A Session with @Goode_Visions

I’m not going to lie, when I first received Bryanna’s message, I was part excited and part nervous. Part of me was thinking, “Wow this is definitely how people get trafficked or tricked into nude posing,” because we all know that one person who accepted a photographer’s invite and then his/her nudes end up online (or we’ve all watched and read Young Adult novels where it happened).

But the more optimistic part of me was thinking, “Wow, has my content really reached out to people? This will be great!” So I stalked her Instagram and I was in love with her portrait shots. I’ve seen so many black and brown people photographed by “photographers” where the edits come out looking ashy and dull. Of course, there’s a time and place where that’s the aesthetic, but it should never be at the expense of the model or his/her skin tone. We’ve all seen those “photographers” throw a filter on the picture, add some blue shadows, lower the saturation, and claim that this is the best edit of the picture. While this might work for some skin/under tones, it does not work with all. Meanwhile, the model looks washed out, sickly, and it’s just not the most flattering.

Bryanna was able to capture these portraits and really make the models come to life. Each of her pictures had different edits, based on the model, and that is the craft of a photographer. Check out a still of her IG:

But what do I know? I just blog and take pics on my iPhone with help of natural lighting. I brighten up my pics, sometimes turn saturation up, and call it a day.

Back to the point… because this girl sent me a DM and because I’m a sucker for an adventure, I said yes. We chatted a bit to get to know each other and figure out our schedules before we exchanged numbers to set up a date.

Not going to lie, when the date came around, I sat around my house, and prayed that she would reschedule. I even did the thing that I do, “Hey! Are you still up for later?” Not sure why I do it, nobody ever cancels. After a brief pep talk and a much needed full skincare routine, I finally started getting ready. The whole drive there, I was pumping myself up. Honestly, I was chuckling a little because I have no idea how to pose. At all. You might scroll through my ‘Gram and think otherwise, but scroll through my Photos and ask any of my friends… I cannot pose. I honestly felt so sorry for Bryanna, thinking, “Wow, she’s really going to look at me sideways when I just serve her my face and nothing else.”

it was a cute serve

So, we’re finally in Baltimore, and we finally meet up. We meet in Fells Point, by the water. I used to live in Fells for 3-4 months of my life (let’s not necessarily relive those months). I even texted my old roommate that I was literally outside of our apartment.

I meet her at Pitango, a cute little bakery and my favorite spot to get a Matcha Latte.

I took my mother once so we can soak up the water front views while sipping our lattes. We took some photos there before we both looked at each other, “So now what?” We had planned on going to Rawlings because it’s a garden (hence my choice in outfit, shirt courtesy of my amazing and generous little sister), but we found out that it closed at 4pm. We met up at 5pm. HAHA. The math did not add up. We got our little cardio in by walking around Fells, allowing Bryanna to use her good(e) vision (haha, see what I did there?) to pick out some places to snap some pics.

I really was worried about my posing (or lack thereof). I explained to her my, er, inexperience and she did not laugh at me. Not that I was expecting her to laugh at me, but I was expecting some sort of internalized eye roll. None of that. No judgments. Just all laughs and smiles. She was giving me pointers on how to sit, how to position to head, how to position my feet and my body. I felt like a toddler with two left feet trying to position myself. While these photos may not look like much posing, it beats the slumped shoulders and bad body angles I’m used to. Seriously, scroll through my photos, for every 14375 photos, there is one good one. With Bryanna, she snapped a couple and boom, magic. But hey, this is all about growth! So next session, I’m coming with better poses.

My sole contribution was suggesting going to Bond Street because it was a bit more “modern” than the rest of historic Fells.

After about an hour, we wrapped things up and went our separate ways, where I then met up with two friends at Chilango’s, a new tequila bar that opened up across my old apartment. I swear… if I had still lived in Baltimore, that would have been MY SPOT!!! But this post is about my time with @goode_visions, so check back later for a brief post on Chilango’s.

It was a quick turnaround time from shoot to receiving the pictures (shot on Friday, received on Monday). I had checked them out while vacationing in Jamaica, and I couldn’t stop gushing about them. They were way too adorable. I’m glad I got to share them with you! I hope you check her out :).

Until next time!

The Land of Kush: Vegan Food for the Soul

For Summer 2018, I have decided to vegan(ish). I started in June. Like my seagan that I was during Lent. Vegan foods and meals, sometimes with a side of fish. Although, as I have been diving deeper into plant-based vegan, I’ve been straying away from supplementing parts of my protein intake with fish. But, I’ve read horror stories about people becoming violently ill after ingesting even chicken broth after months of not eating meat. SO, that will not be me. Homegirl is definitely going to have meat once a month. So for my blog posts, don’t be concerned about all the meat posts, lots of my posts are queued up for future posting.

After a night of wild shenanigans, with my other vegan-ish friend, we went to a black owned vegan restaurant: The Land of Kush.

kush9744

I’ve been here once before, because my friend wanted some vegan crab cakes. Kush is known for having the best vegan crab cakes, buuuutttttt, it’s made out of gluten (seitan). I’m a bit gluten and lactose intolerant, so to avoid dying later, I had to take a pass on the crab cakes today. But honestly, I’m never going to not eat a real crab cake. So if I’m going to die, might as well have the real deal amiright?

 

It’s a cute little place. You can sit down and eat, but it’s mainly you go in, get your food, and dip out.

kush9754

Everything is pre-made and heated, for a fast casual experience. I don’t like soul food, so I stayed away from the usual culprits: collard greens, candied yams, mac & cheese…

 

I got the lentil burger with gravy (in the cup), “tuna” salad, and rice.

 

My friend got the collard greens and candied yams haha. But we both decided to get some of the fresh juice. She got the ginger spice (and boy, did it have a kick!) and I got the liver detox (after years of college induced binge drinking, my liver probably needed some extra TLC).

 

Goodness! The food was AMAZING. And man, it was hearty and filling. For the first time at a restaurant, I wasn’t feeling bloated and gross (probs because this is my first time eating something without any of my food intolerances and plant based so funny how life works). I brought the rest of my food home, and I cannot wait to finish the rest.

Anyways, we will see how the rest of the summer brings with my vegan lifestyle, and more importantly… how long I will be vegan. So, wish me luck.