Ni Hao Party People?!
In September 2015, I had a great opportunity to visit China. My parents were living there for work, and there was no way I was going to pass up the opportunity. I love to travel ANYWHERE I haven't been before, especially other countries. I find that I always gain a bigger perspective and appreciation for life after each trip. Being able to see more of God's creation is such a blessing. Plus, it's always nice to see and spend time with my parents.
Like any trip, I just wandered and got lost in the new world around me. When it comes to street photography, I try to be a fly on the wall and capture life as it passes me. That was damn near impossible to do in China. Every day people would come up to me and ask to take photos OF me. I guess it's not every day they see a black guy with a Mo-Fro (My arguably better terminology for a "fro-hawk"). I'm pretty sure I heard one person call my mom "Mrs. Obama."
Instead of getting upset by the constant staring and being stop by people I couldn't communicate with, I embraced it. It made it easier to get great shots when my subjects were staring dead at me. It also MADE me get out of my comfort zone of getting pictures of people when they are watching me.
Ten days and three cities later, I was back home sitting on a digital mountain of photos and videos with endless text messages of people waiting and asking to see the photos I took. I had a dilemma. How do I share without flooding everyone's social media timelines and having everyone bored by the tenth photo I post?
So I said screw it, let's make a book. Not only that, but I'll give it out for free. A photography mixtape if you will. I don't know if this has ever been done but hey, enjoy. Join me on my expedition of the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Beijing, and Xi'an and welcome to the People's Republic of China.