National Action Network - Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Policy Forum

Each year, Reverend Al Sharpton hosts the incumbent Mayor of New York City at the headquarters of the National Action Network, for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Policy Forum.
So, as it goes, this year's guest speaker was Mayor Bill DeBlasio. 

Disclaimer:
This was done with purely journalistic intent and not for the sake of promoting or endorsing an agenda. 
As always, my only interest is in the story of the day.

Speaking of the day, see the images I was able to gather below. (interior photos taken from press row) .

For more content and goings on, hit the facebook and Instagram buttons conveniently located to the left, and I'll be right back here before you know it. 

Don't be afraid to become addicted. 

- Henry

New Year's Eve at Coney Island - Inaugural Ball Drop

The closing of 2014 and the entrance of 2015 marked the very first New Year's Eve celebration at Coney Island.
It also marks the changing of the guard as former Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz gave way to Eric L. Adams

Adams' first act was to create an NYE event for Brooklyn-ites.
There were successes and some things that could stand to be improved.

Take a look at some of the images below and we'll get into some of the pluses and minuses after that. 

BTW: It's a gallery block so you click on the image to see the next one. Cool, who knew?

So, the bad first. The lighting, the lighting, the lighting.
For my purposes as a photographer, it was incredibly difficult to manage 

The standard lighting from the boardwalk, and whatever ambient light the landmark gave off, was what was used to light the entire bullpen where the attendees stood. 
Not at all 'media-friendly' but I suspect that this is something they'll look into when there's an assessment done. Hopefully. 

The next tiny issue was that there was little notice to the public about where to look out for the night's festivities. When the artists left the stage and the MC finished his segments, the audience was kind of left to guess. 
Fireworks began to go off and, as a group, we weren't certain about where to look although the water nearest to us was the best bet. 

The last thing, and a pretty huge problem to say the least, is that the digital ball and countdown clock faced the direction opposite of the people who came out to see it. 
I get that it faces the community and that it probably makes more sense in the long run, but it didn't work on this evening.
The countdown and cheer that we all have come to expect on such a grand occasion was lost. 

No countdown over the PA system, nothing.
Everyone there was underwhelmed and confused. 

Not to mention that the fireworks that followed were short in duration and not very spectacular to put it mildly. 
That would have all been acceptable if it had all paid off.  

With that said, I think the idea of giving Brooklyn residents an alternative to packing in with a million or so people uptown was great, and a long time coming. 

The good?
There didn't appear to be any technical hiccups, the audio was done very well, and the fire dept. was on hand in case of emergency. 

The borough, and the city, will build on this and I have little doubt that where we've begun will be an afterthought when we see what this event will be in the future. 

'til then,
Don't be afraid to look up the answers.

- Henry

Photography and blogging go together like...

Hand and shutter button?
New York and pizza?

Something like that. Didn't really take a lot of time to think that one through but, now that I've got your attention (hopefully), we can get all caught up and reacquainted. 

So, I took a little break from the blog scene to get out on the streets of NYC and get some intimate shots of the beautiful people and attractions.  

Central Park Night

The shot above is one I sneaked in after a night shoot for a Christmas card with a great couple from the upper east side. I could've spent a lot more time there that night but it got cold pretty quickly, and I gained a real good appreciation for the importance of gloves. Still haven't found the right pair. Something thin with grip but still warm would be great but I digress. 

What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, there was this time I went by the World Trade Center

 

It doesn't take being a NYer to feel the significance of the location. I can assure you that the moment I stood there and considered what I was witness to was not lost on me.

Reminded me of what photography is really meant to do for us.
Some may look at any image of the Trade Center/Lower Manhattan area and feel sorrow.
I look at what it's become and what is being built and I feel a sense of pride for how far we've come in such a short time.

Nevertheless, it's important to document these times in our lives so that we continue to feel.

Well, I think that's a good place to leave it this time around.

Up next, I'll add more of my street shots, get into a little talk about my process, and I'll even have a site exclusive or two.
For access to images from all of my recent travels you can visit the home page and hit the buttons for the facebook and Instagram pages. I'll see you back here soon for another campfire.

'til then,
Don't be afraid to let the sparks fly.

- Henry


 

Thumbtack

Thumbtack is the latest and greatest tool for improving the presence of your business in the marketplace. 
This is particularly important for me because there are so many who need photography services, yet so few places where customers can review profiles and compare offers. 

