Category Archives: 09-Video Memoirs

Ivan Watkins Joins Forces With Viewfinders Media

The partnership has finally been made official.  I have the privilege of being the official photographer for Viewfinders Media.  This partnership will help to expand both of our offerings in video and photography for a diversified range of clients.

Below is a photograph that we  captured of the core team members.


Antonio Davis, Chrisann Parr, Tolly Carr & Ivan Watkins.


American Institute of Architects Triangle Chapter – Video

I had the opportunity to work with the AIA organization on a video featuring some of their architects.   Unfortunately, I did not perform the video taping of each person therefore I had to work with footage given to me.  However, my job was to create the intro and marry all the video clips together into a streaming video for the internet.  It was a fun and challenging task to create the 3D world that you see in the beginning of the video.

A Fashion Affair – Fashion Show by Studio Plus Hair Salon

This past Saturday I had the chance to capture the Fashion Show called “A Fashion Affair”.  This show was put on by  Lynn from Studio Plus Discount hair Salon.  This was a challenge from a technical standpoint but at the same time it was a fun event to capture.  i learned a lot and have ideas of how I’d shoot it different if I ever did another show.  If you want to see all of the pictures then check out the slideshow below.


Pictures from before the fashion show started are below.

The participants were very easy to work with when I asked them to stagger themselves so that all could be seen.



A saw funky socks walking around the room and this shot jumped into my head. Once I rounded them up they were eager to sit down and stick their feet out (as asked) and held the pose until we got it just right.





The Cat Walk





Eileen’s 40th Birthday Party

On July 12, 2008 my sister Eileen celebrated her 40th birthday. What she didn’t know is that a surprise party was being thrown for her. My sister Benita had told her that she was going to enjoy a nice dinner at P.F. Chang’s. Unbeknowst to her the planning to surprise her began about 2 months earlier. The mastermind behind the surprise was our sister Benita. Everyone was told to be at Benita’s house no later than 5:30 p.m. because Eileen and Fred were due to arrive at 6:00 p.m. to go to dinner. Well at least that is what Eileen thought…

What Eileen didn’t know is that an ambush had been set for her. There were balloons placed on the road which was perpendicular to Benita’s street. People were spread out to welcome Eileen with signs and happy faces as she turned onto the street. In the picture below you will see several people placed along the road with signs in hand waiting to welcome Eileen.

Eileen was in the white jeep in the front and the people holding signs are being pointed to by the arrows.



As you can probably imagine, Eileen was quite surprised and I was able to capture this picture of her as she drove past in the jeep.


And of course Fred is playing it cool because he’s known all along what was about to take place. As Eileen stepped out the jeep she she was amazed to see how many people had come to welcome her. One of the first people that she hugged was Benita and she realized that she had been hoodwinked and bamboozled.


Eileen probably ended up hugging a million people by the time she made it into the house. Eventually she worked her way through the crowd and then we headed for the backyard. Benita had arranged for several people to have a rose along with a card with a character words on it.. such as “loving”, “inspirational”, “caring” etc… I’m not sure what the real words were because I was focused on taking photos so don’t hold me to those.


Each person walked up to Eileen, spoke their word as well as anything else they wanted to say and then placed their rose in a vase. Below is a picture of our mom presenting her rose to Eileen.



Another part of this party involved a special song from Eileen’s four boys to her. They stood in front of her while the song “mama” by Boys 2 Men played. I’m not going to say that they actually sang but we understood their intent. It was funny because on different parts of the song a different son would step forward, as if he’s singing a solo.. YET none of them actually sang. I think that they were getting choked up and just couldn’t bring themselves to sing because that would have put them over the top.

By the way, Eileen has placed ALL OF THEM ON PUNISHMENT for being in on this suprise party and not letting her know.


After each person said some words we socialized for a bit and grabbed us a bite to eat.


Another surprise lay in wait for Eileen. She didn’t know that Benita had me to put together a video to be a tribute to Eileen’s life. It contains pictures from birth to age 39 and has several guest appearances by various family members. Special thanks to Antonio Davis over at of Winston-Salem for capturing the family members in that part of NC for me.

Below is a picture of Eileen “Rose” Watkins-Rice sitting on the couch and watching the video.



Although the point of the picture below is to capture the sign hanging from the ceiling you will see a faint image of Benita on video talking and singing to Eileen.


The video was created with music from the 70’s and 80’s. Just a few of the songs included are Double Dutch Bus, Get Off, Planet Rock, Outstanding, Carwash etc… You can view the video by clicking on the image below.


After everyone had the chance to view the video then we took a moment to have a brief toast to Eileen as well as sing happy birthday.


We then headed back outside for a little fun and games which included, a SOUL TRAIN line, some free style dancing and just having a good time.


There was a point where Eileen was laughing so hard that she could not stand up. Fred, her husband, had decided to get his “boogie” on and the rest was history.



Then Eileen (in red hat) and one of her home girls started to get their soul train boogie on.


