Archive for August, 2010

I still have a vivid memory of my first time seeing the golden dome of Newark’s City Hall. I asked my mother, “What’s that?” She looked at the building then me and said, “A place where the city’s most important person works.” All I could say is, “Wow, he deserves to have that gold thing at the top.” Well since that memory I decided to revisit and display what I see now that I didn’t see when I was younger; history.

“The Golden Top”

“Men of Newark”

“A Hall for The City”

“This Way”

“Newark’s Eagle”

“Politics As Usual”

“A Hall’s Warrior”

“Mayor Corey Booker”

Photos By: Q.Whitening

Posted By: Q.Whitening


Wow, what a job that was, trying to keep up with her quotas and deadlines. At the end of the day, I couldn’t keep up. One day in a heated argument, she stared at me with burning eyes that could melt metal. The tone of her words had a calmness of anger only frustration could produce as she said, “Get the fuck out, right now! I never want to see you again!” All I could do is shake my head as I received my relationship’s pink slip. What should I do now? Where do I start? That’s when I got a phone call from a friend. He suggested the one thing all friends suggest after being fired from a relationship; more job hunting. He tells me to dress for interviews so we could job search a night on the town. We hit a job fair at this one bar, but left five minutes after. It had too many job seekers and not enough employers. As we walk down the street, we put in more applications to employers with words such as, “Hey, baby! Where are you going tonight? Can I come?” Then we enter the line for another job fair at this club. Boy, did our eyes open seeing all the employers in line for this one. We’re in line like two evil villains with the perfect plan. This job fair was an expensive one, but it gave me high hopes. I entered the club, eyes scrolling side to side, up and down taking in information on some employers I may want to interview with. We walk to the bar and ask for two drinks. I scan the bar while waiting for our drinks. I take out two applications in my brain. I go over one application that is for an employer for the night. Then another one that’s for an employer for the rest of my life. I am trying to decide which one to use. That’s when I hear a voice trying to get my attention over the music. She loudly says, “Excuse me, can you please ask the bartender for a Long Island for me?” I look at her then quickly back at the bar. My brain’s late registration of her face caused me to do a double take. I think I have found an employer I want to give my application to. With my double take, I smile and respond to her question, “Well I don’t know, that depends on if you allow me to buy it for you?” She grins with approval while I put her order in.  I introduce myself with the confidence of a man who knows he has this job sewn up. She greets me with a gentle handshake, and so begins the interview process. With each question she asked, the answers I respond with expand my comfort level. She gives me moments of eye contact that shows visual emotions only a great conversation can create. The liquor starts to take more effect on the two of us. That’s when I take a chance that could have my application tossed in the trash. I give her this stare and grin as if I am letting off a romantic night mist that will make my question much easier to embrace. I slide my chair closer, touch her hand then whisper in her ear, “How do you think this night of wonderful conversation will end?” She slides her head back slightly to register my question. Now I have this facial expression of an intoxicated man trying cover up his inner thoughts. She answers, “Well, that depends on how far this conversation of wonder takes us.” Now I slide an inch closer, with my brain developing an ego of confidence that has me mentally rubbing my hands together. I reply with drunken confidence, “How about we explore more with a cab to your place of residence?” I give her direct eye contact trying to see if my question is wrong just in case I need a fast recovery. This is the moment that can have me starting all over with another employer. She drinks the rest of her drink, looks at me, and gives me a signal with her eyes equal to a referee putting his arms up for a game winning field goal. We get up and head towards the door. I pat my pockets hoping to find protection. I feel what I was looking for with a smile. Then my friend gives me a nod of mental thumbs up as I exit the club. We get in a cab and head to her place. On the way there, we had less and less to say as our eyes spoke exactly what we’re thinking. Even in my drunken state, I have a train of thought that asked, ‘Did I give her my application in the first place? And if I did which one did I give her?’ I am at the point of not caring; I just go with the flow. We arrive at her place and before she could touch a light for sight, we start intimately kissing. Our lips touch like two people who just got off a kissing diet. I take her clothes off with each touch, rub, and hug as she guides us to her room. We connect with an affectionate, physical embrace of lust, which has my night’s interview process an unfamiliar occurrence. The next morning, I wake up next to her with more shock then a man who goes deaf. She awakes seeing my face which creates a moment of uncertainty that I can read like a book. We both lay there on mute. I start to think, what happened? What does this mean? Did I get the job or do I even want this job? I break the ice when I say, “I better get going. I have a thousand and one things to do.” She quickly gets up, using the same excuse. We exchange numbers, trying to bring some normality to the situation. On my way home, my thoughts of job hunting has me realize how hard it will be. So many times we get involved with people for reasons that have nothing to do with what makes us truly happy. It’s the same as taking on a career just because it has a great salary. It can create regrets that make you think, have you really attempted to pursue what would have made you happy? At least if you failed in that pursuit of happiness, your doubts in trying to accomplish it would have been satisfied. Trying to get the right person is a task that takes so much to achieve. It’s a road we all want to get off, but while you’re on that road, think about what you truly want. Think about what would make you happy. Try to make sure the employer you attempt to work with has the same goal. Because you don’t want to be that person who wakes up next to someone with the thought of, ‘Why did I choose this person as my career?’

