As I social distance from the comforts of my home in Philadelphia, I have plenty of time to reminisce on how through photography I was able to travel to my birth home of Jamaica. When I was contacted by Jewel from Jewells of the Nile for a destination photoshoot of her handmade, Ghanaian designs, I excitedly leaped towards the opportunity. With the same amount of care and diligence that I know Jewel puts in handcrafting her Ghana imported fashion pieces, I made sure to deliver that same energy when given the tasks of capturing the motherland affiliation that her pieces bring to the American closets that crave authenticity.
So I showed my own authenticity. I knew for certain that I wanted to shoot in a rural Jamaican market. Growing up, going to town , meant shopping and running errands. It was my favorite thing to do then and till this day I am still inspired by the hustle and bustle of the local farmers, vendors, and people.
Patois filling the air as bartered prices came down. I wore two crowns during this shoot being both the photographer and stylist. With each look I wanted to tell the story of the Jamaican streets and how they blended flawlessly, lovers of history, might say how the ancestry blended together as Jamaica met Ghana. We even celebrated Ghana’s Independence day while we were on the trip. Ghana’s Independence day is 6 March 1957, and Jewel was also born 3/6 so it was the perfect time to celebrate both days. We took this trip BEFORE the world lost its mind. Jamaicans and Ghanians are a very similar people. The slave ships that brought enslaved Africans to the Caribbean were stolen from most of West Africa. We were populated by Nigerian, Liberian, and Ghanian slaves, and some of their customs, a bit of their language, and MUCH of their culture seeped into our soul and soil. The colors in each of the skirts matched the orange, yellow, and greens of the fruits around us. Every vibrant pattern matched the atmosphere.
You can’t go to Jamaica without stepping your feet into the sand that leads to the clearest of beaches and hidden lagoons. One of the hallmarks of a brand that separates me from others is how to differentiate.. Differentiation is the perceived distinctiveness of your personal brand. What makes you stand out? My brand represents love and adventure. Whether that’s capturing a groom shed a tear as he sees his bride for the first time, or following Jewell into Jamaican waters as she slinks unto a raft. Intimacy is not only shared between lovers. My clients easily become my muses and I am honored to be able to showcase their own masterpieces of a life. I’ve waded in waters, climbed rocks and trees, and dodged the busiest of foot traffic just to get the perfect shot. Yes, I’m that photographer. If you book your session with me, I’ll make sure that we organize your vision properly to ensure we are on the same page professionally, but also make sure there is room for spontaneity when shooting. If you visit my Instagram, you wouldn’t know that some of my best work is sometimes the outtakes! Even the brief moments in between creating aren’t missed by my camera.
It means so much to me that my work provides the illustration to the story each of my clients want to tell. What brings me comfort during this unprecedented time is thinking about the other narratives I’ll be hired to help create in the future. To make sure you don’t miss out on my next adventure, subscribe to my email list and be notified whenever I have a new blog post! Please be safe. We’ll be together again soon!