fashion. wine. design... and my life.

Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Ready. Set. Click. Yes, she Canon!

In Uncategorized on March 8, 2015 at 1:18 pm

unnamedIntuitively creative and artistic, eh?

Those in my circle would offer that as an assessment of my current photography skills… and humbly, I would  agree.

Attracted to every aspect of photography… countless hours of snapping images, reading, studying other photographers and web searching have been invested.  Haha — an abundance of trial and error indeed — if you only knew how I have pained over creating bokeh in my compositions!

Self- taught, and a decent photographer… I know that the information untapped is considerable.  Still perplexed by aperture, still perfecting composition and working my camera in manual mode, the mission of becoming astute continues to be the goal.

Action plan?


The action plan has been implemented and it is time for that next step… one that is LONG overdue.

Actually, it should read as such:  L. O. N. G. OVERDUE… for commencing tomorrow, yours truly is beginning studies as a student in the Washington School of Photography, Professional Photography Program.

Shhhhhh.  Listen carefully… you can hear me shouting from the rooftops…“Oh freaking happy day!”

All things happen for a reason…. and the reason that this endeavor hasn’t happen sooner, will perhaps one day be revealed.  I know for certain that timing is crucial; patience even more so.  Especially since two years prior, I participated in conversations with the program registrar and opted out — knowing that a “right-fit” wasn’t right then.

Since that conversation, the signs indicating that I needed to move forward, have been everywhere.   Even more so now…

How does one describe that feeling… the feeling of knowing that the moment is now right.  Elated?!  Yep… elated!

Big picture though…  29 days ago, my 45th birthday was celebrated.

For me, birthdays offer wonderful opportunities to be relished by loved ones, reflect on accomplishments and roadmap the way for new birthday wishes made.

Since turning 40 in the midst of an awful snowstorm… celebrating with friends and family in Paris on my 42nd birthday and shaving my head on my 43rd birthday, that day, 7 February, serves as momentum for newness.

More important, the wisdom that is gained with each passing birthday, I am truly compelled to share.  Since I am constantly learning from others, my hope is that perhaps someone; mainly my two children and especially my daughter (who, even though she will not admit it, is always carefully watching her mother’s actions) can possibly gain something from my experiences.

Back to the big picture…

Tomorrow marks more that just the beginning of a photography program.  It marks the notion that all things are possible and it is NEVER too late to pursue your aspirations!

Back in late December of 2014, serious preparations for this program officially went into play.  All with the objective of pursuing a dream and entering another birthday with a next step of improvement secured — fulfilling a wish made.

In being transparent, the African proverb – It takes a village – is applicable to me.  Without embarrassment I say that even at 45 years of age and working full-time outside of the home, the financial investment of family has enabled this opportunity to become reality.  For that, I am eternally grateful… and deeply touched that they too share my dream and see my potential.

More transparency…

What used to embarrass me and cause me angst in conversation is no more.  Never a untruth told… I just artfully evaded the question or skillfully used semantics in my favor when answering… but truth be told, I did not graduate from college.  For a long list of reasons (some 23 years later, many of which now seem so frivolous) the years spent at The College of William and Mary did not yield a degree… instead, a wealth of knowledge, an unforgettable experience, a close circle of friends, a compassionate man who became my husband and a career in interior design.  Haha — perhaps I did graduate, eh?!

Sans degree, I still know that knowledge is key and educating/investing in yourself is a nonnegotiable.

So… with the many hats that I wear, I am eager to add another and take my photography to the next level.  When my children become adults and coherent to rhythms of adult life, I am hoping that my actions make them proud.  I am hoping that they view me as a role model and see my appetite to improve myself as tenacious… and in their own life, they too follow suit.

This past Christmas, my husband gifted me with a phenomenal 50mm lens for my camera.  His way of offering me a nudge in the direction of my goals.  His words… “Kisha, you are about to blow up!”  My interpretation of his words… in a true T.I fashion, “do it, do it, do it… whatcha waiting for?  Big things poppin’!”

I’m on the move… and my appetite for photography is ravenous.

And… over this year-long program, I intend on quenching it and getting full!

Taking it one step further, my life as a stella & dot stylist and the company mission have definitely been a fantastic influence on my photography ventures… that mission:  to give EVERY woman the means to style their own life.

Well here I go… here I go!

Ahem… what was that?  Did you say you needed to hire me to take your picture?  (wink. wink)


Very soon.










































A flavorful love story… #kbrsips

In Uncategorized on November 19, 2014 at 1:13 pm

With an abundant appreciation of its taste and a constant desire to experience more, I am forever on the prowl for a great bottle of wine.

Experimentation is the norm…. and with many successes, and a considerable amount of fails, the actions of the hunt, are always enjoyable.

Inhale… sip… taste.

Inhale… sip… taste… it is my dance routine with wine.

A dance, that depending upon the wine, varies.  It can be as varied as an electric and fast-paced hip-hop… or, a sultry and seductive tango.  Through these assorted dances, my palate grows, matures and ripens for more.

