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Latest work, inspiration and deep thoughts by Titus Childers.

It's All Greek to Me! (and a little Belgian too)

Hello out there to all of my friends, family, castaways and  innocent until proven slightly over the legal limit beauties!  It's been a minute or two (thousand) since I've graced the ever so brilliantly depressing landscape of social media with a batch of images and some clever and wacky word play.

Mother Nature has been slapping around her beautiful coastal babies lately.  In my opinion she is showing some excessive force and if she doesn't calm down a wee bit we will just have to get ol' Poseidon to strap a "vest camera" on her to help control and/or monitor her abusive behavior.  In my humble opinion our glorious Mother Nature does in deed provide us with a significantly higher supply of majestic beauty and calm as opposed to the chaos and destruction she has wrought over the last several weeks. However, I ask you all to stay the course!  Be vigilant!  Be United!  After all  Mother Nature is only reacting as we all did a mere few short weeks ago when we all found out that, "WINTER IS COMING!"  Her reaction just packs a bit more punch then the glass shattering shriek you may or may not have heard from my house during the last few episodes of Game of Thrones.

Even though tough times are ahead of our fellow brothers and sisters caught in the paths of  Mother Nature riding Zombie Dragons I have no doubt they will endure and come back better than ever.  The images in this blog are from a short two day trip to Athens, Greece and a few intermingled images from a few more days in and around Brussels, Belgium. Honestly the images  in this blog don't have much to do with my lead in and/or the following paragraph.  Point of fact, there's nigh a connection that I can see.  However, in times of colossal pains in your ass, great loss, and the impending unknown sometimes it is nice to have a distraction.  I hope you enjoy my distractions.

Cheers,

Titus

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Rub Some Funk On It! - Funky Tucks & Funky Fox

About five or so years back I was asked by my pal,boss, co-worker and resident funky photographer Doug Keese to hang out on along the parade route and document his funk-tastic wife, Cheyanne, and her very first ride on the Funky Tucks/Funky Fox float which of course is one of the many floats that makes up the Mother Funking Krewe of Tucks.  Like any other Mardis Gras Douglas and I started dipping into the Crown and cokes funking heavy and he asked me if I'd also show up the day before his ride and document the ceremonial Second Line that the Krewe does every year the day before they ride.  I'm not sure if my response was a resounding yes or no but most likely my answer echoed the pitch of a Velociraptor dry heaving into a metal trash can.  

Either way I graciously accepted his funky offer and the rest is history.  Over the last five years I find myself documenting some of the most gracious, funny, and beautiful funky guys and gals that this poor funk has ever had the great pleasure of knowing.  From the funkalicious cage girls shaking their funk trunks.  To the droves of tourists and funky locals lined up and down bourbon street.  To the fabulous staff and atmosphere at the funking amazing Broussards, where we say funk it and finally get inside for some air conditioning.  The Funky Tucks and Funky Foxes know how to step it out and lay the funk down on their annual second line.

Being a transplant to New Orleans I will never be as rooted in the traditions or culture that are so vast but one thing I will say until the day that I die is that I've never been a part of or near a second line, brass band and all, that didn't make me wanna dance, smile and funk it up!  Many thanks to my funk soul brother and sister Doug and Cheyanne for letting me a part of this funk tastic voyage over the last few years.  To the rest of you funky brilliant souls whose radiant glow funking blinds my camera year in and year out, Funk you very much!

Cheers,

Titus

LONDON CALLING!

Up until last year everything I've ever known of London was fed to me by television.  As far back as the glorious cartoon, Danger Mouse.  I'm quite certain the vast majority of readers of this blog have no flipping clue about said cartoon.  So there's your Netflix find of the day children!  Go check out Danger Mouse!  You may or may not be sorry.  At the very least it's worth one episode just to hear D. Mouse's sidekick, Penfold, utter the phrase, "Crumbs Chief!"

As the years gave way to age the jabs at Jolly Old England manifested into repetitive viewings of Chevy Chase saying, "Look Kids! Big Ben!  Parliment!"  Again I say if you've never seen National Lampoons European Vacation, shame on you!  It's mindless brilliance! 

