December 19, 2011

The GOOD Life: Mike Schreiber

In the past 1+ years that I have been running this blog, I have been afforded the absolute privilege of interviewing some of the most awe-inspiring individuals from all around the world. To call this experience incredible would be an understatement. Amazing does not even begin to break the surface either. This feeling I have is worth more than a 1,000 words, much like a photo. It's no secret that I am a lover of photography. I am captivated by a photographer’s ability to catch a singular moment in time and to have that moment live on for eternity. This brings me to today's The GOOD Life feature, hip-hop photographer Mike Schreiber:

I had seen samples of Mike's work all over the web; they were these breathtaking black and white images of major, major hip-hop icons. The photo that caught my attention initially was of my favorite rapper Mos Def (Yasiin Bey). I love Mos Def. 
Scratch that, I love Mos Def.

There was something so vulnerable about this photo that tugged at my heart the first time I saw it. Perhaps it was the manner in which Mos’ hoodie & hat obscure some of his face. Maybe it was his furrowed eyebrows and slight smile. The far off look in his eyes could have been it too. Whatever it was, I knew that I had never seen Mos Def captured this brilliantly and that I had to identify the individual who took the photo. The photographer was none other than the incomparable Mike Schreiber and after viewing the rest of his work, I was 100% certain that I needed to interview him for this blog. I sent him an e-mail, crossed my fingers in the hopes that he'd respond, and did a lil' dance the next day when he e-mailed me back saying he'd love to participate. 

Please enjoy my interview with Mike accompanied by a few of the stunning photographs from his photo book entitled True Hip-Hop.

What is your definition of a “good” life? Do you feel as if that is what you are living?
To me, a good life is one with as little stress as possible, staying true to yourself and living peacefully. I really hate drama, so I try to stay away from people who cause drama and mayhem everywhere they go.
To me, having peace and love is the good life.

How important do you feel it is for people to follow their passions, even if doing so doesn't seem like a "secure" life choice?
Well, I don't think there is such a thing as a "secure" life choice. Everyone with a job can lose that job. Then what? I'd rather have at least some control over my destiny. I think it's important for people to follow their passions, but it's equally important to be realistic. It's one thing to be passionate about something, making a living doing that thing is a whole different animal.

What aspect of your work makes you the happiest? What aspect do you like the least?
The process makes me happiest. The process of interacting with people and shooting. Travelling, seeing new places and people and cultures. That's what being a photographer means to me. The thing I like the least is the game of trying to get work. It's exhausting.

If you could photograph anyone in the world that you haven’t photographed yet, who would it be? Why?
Hmmm...there's not really anyone in particular. I'm happy shooting anyone that I think is interesting. It really makes no difference to me who they are or what they do or if they're famous or not. Maybe Tom Waits or Keith Richards.

What’s your favorite song lyric?
"I am what I am, thank God" -Jimi Hendrix from "Message to Love"

Is there anything you know now that you wish you knew a few years ago that could have helped you along your life path?

Where do you see yourself and your photography in the next 5-10 years?
I see myself doing personal projects, having shows, selling prints and making little books.
I think that'd be cool. I'd like to just keep moving. Doing things. Seeing new places and people.

If you could give someone a quote to live by, what would it be?
"Live every week like it's Shark Week." Tracy Jordan, 30 Rock or
"The single most important component of a camera is the 12 inches behind it." Ansel Adams

December 10, 2011

My 'Finals Week' Playlist

Here are some of the songs that have been getting me through these strenuous hours of studying for my finals. Some are fairly new, some are quite old. Just click on the little play buttons and/or the songs and they will play in the little media player located in the bottom left corner of your screen. If the songs do not play, just refresh your screen and try again. Enjoy & the best of luck to all of you studying for finals too!

December 8, 2011

He's Got That Good Good: Curran Swint

Hello all! I hope that December has been treating everyone well so far. Today, I am pleased to present a brand-spanking new ‘He’s Got That Good Good’ post! It has been forever and a day since the last time I did one. Today’s feature is a young man named Curran Swint from Philadelphia, PA. What I like most about Curran, besides is sense of style, is his go-getter attitude. I have a lot of respect and admiration for people, especially young people, who allow their creativity to blossom by indulging themselves in a host of activities. Curran is a wearer of many hats and keeps himself busy as a stylist, event planner, blogger, and philanthropist. He has styled for the 2010 Philadelphia Fashion Week and The Source Magazine, and has been featured on major sites including the New York Times, GQ, Complex, The Source, Essence, and Ebony. Without further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce you to.. 

Curran Swint from Philadelphia, PA

How old are you?
I'm a 24 year old King

What do you do for a living?
I’m a fashion stylist & owner of a blog called

What 3 words would you use to describe your style?
Inspiring, Philly, Sub-urban

Where are your favorite places to shop?
House of Ra'oof & Kamouflage Concept store

What is the 1 article of clothing that you couldn't live without?
I can live without all of my clothes but without my glasses, I wouldn't be able to see.

