After completing a massive project last year that consumed my life on a daily basis (and the lives of those who were involved in my own life), I took a break. Slowly, my posts became fewer and far between. The writing that accompanied the photos waned into fewer words as I sought to box my (personal) life back up into the cathartic bubble that it existed in prior to verbally vomiting all over social media for 365 days.
To a certain extent, I needed the break. My family needed the break. YOU probably needed the break too.
But something in my life has been missing. That's an understatement, but specifically, in the case of my need for creative outlets that morph into the realm of (hashtag) real talk, I began to wrack my brain for ideas. In the meantime, I read a book, gifted to me by some friends, which has almost nothing to do with my life as I know it. The subject matter is nothing that I'd have read on my own, but because I'm morbidly curious about things that can help to catapult my own life from the current state that it's in, to something greater, I read it. I also met with my friends a few times, and as is typically the case, after talking to people, I left fulfilled, and they left saying "My goodness, your story is so compelling."
Something that I learned from this book, is that I am a bit of a chameleon when it comes to the type of person/business mind/leader that I am. I know that there's talent that God has given me, but I haven't ever felt like I'm anything close to the best at anything I've ever done. Far from it. I love talking, but I spend most of my day in silence now -- in my own head more than anything. I'm completely driven to succeed, but at my own terms. Rarely, if ever have I felt the need to conform. Since high school, I decided that I was going to mark myself to the point that there was never any DOUBT that I was an artist - a rebel. Contrarily, in that mission, I've always wanted to throw YOUR stereotypes out the window about what an artist - in specific - a tattooED artist was in society. I'm not a criminal. I'm not a gangster. I'm not a huge asshole. Ideally, I wanted to have a conversation with your grandparents and have them walk away from it saying "I might not understand the tattoos, but I sure like that guy."
I'm rambling and for that I apologize. I haven't written a lot lately, so there's a lot of words and an unlimited amount of space. Back to my original point and where I was going with this.
I can only do so much in my day to day goal of trying to build a photography business. Jobs only come so frequently and more often than not, I'm traveling a long ways just to take a job. I get perilously bored after spending my mornings editing photos, drinking coffee, and sitting in silence. Don't take that the wrong way. I LOVE photography. I love all aspects of it, but what I love more than anything, is the ability to continually create new and creative content. Right now, my jobs may be only once a week and then I spend the remainder of the week, or in the case of weddings, the next 6-8 weeks, editing the content. My project last year intertwined with actual jobs and passion projects that were entirely unpaid. The point, is that I don't care if I'm getting paid (personally, because money isn't my most motivating factor when it comes to HOW I need to feel fulfilled). I just need to create. In that, jobs will come.
What I also need -- and this is something that the book I recently read turned me on to, along with the conversation with my friends -- is that if there's one thing that I'm good at... really, good at, is sharing stories. My story. The stories of others. Life and all that comes along with it. Without trying to have this sound pretentious, I feel like these stories, the pieces that came from this project that I shot last year, are necessary in this world. They're therapeutic. They're hopeful and real. And in conjunction with my goal as an artist, they hopefully cause you to leave the posts, thinking to yourself "That dude has something to say and I want to listen." Maybe it'll only be a thought provoking image with words posted below it that get overlooked. That's fine. But to some of you, I hope it's a story about life that causes you to think about your own and what our place in this world is.
So with that being said, I'm going to launch a new project. I've sincerely missed sharing and creating. I've missed the interaction with the audience. As difficult as that project was last year, it became a part of me that I didn't really want to give up forever. I think the themes and the stories will start to flesh themselves out as the project moves forward, You can tune in daily, you can catch up weekly, or you can pick and choose what you want to pay attention to. I'll post to my Instagram daily and I'll post here as well. This project will have its own blog, much like my #JG365Project did.
As I'm about to sign off on writing this, the lyrics to a song came through my headphones, bringing a small tear to my eye.
Let's do it.
Mimi, in Ellensburg, WA. Shot with my Nikon Df and my Helios 58mm f/2. Manually focused, I shot this at f/4, ISO 640 at 500th of a second shutter speed.