Category Archives: Magazines/Entertainment

Top 3 Books for Female Business Bosses!

Owning your own business can be hard. Like REALLY hard most of the time.

When I first started Joc’s Photography I spent my time scouring the wide world of Google for any insight on how to make it as a serious female business owner; even if I was just starting out. It seemed like it took me FOREVER to track down tangible “mentors” in the art/entertainment industry and I promised myself, that as soon as I began to see progress, I would share my insight one day so other young women won’t have to struggle as hard as I did to find their place in the world.

Which brings me to the purpose of this post. Even though I’m a good few years late, I’ve decided to share three books that have truly changed my life in the best ways! As a single female entrepreneur (also working a full-time job) it’s tough figuring things out on your own. You know, trying to juggle your dreams, with your love life, and friends/family — it honestly gets overwhelming at times; but, regardless of how hopeless the journey may have gotten at times, the insight I’ve gained from these three ladies through their books are always good to re-up my creative tank and keep me pushing towards my goals!


#1 — THE GIRLPRINT by Valeisha Butterfield Jones

I must admit, when I purchased this book, I was a bit biased since I have personal ties the author. See, Valeisha grew up in the very same small town as I did and to see her go on working for the likes of Russell Simmons, President Barack Obama, and found her own nonprofit organization was all the testimonial I needed to hit that ORDER button! Though we’ve only had conversations in passing, I inherently expected her to pour her soul onto these pages before opening that Amazon box, and boy oh boy did she deliver!

If you are a woman interested in art, entertainment, or business in general, this book lays out a strategic blueprint (that Valeisha used herself) to help you propel your dreams into action. Even though I had big dreams prior to reading this book, my inner determination kicked up a notch when I closed the back cover. The Girlprint really gave me the push I needed business wise to work through the ups and downs and plan a course of action as a lady boss.

Image result for the girlprint valeisha

You can buy THE GIRLPRINT here:



I forgot what initially inspired me to order this book, but I’m thankful for it! This book is laying in my bag tattered and bent up from having been read so much. I remember thumbing through the pages for the first time and thinking “Where have you BEEN ALL OF MY LIFE!?!” Of course, it was an exaggeration, but for a woman in her early 20s at the time, I felt like I was aimlessly wandering around life trying to figure out what it meant to be a woman post-grad. I was just growing in my personal faith/spiritual walk at the time I first cracked this baby open, and I was pleased to find the author discussing the importance of trashing the “‘I’ll do _________ someday” mindset and thriving from setbacks instead of wallowing in them.

When you’re a business owner, you’ll have rough periods. In the 10 years I’ve been freelancing as a photographer I’ve had some pretty low moments (personally and business-wise) but applying principles spoken of in this book has allowed me to grow where I have been planted and renew my love for the art that makes my heart sing! If you want to cultivate the attitude necessary to real kick butt in life, you need to purchase this book like YESTERDAY!

Successful Women Think Differently

You can snag Valerie’s book for yourself here:


#3 OVERLOAD by Joyce Meyer

JOYCE MEYER IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL! If you are a woman of faith (or considering growing in your faith) this book is definitely for you. I know you may be thinking “Um Joc, what does Joyce Meyer have to do with being a female entrepreneur?” My answer to you: everything!

Living in this age it’s easy to become overloaded with the limitless options in food, homes, career paths, men…so being able to center yourself, calm yourself, and focus on saying ‘yes’ to what really matters is vital for a prosperous life. In business as a woman, you are tasked with wearing SO many hats that you need a book like this to help you take hold to your peace of mind and become rooted in your faith. Afterall, what you believe in and think about the most eventually shows up in your life somewhere down the line. If you’re a photog wife and mom struggling to keep your head up. If you’re a freelancer with a full-time job (like me) wondering how on earth you can fit LIFE inside of life. If you work a corporate job and feel like no one really hears your voice. GET THIS BOOK!

You’ll learn how to finally let go of emotional stress, activate peace, and how to apply biblical wisdom in a practical way so you can experience life like you never have before!

Image result for overload joyce meyer pdf

This book was so good, I ordered TWO copies (so I could give one to a friend) and I purchased the audio reading for the car. Go on and get your own copy here:


Drop me a comment or email and let me know what you think of these books! I hope they change your life like they’ve changed mine!

