Behind The Scenes: Kareem Black Feature

Behind The Scenes: Kareem Black Feature


Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

BTS Photography: Steve Feldman, Copyright 2024

BTS Video: Ted Kawalerski, Copyright 2024


I’ll never forget when I first met Kareem Black in 1997. He was a student at SVA School of Visual Arts in New York. While finishing up his photography training at SVA he made an appointment to visit me at my studio in Philadelphia to ask my advice on becoming a professional photographer.  He often reminds me that I was the first real photographer that he met. During one of his visits, I asked him to model for a picture for an upcoming book, called Tableaux Vivant’s. The picture is one of my favorites from the book, of which Kareem received a copy during his visit.

Kareem Black in The Figure. From Tony Ward's book of Tableaux Vivants
The Figure. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024.

Our meeting had an impact because when he left SVA and started a career as a pro, he took off! Kareem and I have stayed in touch remarkably 25 years later, and this month of May 2024 I’ve decided to reach out and celebrate his success by inviting back to his home town for a feature shoot.  Kareem was thrilled.  So was I and the results of the cover shoot speaks for itself.


To access more behind the scenes with photographer Kareem Black, check out our YouTube channel:

Nefertari Williams: Tall Tales

black and white photo of two your beautiful lovers embracing
Obsessions. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2023

Text by Nefertari Williams, Copyright 2023


Tall Tales


1. Things got hot and heavy at the end of a date and you wanted to stop and he kept going. Thats your problem. 

2. You are now pregnant and the morning sickness is causing you to miss work so you have no money – dont you bother that good man. 

3. You dont have insurance to see a doctor because you cant work because you are too sick from low iron and constant vomiting – that man should not have to worry about your problems 

4. You need bigger clothes for your growing belly and more food because of the growing baby – you should have thought about that when you grew a uterus

5. The baby needs a crib, clothes, diapers and formula. Strap a vomit bag around your neck and get a second job – dont you dare bother that man about your problems 

6. The delivery will cost thousands of dollars and you need a bigger place to live – you should have thought of that when you were born a woman. Oh well 

7.) Baby is born and you need to go back to work but cant afford child care. Mike Pence says that you need to be more patient and good things will come if you are patient so just keep hope alive.

Men (husbands and spouses) some of you are being quiet about the freedom of choice” debate. 

When I had my heart attack it was unknown what was wrong with me. I was nine months pregnant. My baby was alive but the doctor pumped me full of blood thinners as soon as they realized what was wrong. At that point, a Caesarian section was not an option without killing me however without the medication I would not have survived. 

My doctor made the choice. 

If this happened today, in some states, I would not be alive right now. Politicians would have made the choice. 

Because my MEDICAL professional was able to make the choice my child and I are both alive. 

Please dont let politicians decide whats best for my body. Please leave it to the medical professionals. One day it might be someone you love.


Editor’s Note: These pictures are from Tony Ward’s first book Obsessions, published by Editions Stemmle, Zurich Switzerland in 1998. An exhibition of photography by Tony Ward of the Obsessions pictures from the years 1993 – 1998 will be on display at Prism Arts Philadelphia from October 6th – October 27, 2023. For more information, link here

Alcohol Consumption: Knowing When Enough is Enough

photograph in a bar from a drunk persons perspective
Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2023

Alcohol Consumption: Knowing When Enough is Enough


Edited by Tony Ward


Excessive alcohol consumption has been a pervasive problem in society for centuries, leading to numerous adverse health, social, and economic consequences. While moderate alcohol consumption can be part of social gatherings and cultural practices, going beyond the limits can have serious repercussions on individuals and communities. Understanding the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption is essential to promote responsible drinking and prevent the devastating effects it can have on lives.

Excessive alcohol consumption takes a severe toll on physical and mental health. Chronic alcohol abuse can lead to liver damage, cirrhosis, pancreatitis, and an increased risk of various cancers. The heart, brain, and nervous system can also suffer from long-term alcohol abuse, leading to cardiovascular diseases, cognitive impairments, and even permanent brain damage. Moreover, excessive drinking weakens the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to infections.

One of the most significant dangers of excessive alcohol consumption is the potential to develop addiction and dependency. Alcohol is a highly addictive substance, and individuals who consume large amounts regularly may find it challenging to control their drinking behavior. Over time, they become physically and psychologically dependent on alcohol, making it extremely difficult to quit without professional help.

Excessive alcohol consumption not only affects individuals but also has far-reaching social and economic consequences. Alcohol-related accidents, such as drunk driving, lead to injuries, fatalities, and property damage. The burden on healthcare systems increases due to alcohol-related illnesses and injuries. Additionally, alcohol abuse can contribute to unemployment, reduced productivity, and strained interpersonal relationships, placing a significant strain on communities and economies.

Alcohol impairs cognitive functions and judgment, leading to poor decision-making and risky behaviors. Individuals under the influence of alcohol are more likely to engage in dangerous activities, such as unprotected sex, drug abuse, and violence. This can lead to unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and legal consequences, further exacerbating the negative impact of excessive drinking.

