"As I continue to build my business and my brand, I need to constantly be maintaining me and be building myself as well.
Happy New Year to everyone! Here we are at the start of a new year with new possibilities, new jobs, new ventures in life and work. For me the start of the new year is always a bit stressful. I look back over the previous year, sometimes the year prior as well and compare where I have gone in both work and my personal life. I then think about the upcoming year and where I want to go and do, both in my work and personal life. For me, my work life is my personal life. When I set goals it is based on the work that I am going to do that will affectively enhance my personal life, enriching it with new experiences and new ventures or projects.
In 2015 I will have some major life changes. Getting married will be one of them. Following that will be the launch of a "to-be-announced" project that I have been working on over the last few months. I will be traveling more this year, no doubt about that. And, the new work I will be doing. I am taking my career down newer and much greater path.
In 2014 I worked with some great clients. I worked for some new clients as well as clients I have retained over the years. 2014 was a great year. I was able to integrate new technology into my work that has afforded me the possibilities of creating more dynamic work. I am very thankful for the clients that I worked with, both new and old. I met some great people over the last 12 months and look forward to working with them in the upcoming months.
I plan to feature more shoots on this blog and discuss the work that I will be doing as well as possibly going back to my blogging roots of adding feature content that discusses things I learn, pick up, or implement in my work. On one of my former blogs I used to write tutorials and such and those were always well received.
Have a Happy and Safe New Year!
Last Thursday I strolled through the halls of the Massachusetts State House with my camera and friend State Rep Aaron Vega. His 6 month old son Odin, wife Debra, and staff member Pat were with us as well. Aaron was there on business and I accompanied on this trip to also make photographs of one of his friends, whom was being recognized for the work that she has done. She was among the many other women being recognized as an "Unsung Heroine for the amount of generosity, hard work, selfless dedication, and the volunteer work that they have done within their communities and throughout the state. Some where there being celebrated for their businesses, volunteer work, or the social practices they have used to bettered their communities. The age range spanned from 12-97 years old. In a touching moment, one of the presenters read the story of a 12 year old girl who recognized that a number of her classmates required the school lunch program. Her volunteer efforts inspired classmates to join her in seeking food donations to ensure that her classmates had meals on the weekends. At 12, most youth are concerned with clothes, iPhones, and other 12 year old things. However, she took an initiative to help others, earning herself an award for doing something ensure others had a dire resource.
I stood watching as each name was called, listening to the stories between photographs, realizing that all of these women took a belief and worked hard for it. As an observer, I also noticed that there was a sincere amount of appreciation and joy being spread around the room as the stories were read. Like a smile or a yawn, honest work is contagious. By this I mean, when people do great things it inspires others to do great things as well. As I scanned the room, making candid images, I pondered, "I wonder if any connections will be made today in which community service will foster a broader and larger development within the state of Massachusetts?" Which as we all know, the more people doing awesome things, the better the chances of all of our lives being enriched.
There is a hero in all of us, but few have the courage to live a life in which it is visible.
As I have said in the past, with my former blogs, I used to do various articles related to photography. Over the past two years I have been busy with numerous projects, clients, and new ventures that blogging has fallen behind. Also, as I have stated, I am going back to the practice of blogging on a more frequent basis. From time to time I go to Google and just enter various words and throw photography into the mix. I am kind of like Rob Dyrdek, when he bings his words on Ridiculousness. I will not for the life of me read any articles on Digital Photography School. In fact, if you are planning to google that right after reading this, or copy and pasted that from this piece, your wasting your time. Trust me, NOTHING good is on that site. When I did read it a few times, many many many years ago, 90% of what I read was incorrect and written by people that didnt know what they are talking about. The same can be applied for Ken Rockwell's blog. He likes to "discuss" cameras. Ken Rockwell likes to tell people people what they should buy. I do not think I have ever seen any of his photography. I certainly have not seen him in any publication that I have read. He made this post about Professional Photography, which I think is a mere rant, joke, an intimate look about how he has NO idea where the photography industry is. I will agree with him that photography can be low paying, but that is when you are starting out, have no idea what you are doing, or no idea how to be a professional photographer. Being a professional means that your entire income is derived from the work that is done. What he does not discuss is having your own studio, building a business, or how to run a business. Instead, his article is geared towards, this is how you do it, but there is nothing in it really. As far as I am concerned, he is unaware of what it means to be a professional. I say that because as a camera hobbyist, he knows how to read reviews and then post them on his blog, knowing that he has a following after many years of spouting Nikon this or that.