Peace & Photos,


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GOALDIGGER Subject Featured in ‘Substantial Magazine’

Kimberly Moore Knight (photo by Joc’s Photography)

This morning I found out that one of my subjects/participants for my recent GOALDIGGER project is being featured in Substantial Magazine, a NC based publication that focuses on highlighting successful and rising business people (of color). She has this to say on her Facebook status…..

I am honored to featured as “Substantial Woman of the Issue” for the March-May 2014 Issue! I hope this amazing journey I’m experiencing inspires you!Support local publications!

Make sure you check her out and support! Her story is AMAZING!

Also get a sneak peek into her life by checking out her GOALDIGGER profile at

Peace & Photos,


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Lupita Nyong’o – A Diamond In The Rough


Thank you to the Academy for this incredible recognition. It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else’s. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance. And for Solomon, thank you for telling her story and your own.

Steve McQueen, you charge everything you fashion with a breath of your own spirit. Thank you so much for putting me in this position, it’s been the joy of my life. [Tears, applause.] I’m certain that the dead are standing about you and watching and they are grateful and so am I.

Chiwetel, thank you for your fearlessness and how deeply you went into Solomon, telling Solomon’s story. Michael Fassbender, thank you so much. You were my rock. Alfre and Sarah, it was a thrill to work with you. Joe Walker, the invisible performer in the editing room, thank you. Sean Bobbitt, Kalaadevi, Adruitha, Patty Norris, thank you, thank you, thank you — I could not be here without your work.

I want to thank my family, for your training [laughs] and the Yale School of Drama as well, for your training. My friends the Wilsons, this one’s for you. My brother Junior sitting by my side, thank you so much, you’re my best friend and then my other best friend, my chosen family.

When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid. Thank you.

– Lupita Nyong’o

Oscar Night – Sunday, March 2, 2014

HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02:  Actress Lupita Nyong'o accepts the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role award for '12 Years a Slave' onstage during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Fortitude, talent, grace, spirit – this is what beauty looks like. Very proud of Lupita for the inspiration that she is!

Peace & Photos,


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Vanity Fair Accused Of Lightening Lupita Nyong’o’s Skin Color

As a photographer, it is my job to not only provide high quality photographs for my lifestyle clients, but also it’s important that I understand the art of aesthetic and the fashion editorial market. I know that a bride may not want the same “artistic” filters used in her photos that perhaps an up and coming fashion designer would. 

Lupita Nyong’o (the next Hollywood ‘it’ girl) was recently photographed for the well known fashion magazine VANITY FAIR for their February issue. I personally believe that Lupita is BEYOND gorgeous and her photo was sheer perfection; however tons of critics have slammed the magazine (and subsequently the photo editor) for lightening her silky, chocolate skin.

Take this from a photographer: her skin was not lightened. The editor applied an artistic filter to give the ENTIRE photo a bubble gum, fairy like appeal.

If her skin were lightened, the photo would be creamier, and her skin itself would be more of a manila color. I believe that while it is AMAZING that people are trying to reverse the harming effects of colorism, it’s even more important to make sure not to take it too far. The photo was done in good taste and Lupita looked as heavenly as she always does. 

Take a look for yourself.


-Peace & Photos, Joc

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Bridal Bliss: Against All Odds (via Essence Magazine)

(article by Charreah K. Jackson)

There are many places a woman can meet the man of her dreams. (We’ve shared nine new hotspots in the February issue of ESSENCE.) However, a homeless shelter is the last place any woman would expect to meet her Mr. Right. Entrepreneur Ressurrection Graves found herself living at a shelter after losing her home and business in 2011. It was there that she met Deven, a homeless veteran with a huge heart, and realized God had brought her to her lowest place to share a special gift with her – true love.

Graves had leased a 2,000 ft. building for her massage business, lived in a 3,000 ft. home and was in a bad relationship. In a few months time, she closed the business, lost her home and ended the relationship. She was living in her car when Hurricane Irene and an earthquake hit Washington, D.C. At rock bottom, she whispered a special prayer. “I asked God to make clear what would end this cycle,” Graves shares. “His instructions were clear. He told me to go to a particular homeless shelter in Virginia, and I did.” It was there she felt the stare of a man from across the room. One night she was sitting outside of the shelter on a covered porch watching the rain. Deven came over and introduced himself. She learned he was an Army veteran working to get back on his feet. Their connection was instant, though Graves was hesitant after all she had experienced. Deven was consistent in his care for her, even with limited resources, including walking five miles to Graves’ job at a local grocery store just to bring her lunch, then making the return trek.

