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brooklyn

PHOTOGRAPHY

Mercy Bell : Anytime | Brooklyn Singer-Songwriter | Environmentalist | Activist

05.07.2009

I heart New York City. And Brooklyn is a new favorite.

While I was there I got to hang out with my cousin, Mercy. She’s one of those people who just blazes their own path. Marches to the beat of her own drum, if you will. Shortly after graduation, she picked up her bags and moved to New York. Brooklyn to be exact. I had the chance to see her in her element – singing from the depths of her being and just having fun doing what she loves, making music.

Mercy has always been one to do her own thing. She was grandchild number two in the lineup, two years after I hit the scene. We have always been like polar opposites, especially when we were little kids. I would sit still on a blanket, and she would be climbing a tree. I hated being dirty. I’m pretty sure she embraced it. I was always shy and didn’t like talking to strangers. She would chat up complete strangers if her parents let her. She’s always had such a magnetic personality that she’s never been short on friends. I’m so glad that now that were grown-ups (that’s weird to write!) we are friends and hanging out is always an adventure!

I was determined to get a few shots of her in action, something that would really represent her carefree spirit. We started in Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

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I was fortunate enough to have chosen a FANTASTIC weekend to go to New York. The city was showing the early signs of summer with temperatures boasting 90-degree-plus weather! I was completely unprepared for the heat, but I loved it all the same.

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Mercy is 100% self taught on the guitar. She just picked it up one day and figured it out. Well, not all in one day. But she figured out chords and all that other guitar related stuff.

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We headed up to Central Park on a quest to find the Strawberry Fields of John Lennon fame. We were looking around, but someone told us it was just an imaginary line. Is that true?

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She has this infectious laugh that makes me laugh even if I didn’t think something was funny. Let’s face it, she has an infectious personality. I mean, I’m pretty sure she’d make friends with the wall if it would talk back. She’s just that friendly.

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I think this one sums up Mercy’s ongoing adventure in New York. Exploring the city. Playing in the streets. Singing in cafes. Being young and carefree.

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I LOVE this last image. I don’t even know what it is exactly, but I just love it.

Want to see Mercy in action?

She’s performing TOMORROW, Friday, May 8!

The Perch Cafe
365 5th Ave
Brooklyn, NY
8-11pm

ENGAGEMENT, PHOTOGRAPHY

Nakeisha & Cesar: Engaged :: Brooklyn Edition

04.28.2009

Who in their right mind decides to book a session the afternoon following a red eye flight? I do! And it was fantastic.

The entire day leading up to their engagement session, I was praying that the rain clouds would pass. That the rain would go away. Seriously. This was a one shot chance.

I don’t live in New York so it was now or never.

I met Nakeisha at the entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge and the sky seemed to have dried up. For that moment. As we awaited her fiance, Cesar, to arrive, the raindrops started to fall. I thought, “Oh no…” but then I figured, “let’s rock this out anyway, we’re in New York!” Luckily, the skies were kind and the precipitation did not advance beyond a few sprinkles.

Nakeisha and Cesar met under what would seem to be dubious circumstances. They met in a club. He was from New York. She was from DC. About a month later they met again, and well, the rest is history. They are seriously the sweetest couple. You can just see are in love. I had a blast hanging out with them and we just had so much fun. I have to thank my cousin, Mercy, who was my assistant for the afternoon.

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So Cesar didn’t think he took very good photos. I’d beg to differ.

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The story behind this. We were walking along the Brooklyn Bridge and apparently it is divided into two sections. One half for pedestrians. The other for bicycle riders. As Nakeisha and Cesar were strolling along the bridge, a biker weaved BETWEEN them. No ringing bells. No excuse me. No “get out of my way”. He literally threaded the needle between them. And it happened so fast, that we were all cracking up. I thought this series of photos captured the reaction to the moment of almost injury.

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I couldn’t have asked for a better backdrop! And the gorgeous couple doesn’t hurt either.

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Thank you, Nakeisha and Cesar, for sharing the afternoon with me. Thanks for sharing a snippet of your relationship. I wish you all the best in wedding planning and a fabulous marriage! Enjoy the ride!

CLICK HERE for the slideshow!

ENGAGEMENT, PERSONAL, PHOTOGRAPHY

I Heart New York!

04.22.2009

After a very uneventful red-eye flight to New York, I was met by my awesome cousin Mercy. She texted me directions to navigate myself through JFK out to Jamaica Station. Bleary-eyed, I stared at her directions confused. The brain was not quite “on” for the day. But as I got through to the end of the terminal, her directions were very easy. JFK has evolved so much since the last time I was here. Taking the AirTran over to Jamaica Station was such a cinch!

I’ve had a lot of coffee today. A LOT. I’m surprised I’m not more jittery. I think it’s just brought me up to a normal functioning state. One fair trade coffee home-brewed, an iced mocha from Gorilla Coffee, and another iced Caramel Machiatto from Starbucks. Caffeine city!

Mercy took me on a fun little tour of Park Slope, Brooklyn and showed me her stomping grounds. There’s a plethora of every type of cuisine you could ever imagine. I love how pedestrian-friendly New York is, not to mention how easy it is to use public transportation. It’s quite the opposite from living in California. Check out the view from her roof!

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We hit up Two Boots Pizza and had some yummy pizza.

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It was a little rainy. Here’s one with Mercy.

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We located the Magnolia Bakery from Sex and the City popularity. I found me some fantastic Red Velvet Cheesecake. I love Red Velvet cake, but when you combine that with cheesecake?! Total Win!!! HOLLLLA! Talk about a total calorie fest, but I figure a) I’m on vacation, b) we’re walking a ton, and c) it’s totally worth it. Serious highlight of the day!

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I also had an amazing engagement session with the sweetest couple! Thank you to Nakeisha and Cesar, you both were fabulous! Here’s a sneak peek from this afternoon.

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I heart New York!!

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