Right before I left to head back to Durham I managed to get everyone to SHUT UP and move into a group so that we could get this shot. Unfortunately I couldn’t be in the shot because I didn’t have a tripod. However, I’m in two of the pictures thanks to Christian and Sharon.


If you know me by now then you understand that I don’t capture just a few moments and put my camera up.

If you want to view the entire celebration, the memories, the fun and the mingling the take some time and visit the full gallery of photographs.


Visit for all of your photography and video needs.

Dr. Maria Small, M.D. on Breast Cancer

My cousin Dr. Maria Small, M.D. presented information on Breast Cancer and the Sister’s Network support group. Unfortunately, I could not attend  to tape her presentation but my Aunt Mary was kind enough to capture this video.  You can view the video by clicking on the image below.

Martin Luther King

This past Sunday I had the opportunity to video tape my mom while she spoke on Martin Luther King.   Unfortunately I didn’t bring my tripod and so in some sections I get tired, adjust my body and of course that translates into camera shake.   She had no idea that I was going to video tape her.  However, I wanted to capture this as another precious slice of time being preserved.

Piano Recital #2 Brent & Marquise

This week has been filled with many things to do and the time is going by in a blur.  One of the highlights of this week was the Durham School Of The Arts “Chamber Music Recital” held on October 16, 2007. 

There were many talented young people eager to share their music with us. However, the only two that I captured were Brent and his buddy Marquise Haddock.  One of these days I’m going to figure out how to take video and photo but being only one person that can get tricky.  My son Brent is the one with the afro.

Take some time to sit back and enjoy the video of Brent and Marquise doing what they love… which is performing for the crowd.

Long Overdue Photos And Video From BJ’s 13th Birthday Party

Believe it or not but BJ’s birthday was April 15, 2007 and I’m just releasing the pictures. He didn’t have a big party like his younger siblings but he had a nice gathering of friends and family.

Here is a picture of he and some of his buddies hoovering around to take a picture. It was next to impossible to get them to form a perfect circle and so I gave up trying and just captured the memory.


It seems like the thing that they wanted to do most was play video games. In both of these pictures BJ is fixed on the TV set as his friends battle it out with electronic foes.



The whole gang is here. In this picture you will see some of BJ’s closest friends.




It was so bizzare that it was worthy to be called BREAKING NEWS. View the video to see what happened.


Two Cool Cats @ UNCG Summer Music Camp

So you’re probably wondering.. what could this blog be about? It is about BJ and his running buddy Marquise. On Sunday, July 8th 2007, BJ and Marquise attended the UNC of Greensboro’s Summer Music Camp.

In the photo below you see them just styling and doing their thing.


Both of them got a taste of what it is like to rely on themselves.
Not only did they have their own money but they also had their own dorm room. They were responsible for taking their showers, waking up on time, making sure they ate and went to bed at a decent time. They stayed at the camp from Sunday at 4:30 p.m. until Friday when we left around 8:30 p.m. On the first night, Sunday, BJ went through a little shell shock because he didn’t have TV therefore no video games.

He called me to say good night and he sounded a little sad. On Monday he called and said HI YALL… on the answering machine.. then hung up. And guess what.. after that we didn’t hear a THANG from BJ… not until Friday when I was in the dorm lobby waiting to pick him up. I guess the whole homesick feeling left kind of quick. Anywayyyyyyy, BJ had a great time and having his buddy Marquise with him just made it extra fun.

In this picture BJ is chilling in the lobby. We were waiting on Marquise’s parents to arrive.

Now you have to hear (read) this. How about …. when I was taking the picture of BJ and Marquise there was one kid that said.. hey dude… don’t take any more pictures… that has got to be the brightest light I’ve ever seen. As you can imagine, this didn’t sit well with me. As a child, I wouldn’t dare say that to an adult. It was a quick reminder to me that all children are not raised the same and some parenting styles are a lot more relaxed to say the least…. I politely turned around and said… I can take as many pictures of my children as I want. This is a free country and as long as I’m not trying to take a picture that includes you then this doesn’t have anything to do with you. (That was as nice as I could be considering the circumstances) The teenager apologized.. he said that he didn’t mean to offend me. So that was that.. moving on…

Below are BJ and Marquise relaxing.

There were 80 musicians in the piano camp and not everyone had the chance to play. I was quite surprised when I learned that everyone had to sing in the choir.. go figure.. it was a P I A N O camp… However, BJ and Marquise wanted to stay and sing and so I was okay with it.


After the concert, we went outside to take a few more photos. This is one that I snapped of the boys just doing their thing… which is being two cool cats…

By the way, if you haven’t seen BJ and Marquise play the watch the video below.

If you have known me for any length of time then you know that I don’t take just 4 or 5 pictures… THERE ARE MORE PHOTOS FOR YOU TO VIEW! If you want to see the entire gallery then Click Here To View All Of The UNCG Summer Music Camp Pictures