The Close Up
I'm usually the guy on set, prepping models, steaming clothes, directing a team, you know...being the boss. Lol. But yesterday (8/23), I got the opportunity to be in FRONT of the camera!
If you haven't noticed, I'm not your selfie type of guy. Even at events...red carpets, I tend to mysteriously disappear. It's not that I'm self-conscience about it. I actually think I look pretty decent in photos (if i say so myself, lol). I'm just not a fan of "the display" of taking photos. The posing, the setting up the shot, doing it over and over and OVER again. It's just a bit much. So when I was asked to be the subject photographed, I was a little nervy.
When I got word from my manager, that not only am I a special invited guest & panelist for Winston-Salem Fashion Week, they also want me to be the cover for their lifestyle publication Live Free Magazine. The issue is honoring men who've made strides in fashion. It's a really cool privilege to cover a mag, but course, I began to think about having to take photos! But I'm WARRIOR (thats how I psych myself out, lol), I can and WILL do it!
I arrive at photographer Shon Fuller's studio (LA). Chill set up, nothing complicated, which is my speed. Shon made me comfortable immediately. We had a commonality of him having family for Alabama, as I do, which after further chatting about it, we've decided we were cousins, lol. What completely made me ready to shoot was in the background playing, he was streaming the ILLEST 90's R&B playlist! Hell yeah, I was ready to give you "Bad Boy" realness in all it's splendor!
I dressed myself. I pulled everything out of my own closet. I didn't mind...I own really good s*^%, lol! My first look was a classic. My nod to the 60's. I wore a slim cut, 2 button tuxedo. I paired it with a black cashmere knit turtleneck (custom MK ;-) and an AMAZING pair of pewter colored, sequin/rhinestone/studded incrusted slippers. The second looks, "An Ode to Kwame" (google him), was more fashion driven; a wool waistcoat with a zipper detail, sleeveless woven button-up, and polka dot twill shorts. I finished the look with a pair of polka dot trainers and my signature, wool snapback baseball cap. VERY MK.
Once I was all gussied up, I was ready to go! It was a really good time. I just gave....me. Cool. Easy, Dapper, Silly. The poses ranged from serious to cill to even sexy (insert panther growl here)! I didn't want to be the person that photographers feel like it's pulling teeth trying to get a fantastic photo out of a subject. I even had a little fun on Instagram Story "modeling" my looks. I did all those things I'm comfortable being. It was an opportunity not to be so contrived, especially in a world where taking photos have become a production. It was fun to JUST BE.
I'm stoked to see what photo(s) made the cut. This shoot definitely made me feel more at ease about taking photos. Now, I'm not about to go selfie stir crazy or anything! Lol. I just have a new appreciation for the photograph. I realized it's not so much about the production of the moment, but the moment you capture. I can dig that.