The Ravi Coltrane Quartet

Saturday nights in Philadelphia usually brings  big name to to town for the Jazz community. This weekend was no exception. Ravi Coltrane, the son of legendary saxophonist John Coltrane, came into town to bring some warmth to a city full of Brotherly Love. He brought along some friends that are proven in their own right. On guitar we have guitarist Adam Rogers, Dezron Douglas on bass, and E.J. Strickland on the drum kit. These guys brought their A game to town with a mixture of ballads such as Lush Life to the classic fan choice of the evening, Giant Steps. To be in a family of royalty with the last name of Coltrane, Ravi is a very humble individual. Talking with all the musicians and hanging around to also enjoy the jam session that followed his show. It’s always a good thing when you can see musicians of all walks of life sharing and having fun.

We Love You Elvin

Growing up in Morrisville, Pa, we were a close knit community.  Some families were larger than others, and we pretty much knew all of the members. Myself, we had six kids. Other families that I remember back then, growing up in the 1970’s had 6,7, and 8 kids. The Velez’s had 7 kids, and I knew them all. When I heard that the eldest was going through a tough time of his life, I felt that there would be a lot of love in the room for this occasion. Was I wrong? Nope. As I pulled up to the catering hall, there were people outside mingling. The parking lot was packed similar to a wedding reception. This however, was more than a wedding reception. This was a celebration of family, friendship, love, and life.

Elvin has bladder cancer, and although while giving a speech, he didn’t know the technical name for it, we all know the results all too well of this terrible sickness. We’ve all lost someone to this, but this warrior is here for the full fight. If you’ve ever met Elvin, you would never know he was under any doctor’s care. He can brighten a room of 500 people. If the lights blew, you could read a book by standing next to Elvin. That’s what people showed up for, to be near Elvin and show him that he’s the reason for some of the happiness in their lives. His family showed gratitude with some great food and a truckload of door prizes. If you didn’t come, you missed out on enough prizes to send Oprah’s crowd home with. In these images, I tried to show the vibe of the room that evening with what seemed to be over 300 people, all in celebration of Elvin. I saw some people I’ve seen recently and some I haven’t seen since I rode a Big Wheel. Talking and laughing, food and drink, family and friends, yes, if you know Elvin, if you grew up with Elvin, if you work with Elvin and you missed this occasion, reach out to him. Keep fighting Elvin. You have a whole group of soldiers behind you.

To see more images from this event, click on this link. BEEF AND BEER

 

 

 

Demanding Respect; Pulling Trump’s Card

In the shadow of last Fall’s election, women are filled up to the gills with the rhetoric of Donald Trump. He continually put down women, handicapped, and those from other lands that are here only to try for a better life. Today, the lava spilled over the edges. Not just in the Unite States, but the whole world joined in solidarity to express their dislike of the forty fifth President of the United Stated. Never in my life have I seen an election in this country effect the world. The country at this time is even more divided. Friends losing friends, religions are being looked at with more scrutiny than ever before.

The following images that I captured are only an example of the emotion. You’ll see tears, you’ll see smiles, and you’ll see creative ways that individuals chose to express their feelings by way of signs and other verbal shouts. I don’t want to use too many words to explain what happened today, but I would like you to take your time viewing the images. Maybe you feel these issues don’t matter to you because you’re not a women, but this goes beyond that. If you are reading this, a woman birthed you. She had that right, but people are afraid those rights and other freedoms are about to go way of the dinosaur.

A fun day in the park; Family portraits show family love

What a beautiful time I had capturing memories for the Evangelista family in beautiful Lorimer Park in Montgomery County, Pa. This was my first time at this particular park which hosts a ranger station and picnic area. During our shoot, there was a fire made and we were able to get some warmth while creating some late Fall images. The kids gave me all the personality while the parents kept the calm. This time of the year there aren’t many leaves left, but we were able to find some beautiful locations within the park. You can look at the images and see how the family shows love. From the parents personal images, to the young ones having fun on the covered bridge. When I shoot a family, I want to portray just that, the love that each individual brings. It’s like a computer, you have all kinds of separate parts all working together to make it work. Take away one component, things stop working. The Evangelista family have no worries. The way they all worked together, showed love for each other, showed patience and understanding, and this was just a photo shoot. I’m sure they will be even more be there for each other years down the road.

 

Tamia and Terrence celebrate a milestone- Sweet Sixteen

Growing up, I wanted my teenage years to fly by so that I could hurry up and become an adult. I’ve learned as an adult that these times are meant to be cherished. You will never have the freedoms as we did when we were teenagers. This night, twins Tamia and Terrence celebrated a big step in life. When you turn sixteen, you’re basically getting as close to adulthood, but without the responsibilities. Your freedoms are broad and slowly slipping away. This is more reason to have your closest family and friends with you as you make these steps. When you have great parents who are understanding, this transition can be a breeze. You will always need family to get through the tough times as well as embracing you when you’re successful.

During this occasion, I noticed so much love in the building. I saw their friends from school, family from out of town, and the closest friendships that seem will be around for many years to come. The establishment was beautifully decorated and the smell of the food had me shaking for a few of my camera shots. Brother and Sister entered the main room and everyone melted with emotion. The parents were so proud and you can tell by the subtle tears flowing down their cheek. That’s where it is though, when you can see your children and become emotional over the thought of where they came to where they are now, that’s something special. This celebration of the sixteenth birthday of Tamia and Terrence was a very exciting evening. I was so glad that I was chosen to document this special occasion, to show the transition from kid to adult, the documentation of love.

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