My First Official Photography Exhibition!

I been starring at my computer for almost an hour, not sure how to start this post. It's almost unbelievable that I'm even writing this. When I started this blog 2-3 years ago, it was for my own personal enjoyment. I needed a place where I could express myself artistically with images and words. Never did I imagine it would lead to me hosting my very own photography exhibit. I owe it all to every single person out there that pushed me forward and always reminded me how much my work meant to them.

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DEAD ROSES x Coming 2016

I first took to poetry in high school. It started off as a class assignment & quickly grew into one of my favorite forms of expression. A little less than a year ago I started sharing my pieces on my social media accounts. It didn't take long for me to see how much people enjoy reading them. Since then people have been asking me to publish my work. Which led to me wanting to create something amazing. It is with great joy that I announce the coming of Dead Roses. It'll be a compilation of short poetry pieces. This work of art will revolve around my all time favorite emotion: LOVE. There's a dark rawness to love that I want to highlight. Which is why I chose the title to be what it is. Roses are a universal symbol for love; but even roses die & change color with time. This does not mean that they seize to be beautiful. It just means we must accept the changes that have been brought forth with time. Which is an amazing experience in itself.

I will be sharing more details with you all as they come clear to me. I am currently working day & night with an incredible team trying to make this a reality for us all. We are certain that we will be launching the publication in the first quarter of the year 2016. Other details are being finalized as I type this post. Once again, thanks for your constant support.

To get a taste of what is to come, follow my official Instagram & FaceBook pages.

#ThinkAndCreate

Original Woman: Out of Africa



We all come across many teachers as we walk further down the path of life. I enjoy calling them spiritual elders. Each one carries with them a bag of jewels (knowledge). One of my closest elders has referred to black females as Original Women for as long as I've known him. It's because of his belief that all humans come from Africa. This is known as the "Out of Africa" theory (OOA). The many interesting conversations we have shared inspired this particular project. Enjoy.






Model: Rayne O'Reilly

Ex-Vietnam War Nurse, Homeless in America

It was a nice day outside. Most people would consider it cold but for us Bostonians, it was warm (high 40s). I had just wrapped up a photo session with one of my clients when I decided to take a stroll around the city. I barely walked two blocks up State Street before I came across Kathleen. Her eyes spoke to me before her lips could even shed a word. I quickly got comfortable on the sidewalk & began talking with her. Listening to her every word. She has to be one of the kindest souls I've ever had the privilege of crossing paths with.

She told me she was 62 years old & that I'm the same age as her son. I smiled when she said, "you're just a baby with a camera". She shared with me stories of when she served in the final years of the Vietnam War. At this point she showed me an injury she suffered while in service (image above). She almost lost her right leg due to an explosion. Although she was lucky enough to save it, she still suffers minor complications while walking.

We spoke a lot about Florida. My parents live there & she loves the hot climate. She made it a point that she is in the process of hitchhiking her way down South. I could hear the conviction behind her words. According to Kathleen, the only thing holding her back was not being able to find a man with guts to tag along with her. Before I left she guaranteed me she will make it one way or another. She even promised to look up my site when she arrives (Hi Kathleen!). I wished her a safe journey & gave her some money to help her out at the moment.

P.S.

If you see her, lend her a hand & put it on my tab. Don't forget that sometimes the softest souls live in the shadows. Blessings!

Blizzard of 2015 - Boston


It finally has arrived. The blizzard everyone in Boston has been talking up a storm about. I wouldn't be a photographer if weather scared me that easy. So as soon as it slowed down a bit, I grabbed my camera and put on my snow boots. I took about a two hour walk around the city before I decided to call it quits. Here is what I saw. Enjoy & share!


My neighbors were shoveling their cars out.


 City workers clearing up the main streets.

 

She was about 9+ hours in when I came across her.


It was refreshing to realize I wasn't the only out for a walk.



It was fun seeing so many people enjoying the day.



Climbing the snow mountains was the obvious cool thing to do.


Why not?



I was waiting to see someone shovel their bike out of the snow, but no one came.

Words From Another World

If you follow me on social networks, I'm sure you've been seeing these "quotes" being shared around. Many have been asking me if they are mines, and where do I get them from? Well... Yes, they are mines and they come from my mind. That's the simple truth. I'm inspired by life and all that goes on around me. As an artist, I keep my eyes and ears open. Always searching for inspiration. I've shared a lot of myself through my photography and art projects. But there is more to me than meets the eye. Growing up, I constantly used the pen to express my feelings and views. Whether it was by creating an illustrations or poems. Add me on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with my creations. Feel free to share my work on your accounts.

Don't forget to include the hashtags #MrFlakoVeli & #ThinkAndCreate




My Moment with the King (RIP Bee)



Ever since I picked up my camera and started chasing my dreams, I've met all kinds of people. Famous and poor. Black and white. But there is always certain spirits that you only have to meet once for them to change your life. King Bee was one of those spirits. 



I met Bee as a martial artist first and a tattoo artist second. He was the artist behind my friend's sleeve. I heard countless stories of him before I had the privilege of meeting him in person. I remember his energy was strong. You could feel Bee across the room. His spirituality was deep. As we spoke he would drop wisdom in a smooth manner. So smooth, that if you wasn't paying attention you would miss it.



These types of post always get to me. They always remind me that after we die, we live on in our photos. Pictures are literally memories frozen in time. As I wrap up this post, I sit back looking at these moments I shared with Bee. It was his last session with my good friend Dante. On that note I say, long live the King! 

R.I.P. Bee