a mountain and get a dope portrait. Well, things went from exciting to scary really quick. We go up a road and it goes from two lanes to 1 then just a narrow path. Keep in mind there are houses scattered all along this road. We went so far up that we both got scared because we were literally on the edge of the mountain with very little room for the car. We got out and took the pics we could. 

            We had to wrap up early because we both kept hearing some very strange noises in the trees. We are both city folk and any noise outside of dogs barking, ambulances and planes flying will spook the hell out of us. We jumped in the car and got off that mountain as fast as possible! 

            We arrived at the hotel late that night. I was so happy to finally arrive! What was supposed to be an 8 hour drive turned into 11 and a half! Needless to say, we were both beyond tired. But not too tired to take some bomb pics! Check out that lobby!!! 

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          This wraps up the first leg of the road trip. Stay tuned for more updates and the actual hotel stay itself.  

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

Trapping out the Bandos Vlog #1

           So I have a love for exploring and photography. I have recently gotten into making videos, specifically vlogging. I’ve tried before but I wasn’t very confident with my filmmaking and story telling. Now, I think I’m ready! Here’s goes nothing! 

          My latest vlog hanging with the amazingly talented Mia (@memorieswithmia) in an undisclosed abondined building! Check out the video and also Mia’s page! 

 

Shot it on my Sony a7iii with Samyang 35mm f1.4 AF

Life is for Living, 

Michael B

Nothing To Do In Memphis? Check out a Free Concert!

           If you’ve lived in Memphis for more than 10 hours, you’ve probably heard someone say there’s just nothing to do in Memphis or it’s such a boring city. Trust me, I hear it everyday even though I kinda write this whole blog about things that I do in Memphis! Crazy right? Whoever is telling you this is not telling you the truth. Consider your source first is what my mom always told me. Want something easy on the pockets? Love music? Then head over to the Levitt Shell for their free Summer Concert Series! 

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          Yep, that’s totally something to do! Maddy and I go all the time and we enjoy ourselves every time. Do we always know who’s performing? Nope, but that makes it all the more exciting! FYI, we’ve never heard anyone bad ever. These are professional acts, but the local garage bands lol. This past weekend the featured band was Dustbowl Revival and they were very very good. Check them out on YouTube, Apple Music, or wherever you get your music these days. 

            Our essential list for Levitt Shell adventures goes like this. Blanket, fruit, sandwiches, drinks, Prosecco, chips, hula hoop, bubbles, and the amazing Panchos cheese dip. Oh god how we live that Pancho's cheese dip! That’s all you need for a picnic. Show up, find a spot, and enjoy. The parents are normally laid back with a beer or wine while all the kids run around doing kid stuff. It’s a very nostalgic feeling to it all. Like what summers used to be like as a kid. 

          There ya go! Something to do in Memphis! Want to see the upcoming performers? Gotcha covered. Click HERE.

 PRO TIP: ARRIVE EARLY! It fills up quickly and parking is pretty terrible over there near the zoo. You’ve been warned. So come out, let the kids run around with no shoes, hang out and enjoy some good music. Don’t forget bug spray! Southern mosquitos don’t play!   

 

Life is for Living,

Michael B.  

More pics!