As we step into the new year, I started reflecting on the highs and lows of 2017...and I honestly could only see the highs. 2017 was a very productive and inspiring year that is leading into many more highs for 2018.
Naturally You - "Normal≠Normal"
I launched (and am still working on) the second season of my Naturally You project; the theme being "Normal≠Normal". This project focuses on those who fall outside of societal "norms" for one reason or another (religion, gender identity, sexual preference, field of work, appearance, etc). I am excited for everyone to meet the participants of this project, and learn from them. Info and sign-up form can be found here.
I had the honor of being featured several times in 2017 (either via photo exhibit, friendly competition, interviews for publications, or live on the air). I was frankly pleasantly surprised (and extremely humbled) at the number of people who reached out to me for features. I pride myself at always striving to create those memorable images that wow my clients, but never really thought about others who may have been taking notice. Exhibits and interviews I've taken part in during 2017:
40th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival Photography Exhibition
Photo Battle Atlanta
Featuring work by: Catherine Alston, A. D. Clark, Aaron Coury, Jaquan Cummings, Shelby Gordon, Antoinne Duane Jones, Grace Kisa, Paul McPherson, Debra Mosley, Tracy Murrell, Tom Meyer, Marilyn Nieves, Michael Raker, Tony Smart, Demetrius Williams
Stand back for the head-to-head matchups of photographers armed with nothing but their images on a thumb drive, as they angle for your applause. Slideshow vs slideshow. How many rounds will it go? Who will come through as the victor?
Enjoy the memorable match-ups as your favorite local photographers engage in photo-based fisticuffs on a Friday fight-night to remember! Photo battling will be followed by dance-floor ready tunes and incredible food by A Time to Dine.
The VoyageATL feature can be read by clicking this link: Meet Demetrius Williams
Klarque Garrison's "Klique" series
My first awkward foray in front of the camera for an interview:
REAL CHICKS ROCK!™ presents REAL DISCUSSIONS
Michelle Dawes Birt invited me on for a live discussion with a panel of fellow photographers to discuss the art of photography (Two parts):
Events and Clients
I can't even begin express how appreciative I am for everyone in 2017 who has trusted me with their events, portraits, weddings or those candid shots I am so well known for. My clients and associates have really made 2017 an unforgettable year. My work has run the gamut - club events, corporate events, weddings, cruises, festivals, portraits...and I could not be more thankful. Just a few names in particular to shout out; Nicole Garner Scott of The Garner Circle PR and Jay Carter of One Musicfest for consistently bringing together THE best festival experience in the ATL. I do not know how you both continue to top the previous years' festivals. Stan Zeff, Michelle Dawes Birt and Zepherin Saint for rolling with me as official photographer for the Tambor brand as well as the annual Tribe Tambor Cruise. Mya McGary Dyson for bringing me into the UNCF family in my capacity as a photographer for their campaigns as well as the annual UNCF Mayor's Masked Ball in Atlanta. My mentee and assistant Tesa Neal - always there when you need her, and keeps me on my toes (something I definitely need). To EVERYONE not named here, charge it to my mind and not my heart - there are SOOOO many of you!
Plans for 2018
I am continuing to take submissions for Naturally You - "Normal≠Normal" (link in the beginning of this blog entry).
There are several other projects in the works, and they will be announced in the near future. However, one extended project close to my heart will be kicking off in just under 2 weeks. I have always wanted to capture images of the people and cultures of various countries but like many of us, have been guilty of procrastination. This is no longer a problem - I will be in Havana later this month, followed by Nairobi, Kenya in March and Johannesburg and Cape Town in November. I will be putting together annual Photographer Retreats where hobbyist and professional alike can meet in locales around the world and create magic. More info on 2019's retreat to be released soon (Havana is the locale for 2018).
I wish everyone reading this a fruitful 2018. I cannot wait to share my projects with you in the near future (and hopefully have some of you as participants). Make every day count!!