However a fairytale ending was hard to imagine as the two both fought to get their lives stable again. “I told myself that I refused to fall completely until I could see that he could overcome homelessness and work a reliable job,” she says. Soon after, a business acquaintance that had no idea that Graves was homeless reached out to her. He shared a business opportunity for veterans in the DC area. “I felt this was the final sign I needed,” she says. “Deven worked full time and it transformed our life. He proved himself to be faithful, diligent and a provider with integrity.” As the couple started to make plans for their future and marriage, Deven received a housing opportunity that could only include Graves and her daughter if they were married. “He told me ‘I don’t want to live without you. I want you with me,’” she recalls.  “I was in total shock that ‘The One’ had finally come. And, I felt this overwhelming sense of gratefulness to God.”

Graves attended the original date for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial unveiling on August 28, 2011. Afterwards she returned to the shelter and Deven struck up a conversation with her. “After this conversation on the 28th, we’ve never stopped talking.” Two years later, the couple decided to marry at the Jefferson Memorial on August 28, 2013, the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington and Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. “Romans 8:28 is also very fitting to our life, our relationship and what God has done for us,” Graves says.

The couple marched to the monument to pledge their lives together and they were joined by their minister and loved ones. Once again rain fell from the sky. “I’ve always seen rain as a sign of cleansing and harvest,” Graves shares.

While most couples obsess over wedding cakes and deejays, these newlyweds had something else in mind for their reception party. After marrying on the National Mall, they fulfilled another of Dr. King’s messages: feeding the hungry. The duo and their guests visited several parks around D.C and offered food to homeless men and women. The husband and wife team are now the co-founders of Glory Soldiers Global, an organization aimed to help end poverty and homelessness. “After I got into the shelter and met Deven, there were many confirmations that he was indeed the reason that I ended up there,” she says.

To support the work of this couple, visit

See the February issue of ESSENCE for more amazing love stories, on stands now.


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This is WHY Photographers Never Edit EVERY SINGLE PHOTO…

I haven’t really had any problems from clients asking “can I have the photos” because I make sure I set my prices and packages to eliminate it; HOWEVER, the questions has come up before.


If you all can remember a mere month or so ago when Beyonce started the first leg of her Mrs. Carter World Tour; she banned all photographers except the ones hired by her. MANY were outraged, but this post explains why she did it. As a photographer I can attest that there is NO photographer in the universe who shoots events/concerts that shoots every frame perfectly. When your subject/client is moving and gyrating all over the place you may capture an unflattering shot; but most photographers just delete it and shoot again. Unfortunately there are some photogs who get super amped by WHO they are shooting, they forget that this is still a client and our job as photographers is to make you feel good about yourself and the memories we are creating. I’ll say no more…just  read:

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Birthdays and Weddings! What a Month, What a Month!

Goooooooooooood morning to ya gov’nas! It’s somewhat super early but I could not hold in my excitement. This month has been another super duper crazy one for me, and these last few weeks will culminate an uber amazing time! All month I’ve been writing for WEEN ( ) <—- check my work out here || and interviewing some amazing women in the fashion and entertainment industry! On the photography end, a few test shoots had to be rescheduled but it’s all gravy; the concepts we have are going to be a big ball of crazy-classic-amazement! Tomorrow I (and my photog assistant TJ) will be heading out of town to attend the wedding rehearsal of one of my high school cheerleading teammates Amelia! From our consultations, her wedding is going to be tailored to the tee for she and her hubby-to-be! ( you like that rhyme?! haha) Dancing, spoken word, special ceremonies — it’s going rock!

Now for United States Current Events…

Next weekend, it will once again be the most important weekend in American history (after the birth and resurrection of Jesus of course. lol) …….**drumroll**…..MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! ( cue the confetti )

I have planned a super swanked out dinner/night for about 29 of my closest friends and family. Since this is a milestone birthday I don’t mind dropping some figures to make sure that this is a birthday to remember ( good memories, no bad ones allowed)! 3-course personalized menus, comp access to roof tops and eclectic lounges — oh yes my dears, a great time is in store!

