Fall is family time for photography

I am a photographer here in Charlotte. Everyday I think about photography. As I drive around Charlotte & Rock Hill, I see locations where I wish I could just insert a family, and create a great looking portrait out of what looks like nothing to the naked eye. I guess that’s where the magic of this artistic medium shines through. There are some days where I need a muse to practice with; just to be sure that my vision can be realized.

Okay, so on to this weeks blog… I was contacted by an old friend who had moved to Florida. His son was a senior in high school and his daughter was a freshman at Olympic High School. His wife and her mother were coming to Charlotte for senior night at the son’s school.  Since Florida doesn’t experience the beautiful colors of Autumn, like we get here in Charlotte, there was no better time than to schedule a family shoot with PPT Photography.  Once confirmed, we arranged a time and location for our family portrait session on the south side of town.

The day was a bit overcast and chilly (typical fall weather) as it had rained the night before, but a perfect day for a family photography session.  I arrived about 30 minutes early to pre-plan a few shooting locations, and work on my angles for our session. Once the family arrived I sprung into action with a few test shots to warm up before we got rolling.  I must say that the images with the fall colors in the background were stunning.  Folks, it’s not too late to schedule a session with your family, and I will put the bug in your ear that Christmas and Graduations are just around the corner!  Click on the “contact us” tab above, or feel free to reach out to me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

Returning Home – A photographers reflection

Last week I had the pleasure of returning to my Alma Mater,  Middle Tennessee State University for its annual homecoming. This year was doubly special to me because with me being a Charlotte resident, my school was playing the UNC Charlotte 49ers, my hometown college football team.  MTSU, won, by the way!  The second part of the weekend was that it was the 40th anniversary my fraternity chapter on campus.

While being founded over 100 years ago (1914) It took 64 years until 1978 for Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc, to be chartered on the campus at MTSU.  The chapter has seen 40 initiations of brothers added into our wondrous band.  I am even proud to call the president of my university (Brother Sidney Mc Phee) a fellow member and brother.

One of the highlights of the homecoming was getting to meet and experience homecoming with one of the chapter’s original charter members from 1978 (Brother J.T. Musgrove).  As we gazed upon the huge crowd of students, alumni, fraternities, and sorority members enjoying their tailgating experience; I asked him if back in 1978 would he have ever imagined the complexion of the university looking like it did today.  There were blacks, whites, young and old having fun and sharing their time together.  While back in 1978, the majority of the 100 or so blacks on campus were athletes, Musgrove included.

To unknowingly plant a seed 40 years ago, only to return as many years later to view such a large beautiful tree that he helped to plant, seemed very overwhelming to Bro. Musgrove as we looked over the mass of people. This caused me to reflect on the state of our country.  I began to think about how many people of color are oppressed, discriminated against, or even murdered, at the hands of police and others that it saddened me. Peoples lives are being snuffed out everyday, before their seed ever has a chance to take root.  These may be the seeds of a future President, Inventor, Scientist, or any of these college students etc.  People, we must stand up, fight, and protect our futures from these tragedies.  Keep your focus on real matters beyond the foolishness of athletes and celebrities on TV.  The best four letter word that can make a real change is V-O-T-E !

 

A Charlotte favorite – Wine, Women & Shoes

This year the annual favorite Wine, Women & Shoes was held at the Westin Hotel on September 28th. Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina (SHFBM) puts on this annual event to raise money and awareness toward ending hunger. They provide a regional distribution warehouse and branches that supply food and grocery items to charitable agencies that assist people in need. In addition, they provide training, technical assistance and hunger education to their partner agencies.

SHFBM annually distributes over 54 million pounds of food and other household items throughout their 19 county service region. 17.5 million pounds of the annual distribution is fresh produce, meat and dairy.  Serving14 counties in North Carolina including Anson, Burke, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Rowan, Rutherford, Stanly and Union. The food bank also serves 5 counties in South Carolina including Cherokee, Lancaster, Spartanburg, Union and York.

In the last decade, Wine Women & Shoes has exploded across the US producing more than 400 fashion fundraising events. This two-part signature event series creates an enhanced atmosphere of giving where community-minded, philanthropic women (and a few good men) gather to sip, shop, savor, and support a worthy cause in an exciting, chic and innovative way.  The theme for this year was mothers & daughters “rippin the runway”.

Guests are engaged with wow moments throughout the fashion show. Striking stages with dramatic lighting and entertainment delight and command the attention of the audience.  From wine tasting and culinary delights, to shopping the designer pop-up boutiques, and mingling with charming Shoe Guys, this event is lively and engaging. Most importantly, the program educates and engages the guests about the cause of the SHFBM.

    

 

 

Oktoberfest in Charlotte – A beer drinkers delight

The Charlotte Oktoberfest provides a great opportunity to make an impact on the local and surrounding communities with funds raised from its annual event.  Now in its 19th year of hosting the festival, the Carolina Brew Masters have donated over $600,000 to local charities, and look forward to continuing to donate to more local causes each consecutive year. This year they have partnered with the Bravo Alpha Foundation to run the event.

Its main objective is to promote NC beer — local, fresh, craft beer. Supporting the beer communities in the state and guiding the craft beer aficionados by providing the one source that allows access to the breweries, brewers and their beers wherever they are served, presented, and celebrated.

There is a smaller group of volunteers each year who poll the Carolina Beer Masters (CBM) membership for their favorite charities. The Charity Committee [who remains anonymous] then takes all recommendations and settles in for a grueling charity selection process. Each charity is scrutinized against various criteria and the final few charities then undergo in-person interviews. They appreciate all of our local charities but with so many great causes to choose from – the selection of WHO they support each year is a very in-depth and arduous process.

Luckily PPT Photography gets to participate in the beer mayhem that ensues in Charlotte every year.  After sampling so many of these delicious beers, our photos can get a bit blurry, but we have learned how to slow ourselves down and drink in moderation.  Maybe Pam and I will be able to slip away and become full participants at the true Oktoberfest in Germany next year.  Maybe we’ll see you there!

See Tracks Think Train – Promoting rail safety in Charlotte

This week PPT Photography participated in a railroad crossing blitz here in Charlotte, NC for Operation lifesaver and CSX Railroad.  Since this is National Rail Safety week, there were volunteers at a very busy intersection alerting people of the dangers of driving and even walking near a railroad track.  Each year more than 450 people are killed and nearly 500 injured as a result of dangerous and illegal activities on or near railroad tracks.  Every 3 hours someone is injured or killed in a railroad “collision”.  I said collision, and not accident because these occurrences can be avoided and are not accidents.

Operation Lifesaver programs currently exist in 49 states and have contributed significantly to the over  50 percent reduction in crashes and casualties at highway-rail grade crossings since 1972.  PPT Photography is only one of a few photographers certified as a volunteer in the Charlotte area.

