Tag Archive writing

Byspotlightontalent

Spotlight on Talent: Shae McCoy, The Uncommon Realist

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

Name: Shae McCoy

Age: 26

Job Title(s):  Journalist/ Photographer (freelance)

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore’s own Shae McCoy has been consistently blazing platforms and leaving her media footprint within  the  DMV ( DC-MD-VA)   area and beyond. At the ripe age of 22, she founded Uncommonrealist.com,  a media source positively cultivating the minds of the public in not just the realest way but in a “realist” way.

McCoy’s deep passion for pop culture, the arts, and news has enabled her to expand her brand and be in the same room with the greats. Shae has had the honor to interview actors, activists, community leaders, and local politicians. One of the highlights of her career was interviewing the Michael B. Jordan, who starred in the Wire, Fruitvale Station, and Friday Night Lights.

Shae  fell in love with words at an early age. She was enamored with its power to move, motivate, and inspire. As a young girl, she wrote personal narratives and short stories. As Shae grew older, she grew fond of journalism and realized that is how she would make her mark on the world.

She recently started Coy-Op Photos, a photography brand that caters to various types of photography.

Meet Shae McCoy

                Meet Shae McCoy

 

Sapphire: Though you’re so young, your journey as a photojournalist has been a long one. Can you tell us how you got started? Which came first, your love of writing or love of photography?

Shae:  I started this journey as just a blogger/journalist in 2013. Uncommonrealist really was something that was created in the same day that I thought about it. For years before that, I wanted to create a blog, but didn’t know where to start.  I literally just had a day off from my  retail job and got to work.  The name of my blog came as fast as lightning, I didn’t have to put too much thought into it. I wrote my first article about Fruitvale Station and once I started receiving feedback about my article I knew that this was something I was meant to do and to keep it up.

I started doing photography in July of 2016. I originally picked up photography to be able to add photos to my articles so that I wouldn’t have to search for images via google. That plan didn’t stick too long because it was festival season, so I ventured out. I took my first collection of photos at the African American Festival and was pleased with results. That was also where I picked up my first paid gig.

UncommonRealist Logo

UncommonRealist Logo

 

Sapphire: Three years ago, you started your own company, The Uncommon Realist. What inspired you to launch your own brand? What did publishing under your own brand do for you as a journalist?

Shae: I’ve loved to write ever since I was a kid, I started out with creative writing. I always wrote the best stories, narratives and poems in my classes. Writing is something I can do with my eyes closed as long as it isn’t being forced, because no one wants to be forced when it comes to something they love. As I grew older I kind of strayed away from writing for a while because I was going through turmoil at home.

Once I got to college and saw that there were classes dedicated to writing, I picked it back up. I always knew that I would find a place in the media field, I just didn’t know where I would be exactly. News reporting always sparked my interest, but I didn’t think I was fit for TV so I gradually moved into writing in a journalistic style. I started Uncommonrealist in my sophomore year of college and then left school for three years. I didn’t think I was focused enough at the time. Starting Uncomonrealist definitely is shaping me as a professional and developing me as a person. As a journalist, it has presented me with plenty of opportunities.

Sapphire: You’re a contributing writer to the newspaper at the University of Baltimore, The UB Post; How long have you been writing for the publication? What are you majoring in at the University of Baltimore?

Shae: I have been writing for The UB Post since February of this year. My major is Digital Communications.

Coy-Op Photos

Coy-Op Photos

 

Sapphire: You recently wrote an article about the state of Baltimore’s inner city communities, focused on generational poverty and gentrification. What made you decide to write the story? What kind of response did you get?

Shae: I wrote that story because I am living that story as we speak. I am in a better space than I was growing up, but I am still in the same neighborhood I wrote about. The way that it is changing before my eyes is mind blowing and I had to express that because I know a lot of inner city residents can relate. The responses I received were mostly in concurrence with what I discussed. People were offering suggestions and trying to help.

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

 

Sapphire: There’s a huge LED billboard on Charles Street, a major Baltimore thoroughfare; it’s located practically right outside on Baltimore’s Penn Station which is a central transportation hub for the east coast. What does it feel like to have your work on a billboard with the capacity to reach millions of people daily?