November 30, 2011

StyleLikeU is a refreshingly brilliant site and one of my top favorite places on the internet. This site takes fashion and transforms it into a language which is spoken by each of the different people they feature. Why I love it so much is because it's all about the personal styles of a host of individuals: from designers, to writers, to students, to artists, and not just merely about the clothes. I am so intrigued by personal style because I feel that the way we dress expresses a bit about who we are as individuals, even if we don’t mean to do so. This site reaffirms that style is, perhaps, the broadest form of self expression that exists. I definitely encourage you to check out StyleLikeU and to watch the videos of these different people discussing what style means to them and how their lifestyles influence the way they dress, you will not be disappointed! In the meantime, I will leave you with a few of my personal favorites..

November 20, 2011

A Look Through My Lens, Part 5

A Look Through My Lens is an ongoing series on That GOOD GOOD Blog which features awe-inspiring photographers from all over the world. I have had the absolute privilege of interviewing 10 photographers thus far through this series and today I have 2 more amazing additions to the ‘A Look Through My Lens’ family. Please enjoy the stories of Andre Wagner from New York and Xavier Burgin from Tuscaloosa, Alabama as they share about their passions for their art forms and where their love for photography all began.

I've been shooting digital for almost two years now. What initially caught my interest was black and white photos and film development. I took a black and white film class in college for my initial interactions.
For my personal work, I would say it's more about portraits. But I also shoot some fashion look-books, editorials, and lifestyle photography.

I would definitely say lifestyle, real and meaningful are words that define my photography. For me it's really more about capturing the feeling and emotion than creating it.
In most of my photos people are the most important element. People just draw me and I love deciding on what still should live on forever.

Gordon Parks is my all time favorite. The way he captured beauty in his era was amazing. He was multi-talented by also being recognized as a painter, music composer, and a writer. His personal story is also something that people can relate to and realize they too can do whatever it is they work for. He was also the first African American Vogue fashion photographer breaking the mold for younger generations like myself.
I'm currently using a Nikon D7000. I've started with Nikon so it just makes sense to me.


What set me into photography was (first and foremost) film. I'm a film production major at The University of Alabama and I was going through stasis period of what I really wanted to do with myself. I started out believing I wanted to fashion myself as a new-age writer, but that fell through once I realized I wanted so much more. I started looking for something that involved the creation of stories while pushing an idea to wider audience. That's when film and screenwriting became my focus. From there, I knew if I was going to learn anything about the art-form I needed to dive in both the literary and cinematographic areas of film.  The first REAL device I picked up was a FLIP camera that only did video. Now that I look back on it I've jumped light years ahead, but it's interesting to see how my mode of progress and equipment changed. I took the Flip everywhere with me and used it to document my entire time at the Cannes Film Festival plus catch footage for my first short film (which I laugh about now). I also used it to pick up random footage to play with in media lab library. Some nights I would be there so long the assistants would have to ask me to leave. Once I started getting better with making really short videos I started counting ducks and saving my money up till I could buy the camera I wanted. Unfortunately, I kept on getting hit with setback after setback till the point I thought I'd never get enough money to buy my first camera. My pops watched all of this behind the scenes and gave me a lifesaving proposition. If I could at least save up half the money he'd go in with the rest plus helping me with equipment. I snatched the offer and ran with it and we finally picked a camera up.
If had to summarize my photos I would say they are "Random Ideas In Progress." That just means I'm still learning many of the in and outs of photography and I'm doing this on my own. Whether I'm reading a book or scouring the internet I'm just testing and re-trying everything I do. I want my photography to represent a testament of my growth. I want people to say my photographs have grown with me. As I mature, the relevance and craft of my work should age as well. My type of photos would be "growing pains" in a way. As for what I'm into, it's anything and everything. I've done a few photoshoots, but they are for my enjoyment and the model's benefit. I'm not looking for monetary gain. I just want to post interesting pictures on my website. Aside from the virtual randomness that is my desire for photography I end up taking a lot of personal photography dealing with my family. It's probably one of the best ways I've reconnected back with them along with giving me something tangible to look through. A good example of this is a good batch of photographs I took my grandparents just for myself. I'll probably post them soon, but they have literally never been photographed years...or at least not in a way that truly focuses on their person. That made a big difference for me. My photos just seems to either be spur of the moment or personal insights that clarify who I am.

3 words that describe my photography are random, personal, and puberty.
 My best photos have been ones of children. Even in a closed environment where I've asked them to do something a kid will always have that something about him or her that compels them to do what they want. This isn't a bad thing though. It's given me some of my most interesting pieces.

I use a Canon T2i (550D)rebel with a 50mm f/1.4 lens and a 18-55mm f/4. I'm still a work in progress so this is still my first camera, but I definitely see nothing wrong with it. Before I upgrade to anything else I want to fully understand the ins and outs of my work. I honestly believe a person with mastery in an area and outdated equipment will beat a novice in a field with the best technology. I want to be that old master in a way.
 One of my favorites is Philippe Halsman. He was able to influence the best of both worlds. He not only was able to work with great actors during his age, but he also was given open fields to work in a creative manner all of his won. I'll just say this. Go look him up and check out his work known as "Jump" pictures. It definitely gives you an idea of how a simple idea can make such an important impact.


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