Railroad tracks are often used as a backdrop for photography – for weddings, prom and senior pictures, for kids who really like trains. Not only is this practice illegal, it’s also very dangerous. Modern trains are faster, longer, and quieter than ever before. In some locations, trains are required NOT to use their horns (No Train Horn zones) and can, literally, sneak up on you.

Here are six “must-know” facts for professional photographers doing a photo shoot near the tracks:

  • 1. Trains can’t stop quickly to avoid people or vehicles on the tracks.
    2. An optical illusion makes it hard to determine a train’s distance from you – and its speed.
    3. The average train overhangs the track by at least three feet.
    4. Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and rights-of-way are private property.
    5. No tracks should be assumed to be abandoned or inactive.
    6. People mimic your behavior when they see your photos on the web and social media.

Many people are unaware that ALL railroad tracks, whether active or “abandoned,” are private property. Being on railroad tracks for any reason is illegal and, in North Carolina, is a Class 3 Misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $300! (In other states, the penalties may be higher!)

As of May 2018, nine people have lost their lives trespassing on tracks, and three have been killed in highway-rail incidents.  Friends & fellow photographers, don’t add to these numbers by being foolish and thinking your photos are unique or cool by taking pictures on or near railroad tracks.

See Tracks Think Train!

52 Pounds of history

These past few months have been a true challenge of faith and resilience for me and my family.  As I write this blog from 36,000 feet on my way to New York from Phoenix, AZ.

Back in early March, my uncle in Arizona was hospitalized with a myriad of conditions that he eventually succumbed to.  That following week, my mother in New York called me in Charlotte alerting me that she was on her way to the hospital.  Upon my arrival in New York, I was told of my mothers stage four cancer diagnosis. 

Back in Phoenix, not only was my uncle ill; now my cousin (his son) had a major stroke! All of these ailments fell upon my family within 45 days.  My aunt has been triple stressed in dealing with a son, a sister, and a husband all infirmed simultaneously.  I have been flying coast to coast seemingly weekly since March.  

PPT Photography has been pushed to the back burner to simmer while I have been sorting out all of these family issues.  Since these tragedies, I have figured out where my love for photography came from…My father.  You see, in cleaning out my mothers home in NY while preparing it for sale, we have uncovered a treasure trove of family photos dating back to the 1930’s that my dad had saved and stored.

To see your resemblences in relatives long gone is amazing, and it encourages me as a photographer to place even more value into documenting the histories of people and families.  I suppose that being a photographer can be compared with being an anthropologist. 

I brought an empty suitcase with me to New York in order to carry my family photos back to Charlotte.  I am now the holder of the history of the generations before me. After checking my luggage at the airport, it was tagged as “heavy” and to lift with care.  My entire past weighed in at 52 pounds. 

Friends, I urge you to hire a professional to capture more of your events and celebrations.  Print your photos and proudly display them throughout your homes.  DO NOT rely on your cellphone camera (or tablet) to capture your once in a lifetime event, wedding, or new baby!  With technology advancing so quickly, there may come a day when you cannot recover your picture or data from your device.  Remember the 8-track, floppy disk, vcr tape etc.

In summary, put a greater value on preserving those memories; not only for you, but for your families sake.

 

Wedding songs for your DO NOT play list – Charlotte photographer

 

The long anticipated spring season is upon us FINALLY here in the south (at least we hope).  The trees are blooming, the pollen is painting our cars yellow and green, while people are preparing for nuptial wedding exchanges.

As I was preparing for a rare Friday wedding shoot this week, I was thinking about a post from a few weeks ago – “songs you should not play at a wedding”.  Although the list is endless, I invite your full participation and thought.  Let’s help the D.J’S out with a list of a few songs they probably need to steer clear of at their wedding receptions unless they want to REALLY make it memorable in a not-so-good way!

“Creep – TLC”

“Highway to hell – ACDC”

“Clean up woman – Betty Wright”

“The thrill is gone – BB King”

“Superfreak – Rick James”

Have a beautiful day, and take some time to listen to the words next time you attend a wedding!

Room to Bloom with The Mint Museum Auxiliary – Charlotte Event Photography

Each spring, The Mint Museum Auxiliary plans, produces, and hosts the Room to Bloom Celebration, a premiere fundraiser for The Mint Museum. Since its inception over 60 years ago, this effort has contributed over $13.8 million towards The Mint Museum including funds and acquisitions for the Museum’s permanent collection. The Mint Museum Auxiliary continues to build on the legacy of outstanding and creative fundraising programs.

This years perennially sold-out Symposium coffee, lecture and luncheon was held at the Charlotte Country Club which hosted 500 guests and featured a silent auction and book signing. Mark Sikes is an esteemed interior designer known for creating beautiful and timeless interiors that embody an indoor/outdoor lifestyle. He has a talent for mixing American and European, traditional and modern and new and old sensibilities. The author of Beautiful, All American Decorating and Timeless Style, he launched his first American sportswear collection celebrating his lifelong love affair with blue and white stripes.

Be on the look out and stay tuned for the Fall EnrichMINT forum which will feature beauty icon Bobbi Brown who is an American professional makeup artist and the founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. Brown has written eight books about makeup and beauty. She is the Contributing Beauty & Lifestyle Editor of Health Magazine. PPT Photography was proud to continue it’s photography relationship with the Mint Museum Auxiliary for the 12th consecutive year.

Don’t forget your photoshoot manners – Photography tips

One fact is abundantly clear with most photographers in the United States…we love to shoot!  Put a camera in our hands and we get “trigger happy” and are ready to get creative. However, there are a few things that can disrupt our creative juices and ruin our mojo with the quickness; a client that doesn’t have manners or respect for our craft.  I have listed a few pieces of advice that can and will peeve a photographer that you may want to consider before your next photo session.

  • Be on time. By you being late by 30 minutes, it may delay the next persons session (or shorten yours)
  • Prepare for your session.  Come with your looks prepared and thought out. Pre-planning is key to making sure things stay on time and as planned.
  • Don’t bring a bunch of friends unless you ask first. How would you feel if you invited one person over to your home for dinner and three people showed up?
  • Trust the process. Photographers typically know what looks good and what doesn’t. You hired them, trust them.
  • Put your cell phone away.  If you are posting behind the scene low quality shots of your shoot, what’s the point of hiring a professional photographer?

By being mindful of some of the things that I mentioned,  you can easily minimize the negative things that can impact your photo shoot.  Remember a few of these things then focus on looking your best while your photographer gets the shots that will last a long time.  After all, that’s the reason why you’re there in the first place.