Shae: It was a great feeling, a small success, but a great feeling nonetheless. It was just something on my list that I wanted to do. It was cool to see my work up that high and for people to stop and take pictures. I made sure that I included photos that I took of people I know so that they could see themselves up there as well.

 

Sapphire: Photographers tend to be shy, quiet thoughtful types. Who is Shae McCoy? How would you describe your personality and personal style?

Shae: I’m someone who appears to be very social, but really likes to be around a small amount of people or alone. I’m always shy in the beginning until I feels like she is comfortable enough to be open and fun around you. I’m  outgoing and outspoken, which can appear as a contradiction to my usual laid back self. I just likes to be comfortable when not out working hard, that usually requires a loose outfit and a place with a great view.

Sapphire: Where do you see yourself five years after graduation from UB?

Shae:  Working in a newsroom, but if print media is still relevant in 5 years I can see myself in that field as well. I see myself as a photographer for huge companies and both of my brands expanding in a major way. I never really answer this question too well. [lol] The world is forever changing I just hope to be on the good end of things.

Black and White Series: Coy-Op Photos

Black and White Series: Coy-Op Photos

 

Sapphire: I’ve noticed and have been enjoying your summer photo series. What can people expect from you this summer?

Shae: Thank you. I plan on having a book made for 2 of my photography collections, one old and one new. While preparing for that I will be around at some of the local events this summer snapping photos and doing shoots.

 

Sapphire: Where can people keep up with your work and find  more of you?

Shae: People can keep up with brands by:

Following @uncommonrealistdotcom and @coyopphotos on Instagram

Visiting and subscribing to Uncommonralist.com

Liking “Uncommonrealist” on facebook

Following “Uncomonrealist” on soundcloud

Following “Uncommonrealist” on Tumblr

Thank you so much for having me!

 

Please like & share:
Byspotlightontalent

Opportunity for Writers: Essays Wanted

Your ads will be inserted here by

Easy Plugin for AdSense.

Please go to the plugin admin page to
Paste your ad code OR
Suppress this ad slot.

ESSAY CALL

Essays of reflection on love, life, parenthood, transition, death etc. I am looking for essays that a reader will be able to see your growth from where you were in mindset when the essay started versus where it was when it culminates.

Word length 2,500 to 4,000 (exceptionally good essays of up to 5,000 words will be considered)

Fee $50 add your essay and contact information plus ONE copy of Reflections. $125 add advertisement for your own book or project plus 5 copies of Reflections.

“Reflections: Getting to the Heart of Me” will be available on Amazon, CreateSpace and at Barnes and Nobles June 15, 2017.

Essays due no later than June 20, 2017

Submit your essay to Sapphirethesexyone@gmail.com for consideration

I recently published a book of poems titled “Writing for My Sanity” because honestly, writing has saved my life many times. I’ve kept a journal my whole life, in fact I still have one of my journals left from high school.

As I’ve aged, not only have I continued to journal but I started blogging as well.  Through my blogging, I started to notice my writing develop. Eventually, I found that I had become an essayist without even noticing.

No longer was I just pouring out my heart, my feelings and emotions but I was growing through the insight I was getting from my writing. I was able to share my own personal experiences yet have a message that was generally universal.

As I’ve written and shared my life with strangers across the world for the last 10 years, I’ve connected with so many on a personal level. As a person who has dealt with feeling alone and isolated, it’s been encouraging and therapeutic to connect with others who can relate to how I feel.

It feels even better when someone tells me they gained clarity, insight, or peace in their own situations from me sharing my own.

I’ve compiled a series of essays that I can see the growth in myself through such as a letter to my dead mother, pieces on self-esteem, love, motherhood and more. The essays will be put together in a book titled “Reflections: Getting to the Heart of Me”.

With the second book I published, Writing for My Sanity, I allowed two other talented writers to share their poems with my readers inside the book. I am doing the same with “Reflections”, I am opening space up for other writers to share their essays as well. I encourage you to  use this opportunity to invest in yourself and increase your reader base.  I look forward to reading your submissions.

 

 

 

Please like & share:
Byspotlightontalent

Spotlight On Talent: Photographer Caitlin Tabilog

Name: Caitlin Tabilog

Age: 20

Location: Atlanta, GA

Talents:  Photography, soccer, painting, drawing, and piano

Sapphire: You’re a great photographer, your range is awesome. How do you decide what projects to take on or start?

