My wife loves Target First Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum.  It’s a free evening of art, performance, dance and debate.  The wine is expensive, but since a glass of wine is so well suited to museum gazing, it’s worth the expense.  This Saturday, I used the visit as a chance to experiment a little more with my Fuji XE1 -a camera that I bought for $250 as a supplement to my beloved Leica M9.  

There are times -mostly any situation in low light, where the M9 just isn’t up to the task.  I got the Fuji to fill in whenever my M9 is inadequate.  I’ve also had my mind on shooting black and white lately.  The Leica Monochrom M is on my radar, so until I secure one of those, the Fuji XE1 will be set to black and white most of the time.  

This evening, there was a presentation on natural hair.  More and more African American women are embracing their natural hair these days.  Photographer, Michael July, who recently published a book called “Afro” spoke.  There was also a hairstylist who styled some of the ladies from the audience who had natural hair.  I don’t know the name of the young lady pictured above, but she was beaming with pride after the hairstylist worked her magic.

With Mariah Huq of “Married to Medicine”

We were about halfway through a shoot with Mariah Huq last week when everyone involved sort of realized, it just wasn’t working.  Who was to blame?  Hair? Makeup? Styling? Hell, I’ll even take the blame and say it was the photographer’s fault.  But does it matter?

My father was a bricklayer.  He could absolutely guarantee that he could make a perfect wall or staircase each and every time.  I’m an artist and there’s an element of what I do that isn’t under my control.  Shouldn’t periodic failure be expected?  If art were something repeatable, Michael Jackson would have made another “Thriller” instead making “Invincible”.

Often, my team and I create something beautiful. Something amazing.  Something that is greater than what we put into it.  Other times, as was the case with Mariah last week, we put our 100% into it, and the art we create is less than our skill and our dedication to the task would suggest it should be.  And at that point, its best to do as we did -cut our losses and call it a day. 

The shoot has been rescheduled for next week were we will once again try to control that which no one can control -the creation of art.

My Jiu Jitsu instructor, Marcelo Garcia being interviewed for a documentary. He’s considered one of the best to ever do jiu jitsu but his response when asked how he feels about having a “gift” for the art of jiu jitsu, his response was interesting.  He said something to the effect of, “I don’t like when people call it a gift because I know how hard I worked for what I have accomplished in my training.”