Despite all of the awesomeness that’s in store, I’m still kinda bummed I couldn’t invite ALL of my you guys so, for the month of May, I am running a [BELATED BIRTHDAY SPECIAL] in where you can score 25% off ANY shoot package….guess why it’s 25% ** wink wink **

SO THERE YOU GO! The month of April packed into one blog post! In the meantime, if you have any questions on the shoot special or just want to say hey — email OR visit the Official [Joc’s Photography] Website:

Peace & Photos,

– Joc

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Hello party people! I am SO beyond excited because with the help of you (my clients) and some web hosting knowledge from one of my closest friends/colleagues I know officially own! After 3 years of having an official online site I FINALLY have my own domain! For some this may not be a big whoop, but when you go from having like a billion words in your free-domain name to something simple and sweet — it makes a WORLD of difference! It’s easier to find AND remember (which is exactly what I want). I’m still updating my portfolio, but make sure you check me out RIGHT after reading this!

In other photography news….well not much. haha Since I’ve been named the Creative Director of Our Success Magazine (not sure if I’ve told you guys yet or not, but if not you know now) and contributing for WEEN, my photo shoot booking has been spread out. I usually shoot on weekends now (a few during the week) so my available dates are going fast for Spring 2013. I just recently shot engagment photos for one of my highschool cheer mates (I’ll post a few sneak peeks in the coming weeks) and I’m gearing up to shoot her wedding in April! Also in two weeks I’ll be covering the baby shower of a family friend which should be SO much fun because mom is having TWINS!!!

I’ll be trying to fit some test shoots in and MAYBE have a summer special soon…so keep your eyes peeled!

Peace & Photos,


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Writing, Writing, Writing Day and Night!

Hey guys! This new year has literally been a blur so far! I’ve been working hard interviewing powerful women in entertainment for WEEN (Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network) and show no signs of slowing up! Since this is one more thing sopping up gravy on my plate, I don’t have AS MUCH time as I used to for personal test shoots. BUT I am still taking care of my customers!

Just this past weekend I had a 2 1/2 hour shoot with a newly engaged couple! It just so happens that the bride-to-be is a high school friend of mine! We went from cheering toogether, to working together! Go figure right?! Needless to say, Amelia and her fiance are definitely looking like they made the right decision in getting married. They are funny, unique, and you can tell that no one else in the world would “get them” but the other. Ahhh beautiful love. I’ll have some sneak peeks up for you soon.

In the meantime, check out my WEEN interviews so far:

1) Valeisha Butterfield-Jones – entrepreneur, HASAN-Russell Simmons, Obama Admin. National Youth Vote Director

2) Sabrina Thompson – fmr educator, jewelry/clothing designer, Survivor One World Runner-Up

3) Lauren Lake – lawyer, life coach, television host, singer, advocate

4) Kristi Henderson – PR, marketing professional, Vibe, Planned Parenthood of America

5) Midwin Charles – lawyer, legal analyst for CNN, In Session, MSNBC, Fox News

SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!!! GO CHECK ME OUT & feel free to leave your comments and join our discussions at:

Peace & Photos,

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We All [Choose]…

It feels like it’s been FOREVER and 26 days since I’ve posted!

Life has been very busy in these past few weeks, but still totally awesome! I’m booking my first few gigs of the new year and last week I received an email that I’ve been waiting several months for….but I’ll tell you guys about that in detail later! =)

In other news, I made my first photo delivery of 2013 this past weekend (sneak a peek below) which got me thinking of love and family. Love is SO beautiful and if you let it…it will find you and make you one of the happiest people in existence. But love doesn’t just happen. People don’t simply ‘fall’ in love. You don’t love your friends &  family out of the blue — we all CHOOSE to love. That’s what makes it so amazing!!! Think about it, if we were FORCED to ‘love’ someone; all the fun and meaning would be sucked right out of the experience! Photographing these clients and seeing how they were truly a loving family made me that much more honored to be able to capture that feeling on camera.

Candance + Keane Sauls Maternity

Last year, my awesome friend Gregory Cox released his EP “The Last Start” — one in which I had the pleasure of shooting the art work for — and one of my favorite songs on the album is titled “Choose”. It’s a lightly quirky, but funky record that speaks on love in the very same way I witnessed it in my client’s shoot. We all CHOOSE to love. ❤ Check it out and take this song into your week — CHOOSE to love.

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