After movies and tv there was the obvious musical influence from The Beatles to The Clash to my current English royalty of Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls.  Are you noticing a pattern here?  GO LISTEN TO ANY OF THE THREE!  You won't regret it.  If you haven't heard the Beatles, for the love of John Lennon get your arse's off the couch and plugged in!

Beyond TV, Movie and musical the only logical choice left was to visit London and form opinions beyond that of an  animated mouse.  Even in freezing conditions London is brilliant! I'll never forget the ride up to the White Cliffs of Dover and seeing that sight with my own two eyes. Not every photo opportunity presented can be lush blue skies and happy go lucky slap stick comedy!  Despite this adopted southern boy's love for warmth my  brother and I gutted it out.  Besides, no matter how dark and dreary dear ol' London can be the beer was tasty and the decades old one liners uttered from my brother and I on a daily basis made it feel like a tropical paradise!  

I hope you enjoy the images!

Cheers!!

Bastogne.....Walking in the Footsteps of the Men of Easy Company

I don't have too many soap boxes that I stand on.  Especially in today's preach first, think of the consequences to my opinions later Facebook world.  Yet being a veteran will always bring me to express my gratitude and admiration for any of the men and women of this great country of mine, that put on the uniform and serve their country with distinction.

Last year was by far one of the best years of my life.  I spent 30 days in Belgium visiting my brother Travis and it came after an extremely busy Mardi Gras season.  The most amazing part of those 30 days was visiting the Bastogne War Museum as well the surrounding areas.  My brother and I both served as paratroopers in the 82nd Airborne Division.  This is something I am extremely proud of.  

If you've never seen the HBO series, Band of Brothers, then for the love of all that is red, white and blue get off of your binge watching rear ends and watch it!  Band of Brothers is the story of one of the most decorated Army units in our history,  Easy Company of the 101st Airborne.  The entire area surrounding the Bastogne War Museum pays respect to the soldiers who endured freezing cold conditions, a relentless enemy shelling them day and night more hardship than I could possibly fathom.  

As my brother and I stepped into the wood line that the men of Easy Company fortified during WWII, flakes of snow began to fall.  It was bitterly cold.  I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with a sense of pride for having served as a paratrooper.  Even if my time was but a  small part of the legacy of being a US Paratrooper it felt surreal standing on the same ground that these giants of history fought on.  It was a moment in time I won't soon forget and I hope you enjoy the images that I captured.  AIRBORNE!  

Cheers,

Titus

 

Shelby G.......We All Float Down Here! (Well at least one of us does)

Yes I realize that the caption of this blog will make you think of scary as all hell clowns and for that I do apologize.  With that being said I hope you can find the funny in it as well.  I know that my subject Shelby can and she was the one freezing her tiny little hiney off for this entire shoot.

Sometimes there are creative itches that just need to be scratched.  Hence this fun little collaboration with Shelby and my good pal and videographer extraordinaire, Kyle.  Kyle had a prop from a film that he'd worked on collecting dust in his back yard and we decided it would be pretty cool to fill it with water and submerge some poor young beautiful soul within it.  Enter Miss Shelby Griggs!  With makeup and other finishing touches provided by the brilliant Midori, we utilized two set ups, one indoor and one outdoor, and what you see in front of you are my images from both set ups.

I can't say enough about Shelby and her steadfast professionalism and overall bubbly attitude in the midst of a freezing cold environment.  We were constantly heating buckets of water on a stove to add to her enclosure to make it tolerable.  In spite of the weather making the water colder faster than we could make it warm Shelby gutted it up and was soon rewarded with a warmer environment in doors.  These type of shoots sound good in our heads but can always deliver less than fine results given the elements provided but thanks to my kick ass team I couldn't have predicted a better outcome.  We hope you enjoy them!

 

Cheers,

Titus

Hair and Make up by : Midori-Tajiri-Byrd

Christina & Michael..... TWINS, BAZILLE! TWINS!

In case the title of this blog confuses you I will tell you that it is a line from the movie Austin Powers.  The context of the quote holds almost no correlation to Christina and Michael, my brilliant young subjects.  The quote popped into my head.  It made me giggle for five minutes longer than it should have while staring off into the distance.  Honestly, it was the funniest lead in I could come up with that didn't involve a ridiculous reference to the movie Twins, with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito, which was decidedly less humorous.  Just go with it people.

Christina & Michael afforded me with one of life's firsts. I've photographed many a person with a twin, yet, as an individuals.  These two cheeky monkeys utilized the dynamic duo clause in their contract which kept them within shouting distance(or one very dimly lit bat signal) away from one another but close enough to heed my instructions for their individual efforts.  Along with their momma, we all strolled the Marigny during the golden light of the ending day.  I usually don't have trouble getting folks to laugh and as it shows in these images, these two weren't in any danger of tarnishing that record.

As the night crept up on us we put the final touches on the day by ending on the river side of the Rusted Rainbow Bridge in Crescent Park.  As the day came to a close a quote from an old episode of Friends, the TV show, entered my head and that same giggle started to echo up the bridge.  The cliffs note version was a line said by Ross, "Twins are Weird. You know what's not one of a kind?  Twins!"  Don't hold me to the exact wording.  While you're searching your phone for link to the exact quote you'll find me right here giggling like a hyena.  Many thanks to Christina & Michael!  Class acts with bright futures!

Cheers,

Titus 

 

Ryan.....The Silent Type

Nebraska.....or as the sign reads that stands just across its border, "The Good Life".  I've always been gushing with cynicism so my opinions regarding that particular motto have been known to vary from time to time.  However I am happy to say that I'm almost 86% sure that at no point did those opinions ever reach and/or stay forever rooted in the negative.  Nebraska is my home and she holds some fond memories for me.

The reason I mention that glorious Nebraska motto has to deal with my homeboy/high school senior, Ryan and also the particular details that adorn his portraits.  If you've ever spent a significant amount of time in Nebraska you'll quickly learn that during different parts of the seasons there usually isn't a whole lot of scenery afforded.  Especially near or around my 4,000 population town of Aurora.  Some photographers might throw in the towel on this as a location choice.  Luckily for me my cynical nature and unwavering dedication to being the stubborn jackass that I am, I instead see it as a challenge.  A challenge to stretch the mind and the eyes to new ways of taking portraits or building upon past images.

Luckily for this particular set of images/challenges my subject Ryan, was the embodiment of all that is old school midwest.  He was calm, quiet and took directions very well.  Three character traits I thought had been immunized in the Millennial Generation.  I'm pretty sure I got about 6 words out of him over the entire shoot.  Side note : The lack of words spoken by Ryan is a direct result from myself and his mother gabbing like school girls for the almost 4 hours we were taking photos.  Though let me tell you thats roughly a third of the words my father has seemed to say in the almost 40 years I've been on this earth and if Ryan's calm and quiet demeanor lead him to be even half the man my father has been in my life then it'd be my distinct honor to work with Ryan when and wherever he needed.

Cheers,

Titus   

"Please excuse the bruises. Drink got me into this, I didn't Know Where I Was!" - Skinny Lister

A few times in my life I've found myself in positions where life has felt the need to make an example of me via a strong spiritual kick to the teeth.  In those positions I've had nothing but lint in my pocket and a hole in my soul deeper than the Grand Canyon.  Several years ago I found myself in one of these funks wondering which way to turn for some relief.  As with many of the previous situations I turned to my great equalizer, Music.

I went to a show at The House of Blues in New Orleans to see one of my favorite bands, Flogging Molly.  Editors note,  Don't ever be too cool to get to a show early and catch the opening acts.  The Beatles were an opening act once.  Imagine the how someone felt growing up in London with tickets to a show where they were the opening act and they're like, "Oh c'mon mate its just the opening act! We paid for the main event!"  MORONS!  With that being said the opening act for Flogging Molly was the focus for this blog, Skinny Lister.

Please for the love of all that is soaked in Guinness go see this band.  If I've said it once I've said it a million times,  once Beyonce, Bieber, and any of the other countless acts of "superstars" start crowd surfing and hanging out with their fans after the show then I'll run right out and buy their music.  Until that point in their stuck up, "I'm a superstar, I'm better than you" career happens then they will continue to be the snobby ass clowns that I give them the credit to be!  Skinny Lister not only blew my face off with amazing energy and a crowd engaging set, they were outside the show talking to the crowd.  I sat and chatted with them and even gave them the last 10 bucks I had to my name for their CD.  

Many years later, last December to be exact, Skinny Lister returned to the Crescent City headlining their own show in support of their new album, The Devil, The Heart, The Fight.  I took it upon myself to reach out to them and inquire about possibly taking photos at the show.  In perfect fashion they responded and gave me the photo pass to the show!  This band keeps grinding and putting out fantastic music.  Their music motivates and inspires me today much like it did those few years back when times were bleak.  No matter what the future holds this band has a spot in soul!  As of this blog post Skinny Lister and Flogging Molly will be playing this very evening in New Orleans!  Many thanks to Skinny Lister!!  See you in the pit!

Haul Away!!!!

Titus

Lauren & Alyssa........You Had Me at "I want a photo of us in front of the Antique Guns & Swords shop!"

I'm a fan of weddings that are small in number of guests but are wickedly huge in the great deal of support, love and respect for the couple involved.  Case in point was the day I met Lauren & Alyssa face to face for the first time and I just wanted to pinch their smiley cheeks all day long!

These two fantastic ladies were all about the photos which coincidentally worked in my favor.  I first started with Lauren and her family.  All of said family members were great sports and had no issues getting their picture taken.  Once Lauren and her family were all set it was on to meet Alyssa.  Immediately I could see that Alyssa was going to keep the the spirit of the day alive.  Alyssa is a firecracker.  I've said many many times that I like goofballs!  Once we became acquainted each others eccentric goofy nature Alyssa and I went right to getting some fierce  portraits to go with her matching personality.  I believe both her and Lauren would've taken photos all night with me given the opportunity and that makes them aces in my book.

The ladies had a small and intimate ceremony at Audubon Park.  Afterwards we took advantage of the open space and sunshine for some portraits before heading back to the French Quarter and finishing the day off with, you guessed it, more portraits!!  In the hustle and bustle of most wedding days it can be difficult to get this much one on one time with a couple so I was all for it.  The icing on the cake for me is when the three of us were strolling the quarter for a good location Alyssa looked at me and said, "I'd love to get pictures in front of the Antique Guns & Swords shop!"  What's that you say?  A completely ridiculous setting for the brides on their wedding day.  Hell yeah I'll take your picture there!  I mean lets be serious, where else would you sit down for a wedding day portrait if not in front of the Antique Guns and Swords shop?  I rest my case!  Alyssa & Lauren,  y'all were a delight!  En Guard ladies!  En Guard!

Cheers,

Titus

Contributing Vendors :  Event Planners - Unique Weddings

                                       Hotel - The Roosevelt

                                       Antoines Resturaunt

                                      Audubon Park - Ceremony

                                     Florist - Dunn & Sonnier  

                                     Transportation - American Luxury

                                     

Will & Zachary.....All that Glitters is Gold! (Also known as...Two Grown Men Wearing Fitted shiny gold bejeweled Jackets!!)

Over the last few crazy weeks and months the tension in this country has been so thick you could cut it with a very dull letter opener.  I witnessed something that I never believed possible!  I'm talking about the Cubs winning the World Series!  What did you think I was talking about?  Even though this has been a month of tough beats and miraculous victories I'd like to introduce you to Will and Zach!  Two winners if  ever there were.  

Will and Zach were married at The Omni Royal in a manner that reflected the genuine souls that they are.  They had a beautiful ceremony followed by a fantastic Second Line through the streets, led by the one and only, Kinfolk Brass Band.  

I'm quite sure that they will thumb their noses at me for mentioning the Cubs since they reside in St. Louis.  However, I'm sure they would agree that their wedding was another great underdog tale that was years in the making.  Which will be one of my greatest pleasures to witness.  

Respect and admiration is what I have for these gentleman and it is all they've ever shown to me from day 1!  I will always root for the underdogs and the long shots.  Anyone who has to fight for what they want can consider me on board!

Cheers,

Titus 

Contributing Vendors

Venue : The Omni Royal

Event Coordinators : Unique Weddings

Brass Band : Kinfolk Brass Band