It has to be obvious…

If not, let me be the first to declare that I am definitely attracted to process of discovering a great bottle of wine.  Haha… a love affair has blossomed, eh?!

With all of my experimenting, the names of wines that I want to remember and experience again, continues to increase.  Too many to commit to memory.  Thank goodness for social media and smart phones, for this is how I have been capturing them… via images… one bottle at a time.

And after a recent scroll through my Instagram account, it appears that I am writing… or should I say documenting, my flavorful love story!

This past weekend, a friend told me that while looking for a wine to bring over to my house, she scrolled through my @kbrstyles Intsagram feed to ensure that she picked a “good one”… one that was sure to please my observant palate.

Her words quickly brought to mind others who have similar sentiments.

Wine posts have sparked people to reach out to me to either say that they used my Instagram feed or Facebook page in the same manner, or to offer a me recommendations based on a wine that was posted.  With social media, the broad and swift reach of a mere picture simply amazes me!  Even with texting… I can’t even begin to tell you about the amount of  texted pics that pour in (and the ones that I send out) –all with the understanding that this is a must;  seek and try!

All of THAT, got me to thinking…

Instead of having to scroll through 1689 (and adding more daily) pictures of an Instagram feed… why not just make it a lil’ easier.  This flavorful love story just became so much easier to read… that’s right…I’ve got me a hashtag baby!  (Suddenly, the hilarious skits with Jimmy Fallon now come to mind…)

Introducing my very own, personalized, nod to my flavorful love story hashtag:  #kbrsips — BAM!

Hashtags… what in the hell took me so long??

Actually, it should have been a no-brainer… especially since with my own social media endeavors, I use them all of the time!   Hashtags are the new and improved way to bookmark your topic and make to so much easier to find… right?  All together now… “Duh!”

Hump… so now what?  I’ve got this snazzy hashtag… and what’s next?

For starters, my pictorial wine journal is now only a click away — quick reference — newly organized and always accessible via my smart phone.  Kinda like an uber personalized wine app, eh?  If you love wine as I do… then certainly you are sending congratulatory kudos my way!

Next, perhaps you too will be checking in on #kbrsips and finding a new discovery… a gem to add to your personal collection… and commenting with your favorites.  Remember… I am always on the prowl.

Why check out #kbrsips?

Well… truth be told, it is because I am not a renowned wine sommelier… I’m real, everyday people… just trying to find something sensational to appease my curious palate. I speak about wine in layman’s terms and love, love, LOVE when others are able to enjoy one of my findings.

Pssst… and I crave the recommendations that come my way.

Yep, it is…

Simple. As. That.

With all of the years that I have been experimenting, I’m absolutely stimulated knowing that there is so much more wine to conquer.  Bottle by bottle I am documenting this journey.  And need I say… the aspiring photographer in me is encouraged… for with each wine picture post, I’m showing improvement!

Hmmmm… now that I think about it further… who knows…

When my children are of age to partake in a fabulous glass of wine, they too might even research #kbrsips for their pick!

Haha!  And THAT would be f#*@ing awesome!




…my expressive third eye.

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2012 at 6:23 am

I can’t recall the point in which I felt the attraction.

The manner in which some are innately drawn to athletics, or an instrument, that was the way I was drawn to this craft.  Completely enamored with the creative and interpretive elements — especially the freedom one has with storytelling via the final composition — photography has always made my heart flutter.

What began as an attraction, blossomed into love… and some twenty plus years later, it has evolved into a rewarding relationship.  My mate photography and I have come a looooooong way… and with each collaboration, we continue to become better partners.

I jokingly term it a relationship, but the reality is that photography can be incredibly intimate.  As I encounter and chat with others that adore the art form, there tends to be a common bond we have with our cameras.   An affectionate, special and personal connection… as if the camera is an extension of ourself.  For me, my camera can easily be categorized as such.  It is my third eye.  My third expressive eye.

I know what you may be wondering.  My response:  nope.

By no means am I a professional photographer.  An amateur at best.

If I were asked to speak before a group and explain aperture… or ISO number… even shutter speed — I would most certainly fail miserably.  Haha — my photography knowledge is extremely elementary.  While I do have a general understanding of some of the technical terms/components… emphatically, I say that it is only basic AND limited!    A few books, an attentiveness when surrounded by photography peers, countless Google searches and a considerable amount of trial and error is truly the breadth of my resume.  But, where I fall short with formal education, I’m confident that my artistic abilities and an intuitive expressive third eye, easily compensate.

Definitely not bragging… just sharing.

You know how a person can be described as playing an instrument by ear?  No formal training… just a natural gift to be able to convey song via an internal understanding… a rhythm, eh?  Well, often I feel as if that is applicable to me with regards to photography.  Especially when it comes to capturing an image/creating a compositing via my camera.  I sort of get lost in the moment  — I thoroughly enjoy the process and the mode of expression photography provides.

I must be doing something interesting… for as of late, I have received an enormous amount of feedback regarding my pictures.  Absolutely flattering to receive such complements.  But most interesting, are the “how to” questions that get feed my way.  What is funny (and always the norm) is that when I do provide a response, I ALWAYS feel the need to put out a disclaimer –as if to remind the inquirer that I have no technical training — maybe even really saying, “you’re asking me??”

