Hello again. Lately I've been trying and learning how to promote my photography business. It can feel a bit overwhelming in trying to think of all the bases to cover, from learning my target audience, building my website to be SEO friendly, build a message, interact with my family, tell people why they should hire me, and also try to have fun at the same time. I'm waiting for a certain milestone to be at to look back and say, "this makes it all worth it." Today, I'm asking myself, "what is IT?" In a sense, I may already be where I want to be. It's not to say I don't have anywhere left to go or nothing more to learn, but in looking back, I feel like I'm on a path that I'm supposed to be on. At the beginning of me and photography, it was just a desire to capture and share what I see, what I experience, and what I want to say. It's been a struggle, but in looking back, I have the advantage of showing it with pictures.
This may sound self-serving, but I like to think of myself as an explorer, wanting to experience life to the fullest. As a kid, I didn't have a camera, but there are many times I wish I had one.
Going to concerts, I enjoy the loud sounds, the thumping bass I can feel in my chest, the sound and energy of the crowd, and seemingly the "you had to be there types of moments." I can see my first-person view of running through mosh-pits, getting nearly crushed by a pile of people, trying out crowd surfing, and meeting people from my favorite bands. I would walk away feel somewhat deaf, my ears numb, my clothes sweaty, and feeling like everything was awesome. Those were the reasons why I went. Simply, because I loved it. It cost money, the drives could be far, I would have to be up early the next day, but I just had to go. One of my favorite bands are the Melvins. As a kid without a camera, I saw them many times, and even got to meet them on a few of those occasions. They're one of the few bands still around from those days, and it's fun to get to photograph them.
Taking my love of music, I've gotten to meet young musicians and get invited into their circle, even if just for a moment. I forget that I'm older and think, "I'm with the band"...
I don't know how to put this in words, but later on in life, I was taught the value of people. I'm still learning, but born in me was the desire to love and meet people, and not just famous ones. Looking at this picture of my friend holding up her baby, it kind of sums up my feelings. We've known each other for years. We met through church and hung out in the same group of friends. At first she seemed really quiet, but I've gotten to see her open up. Really, it just took getting to know her. After several trips to Yosemite, going to concerts, seeing her date, get engaged, give birth to children, I got and get to be a part of their life. It's rewarding to see her and her children grow. In this picture, I forget her being the quiet person I didn't know. It's awesome to see her explode with joy.
Sometimes, I may just be out for a walk, feeling overwhelmed with everything in life. Recently, I took up a habit of going to the beach (a luxury of living nearby) before or after work, just to get out of too much commuter routine. On one particular day, I saw a some kids gathered around a lifeguard tower, and another kid about to jump off it. He did a fancy backflip and landed on his feet. It was pretty cool. They saw I had a camera and wanted me to capture him doing a flip again. Before he did it, we got to talking and he pointed to the pier nearby, saying he could land a flip off of there. I didn't want to tell him to do it, in fear of him getting hurt, but I also said readily that IF he did it, let me get my camera ready first. Long story short, up he went to the pier. 1, 2, 3, and off he went. I prayed for him to land and I was thankful he landed on his feet. It was pretty amazing to watch and it just all felt random.
Another time, I was in Jerusalem on a little photographer walk with a new friend of mine, who is also a photographer. We were standing near a church and talking. I looked around and caught a glimpse group of nuns standing just behind us. They looked really cool to me and I wanted to photograph them, but I felt too shy and didn't want to stick my camera in their face. So, while talking with my friend, I help up my camera and pointed back over my shoulder, snapped a few pics, and put my camera back down. Later on, I looked and saw this picture, with one of the nuns standing off to the side and looking out. For me, it captured how I can sometimes feel in church, belonging but feeling disconnected. Because I know where it was, being in Jerusalem, there was still a feeling of being where I should be, and it being ok to feel that way sometimes.
I love baseball, especially the Dodgers. It's been a gradual thing, but going to games has been a place of retreat for me. I love the action, cheering for my team, meeting fellow fans, making new friends, and being outdoors. After work and fighting through some traffic, there's often a rewarding sigh of relief that comes over me as I get into my seat. If you sit facing the outfield, you are in for a visual treat, especially if there are clouds.
The sun is just setting, the white clouds turn pink (Vin Scully describes them as being like cotton candy), the mountains turn purple, and the warm air turns into a slight chill. I love it.
Also at the games, I get time to listen and think. Fans can be pretty fickle, and I am a fan. When a player does well, especially at the right time, it's exciting. The player is the elevated to "the MAN" status in a good way, and all is well. That same player can then make a wrong play, especially when it matters, and then move to "trade this bozo" status just as quick.
I've heard the Lord's voice gently say, "they are people too", causing me to slow down and remember to cheer them on. We all have our good and bad moments, and it's true brotherhood to cheer eachother on, especially when we're struggling.
All this to say, in photography, this is why I do it. I love to tell stories, share what I love, and even share what others love. Lord, I pray for more!