Squeeze in a photo session when you are in town – Charlotte photographer

Back during the Christmas holiday a young college student named Carlos reached out to me on Facebook.  Carlos asked a bunch of questions about photography, and about what kinds of equipment he should get for his types of photographic interests.  As usual, I advised Carlos to rent whatever equipment that he was interested in buying, before making an expensive purchase. 

We messaged back and forth for awhile, then I asked to see some of his work on Instagram. After combing through his page, I noticed a very attractive model who he said was a colleague of his named Vanessa from school who was home for the holidays.  I told him that he and Vanessa would be great candidates for my Urban Runway project.

After reaching out to Vanessa, Carlos and her agreed to shoot with me on probably the coldest day of the winter.  We met in NODA around 11am on a sunny 17 degree day.  It was COLD!!!  Vanessa was a real trooper.  We made it a quick shoot due to the extreme cold weather. Walking around North Davidson street with a true purpose, we managed to get some awesome images.  We would snap a few, warm up, then snap a few more images.  With any luck, maybe Vanessa will be home when it gets warm, and we can really put together another great shoot for Urban Runway Monday.

Excellent headshot ideas that could lead to your success – Charlotte Headshots

You may need a headshot if you are an aspiring actor, actress, or if you are a candidate seeking that dream job.  Some say that a picture is worth a thousand words, therefore a professional headshot may just be the necessary extra foot in the door.  There are some people that would risk landing a coveted position with a poorly photographed cell phone image…DON’T be that person! 

I have created a list of excellent headshot Ideas that could lead to your success.

  • Don’t wear busy prints, or material with branding or logo’s.  (If you don’t work for Adidas, Guess, or Polo do not wear it on your shirt)
  • Sleeveless tops create  a break between the clothes and your skin and can look awkward in photos. 
  • Try not to wear too many layers because it can look pretty distracting.
  • Pick out colors that look flattering with your skin tone and hair.  
  • Your shirt or blouse should draw attention to your face to make your headshot more memorable.
  • Make sure you show some of your personality in your headshot.
  • Your eyes are what people focus on first, so make sure they are worth focusing on.
  • An authentic smile also shows your confidence and ability.
  • Avoid too much makeup, or exaggerated eyelash length.

Once you put all of these headshot tips together, you should be a shoe in to garner that new spot as you climb further up the ladder.  Sure, you could go to the local pharmacy to get a headshot – but would it be worth the risk?  Hire a professional photographer, it’s an investment that will last long into your future.

 

Fashion at A La Mode Seen – Charlotte Fashion Photography

Charlotte Seen is responsible for producing Charlotte’s premier high-end fashion shows and galas/balls. Each year they host four major events; Passport for Fashion, Charlotte Fashion Week, The Seen Ball, and The Fashion Seen Ball. On April 3rd they presented their latest iteration…A La Mode Seen at the Ballantyne Resort. 

 

Year after year attendees rave about the experience of a lifetime. The Charlotte Seen audience returns each year to see what emerging designers have burst on to the fashion seen, what their favorite designers are showcasing each season, and what extreme hair and makeup designs can be brought to life. This creates a loyal following as well as attracts thousands of new attendees each year.

This Urban Runway Monday we are featuring scenes from a real runway! There were many fashion photographers in the pit, as well as hundreds of models, designers, and sponsors all in attendance at this years event. Rita Miles and her entire seen team do an outstanding job in keeping the show always fresh and new.  Click on the event section of the PPT Photography website to view more images from the show.  

Basking in her golden glow – Charlotte portrait photographer

Welcome back to another edition of my Urban Runway Monday blog.  I am writing this story while sitting in the airport in Charlotte.  This week I will be in Las Vegas for the WPPI convention. (Wedding and Portrait Photographers International). There is nothing like spending a few days with 8,000 other creative photographers from all over the world.

I met Alex at Studio 110’s photographer appreciation day celebration, put on by my buddy Murphy. It was another one of those “shoot outs” where there are other photographers from around Charlotte, along with make-up artists, aspiring models, and general fashionistas.  Encouraged to come by her friend Keiosha, Alex tagged along, and wound up in front of my Olympus lenses as well as many other cameras.

Murphy had us all introduce ourselves, and then the photography fun began. Although I always remember faces, I sometimes fall short on names, and the nickname becomes my friend.  With the perfect make-up applied for her skin, Alex had a golden glow about her. She looked, a bit apprehensive, but pretty with her wry smile, and piercing eyes.  Knowing it was her first time, i said “come on Goldie, let’s go to work”. That seemed to break the ice a bit, and we got down to creating these fantastic image captures.

 I am starting to enjoy writing these weekly stories of my encounters with people on their runways, along with the journeys of PPT Photography.  Subscribe, and keep checking in on me. Offer me some suggestions, locations, people or events that I might find interesting. I would love to hear from you!

I am starting to enjoy writing these weekly stories of my encounters with people on their runways, along with the journeys of PPT Photography.  Subscribe, and keep checking in on me. Offer me some suggestions, locations, people or events that I might find interesting. I would love to hear from you!

@stopitalexx @studio110nc @behindeverystory @clt #pptphotography #getolympus

Standing above the crowds – Charlotte photographer

Fifi steps into the spotlight on this Urban Runway Monday. As I stated previously, anywhere you are can be your stage or your runway to show off or show out – thus the Urban Runway.

I was told to arrive at the shoot at 1pm. When I got there, the models had changed out of their super model clothes and back in to their typical denim comfort. The other photographers were packing up, as they stated they had been shooting since 10:30!  I must have gotten the wrong memo.

It was then that I spotted her. At nearly six feet, catching the best light in the canopy above the other models, Fiona Rose -aka- Fifi. I had met her mother a few months back, but this time I only had five minutes with her 15 year old budding supermodel before she left to prep for the Sunday audition for Charlotte Seen Fashion Week.

As I sat on my stool with camera in hand, I challenged Fifi with a stool of her own and I told her to strike a pose everytime the flash popped. Fiona accepted my charge as a fun challenge, and here is some of the magic that we created in those five minutes.

The Ballantyne Ball – Charlotte Event Photography

Ballantyne’s annual Valentine’s masquerade ball for charity. The Ball promises the romance of Valentine’s Day, coupled with the intrigue and fantasy of a masquerade ball. And, as a 501(c)(3) charity, The attendance and support helped the 2018 beneficiary, HeartBright Foundation, provide treatment, education, and access programs for their patients in Charlotte. Each year, the ball hopes to expand the groups that they support and increase the impact they’re having locally in the lives of those who are experiencing hardship.

HeartBright provided services to their first patient group in 2003. With heart disease, diabetes, and stroke accounting for 1 in 3 deaths in the United States, and access to care being a top health issue in Charlotte, HeartBright saw a critical need to bridge the healthcare gaps for the working poor sector of our community.