Photo By: Q.Whitening

Written By: Q.Whitening

Posted By: Q.Whitening

I grew up in Newark, New Jersey during a time when teen pregnancy was as common as a mop in your house. Single parent homes were married to drug abuse, poverty, and violence as if life was meant to be lived this way. Unfortunately, this environment was what I called home. Moments of joy was far and few in between at times. But the very few times that joyful moments did show themselves, we tried our best to appreciate them because we had no idea when the next time one would come. Even at my age now, whether it’s because of Newark’s past or not, violence still roams the streets. Sometimes it feels as if Newark was hit by a violent plague that seems to have no cure in sight. But under the surface of this chaotic layer lies hearts of love that are trying their best to cure the streets of Newark. There are people who live in the homes of these dangerous streets, who are really trying to make a difference. And whether they are over looked because of Newark’s violent shadow, their time to shine came on the weekend of July 30th, 2010. The Lincoln Park Music Festival is one of those joyous events needed to help Newark overcome it’s tumultuous personality. I got to see all kinds of ethnic backgrounds, ages, and genders have such a good time together that it had me think for this one weekend we all were sharing the same heart. I was so pleased to be apart of this and even more satisfied to photograph it. So I felt it would be more then fitting to have this Lauryn Hill track introduce the finale of my two part Lincoln Park Music Festival series. If you would like to see the first part of this two part series click on this link: Lincoln Park Music Festival. I hope you enjoy and thank you.

Lauryn Hill- Every Ghetto, Every City


“Old Music”

“Enjoying The Music”

“Whatcha Looking At”

“Old Music’s Reflection”

“Serving Them Good Ol Greens”

“Oils For All”

“Skin Paint”

“Friends of Music”

“Now That’s Some Good Music”

“Colorful Innocence”

“Dora Exploring The Festival”

“From Generation To Generation”

“From A Fan’s Perspective”


Music By: Lauryn Hill

Photos By: Q.Whitening

Posted By: Q.Whitening

“All photographers are accurate. None of them is the truth.”

Richard Avedon

Posted By: Q.Whitening

Photo By: Q.Whitening

Posted By:Q.Whitening

When I am at work and I go on break, I always see the same set of Jehovah Witnesses sitting on each corner of Hawthorne Avenue and Clinton Place in Newark, New Jersey. This one lady always catch my eye because it seems like she’s walking wisdom. She even gave me a bit of her wisdom just by having a cane I have yet to see her use. Every time I see her, I always have a thought of, “I hope I will get her age. I hope I get to live to be as young as she is. Then maybe I can be the person who refuses to relay on a cane to help me through life. I just hope people will get to witness me in my later years and receive living wisdom from me.”

Photo By: Q.Whitening

Posted By: Q.Whitening

One day, after I did a shoot of a Lfye Jennings segment for his new single “Statistics”. I was walking back to New York Penn station with my friend and photographer Mambu Bayoh. While we were having a conversation, Mambu stops, and freezes with a look of a person who just seen something they have never witnessed before. Then, he sees these two young ladies that I am totally clueless to who they are. He stops them and introduces us to the young ladies. While Mambu is talking I’m more lost than a young boy away from his parents in a train station. So that’s when I decided to start taking photos of the ladies. They had a very interesting style to them that gave me a small idea of what they were about. As we conversed the story the young ladies had was interesting. They both were from Minnesota and decided to pick up and leave for New York. All they had was each other and their dream of hitting New York with their creative fashion and style. As our conversion ended with a hug and an exchange of contacts, Mambu filled me in on who they were. They were Coco and Breezy, the new it of New York. Their brand of sunglasses is hitting the world harder than a Ray Lewis tackle. They have stars from Rihanna to Ciara wearing their shades. Their success is climbing and I couldn’t believe that I got to photograph some of it. All I could think on my way home was, “Wow, just a regular day in New York.”

