Carnival in Crown Heights

Decided this year to skip J’Ouvert the folkloric musical procession that opens the West Indian Labor Day festivities and just stroll Eastern Parkway, meandering through the almost 2 million attendees.  The smell of bad weed, BBQ and sweat is omnipresent, as is the incredible costumes which root from each of the island’s cultural traditions.  

Video on the Ethiopian coffee ceremony

In Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, the daily drinking of this ancient beverage is part of a ritualized cultural ceremony rich in history and sometimes hours in length. The beans are freshly roasted, incense is burned and multiple cups are passed around.  The 30 minute video I recently completed for an Ethiopian nonprofit has this 2 minute video about the ceremony with-in it….

J’Ouvert, 2014

My favorite day of the year has come and gone again. I swore this year I wouldn’t shoot like the last three years.   I wanted to just experience it instead of trying to capture it visually, mathematically.  I wanted to stay in the moment. Well, its hard to do after 20 years of working and…

Hip-Hop show with my neighbors in Brooklyn

This summer I joined my neighbors to a hip-hop contest/showcase in Clinton Hill/Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn (which birthed many icons of the genre-Jay-Z, Mos Def, Big Daddy Kane, Biggie Smalls, etc..). There were 15 different acts who played two songs each, the winner getting a free recording session in my neighbors basement recording studio. Camo was trending, the…

Blood and Guts at the Black Flag show in Brooklyn.

I started working with the newly launched  New York Magazine blog Bedford and Bowery, a localized blog covering the Lower East Side, the East Village, Williamsburg, Bushwick and Greenpoint in Brooklyn.  The show was epic.  One of the hardest concerts I have ever photographed as there was a pretty raucous mosh pit, my leg was in a…

Rapper Sean Forbes, for HOUR Detroit Magazine.

  I recently had an assignment from HOUR Detroit Magazine to photograph an up and coming rapper from Detroit while he performed a concert here in NYC.  The rapper, who is represented by the same management team as Eminem, is 100% deaf.  He grew up in a family of musicians in Detroit and has carved…

Film images from J’ouvert festival with the HOLGA

The J’ouvert festival recently unloaded itself unto our weary Brooklyn and it now stands firmly, surely, as my favorite annual cultural event.  Starting at 3am, its hypnotic, rhythmic procession of steel drums and motor oil covered revelers snake their way down Flatbush to Empire then head East.  I realized, while standing in the middle of the street drinking…

Portraits from the AfroPunk Fest

 “I would see more black people with mohawks than I’d ever seen my entire life. You see people who you thought you were the only one of.” -P.O.S., musician The Afropunk fest, (“The other black experience””) an incredible, progressive event partially sponsored by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, took place in late August.  I was so stoked…

J’ouvert mon ami.

I had reservations this year.  Almost none of the neighbors I hang with go on account that its too dangerous, waking at 3 am is strange and I went last year.  J’ouvert,  the before dusk until you can’t stand, West Indian folklore crash course, sexified wine-fest (try this dance when nobody is watching), Nut-cracker, weed & rum…

Outtake from story for NYT Sunday Magazine.

I shot an assignment for the NYTSM on the run up to the Labor Day parade in Crown Heights last year.  I shot for 10 hours for one photo for the “What they were Thinking” piece.