Tuesday, July 14, 2009

So Long to my First

When I heard Vibe Magazine was folding, I was momentarily shocked. Then I realized I haven't shot for them in years, but it did reflect the curtain closing tighter and tighter on my editorial career. George Pitts (former Director of Photography at Vibe) was one of the first few people to ever entertain me for a meeting. I had been sleeping on my friend's couch in bedstuy for the summer and would hit the subway every day with at least 2 portfolios. Doors were being closed on me every other hour and I was tired of meeting no one, being broke, and dripping sweat. Then George gave me 10 minutes. I was nervous sitting on the black leather couch in the lobby. Vibe's photographers were such a huge inspiration to me, especially Dan Winters and Dana Lixenberg. Dora Samosi led me down the stairs and everyone who could took the time to look at my work. It was my first portfolio and was full of my friends, all natural light.  I was so pleased to hear George say my pictures were soulful, and take the time to comment on nearly every image. That was all the juice I needed to keep on pounding the pavement. When I got back to the bay, he hired me to shoot Ledisi. It was August 2002 and my first editorial assignment from a NY publication. I was still working as a photo researcher at Wired Magazine and did the shoot on the weekend in their kitchen. The shoot validated me as a professional photographer and gave me the mojo to keep on keepin on. 

Thanks Vibe, for giving me inspiration and opportunity. 
(George Pitts has a nice synopsis of his time there on SPD: http://www.spd.org/2009/07/george-pitts-on-vibe.php)

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