Caitlin: Thank you very much! I appreciate it! Being young, ambitious, and having a love for learning, I’m open to almost any type of project that arises. I want to gain as much experience and knowledge I can with photography and the business side of photography.

Sapphire: I love that you are not stuck in a studio all the time, you seem to have an affinity for nature shots. What so many outdoor shoots?

Caitlin: There is a special beauty and glow with natural lighting that is difficult to replicate with artificial lighting. I also love the bokeh effect (blurred background) that also causes the blending of colors found in nature that happens when you photograph a subject in a nature environment for the background.

image 1

image 1

Sapphire: I’m pretty impressed in this day and age that you’ve dabbled with actual film. What made you go retro and try it? How did you like the results compared to digital photos?

Caitlin: I took two film photography classes my freshman year of college (2014-2015). We were required to shoot our assignments with film and develop the photos ourselves in the darkroom. Photos taken with film have a particular visual result compared to digital photos and feel more personable. I feel more attached to film photos, because you are responsible for getting the exposure correct without a preview in the camera. Also, it’s important to get the developmental steps in the darkroom correct, because there is no undo, preview, or delete button unlike digital cameras and photo applications. Also, there is a distinctive color effect, sharpness, and grainy look to film photographs that I think many photographers, presets, and filters are often trying to replicate with digital photos.

Sapphire: So many photographers are stuck on models, you capture real people. What made you decide to go against the norm?

Caitlin: Due to not having that much experience yet with photographing portraits, I had to practice with people that I knew who I perceived would enjoy modeling in front of the camera to build my portfolio in the beginning. I also adore bringing out the beauty, or the best in people that many clients are not aware of or who are insecure about the way they look.

image 2

image 2

Sapphire: Switching gears for a moment I see that you have another talent. You’re a writer as well. Care to share more about that?

Caitlin: I was a writer for The Odyssey for a short period of time, but I enjoy journaling during any free time I have. I believe writing is another art form, and it is a healthy way to express and release your own feelings and personal experiences.

Sapphire: I love that you’ve taken the time to learn the process and not just point and click. How hard was it learning to edit your own photos? Do you offer editing services to others?

Caitlin: Thank you! Learning how to edit my photos took a lot of time, dedication, and trial and error. However, there is a lot of helpful and quality information that is easily accessible through the internet. Creative Live, Phlearn, and Fstoppers are great on-line resources for information. I do offer editing services to others. I have retouched other photographer’s photos before, and I can be requested to teach my culling, editing, and retouching process to anyone who is interested by emailing me at photography@caitlintabilog.com

Sapphire: Do you remember the joy and excitement you felt when you first learned that your work had been chosen to be displayed at the Roswell Visual Arts Center?

Caitlin: I was very grateful to learn that my photos had been chosen to be displayed at the Roswell Visual Arts Center, but I was even more excited to learn that my photography professor organized a class field trip to have the class drive to the gallery to view my work.

image 3

image 3

Sapphire: What’s next for you? What can we expect to see in 2016?

Caitlin: I am currently communicating and working with a non-profit organization to help teach a photography class for children and teens who have loss a loved one to show them how they can use photography to express their emotions. Additionally, in 2016, I plan to learn as much as I can about photography and the business aspect of it through my internship with a local photography studio and work to save as much money as I can to hopefully visit New York City one day. I aspire to visit the Museum of Modern Art in New York someday and view in person the art pieces that I have been studying in college and adore.

Sapphire: Where can people keep up with you and your work?

Caitlin: People can keep up with myself and my work through my website and social media.

  1. Website: www.caitlintabilog.com
  1. Facebook: facebook.com/ctabilogphotography 
  1. Instagram: @ctabphotography
  1. Twitter: @ctabphotography

Please like & share:
Byspotlightontalent

I Attended The Hottest Open Mic Last Week

Burnin Mic Open Mic

I’m the first to say you can find talent in all places but  I was  shocked to find it flowing  from My own  womb. I  entered My son into this  poetry writing/spoken word program for the  summer with the  Maya Baraka Institute directed and ran by various National poetry  slam winners and  contestants. The  program is  for youths age 13-20 and  focuses on spoken word and the creative arts with an afro-centric flair.