Excessive alcohol consumption can exacerbate existing mental health issues or contribute to the development of new ones. Alcohol is a depressant and can lead to increased feelings of anxiety and depression. Self-medicating with alcohol can worsen the symptoms of underlying mental health conditions, creating a harmful cycle that can be difficult to break.

Excessive alcohol consumption often strains relationships with family, friends, and partners. It can lead to conflicts, loss of trust, and emotional distance. Moreover, children growing up in households with alcohol abuse are more likely to experience neglect, abuse, and psychological trauma, affecting their development and well-being.

Knowing when enough is enough regarding alcohol consumption is vital to protecting our physical and mental health, preserving social connections, and maintaining a functional society. The dangers of excessive alcohol consumption are evident in the toll it takes on individuals, families, and communities. Raising awareness about the potential consequences of excessive drinking, offering support to those struggling with alcohol abuse, and promoting responsible drinking habits are essential steps in mitigating the impact of alcohol on our lives.

Ultimately, each individual bears the responsibility of knowing their limits and seeking help if they find themselves crossing dangerous thresholds. By acknowledging the dangers and making informed decisions, we can create a healthier and safer environment for everyone. Let us strive for a society where moderation, self-awareness, and support prevail, allowing us to enjoy life without succumbing to the perils of excessive alcohol consumption.

Studio News: A Masterclass in Portraiture by Neal Slavin

Large group photograph of fencers in ballroom photographed by the famous photographer, Neal Slavin
DC Fencers. Photo: Neal Slavin, Copyright 2023




TWO SPECIAL WORKSHOPS: Saturday, July 29 / Sunday, July 30, 2023 & Saturday, Aug 5th / Sunday, August 6th, 2023.

Requirements: camera & gear, a statement telling us something about yourself and your photography (may include a small sampling of your work) which should be sent to before the workshop begins.

LOCATION: Neal Slavin Studio  62 Greene St. NYC.

DETAILS:  Workshop is limited to 8 students
10 AM – 5 PM / Morning coffee at 9:30 am / lunch included
Fee: $595.00 per student

TO REGISTER:  All participants must pay full amount via check or Pay Pal before start of workshop.


Neal Slavin is a world – respected photographer and film director. His work includes a professional career of over 40 years, during which he has photographed a myriad of subjects including celebrities, notable dignitaries and is best known for his group portraits.

His teaching credits include classes and workshops at Les Recontres d’Arles in Provence, The Cooper Union, CUNY, SVA, the Ansel Adams Workshop in Yosemite, visiting artist at the Art Institute of Chicago and the International Center of Photography (ICP). His work is collected in both public and private institutions.


All artistic endeavors including photography come from the same place – in the belly!  Which one the artist uses to express him/herself is entirely the artist’s choice. What isn’t by choice is the influence the other arts contribute to the success of the artist’s chosen field, in our case photography. Through listening to music, drawing from the figure and listening to oral poetry we are able to create photographs that are honest and expressive. We will learn how to let those other disciplines help us in our creations. We come to understand that the rhythm we hear in a piece of music is the same rhythm made visible in a photograph. The lines in a drawing can be found in the shapes in a photograph. Sound crazy? Come aboard for a sensorial 2 days of experiencing the relationship between your photographs and the world of the arts!


To access additional articles about Neal Slavin, link here


A.H. Scott: Sunrise

Sunrise photo of Philadelphia skyline
Photo: Hassan Smith, Copyright 2022

Poetry by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2022




I saw the sunrise in your eyes
As I pulled a crumpled, wintergreen sheet around my form the next morning
Your smile was all I needed to rejuvenate me that night before
Yet, what we shared was so much more
Last night was one of many wows
The moment you came to my apartment door
Red roses in a bouquet you handed me, as we kissed
I never knew such a moment of joy
You were the surprise that I never expected would come true
The dress of lime green fell from my skin because of you
White undergarments were unhooked and roll off my body
As you watched me, while sitting in a Chippendale chair
Suave and sexy was my man of European flair
He had brown eyes and salt and pepper hair
Sunrise smile that always made every moment I spent with him even brighter
He stood and approached my naked body by the bed
Those hands of yours were skillful and my lips upon him were bliss
Warm and moist I was to his touch
As I ran my fingers along his love-line, that smile broadened
When the bed became our playground
Each of us reverted to playing games
Hands and arms interlocked in a rumba of racy rendezvous
As both of our bodies heaved in anticipation
Then the moment of cresting came for us together
We fell asleep in each other’s arms
You left my flesh tingling from your charismatic charm
Make no doubt it
You have the brilliant disguise
Man of honey hue you are my sunrise

About The Author: A.H. Scott is a poet based in New York City and frequent contributor to Tony Ward Studio. To read additional articles by Ms. Scott, go here:
A.H. Scott’s book: Bad Guys Finish Fast & Good Guys Finish Last is available on Amazon!