Patience, man. Patience. It’s so important. Sometimes—and I stress, only sometimes—I get down on myself about when goals I’ve set for myself will be achieved and materialize. The goal with this HTS endeavor is to tell the stories of creatives while entertaining and/or inspiring my audience. And I’ve been making strides in that way.

But like most people, I want to be compensated for my work in ways other than “Sick vid’” tweet replies and Instagram likes with flame emoji-peppered comments. I gotta get paid, y’all. So imagine my delight days ago, when I found out that a particularly huge singer was interested in me shooting them for a piece. And that same day, I left a meeting with another record label that all but assured I’d get worthwhile pay for an upcoming Los Angeles shoot with a newbie rapper. It was a nice to be me that day, walking with head held high, Bart Simpson strut strong.

[I’m tempted to give this post a sad ending, though it’d both be premature and bad energy to toss without at least some positive nugget to chew along with it. The truth is I’m anxious and nervous about whether the shoots will actually happen. I have too much experience as a traditional entertainment journalist to be the giddy kid that has no clue plans can be cancelled and act like anything is for sure until it’s in the can.  That said…]

I’m currently sitting on a series of emails that have been shot into my inbox since that oh, so hopeful day. The big singer cannot confirm the weekend shoot yet, but they “want to do it,” his management writes. “Maybe next week.” And the LA shoot that was all but certain based on the meeting has been postponed. The concert it revolves around has been delayed a bit. But “I will keep you posted,” their publicist says.

Both of the plot twists have an air of hope to them. Both suggest, “Not now, but soon.” Everybody’s spokesperson is being sweet, reassuring even. So it’s all a sign of things to come. I am on the right path. Days like this require patience and confidence. The former is what I wrestle hardest with. But the thing about patience is that its options are simple: Wait or Quit. And since I don’t quit (ever), I’ll wait.

My day will arrive. Success is welcome, even when it comes later than desired. I’ll be here for it. And you’ll be here to watch. By the way, thanks for your time, eyes and ears. Talk to you again soon.


For Students: Slow Motion

When you’re clueless and don’t know where to begin as a newbie to cameras and editing footage like I still relatively am, each skill or trick seems like it will be some arduous task to learn. Since shooting my first video, I’ve wanted to incorporate slow motion into my work. But I didn’t know how. And it seemed hard. Did I look into it? Hardly. I didn’t really need it, so I put it off until I had a shoot that I knew would benefit from it.

And that came when I knew I’d be shooting DJ Moma at his Everyday People party. Then it was time to figure that slow-mo shit out. Guys, the Internet is your friend. Take a break from goofing off (just for a bit!) and use your keyboard powers to better yourself. A buddy found a tutorial from that Creator Class that explained slow motion in a very basic way for my simple self. This helped me and so I pass it to you. Learn up, homies.

Inspirations: The Coveteur

The CoveteurIn my last post, I talked about be the original visual inspiration for the He Tells Stories site. Today, let’s get into the future and what site is making me adjust to more of what I envision this place becoming.

Over the last month or so, I’ve happened upon and become a huge fan of The Coveteur. It’s a style site that profiles artistic people from all walks of life. R&B singer Miguel, model Chrissy Teigen and Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington have all opened up their home or creative space to let the site photograph and interview them. They hop into their closets and talk about their favorite pieces and in the midst of all that, the reader gets a greater understanding of who the person is overall.

TC also goes the extra mile. Not only do they identify the brand of the blazer, jeans, or shoes someone is wearing, they give you an opportunity to “Shop the Look” by linking off to the article of clothing’s site so you can purchase it. So as Coveteur visitor, you are entertained by the stories and pictures (maybe even inspired, depending on the subject’s interview) and you can shop. That’s a good experience.

Beyond that, The Coveteur just looks good. It’s busy, but not overdone. There’s a saying that iconic French designer Coco Chanel made popular that goes something like, “Once you’ve dressed, and before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.” That comes to mind when I look at their template. Both of their home and article pages are full of content. But there’s just enough white space to not make things look cluttered. That’s a tough beam to walk.

So yeah, I want that. I want a site that entertains, enlightens and inspires people. And I also want the shit to look good. I know that so far I’ve only mentioned fashiony stuff as look inspirations. That’s because I think aesthetics are damn near as important as content. And I find that fashion folk tend to lead the charge on that front.

I can’t wait to show y’all the new site and the logo. I’m aiming for the reveal to come in about two weeks.


Inspirations: Scott Schuman’s The Sartorialist

Image from The Sartorialist

The first incarnation of this site (“first,” because another is coming in the next few weeks. Been working hard on it!) was inspired by style photographer Scott Schuman’s The Sartorialist blog. His site is essentially a clean, white board that showcases his pictures. I admire its simplicity. Go to his blog, look at one or two shots he’s posted daily with minimal text. Get in, get out. With that in mind when I began working on the He Tells Stories site, I basically told a designer, “Let’s do that!” And months later, I’m realizing that I’m going to need a bit more activity to showcase my videos. I’ll write about another site I’m chasing because of its look and purpose now and why in another post soon. But back to The Sartorialist!

I almost felt corny writing about Scott, because he’s such a popular figure in the fashion/street style photography world. Like, “Duh, of course you love his site. Everyone does!” And it’s true. But when you’re finding your way like I am, blueprints like his are worth a look. I want to take pictures and create images that are as striking as his. And I want a site that’s as efficient, too. It’s coming soon.

Inspiration is a funny thing. You take a little bit from this and that. But if you’re not careful, you’ll lose your personality. I’m looking forward to bringing more of me to the table by telling my stories while incorporating ideas that come from elsewhere.

Cheers to that.