HeartBright provides treatment, education and access programs for their patients that have no other way to access healthcare, as well as early prevention of these issues in our youth. With the ability to have a comprehensive wellness plan that they can use to manage their disease, patients are able to improve their health, have hope for their future, and be inspired to live healthy and productive lives in our community.

The potential is there for Concepcion – Charlotte Photographer

There are some days as a photographer in Charlotte where everything goes right.  Exposure, color temperature, location, weather, full batteries, and the perfect subject that brings it all together.  Back in December while out shooting with a buddy, we had an aspiring model come on the set and in front of our lenses.  I could even say that she came with her personal chauffeur… Her brother James. 

When Concepcion stepped on the scene, we were very impressed with her poise, youthfulness, long hair, and nice looks.  Never would we have guessed that this was one of her first photoshoots with a professional photographer.  She moved, smiled, and worked the camera to our surprise. At 16 years of age, she attacked the photo session like a seasoned veteran. Practicing in the mirror has and will pay off for this young lady.  By being able to take direction well, and moving fluidly after each flash, made for a great session.

Again, I want to thank her big brother James for bringing Concepcion out to the factory studio for an awesome Charlotte photography session.  So, on this Urban Runway Monday, be on the lookout for this young lady named Concepcion.  If you have a product that you would like promoted from haircare to clothing, Concepcion has the potential to push your business to the top!

Squeezing out “haute” images in the cold – Charlotte Photographer

This Urban Runway Monday, we bring you Kaylan of Mae Vee models. We shot these on location here in Charlotte at a former military missile plant. The frigid temperatures inside the plant were evenly matched by the outdoor climate. Although we pushed through and shortened our session by a few minutes, we managed to squeeze out these “haute” images. It started getting so cold that my trigger finger stopped working after about an hour or so.

Infant photography looks cute but takes lots of patience – Charlotte Photographer

When you want those cute photos of your newborn, you have to put a lot of trust in your photographer. Firstly, time is of the essence, as you need to schedule the session within the first 10-14 days.  This may upset some of the mothers out there, but moms shouldn’t be in the room or near the baby during the session. All of the baby’s senses aren’t tuned in during the first few weeks of life, but babies have such an acute sense of smell during this time, they tend to be a bit fussy when they can smell mom and their milk. 

Your newborn baby has his or her own schedule. When they get fussy, be sure to take your time and wait. Sometimes you’ll spend hours on a shoot with the baby crying the entire time and finally, in the last 20 minutes, you’ll get everything you need.  That was the case with baby Jordan.

Typically, I ask the mother to feed the baby (fully) 30 minutes before I arrive.  By doing this, the baby has been burped, then gets the “itis” and is ready to go into a deep sleep.

It is much easier to move the baby around into those cute positions that we all love when we see newborn images when they are fast asleep. So remember, after you give us a call, relax, take a nap, and let us work some magic with your new baby bundle. 

Making a winter photoshoot look hot – Charlotte portrait photography

This Urban Runway Monday, we bring you Nadia of Mae Vee models. This lady was a trooper. She made this cold weather shoot look like it was summer hot! Being a New York native, I thought that I would be more immune to the cold weather; but even my trigger finger started getting cold. Although Nadia was freezing, she was a pro during our photoshoot. Every week we will endeavor to feature a person or place of interest in our blog.

Creating something, or finding a project that is constantly evolving, is a challenge to all photographers.  This project will help us add to our commercial work, headshots in Charlotte, and the overall business for PPT Photography. Keep looking out for our urban runway Monday blog posts & become a subscriber.

Kids are models too! – Charlotte photography

A few weeks ago, we were invited to photograph some of the young models and fashions of Christopher Goff #teamtopher. Some of these fashions, and kids will be featured in New York fashion week 2018 #nyfw. We are always proud to support our youth here in Charlotte and around the world. Let us know how we can help.

A sweet 15 will do just fine

Why does it have to be Sweet 16? We see nothing wrong with Sweet 15? I spent a little time photographing this princess for her upcoming 15th birthday. She’s got a few years to go before college, but I feel confident she knows what she wants to do and believes she is more than capable of it.

Graduation tassels are worth the hassles

Ashley, here are a few from today’s #seniorshoot with your oh so funny daughter Morgan. That child has the funniest sense of humor. Morgan, may all of your wildest dreams come true <<tee hee>> and Ashley, my prayer is that you can handle them, and her when they do. LOL Congratulations #classof2017 #pptphotography #rockhillhighschool #bearcat Remember that the tassel is truly worth the hassle!

Fixtures, Food, Drinks, and Opera

Charlotte photographer,  PPT Photography was invited to attend the Taste of The Tour Party on Friday night at the Ferguson showroom, by Charlotte Girl Magazine.  This event was sponsored by the Symphony Guild of Charlotte, as they are kicking off their 2016 tour.  Although, I’m not a great fan of the symphony, the food at this event featured many of Charlotte’s top restaurants, and culinary schools.

The event highlighted custom appetizers from Bonterra, Ilios Noche, OGGI, Napa on Providence and Passion 8.  Soul Gastrolounge provided signature cocktails, Don Sebastiani brought along some featured wines to pair with the food.

Saturday featured the Heart of the Home Kitchen tour.  The event was similar to a Homearama, where various homes throughout Charlotte were open to the public to show off their updated and renovated kitchens.  Many of the fabulous fixtures and appliances were furnished by Ferguson. 

Lights, Camera, Fashion

The runway lights burned  bright on Sunday at Belk Southpark.  The after- hours showcase was the annual girls day away event, put on by the Junior League of Charlotte.  Billed as one of  the largest of its kind in the mid-south, the show featured local women representing some of this year’s fashion offerings at Belk stores.  The show is a chance to raise charity and confidence of the women.  The Face Magazine provided some of the models for this year’s event.

“One hundred percent of all general admission ticket sales went directly to The Junior League and their Charities”

10 years of Charlotte fashion celebrated at Nieman Marcus

Neiman Marcus at Southpark Mall in Charlotte celebrated10 fashionable years with a charity fashion show.  The fall trends runway fashion show was hosted by Yahoo Style’s Joe Zee.  The evening included cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, sips and snacks, and brief remarks from the store manager,  who reported that the 2016 celebration  was its most successful fundraiser to date.       The Charlotte Ballet,  and Community School of the Arts  were this year’s charity recipients for their commitment to youth arts education and experiences.

Fashionistas come to Charlotte for the Seen Ball

Marking the end of a week chocked full of stylish events, The Charlotte Seen Ball was held at The Hilton Charlotte, Center City.  Fashionistas from all over the Charlotte region held runway presentations all while enjoying a wonderful catered meal Hosted by Rita Miles and The Charlotte Seen Team.