You may ask "wouldn't you worry about losing business to people who price lower?" 
My answer is, whether it's realized early or discovered late, you get what you pay for. 

In reviewing my sample gallery I believe you can be sure that I will provide the beauty and impression that you'd like your images to give when you show them to family, friends, clients etc.
When a potential client chooses a photographer based on price structure alone, those assurances are usually not there.

So I will happily continue to use Thumbtack for my business and I recommend that everyone give it a try whether you're a provider or someone seeking a service professional.

'til next time,
Don't be afraid to go wireless.

Henry R. 

Inspired

After about a month of near-misses, toe fractures, and only heaven know what else, I finally got the pleasure of meeting and shooting with Mr. Jercarr Morales. 

Before anything I have to say that this young man has the kind of positive attitude, open mindedness, and work ethic that rare.
Because of this, the shoot went swimmingly from my trip up the mountain (Cloisters, Washington Heights, NY), til the time we left and JCM (trying to be the guy known for giving the star their moniker) saved my tripod from being lost forever at the McDonalds. 

It wasn't long into it that a great spot for photos stood out:

The more we spoke, the more impressed I became. Here is a 22 year old guy putting himself through school who works to put together a lookbook/portfolio to pursue an acting career in his spare time. 
Knowing this, I knew Jercarr would find as important to put everything into his work as I do. 

I'm going to stop talking and post a couple more photos below so that you can see for yourself. 

Visit www.facebook.com/jercarrmorales2 
and, hit the blue button at the bottom to keep up with me and see more shots from this set.
 

'til next time,
Don't be afraid to be first.

- Henry

Oooh, a new one!

I am clearly the king of this updating thing. ::tongue in cheek::

I feel the urge to reference 'Wind Beneath My Wings' and 'Hero' but, neither is appropriate in this case so  let me just tell you what I've been up to.

Since last post I was finally able to meet with a few folks registered at Model Mayhem. Wasn't sure it was going to happen but thankfully it did because I was able to meet a few lovely ladies like Hillary here: 

and the sweetheart Natasha:

Got to run around Central Park West and then took my first trip to Brooklyn Heights Promenade. 
Wasn't in the schedule this time around but I look forward to doing the tourist-y thing next visit as I stand in line far longer than anyone should for anything, to try Grimaldi's pizza.

Just gave myself the idea to document that experience and perhaps give my own pedestrian review. 

I won't promise because I am the king of the update, but I'll give it an honest effort. Maybe you could remind me?

Ooh ooh, let me remind you that you can connect and see more at the facebook profile linked below AND, you can see more of these beauties at their respective pages too.

Thanks for hanging out and,
Don't be afraid to get tape on your fingers.

- Henry

Good times

Last weekend I had planned to celebrate Easter the way I would any other holiday. I wanted to numb my brain with TV marathons and eat whatever I can find for take out around the way. 

Colors, accessories, definitely picked up some ideas. 

Colors, accessories, definitely picked up some ideas. 

Just then I got a call from the family requesting me at Sunday dinner. I love any chance to see them so of course I went but I couldn't pass up the chance to take my camera along. 

They live in the Coney Island area of Brooklyn, NY where I've shot before so I decided that it would be a fun shoot rather than work unless I got something that stood out and was 'must see.'

The two lovely ladies are like sisters to me so I wanted to present them in a way that shows them at their best but also their most natural.
For me, being able to capture personality is the most important non-technical aspect to photography. 

 

Naturally (pun intended) they were great because 1) they love being photographed and, 2) once I had a spot, they worked through gestures and poses until I gave the okay. 

It was breezy and getting colder despite the sunlight by the time we got there but they worked through. 

Dav-1.png

While there were enough good photos to hand over had this been a paid booking, the pic above is one I definitely wish I had a second chance at.
I didn't pay attention to where the shadows fell, and didn't get the angle I should have.
I was a couple of steps to my right from having a really good one. Lesson learned, lesson learned. 

Back at it this weekend with my first male model shoot. Look for new images from that in the gallery and head over to the facebook for exclusives and community discussion.

'Til then, don't be afraid to have your pb&j on toast.
- HR

Welcome

It's been a long time coming but I'm finally getting this thing going. 
Browse my gallery and visit the facebook page to engage the community and tell me what you think.

Thank you for your interest and I hope you will return often!

Henry