So many things, people & events made my 2011 great. When I wrote everything out, it was hard to narrow down my list but here I am with what made my 2011 a positive experience. I’m looking forward to a brighter, bigger & badder 2012. Let’s do this together!

The Ted Williams Story – I was so inspired to see this man go from a homeless citizen to an internet & national sensation as someone who got a 2nd chance. Then I was sent on an emotional rollercoaster as details of his life started to unravel. Overall, he seemed to get help for his substance problems and that’s GREAT…. And I always smile when I hear his Kraft Macaroni & Cheese commercials. He truly does have a great voice.

I was saved from Hurricane Irene – Thanks to my good friends, Mary Brown, Sakina Spruell & Robert Ballatt, I had a safe place to stay after being evacuated evicted from my Manhattan hotel in the wake of Hurricane Irene. They ensured that I had transportation, a place to sleep, great company, food to eat & flowing conversation. I were VERY nervous & could not get a hotel to stay in to save my life and felt so thankful for having people reach out to me. It was truly awesome. And the thing about it is, if it was not for Twitter, I would not know Mary, Sakina or Robert. Social media ROCKS!

Hob Nobble Gobble – For the last few years, I have wanted to take my children to the Parade Company’s Hob Nobble Gobble event but them pricey tickets though…. This year, I was able to make this happen. I was able to get tickets for my momma, Amelia & my nephew, Tony. It was nice seeing the babies all dressed up & running around this massive family oriented carnival themed Black tie event. Amelia is still talking about it & that makes me smile.

Chicago Road Trip – Back in July, I took a road trip to Chicago with one of my good friends to see Osunlade perform with Tortured Soul at The Mid. The road trip part was a hot mess thanks to Mega Bus but the time in Chicago was nothing less than AWESOME. It was my 3rd or 4th time visiting Chicago but the 1st time that I actually enjoyed myself & had fun. We ate good, met up with friends, ate good again & danced like no one was watching. At least I did. Then, there was that roof top lounge…

SHRM Annual Conference in Las Vegas – It was a conference, I was with my human resources friends, random strangers, stayed at a luxury hotel & that is all that I can say. Everything else is stayed in Vegas…

Working for The NYLA Report – Through my continued work with The NYLA Report, I was able to photograph at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week for the fall/winter & spring/summer shows. You know, I love my time in NYC so adding photography, fashion & friends to the mix takes the experience over the top!

Racial Profiling in The East Village – One night last February while out with my homie Jose Vilson, we were doing a bar crawl and stopped in this one spot where we were the only people of color. As soon as we got to the bar, the DJ played “Africa” by Toto. We both started singing it loudly then realized what was going on. It was such a mess but we owned it. Now every time I hear the song, that night is the only thing that flashes in my mind. Later that night, I had some of the best tater tots on this planet but that’s another story for another time.

The Sip & See – Everybody knows that a Sip & See is the best way to get friends together…. So I have one whenever I travel and throughout the year in Detroit. Some of the best Sip & See events were the End of Summer Sip & See (Detroit), Sip & NYSee (New York) & Sip & D-See (Washington DC). If you were there, then you already know!

The Moth Story Hour – I have been a fan of the Moth Story Hour from jump and always wanted to attend the Detroit events to tell a story but I could not bring myself to do it. Well, August proved to be a month of courage for me because I did it. I attended the Detroit Moth Story Hour and was able to tell a story based on food. I did not win the slam but I did come in 4th place. When I left the stage, I felt so good. It was not like I had a fear but it is a different feeling to have a microphone, lights, stage & audience right there but I would so do it again.

The Foreign Exchange – I have been up on the Foreign Exchange for years & have always wanted to see them perform live in Detroit but every time they came to Detroit (twice before 2011), I was out of town. When I learned that they were going to be in town back in May, I locked the date on my calendar.  Not only was the concert kick ass, I was able to photograph it, while singing & dancing with my friends. It was a night for the record books!

NYC Analog Street Portrait Series – I made 3 trips to NYC in 2011 and was able to get some great images for my series! I have been happy to share the experiences here online but I was VERY happy to share the experiences with an audience when I presented at Pecha Kucha Night back in April in Detroit. I know this may sound strange but I felt like I was really breaking shit down like I knew what I was talking about.

America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – It was such a great opportunity to be the official photographer for the Parade Company’s America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year. The event and job was so big & I was able to pull it off with my team of photographers. Truly something that I am proud of!

Air Canada – You may recall when I had that drama with Air Canada who wanted to use one of my photos for an ad but did not want to pay me for it & how the rep that I talked to disrespected me. While that mess pissed me off, it was still a great moment for me because I took a stand on two fronts; no free work while others profit  & I will not be disrespected; especially by someone asking me for help!

My STUNNA SHADES – Need I say more? Mindspill