Friday and Saturday nights are always the biggest draws, featuring local retailers, emerging designers, as well as recyclable and international designers who  showcased their collections on the runway.

2016 Storybook Ball

Inspired by PeterPan, the classic novel  by J. M. Barrie.  A fun-filled evening was had at the Hilton Charlotte Center City, which was transformed into a  Peter Pan themed story book.  Delicious food completed the evening with wine,  dancing,  and a silent  auction for the grown-ups.

Community members, corporate partners,  and philanthropic leaders walked the red carpet in the heart of uptown. The evening celebrated the work and missions of the donors and volunteers, and most importantly the families who call the Ronald MacDonald House of Charlotte their home away from home.

And now for the things not to do for your photography session

In one of our previous blog posts, we gave you a few suggestions on what works well for your photography session with PPT Photography.  Now we’ll share a few things that a camera would not be crazy about.

  • ~ Avoid light colors that approximate flesh tones, such as beige, tan, peach, pink and yellow. These colors dominate a portrait and over power the face,  and may make you look pale. White is typically a great color.
  • ~ Long sleeves are also preferable to short sleeves. Bare arms can show up in ways you might not like. Bare shoulders or spaghetti straps often may make you look heavier,  and take away from your face.
  • ~ Especially bright colors such as red, orange or pink will ruin a portrait because their intensity overwhelms the face with its reflective qualities. The color red, does work well, however, for Christmas or holiday styled photos.
  • ~ Stripes, plaids and bold prints draw the eye away from the face and do not photograph well either. Solid colors generally work better. Also try to avoid herringbone or tweed patterns. 

We hope these tips help you to understand more of how you should prepare yourself & family for an awesome photo shoot with us. 

We love to celebrate

” If you celebrate it, we capture it ” That is just the motto that we live by.  So no matter whether you celebrate, a birthday, an anniversary, or even a divorce; PPT Photography will always be there to capture those moments for you.

We had the pleasure of capturing this 21st birthday party and the celebrant could not be happier than to have a photographer cover his milestone event! So when you are ready to celebrate, please give us a call. Whether it’s your 6th or 60th, we’ll be there.  Our onsite printing service may be something you may want to consider.  But, no matter what, just give us a call and we’ll be happy to get you taken care of. 

Fashion tips for your next photo session

Although there are exceptions to every rule, here are some suggestions, you may want to consider.

  • Dress appropriately. For outdoor sessions and family photos, we’re going for a more casual look. (High heels, suits and ties may work in an urban setting, like downtown Charlotte, but not so much in the middle of a park)

  • If the portrait is to include more than one person, co-ordinate colors. In other words, do not dress as individuals, but as a team. Your photos will come out looking much better.

  • Proper dress allows the face to dominate the portrait. Against a medium or dark background, the colors that photograph best are medium to dark tones of green, brown, rust, wine or blue. Darker shades are more slimming.

  • SHOES: Shoes are rarely visible in photos. In a rural setting, they may be behind bushes, for example. If your scheduled shoot requires foot travel, wear the appropriate footwear.

  • CALL US and lets get your awesome session on the books.

School is in session, and It’s time to schedule your session

It’s that time of year folks!  Time for your little one’s, or not so little ones, to be captured while the weather is great.  Daddy daughter sessions, Mommy and me sessions, family sessions; or just a time to celebrate being together. Time for you mom’s to get out from behind the camera, put away the cellphones and call PPT Photography. We’re setting aside some dates in September and rolling out a few mini-sessions that will promise to be fun, artful and capture your family authentically.

Your session will include:

A 30 minute portrait session with yours truly!
ALL digital files

$ 100

 

Class of 2017, we’re looking for YOU

PPT Photography is looking for fun, energetic and fashionable student models to represent the class of 2017 & 2018. We are looking for students who are active and involved in their school and are willing to recommend PPT Photography to their friends and family. This is a great opportunity to show your friends your awesome senior photos! We are looking for students located in Charlotte, Rock Hill, and Concord.

PPT Photography is a senior photographer that specializes in high school senior pictures, located in Charlotte. We have an imaginative and modern style to our photography with a focus on High School Seniors! We add a sense of a fashion flair to your senior portrait session, making your senior pictures stand out above others. PPT Photography is about capturing your style and creating a one of a kind experience that is uniquely yours!

Choosing great locations for your photo session

Find somewhere quiet

Almost everyone has had the experience of a “photo bomber” or their photo ruined by people moving around in the background. While this may not be a big deal in some situations, for family or senior sessions this would not be cool.

When choosing a location for your photos, avoid crowded places – including busy public parks. If a crowded area is chosen for photos, you, and your photographer may be waiting for people to walk through, or answering questions of people passing by. If it is possible, find the less populated areas – like remote beaches, woods, or grassy fields.

Stay Near Shelter

Outdoor locations are popular places for all types of photography. If you live where good weather is not guaranteed, it is important to plan ahead, or have a rain date. If your session is outdoors, find a location that has some kind of shelter nearby, whether it is a store, a hotel, or a café.

Choose the correct time for your shoot

Light is the most important part of photography and knowing when the “golden hours” are will help your session look incredible. With that in mind, choose a time before 10am or after 5pm in order to avoid harsh shadows, and poor light during your shoot.

For the perfect photos, make sure to choose the right location, and always work with the professional photographers of PPT Photography who will make sure your session will be one to remember.

The blind date is over

There is no such thing as a blind date anymore.  Anywhere.  And It’s not just in the dating arena.  Nowadays when you apply for a job, companies routinely check you out on social media first. So, we can’t blind date in our career either. I’m sharing a few tips today on what not to do on any of your social media platforms where you have the opportunity to place your profile picture – or head shot.  Everyone deserves to have their story printed.  Hire a pro, and make the right first impression.

  • Cropping other people out of the photo.
  • Using a blurry photo.
  • Adding filters.
  • Looking too serious and not approachable.
  • Goofy expressions.
  • Not smiling or looking side eye at from the camera.
  • Being too far away or too close up to the camera.
  • Using black & white photo.
  • Having no photo at all
  • NOT CALLING PPT PHOTOGRAPHY 704.293.7459

One smile can create a thousand more

  1. VERB: form one’s features into a pleased, kind, or amused expression, typically with the corners of the mouth turned up and the front teeth.

      I’m just here reflecting on how blessed some of us are, and how sad it is that we don’t fully appreciate what we have. “I was sad because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.”