UPDATE - - -FroKnowsPhoto this guy is funny and hits the nail on the head about Ken Rockwell. Watch his video. Bit long, but insightful.
If you want to be a professional photographer, shoot a lot, find your niche, build your portfolio, solicit your work, build up a client base, generate invoices, shoot, retouch, and repeat. There are fancy things you can do to become a professional. Once you get to the right level, you'll figure it out. The moral of the story is, make photographs. If you love it, live it, breath it, enjoy it.
I bought a Gopro Hero 3+ Black a few weeks ago. Let me say, as a camera I love it. Its small. It can be discrete, but most importantly, it is a tool that is purely for intuitive play. I have yet to figure out the wifi, but I am still impressed. Here are a few stills I made when I was in New York City (not my photography, but an awesome site) last week. I took a day to travel down with friend and Creative Economy Coordinator for the City of Holyoke, Jeff Bianchine. We were there to view the exhibition and work of Jerome Liebling at the Steve Kasher Gallery. Equally it gave us our first chance to see the famous Highline. I have been anxious to see that for some time now. Even more equally, I am excited to shoot there. (fashion, some day)
It occurred to me sometime between adding the photographs to my website and right now, nearly a week later, that in addition to hosting the photographs for my site, I should put them on the blog. Total space cadet move right there. After deciding to post them, I had another flatulent brain moment, "dummy, why don't you see if you posted the film from last year, too? Well. Here I am. Posting both the photographs and the film. WTF am I talking about? Well, a quick note. Last April I filmed "Deposit." (Below) "Deposit" was not intended to be a film. I have been working on a feature doc for the last year and some change. I made a point to coordinate with the dude in charge of "Deposit" A Pop Up Restaurant in Holyoke, MA. For two nights. Two singular nights combined to form a partial weekend, a Friday and a Saturday at the beginning of April 2013, "Deposit" was a dinning experience that fused art and food. Western Mass does not have such a venue in which food and art are wedded together like a hipster boiler maker, a lethal drink my friend Rory has been concocting. Truth. Western Mass has some places where you can get a large slice of pizza, some re-heated burritos, a few fine meals, and occasionally something semi creative. Overall, this area lacks what was bestowed upon us.
Two Chefs, Jeremy Kean and Philip Kruta, Co-Owners and Founders of Whisk, (pop up restaurant and awesomeness) and their team, artfully and skillfully produced what was nothing short of incredible. During the two nights, people such as foodies, artists, hipsters, the politicians, the creatives, the business owners, the friends of friends, all sat and partook in an experience of art and dinning. Each guest was an element of the final product. With or without knowledge, they were part of a social practice of dinning as art. While the literal form of art, paintings by The Banner Queen, Amy Johnquest and another Chap, name escapes me at the moment, hung in the vast openness of a former bank/ Tables fill the void of what used to be lines of pre-economic melt down Bank of America cogs. The space really is a diamond in the rough. A restaurant belongs there. So if on the off chance you are the new owner of the building, do your best to fill it with a restaurant.
As I said, I was there to film the event. I was there to capture the ambiance and produce some images and video for my film, (untitled and undiscussed at the moment.) Half way through the first night, it dawned on me that what I was capturing was a lot larger than my first thought. It needed to be its own film. So, I told Brendan. The genius behind the idea of bringing a Pop Up Restaurant to Holyoke. He agreed. The film was born. I shot stills and video the first night. Stills and video the second night and conducted interviews as well. It took me a bit of time editing it together as I am no Ken Burns, though I did meet him and hand him one of my photographs a short time prior to "Deposit."
What you will see is a film that captures the splendor that was "Deposit."
Moving forward a few months. I received an email in late 2013. It was a request for the photo of Jeremy (seen below) to be used on The Food Network's show "Guy's Grocery Games." Of course Jeremy can use the photo! The show was to air on January 19th. I am happy to report that Jeremy won. It was so fun to watch Jeremy compete and win. I kept saying, "I know him, I know him! He just served us!" Well, maybe not so jovially, but he did just serve us a few weeks prior to the start of the show. As I said, these dudes have a pop up restaurant. Located in the North End of Boston, they are serving something that not even Whitey Bulger could whack. If you are in Boston, I suggest you look them up, you wont be let down with dissapointments...!
And yes, those are safety "deposit" boxes in the lower safe of the bank.. Awesome, I know right??? Well it was fitting as much as it was metaphorical.
This was among what was served at "Deposit."