We were invited to their  first  performance last week which was in the  format of an open mic which was also open to the public sponsored by the Maya Baraka program along with Dew More Baltimore.  The open mic was hosted by the  youths of the program and  many of them blessed us with their talents from singing, to poetry and rapping. I  recorded  quite a few of the performances but no where near all of them nor did I capture what I think were some of the best performances.

Hopefully you will enjoy  a peek into  what you missed. These talented teens and young adults blew Me away.

I have  a few more  videos  from the event and will be continuing to  upload them to youtube at http://www.tinyurl.com/sapphiresyoutube.com

Please like & share:
Byspotlightontalent

I’m So Excited To Post Our First FEATURE Interview with Talented Author, Journalist and Narrator Tia L. Lincoln

Tia Lincoln, An Accomplished Child of Baltimore

Tia Lincoln, An Accomplished Child of Baltimore

My love of reading and writing goes back further than I can remember. There’s nothing I enjoy more than curling up in a corner and getting lost in someone’s story. Now I have the opportunity to actually interview and talk to writers who impress Me and I’m so excited. From city to city, coast to coast I want to shine the spotlight on those who impress me most. I will be bringing you interviews with some of the hottest established and up and coming writer that I run across as I blaze my own path of fame across the net. Let’s get it on!! Time to meet one of the greats………..

I read a book by this talented author, Tia L. Lincoln about a year and a half ago and was so touched by the story I reached out to her to tell her how it had affected me. She actually responded and was so humble and graceful. She told Me however that the story I read, “Junkie: A True Baltimore Story” was her sisters life story and suggested I read ” Child of Baltimore” which represented her life. I did and became even more enraptured with her writing. I then discovered that besides a rough Baltimore upbringing we had another thing in common, a fascination with true crime. I’m so excited to be able to introduce you to or give you a more in depth view of the talented author Tia L. Lincoln.

Tia Lincolns Books

Tia Lincolns Books

1. For those who aren’t familiar with you and your work can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am an author/writer who writes and publishes strictly true stories. With my publishing company Real Life Productions, I have 5 books out right now entitled: “Child of Baltimore”, “Junkie-A True
Baltimore Story, “The Lady Who Chained Her Baby To The Bed”, “Maryland’s Most Notorious Murders 1990-2008″, and “Until I Get Caught – The True Story of A Serial Rapist in Baltimore”.

2. You seemed to hit your mark with the true crime niche. What was it that encouraged you to start researching and documenting murders?

I’ve been fascinated by the crime of murder ever since I was a child and I’ve been keeping a mental database on murders for years. Growing up in west Baltimore in the early 80’s, I can remember as a child fantasizing about becoming a homicide detective or even a criminal psychologist. It’s the why aspect of a murder that interests me. What drives a person to kill? When my father was murdered in 1995, the only absolute way I could cope with his brutal murder was to get my thoughts out on paper. Who knew that writing about my life and his murder would turn into a career.

3. I hear You have a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice, where do you see yourself career wise in 5 years?

So far I just have an Associates Degree in the Science of Criminal Justice but I’m about 55 credits short of my Bachelors. Career wise in 5 years, I will have obtained my Bachelors, mastered Spanish, released at least 3 more books, released the film version of my 5th book, “Until I Get Caught- The True Story Of A Serial Rapist In Baltimore”, and completed courses in victim assistance training as well as an internship with the Innocence Project in Washington D.C.

Author Tia L. Lincolns Appearance on Lifetime Movie Network, Killer Kids

Author Tia L. Lincolns Appearance on Lifetime Movie Network, Killer Kids

The  rest of this interview  can be found above under the FEATURE INTERVIEWS tab or you can just click the following link http://sapphirespotlightontalent.com/feature-interviews/author-tia-l-lincoln-this-child-of-baltimore-has-blossomed-into-one-unstoppable-author-and-business-woman/

Please like & share:
Byspotlightontalent

Writers Life….. I’m Learning So Much

 

Just Start Writing

                                                   Just Start Writing

So it’s no big secret that I love to write, I’ve been writing longer than I remember, blogging for almost 8 years and  writing for publications for two years  now. I love that  My pen gives Me a  way to express all the things tumbling around in My head and  I never get enough of the fact that people actually enjoy reading it,

It all started with  notebook after notebook full of journals, poetry and half finished stories I’ve started. Up until 2008 or so I had never even finished one of the stories or books I’d started. A short story for My website gained Me a little popularity and  caused Me to write more to appease the few who requested it.