    People, rejoice in everything you have. There are millions of people less fortunate. Volunteer, help, smile, do something. It’s not all about you, it’s about serving. #343project

Career day at school with the flying Frotographer

Today I spent some time at an elementary school doing a career fair for around 300 children. I went as a flight attendant….who takes a lot of photos on her trips (imagine that!)….LOL My goal was to show them they can can go, do, and be ANYTHING they want to be. Some came to my table knowing EXACTLY what they want to be while others simply needed a little bit of encouragement in the form of a reminder to let them know their dreams are never to big to be realized. Some of us didn’t have that adult in our lives to help to mold, shape, and encourage or to simply say “YES YOU CAN”. Is that an excuse not to be successful, no but a little encouragement surely does go a long way. I had my 2015 vision board. I had a collage of some of the things I’ve done & seen while flying along with a photo album to show them the world is big and waiting on them and their greatness. I don’t care whether or not they become flight attendants. I just want them to find what they love and pursue it like their very lives depend upon it because it does.

I promise you I met my little mini-me at last years event and couldn’t wait to see her this year. She was so funny and feisty. I think that’s why I like her so much. She is me.  Her only concern last year was if she had to be good in math. Once I assured her she didn’t but firmly reminded her that she had to graduate from high school, she was totally on board with becoming a FA. She told me today I was her new BFF. One of the other kids said “you are her favorite person”. You know that made my heart smile.

Celebrating the “Big house” – A different perspective

As black history month is coming to an end, I am discovering some of the places here in the Charlotte area, that “seem” to memorialize what some slaves called the “big house”.  Latta Plantation is a circa 1800 cotton plantation located in the north west part of Mecklenburg county.

Set aside as a public park, museum, and nature preserve, These grounds are frolicked and explored year round. I can’t help but think of some of the atrocities that happened here many years ago, of which  many people have no concept of.  Although I understand the value of bringing history forward, I cannot go forward without thanking those who persevered many long, and hard days of labor.  Survivors, whose main goal was to simply make it to the next day.

I am thankful for these ancestors; the strongest of the strong who planted the seeds, created a path for us; and although not knowing, paved the way for many of the things, and freedoms that we DON’T appreciate today.  What would our ancestors say to us today? Would they be proud or disappointed? #343Project

Before there was a Wal-Mart…

Out of necessity, country stores, or general stores, got their start during the colonial period for the many pioneers who lived outside urban markets. Many owners of these mercantiles began as roving peddlers and once they had accumulated enough capital and inventory, they often established permanent locations in settlements where there was a need and likely profit.

General stores often sell staple food items such as milk and bread, and various household goods such as hardware and electrical supplies. The concept of the general store is very old, and although some still exist, there are far fewer than there once were, due to the relatively recent phenomenon of big-box stores.

Brothers S.W. & C.S. Davis opened their mercantile in 1890 to provide farm supplies and home wares to the Croft community. While farmers no longer load their fertilizer directly from the rail cars out front, Davis General Store is still the purveyor of unique and hard to find items in Charlotte.

 

A look back in history – Rosedale Plantation

February is Black History Month. It is a time to look back at the heritage of slavery in our nation, and the enslaved history in the Charlotte region. We cannot forget our past, and Historic Rosedale Plantation tells accurate histories of the enslaved who inhabited this plantation.

Rosedale was built in 1815 by Archibald Frew, a merchant, postmaster and tax collector.  The extravagant 4600 square foot home once sat on 919 acres. The plantation ran with the support of 2 slave families consisting of about 20 people.  Frew died at the age of 47 at Rosedale on April 15, 1823, a fitting date for the death of a tax collector. Frew’s estate was valued at $1200, a reasonable size estate for the time.

Dr. David Caldwell was the 2nd owner of the plantation. The doctor operated Rosedale as a subsistence plantation and made an income through the hiring out of his slaves. Dr. Caldwell owned several slaves who were skilled blacksmiths. The income from the blacksmiths was very important to the plantation economy. When Dr. Caldwell composed his will in 1854, he stated that it was his wish that three of his blacksmiths: Ephraim, Nat, and Randall, be hired out to “such good places where they will be well treated, and cared for, and as far as can be done have them as convenient to their wives.” This would generate income to be kept in a fund to educate the doctor’s three youngest children.

How nice of Dr. Caldwell to keep the slave families together, let the husbands “be convenient to their wives” so that these men could keep making money for him; even after his death!  Hmmmm!  American history can be a shame and a mess. #343Project 

A Rant – Giving to the needy

For this #343project post I won’t have a photo.  I just want to rant today about what happened to me earlier today.  I am certainly not a rich man, but I will at times go out of my way to help someone less fortunate than me. There are times where circumstances happen in our lives that are beyond our control; sudden death or illness, or downsizing and losing a job.   GOD, hears all, knows all, and can fix anything.  But one thing that I learned early is that “GOD don’t like ugly”.  Not being sure where Karma comes in on this rant, but here is my story…

Since Pam was home from her trip, and enjoying her time off, I offered to go to the local bakery and get one of the muffins that she likes.  As I approach the bakery, I notice a fella sitting out front.  In a low voice he whispers something inaudible.  I said “I can’t hear you”, and he asks for one dollar so that he can get on the bus.  I asked him where he was going, and he responds “Farm Pond road” as he points in that direction.  I say to him, that I am going that way, and I will give you a ride, then head into the bakery.

RED FLAG! He is on the wrong side of the street to ride that bus.  When I come out of the bakery, he is nowhere to be found!  Folks, I try to be charitable, but I prefer to feed you, or give you a ride, in lieu of giving money.  It’s obvious to me that the man had no intentions of riding the bus, but I wonder what “necessity” he needed by trying to sham people into giving him cash. If I would have bought him a loaf of bread, would he try to sell it?  Karma        

Preparing for your headshot – Here is some advice

Your online profile is the new age business card.

With the rise of social media and networking sites, individuals and companies are relying more and more on websites like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, to connect with other businesses and customers.

Your business headshot and online profile  will often be the  first impression that others will  have ofyou and your company. It is now more critical than ever that the image you portray reflects your brand, and creates a powerful and lasting first impression.

Avoid drinking alcohol or smoking, and drink plenty of water for a few days and on the day of your headshot. This will make your skin very hydrated to fill in lines and wrinkles, under eye circles, and give you a healthy glow.  Get plenty of sleep the night before your photo so you’re rested and ready to go. A new haircut also looks its best after at least a week.

 Clothing with tight grids or a small herringbone pattern can have a moiré pattern effect on camera, so stay away from grid-like patterns. Thin stripes are okay. Just don’t choose something with too low of a neckline: no cleavage. No turtlenecks. They tend to make people look like they have no neck at all in photos. For jewelry,  something small, classic, and not very reflective or flashy. Earrings shouldn’t dangle more than an inch from your earlobe.

 If you do your makeup yourself, do your makeup how you usually wear it for an average day, or possibly a nice dinner.  Do not wear heavy makeup; a close headshot will show clumps of mascara or dark lipstick. Choose light to medium eyeliners, eye shadows, and lipsticks that are only a shade or two darker than your skin tones.  Avoid caking on heavy foundation, or wearing shiny eye shadows or lip gloss: too much shine is distracting on camera. #343project

Its going down but who’s complaining?

United States domestic production has nearly doubled over the last several years, pushing out oil imports that need to find another home. Saudi, Nigerian and Algerian oil that once was sold in the United States is suddenly competing for Asian markets, and the producers are forced to drop prices.

As oil prices fall, and refinery capacity stays strong, the price of gas could reach $1 a gallon in some areas, a level last reached in 1999.  Lets hope the prices stay low into the summer, and lets hope our incoming POTUS can keep it down. #343project

It’s Valentines day…Don’t lose your head over it

Rome was involved in many unpopular and bloody campaigns. The emperor had to maintain a strong army, but was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. Roman men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families.

To get rid of the problem,  Emperor Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.

When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Valentine was arrested.  Valentine was condemned and beaten to death with clubs,  and had his head cut off. The sentence was carried out on February 14, on or about the year 270.

Legend also has it that while in jail, St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it “From Your Valentine.”  So as you celebrate your love together, remember St. Valentine, and give thanks that chocolate is on sale tomorrow! #343project 

Eight reasons why the alligator pear is so good for you

It is often called “alligator pear,” which is very descriptive because it tends to be shaped like a pear and have green, bumpy skin… like an alligator.  These days, the avocado has become an incredibly popular food among health conscious individuals. It is often referred to as a superfood which is not surprising given its health properties. 

If you would like to lose weight, improve your skin and lower your risk of many life-threatening diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease, it is well worth including this healthy fruit in your diet.

1) They Contain More Potassium Than Bananas

2) Loaded With Heart-Healthy Monounsaturated Fatty Acids

3) Avocados Are Loaded With Fiber

4) Avocados Are Loaded With Powerful Antioxidants That Can Protect The Eyes

5) Avocado May Help Prevent Cancer

6) Avocado Extract May Help Relieve Symptoms of Arthritis

7) Eating Avocado May Help You Lose Weight

8) Eating Avocados Can Lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels

Although this fruit is really good for me, I wasn’t fond of it’s texture.  Although it didn’t have a distinct taste, it reminded me of a hard boiled egg yolk.  Give it a try, and let me know what your findings are. #343project

Not all heroes wear a cape

We can all agree that one needs a certain level of grit to be a firefighter and put oneself in the path of flaming danger on a daily basis.  Here is another example of people who may work a job that we don’t give full recognition to until a life is on the line.

As the house filled with hot smoke,  the firefighter said he had a hunch.  He dashed into a room, and there in a crib was a 9-month-old girl “overwhelmed by smoke inhalation.” The firefighter gathered the infant in his arms and rushed her to safety.  17 years later, the firefighter attended her high school graduation.

Take some time out to thank a first responder for what they do. Police, fire, and medics deserve our thoughts, and appreciation. Running towards danger is very un-charachteristic for most of us, but inevitably what they do everyday. Give thanks to your local heroes. #343project

This 7000 year old antibiotic medicine sure can make you feel better

Beer is one of the oldest beverages humans have produced, dating back to at least the fifth millennium BC, and recorded in the written history of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Chemical tests of ancient pottery jars reveal that beer was produced as far back as about 7,000 years ago in what is today Iran. The Ancient Nubians had even used beer as an antibiotic medicine.

I discovered the passion that the brew masters put into every can and bottle of beer that they make. The Unknown Brewing company of Charlotte was no exception, to the passion rule.

Beer is made from four basic ingredients: Barley, water, hops and yeast. The basic idea is to extract the sugars from grains (usually barley) so that the yeast can turn it into alcohol and CO2, creating beer.

With varying tastes and alcohol content, beers range in flavor from chocolate stout, to peach flavors, and even licorice.  Like wine, each batch may vary in flavor, depending on the material that was put in the mix. The American brewing industry reached another milestone at the end of June, with more than 3,040 breweries operating for all or part of the month.  So visit a local micro brewery in your town, and take a tour and a taste of what they have to offer.  #343project

The overlooked sentry

#343project got sidetracked for a few days, as I am discovering very quickly how difficult this challenge is. One of the benefits I have found is looking at things with a third eye. Looking at things that are overlooked, an after thought, the dull and mundane. I present to you a story… 

Standing less than three feet tall is a guardian.  An often overlooked guardian that if ever called upon can save your life 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Cast of iron and steel, its well defined physique hardly gets the respect that it is due. Through rain, snow, sleet, hail, and often pee’d upon, it stands at the ready. It may drain itself (which is its sole purpose) just to save a life when called upon. 

The fire hydrant has been on guard, and saving lives all over the world since 1863. Giving it ten feet of cushion will ensure that you won’t get a ticket for violating its space. Be sure to always give this hydrant of life a bit of respect, or it may cost you dearly.  #343project

Locks of love from all over the world

If you have ever wondered why people locked their bike lock, combination lock, or pad lock to a fence, just know that it is a worldwide phenomenon.  In Paris it became so popular at the Pont de arts bridge that they all had to be removed.

Sweethearts attached their “love locks” to a gate, a fence, or a bridge to symbolize their love. Typically, the lovers would engrave their names on the locks and throw away the key to symbolize an unbreakable love. This tradition began in Serbia over 100 years ago.

In Paris, the sheer weight became so heavy due to 45 tons of locks nearly collapsing the fences spanning the bridge.  Outside the French bakery Amelies, here in Charlotte, we have a smaller version of love locks. Check back with me to see what the status of love is here in town. #343project

The Return of the Boom Bap

You may not be able to tell by looking at me, but I LOVE Hip-Hop!  What is called Hip-Hop these days is rap.  There is a distinct difference between the two; allow me to explain.  Hip-Hop began in the 70’s where a DJ would find the musical breakdown on a record, and with the use of two turntables, repeat that beat to the point where that seamless beat became a song within itself.  The emcee to some degree, covered up the space between when the DJ was repeating the record. (the break).  An Emcee would say something in a clever rhyme, or create a call and response with the crowd.  A rapper, on the other hand, still uses a rhyme (in some cases) but talks about him or herself with little or no regard for the audiences participation.