Photos of: Coco and Breezy

Photos By: Q.Whitening

Posted By: Q.Whitening

Ray Charles- Georgia On My Mind

My grandmother was born in Monticello, Georgia on Septemeber 21, 1933 and passed away on January of 2009. Her impact on my life has blanketed the way I live, think, and carry myself. She is one of the best women I have ever met in my life. In so many ways, it’s because of her that my take on life and love is strong as it is. I can remember me saying to her, “I hope to meet a woman that is at least 1/4 of you in that woman’s own way. And if I ever did get to meet that woman I will marry her.” My grandmother’s display of love, compassion, and warmth has created a side of me that allows me to appriecate life in ways others take for granted. She is one of my biggest goals today. If I never get to accomplish any other goal in my life, I do want to accomplish my goal of showing her I have become a good man. I want to show her that every piece of wisdom, every ounce of love and sacrifice she provided for me didn’t go to waste. So, Grandma, I want to thank you for everything you have done for me. You are the best and I realize that you helped make sure I never settled for less. I love you Mattie L. Smith, rest in peace you Southern Peach.

From My Grandmother to you. Enjoy!

A True Woman

The summer holds so many memories for me; it has helped to make my brain a wonderland at times. One summer memory that comes to mind is when I was fifteen. It had to be at least ninety degrees but it felt like it was a hundred. My grandfather was the true definition of what it was to be old fashion. When it was time to cook, no matter the weather, it was time to cook. So my grandmother is in the kitchen cooking, sweating more then Patrick Ewing in the lay-up line. I am looking at her as she cooks and I just think why. Why is she cooking? Why aren’t we just having take out in the first place? But my grandfather is not thinking that at all. The more my grandmother cooked, the more it hurt me. I can see her emotional pain in ever bead of sweat dripping from her face as she does her best to keep her moral poker face intact. What tops it all off is after all the cooking, the sweating, and the eating my grandfather didn’t even attempt to part his lips to say, ‘That was delicious.’ I don’t want to paint a picture of my grandfather that makes it seem like he’s this cold hearted man who has no sign of feelings; just that he had his own way of showing his love. My grandmother cooking that day is not what made her a true woman. There isn’t this complex difference between her cooking a meal and today’s woman studying to get her Masters. What makes her a true woman is the fact that she didn’t allow the lack of appreciation affect her overall personality. My grandmother could have let this hinder an overall goal she may have subconsciously set for us. As I have gotten older the more I realize how easy it is to allow the lack of recognition to cause bitterness. The development of that bitterness can affect the morale of so many people you come in contact with. My grandmother may have been in great pain after that meal but I do appreciate the strength she showed me that day. She could have let this get to her to the point that she decided to go against my grandfather. She could have let the mental suffering take over and crush the morale in our household. Sometimes I wonder if she allowed situations like this to affect her personally, would I even be the man that I am today. Whether you’re a woman who is an executive, independent figure at whatever corporation or a woman who takes care of home in the housewife position, the essence of being a true woman is all the same. You try your best to hold yourself to principles and morals that you feel can bring out the best in your family and others. For this reason the essence of a true woman comes out of you even when it seems as if reward will never come your way. So when you, as a woman, feel like your not valued or think no one has their eyes or ears towards you; someone is watching and appreciating what you’re doing. Remember that those principles and morals that you are holding yourself to, even in the darkest of night, is the definition of what it is to be a TRUE WOMAN.

Written By: Q.Whitening

Posted By: Q.Whitening

The day before the 4th of July I decided to go to Hoboken. When I got there I just fell in love. The environment, people, and view engulfed me the whole time I was there. Here is my experience in Hoboken.

“Hokoken’s Perspective”


“Time to Cool Off”

“It Takes $ To Live Here”

“Like Owner, Like Dog”

“Homeless But Not Hopeless”

“A Skater’s Paradise”

“I’am Hungry”

“Parallel Worlds”

“And To All A Goodnight”

Photos By: Q.Whitening

Posted By: Q.Whitening

One of many photographers I draw inspiration from.

Photography By: Gordan Parks

Posted By: Q.Whitening