Haha… my expressive third eye, must not be too shabby, eh?!

So… in true kishafwd fashion, I’m thinking, why not share my top four tips when taking a picture!


Can’t stress this enough… embrace the natural light.  There is nothing better than an image illuminated by natural light.  Especially the light coming in through a doorway or window.  I will say that taking pictures outside, completely exposed in the natural light can be a little tricky — those damn overhead shadows can be soooooo annoying — and as an amateur, I am STILL trying to figure that out!  But, if you are like me… you too have found that one of the best places to capture the natural light is via your kitchen window!


Opt for unique framing.  My pick?  Close-up and off-center!  Your subject centered perfectly in the middle of the frame is not always necessary… and truth be told, for candid shots, it can become boring.  Why not include a little negative space in the mix and have your image far left or far right in the frame?  For that matter, why not even take it a step further and play around with the perspective?  Taking the picture from an unexpected angle can add an unforgettable interest.  One that makes the storytelling via your camera even that more profound!


It’s simple. Pay attention to the background.  (Hmmmm… I really should be stressing this to all of the youngin’s snapping self-portraits of themselves with dirty laundry on the floor… or better yet, the toilet in the background!)  Bottom line, a careful eye to what lies in the background, behind your subject is always a MUST!  Trust me… it matters and can truly make or break your picture.


Click, click, click away!  Don’t just snap one shot… take multiple shots back to back.  Haha — I am always forewarning those in my pics to be ready because I am going to take at the minimum, three pictures in a row.  Why?  It insures that I get the shot.  There are bound to be errors and mishaps — poor focus, shaky hands, the subject’s eyes were closed, someone wasn’t ready — you get it?  It might seem redundant… but when I am viewing my images on my computer, I find it incredibly useful to have multiple images to choose from for the event/project.  Like I mentioned earlier… it insures that I get the shot!

So there you have it.

Not overly complicated or complex.

Just a few pretty basic tips that can easily be incorporated into your picture-taking ventures.  As a photographer my growth continues.  Daily I am learning… practicing… learning… practicing — always working on my skills, with the hopes of one day being proficient.

Hey… I am digging my camera and the direction in which my expressive third eye is headed.  I think that I am on to something kiddos…

And all I can say is look out!



The wall…

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2012 at 3:26 pm

The wall is painted eggplant.  Classic color #1379 by Benjamin Moore.

Hands down – my  husband’s favorite color.  A regal color.  Majestic and grand.  And for this small space, just what was needed for making the room cozy and warm, while offering a jolt of color.

The room?

A half bathroom.  A compact yet spacious half bathroom with a customary pedestal sink, a casement window that allows the sunlight to pour in, and a petite three-tiered black table which holds an oversized pewter lantern (LOVE my candlelight) and a bounty of toilet paper.  Haha – we will have none of that embarrassing and awkward crying out for the paper!

This room is also home to the wall.  Hands down – my favorite element to my home.  The wall – dubbed that by family and friends – is an intimate pictorial collage that literally spans the walls of my half bathroom.  The candid pictures, which are all printed in black & white and displayed in a variety of classic black frames, depict random life moments; priceless moments, a slew of silly faces and even more pearly white smiles.  Truly it is a “working” collage and it transitions with my life.  Beside my non-negotiable favorite shots, I am constantly adding and subtracting pictures.

A pictorial documentary might be a more fitting description.  Journalistic insight?  Reaching, I know.  Bottom line is this; it is merely a creative way to freeze time, use the unexpected to infuse a bit of humor and to keep loved ones who live near and far in constant thought.  Did I mention unexpected?  I do relish the reaction of those who unknowingly enter my half bathroom.  Plenty find it novel – say how they loved scanning the wall and announce that they are going erect a wall of their own.  Most amusing though are those who comment about using the bathroom while a myriad of onlookers gaze intently!   My half bathroom, the “fun house” bathroom with cackling big-eyed faces peering at you… I guess that could be odd, eh?

Regardless of the reaction, the wall is always well received.  This tool that I use as a means of artistic expression is a definite conversation starter!  In concept, the wall is not a far reach from what many have implemented in their homes on walls leading up and down stairways.  But there is something… something  about a small space loaded with an obnoxious amount of black & white pictures that just packs a punch.  Haha – it evokes those Frankie Beverly “happy feelings” and it leaves a memorable impression on both my family and guests.

Established in my first home, the concept of the wall is now 9 years old.  Started in a teeny-weeny half bathroom… with a knee wall behind the toilet, painted a robust roman orange – Valspar color #WV36014, the wall just keeps getting better with age.  Hmmmm… perhaps I will credit a better eye and improved photography skills, eh?!  Side note — black and white pictures look fantastic on almost any color wall.

Surely I am not the only one with a wall?  I know that my girlfriend who just visited me from out of the country said that she can’t wait to get her’s started — amen for IKEA and their stylish yet incredibly affordable frames!

What about you?  Do tell… do tell.