On Saturday night, my ears had the pleasure of attending a concert of one of the greatest emcees to ever do it.  Krishna Parker, also known as – KRS-one performed in Charlotte at a night club called The White House   .   Starting as an emcee in Bronx, NY in 1986 with his group Boogie Down Productions, KRS-one has released 13 studio albums, and has performed on many more. Now living in California,  KRS-one brought his lyrical skills, along with his DJ and son Kris Parker II to a thundering performance in front of a multi-racial sellout crowd of real Hip-Hop fans.  The original date of January 23rd was postponed due to snow, but I’m glad I got to celebrate my birthday the following week at a great show.  #343project  

Getting by with a little help from friends

Help.  We all need a little help from friends sometime.  There are times where we are too full of pride to accept help, but it is still quite evident that we need it.  Help can come in many forms; through volunteering, monetary, food,  or even labor.  Well, one of the perks of my wife Pam flying has been overnighting in many hotels around the country.  Although she may not use the shampoo, soaps, and lotions that are provided in the hotel, she brings them home.

There are many places throughout Charlotte,  (and even in your city) that are always in need of toiletries.  Non-Profits, Homeless shelters, and Battered women’s shelters are always on the lookout for donations that can be put to good use.  Many times, these essentials are not reflected in the budgets of these types of organizations, so every month we contribute to a cause in need.  Find a cause where you are, and give, serve, or donate.  Don’t just wait until the holidays, but remember those less fortunate need help all year round. #343project

Waiting on news from a friend

Going to the post office can be a benign event, but to some it may have more meaning.  As I went today to pick up my daily mail, I thought about the thousands of mothers and dads around the country looking to hear of news from a loved one.  A son or daughter in a far away place could be sending a letter home.  A care package of cookies, sweets, goodies, and toiletries can be sent to our military personnel in Iraq, or somewhere else overseas who are fighting to protect people’s freedom abroad.

As I journey through this #343project, it may be revealing to me the “back story” to some of the things and tasks that we perform everyday, that we give very little thought to.  I’m sure the “mail call” that our military personnel get while away means a whole lot more to them than we may think.  Suggest to me some things that seem insignificant to you,  that may mean a whole lot to others.  My eyes and ears are open to learning and seeing more.  Make your mom proud.    

Lighting up the night for the Carolina Panthers

Yes, yes, yes!  In their 21st season in the National Football League, the Carolina Panthers are representing the National Football Conference in the super bowl.  This will be their second appearance, but this time there will be no Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunctions. (although some may be waiting for a Beyoncé malfunction).  Superbowl 50 should see the Panthers bring home the trophy against the Denver Broncos.

Charlotte, NC is very proud of this team, and the way they’ve gone about their business this year.  With an impressive record of 17 wins and 1 defeat, we were just one win shy of having a perfect season.  To show their appreciation, the downtown / uptown of Charlotte has been lit up in the Panther blue colors.

I finally had the chance to roll out my new tripod.  Santa Claus (by way of my lovely wife Pam) delivered it to me, and as I was headed home, decided it was time to take it for a spin.  I found a clear evening, and a perfect nighttime view of the skyline, and fired away with a long exposure.  I was pleased with my results.  Be on the lookout for more #343projects after dark.

The best part of waking up is to a Smelly Cat!

It has been many years since the coffee craze struck. We find that people will stand in line for a latte, a mocha, or even a frappucino.  The great marketers in Seattle seemingly have almost made it mandatory that we get a white cup with the green “Siren” on it everyday.

Call me bucking the system, but today I returned to one of the local java spots to get my cup of Joe.  While looking for something interesting for you to see during my daily photo quest, I took a few moments, and walked into The Smelly Cat Coffee House. 

Immediately, I noticed a coffee roasting machine inside the store.  I saddled up to the coffee bar and started talking to the owner Cathy Tuman. As Cathy was roasting the raw green coffee beans, she explained the roasting process to me.  I peppered her with questions, and she gladly took me to coffee roasting 101 class.

I learned that Smelly Cat is the only coffee house in Charlotte that roasts their own beans.  Also, Smelly Cat is the oldest coffee house in town.  There was an older company in Dilworth, that went thru an ownership and name change, which thrust the cat into the oldest of the originals. Located in the NODA district at 514 E. 36th street, I encourage you to visit Cathy and her team to get schooled on something that so many of us love. Subscribe and follow my journey. #343project.

 

It’s been 18 years…Happy birthday Jaena

  Today’s session of the #343project is dedicated to my daughter Jaena. We celebrated her birthday at the Olive Garden restaurant, and had a great time with her friends and family. So today’s shoot was fairly easy, since I just had to bring the camera to cover such a momentous event.

 The birthday girl at 18

The birthday girl at 18

So here is my beautiful daughter at 18 years old.  I still remember the day that she was born because we did not know whether we were having a boy or a girl…that is one of God’s true blessings. So post your comments and follow this photo journey. #343project day 3.

Snowed in, but had to get out

I could not let this little bit of snow keep me couped up in the house all day. Luckily, Charlotte only got about three inches of snow. This was enough to shut many things in the city down. The thawing, and re-freezing of the roads made the driving hazardous.

After staying in on day one, I was already getting cabin fever, so I ventured out with my point and shoot camera.  I went to have some breakfast and coffee (that was my excuse) at one of my favorite spots #amelies.  

After breakfast, I slushed my way towards home, but I stopped by the Charlotte Museum of History. Behind that building I saw a path of untouched snow leading to it; my seven ton subject for todays #343project.

Here is the American Freedom Bell. This bell is larger than the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. It weighs 7 tons, is 7 feet tall, and also happens to be 7 feet wide. The bell was given as a gift to the people of Mecklenburg county many years ago. Please keep following, and leave your comments. #343project day 2.

This first drink is on me

Hi and welcome to my first posting of the #343project. Since I am also celebrating my birthday today, I figured this first round would be on me.  Take your pick, as there are many flavors to choose from. 

Start off wih a bacon flavored soda, or maybe celery? The choice is yours, i’ve got this round covered. Keep looking out and keep following my 343 day photography journey.  Let’s go… #343project day 1.

 Exotic flavored sodas. Take your pick.

Exotic flavored sodas. Take your pick.

Explaining my new undertaking #343 project

In 2015 I embarked on a year long project where every evening around 11:30, I would post a thought provoking message.  These messages were intended to be something positive in this negative world.  In viewing Facebook, and the news, I decided that something uplifting needed to be said.  

Since, I come from a small family, where I am the last male, I decided to leave those words as a part of my legacy. Now get ready for the #343project. Saturday January 23 is my birthday (i’m singing happy birthday to myself) and coincidentally there are 343 days until the new year. (Do you see where this is going)

 I have decided to challenge myself, by stoking my creative inner photographer by attempting to post a photo, everyday for 343 days.  It is my intention not to drop some crappy snapshot, but something to help you see this world differently. Please follow #343project, and see what I can discover. Also, i would love your support, comments, follows, retweets, suggestions, and love. Make your mom proud!

 Death valley, California #343project

Death valley, California #343project