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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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.  

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.  

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

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

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.  

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. 

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.