Say It, Someone  Will Listen

                      Say It, Someone Will Listen

The next thing you know I took a  chance and  asked a guy starting  a  brand new magazine if I could write an erotic story for it and he  said sure. My first story published in print was “Facebook Fun” in 86 Blvd and  since then I have  written for each of the subsequent 10 issues and was recently given the honor of interviewing cover model Nyomi Banxxx for them.

My  regular byline in 86  Blvd  was the springboard  for Me  contacting other urban magazines and asking for a chance to write for them. To date My  writing has been featured in 27 issues of print publications and that includes My monthly column in BADD Magazine.  I get a thrill every time a  new magazine or website approaches Me to write for them but it also made Me realize it was time to work on My own project as well. I mean I  love creating content for others but we all know its much better to be on the receiving end of the residual income.

Write. Just Do It

                                                 Write. Just Do It

Yesterday morning I  got my lazy butt to the computer and said it’s time.  Honestly, I’m now a  month behind the deadline I scheduled last year. My first compilation of erotic stories were supposed to be ready by Valentine’s Day but I took a month to rest.  I went through My stories and picked the first twelve I’d like to publish in a book of short stories. I started formatting but it was getting overwhelming so I  took a break. Tomorrow I will be right back at it

writerslife.org

                                        writerslife.org

During this time while I’m focusing  on My writing I’ve been checking out all types  of websites, writing groups etc that can benefit ANY writer, not just a writer of erotic stories. I’ve found  some great articles and websites. One of the websites I’ve fallen in love with is Writers Life. I won’t  bog this blog post down with links but I’ve linked some of the most recent articles I’ve read as well as a *FREE writers toolkit below.

*Writing A Book: Life After The First Draft

*Writing  Prompt Basics: Tips For New Writers

*FREE Writers Toolkit

I will be  sure to add this site to the resource area for writers I have here on this site at http://sapphirespotlightontalent.com/resource-guide/resources-for-poets-writers/

Please like & share:
Byspotlightontalent

Do You Have An Inspirational Story To Share – Chicken Soup For The Soul Seeking Stories

chickensoup_logo

 

Do  you have a true life inspirational  story to share? Your original true life stories can get you the  opportunity to be published in one of the upcoming “Chicken Soup For The Soul” books.  The  story  has to be  100% true and MUST be  inspirational. Writers who stories that are published will be compensated $200.  To date, the Chicken Soup  For The Soul franchise has sold over 500 MILLION books, don’t miss the opportunity to have your work featured in one.

If they  publish your story or poem, you will be paid $200 ($100 for devotionals) one month after publication of the book and you will receive ten free copies of the book your story or poem appears in. You will also become part of the Chicken Soup for the Soul family, you will receive exclusive contributors’ communique and you will be entitled to buy cases of books  at a discount.

A few of the guidelines for submissions are

Guidelines for a Chicken Soup for the Soul story

1. Tell an exciting, heartwarming or funny story about something that has happened to you or someone you know. Your story should be written in the first person and should be about yourself or someone close to you.
2. Tell your story in a way that will make the reader cry, laugh, get goose bumps or say “Wow!”
3. The story should start “in the action” and draw in the reader. Do not start your story with an introduction about what you are going to say, or end with a concluding paragraph about what you just said.
4. Don’t be afraid to speak from the heart. Many people tell personal stories for the first time in our books, and they find it to be a cathartic and productive experience. We do let you use a pen name for your story if you do not want to use your real name.
5. Don’t try fancy moves with tenses. Writing in the present tense about something that happened in the past rarely works.
5. Keep your story to 1200 words or less. Tighten, tighten, tighten!
6. Your story must be true. No fiction, no creative writing.

Get the  rest of the guidelines and  submission info on their website at http://www.chickensoup.com/story-submissions/story-guidelines

Please like & share:
%d bloggers like this: