Washington, DC : 02 17/18 2012 :
At DAR Constitution Hall, I’m the house photographer, and periodically, depending on the act they hang my photos in the backstage hallway. The “Wall of Fame” currently displays a few of my concert photos. This particular weekend, the goal was to add a photo of comedian Steve Harvey to the wall. It was his last tour as a standup comedian, and considering the fact that he sold out 22 shows there in his career – it was only right.
Friday night, right as Steve Harvey hit the stage, I started shooting like a crazy man, then, once I saw that I had a solid set of shots, I raced to the back office. Once there, we printed out a large 30″ x 40″ photo and hung it up in the dressing room area so Steve Harvey could see it after the first night’s show ended. He saw it, and was impressed. Impressed enough that he said, “Look here, do you travel?”. He then expressed interest in me photographing the rest of the tour. At that point, I was shocked. That was far more than the response I expected. What’s cool is the fact that the majority of his remaining tour stops are Saturday dates.
After the Saturday show, I passed along to him a small photo album containing photos from the Friday night show, as well as about 15-20 photos from various shows that I’ve covered – Janet Jackson, Jill Scott, Ledisi, Al Jarreau, Mary J. Blige, Anthony Hamilton, Chrisette Michele, Erykah Badu, Common, and more. I wanted him to see my work without having to visit my website. It seems he liked the photos overall. My initial plan was to inquire about photography at his upcoming 10th Annual Hoodie Awards events.
Later, when I had a chance to speak with him, I shared the story about when Anthony Hamilton invited me to hang out with him and his friends – Jill Scott, Common, Raekwon: The Chef, and Stevie Wonder (which still amazes me). Before I could even express the excitement and the shock of that experience, Steve Harvey politely interrupted me and quoted Proverbs 18:16 which says “A Mans gifts will make room for him, and bring him in the presence of great Men.”.
At a point, just he and I had a really inspiring conversation about me taking a leap of faith to pursue my photography 100%. Inside a completely empty auditorium, we stood on the stage chatting – no staff, no security. He spoke of taking a leap of faith being similar to jumping out of an airplane. No matter what, you are falling for the sky, but if you have a relationship with God, God is like a parachute. Your descent is very different.
The next morning in church, I kid you not, the message was about taking a leap of faith, and a Man’s gifts.
3 days later, on Wednesday, when Steve Harvey returned to the radio show, he started his show with his usual Morning Inspiration. I don’t wake up at 6:00am for work, so I never hear it. At a couple of minutes after 6:00, my phone rings, with my Mom on the other end saying “Van, Steve Harvey is on the radio talking about taking a leap of faith, etc, etc!”. I quickly tuned in, and I caught the tail end where he said again, the parachute thing. That was cool. I felt connected to that.
Little did I know that I’d check my Twitter, and my text messages to read messages from friends saying “Steve Harvey is talking about you right now on his morning show!”. I didn’t hear it, so I can’t quote it. Sorry. My friends said that he mentioned meeting an amazing photographer in DC that took the most amazing photos of him – more amazing than he’d ever seen before, and that there was a conversation about taking a leap of faith. That’s what my friends said he said, I didn’t make that up. Lol.
God is good. __________ ( fill in the blank )
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