Just in case you missed it the first time around, here’s a revised edit on a bio video done by the boys over at HIP Visual Arts. I can’t forget to mention my wonderful partners and sponsors that help me to do what I do! Special thanks to Gitzo tripods, Clikelite Backpacks, Arc’teryx, Mountain Khakis, Singh Ray Filters and the Manfrotto School of Xcellence.
Three minutes with yours truly. That may be three minutes too many for some of you. And if it is, escape is just a mouse click away. Otherwise, you’re mine! (or I’m yours…)
Many thanks to Garrett Smith, Dustin Butcher and Nate Balli for putting this video together. If you’re local here in Salt Lake City, I’d love to see you at the upcoming Hammers Inc Arts Festival. Great artists and fantastic work on display, all for a worthy cause. For more details on attending, and how you can help donate to the Access Fund (for which the Arts Fest will be raising money), click here.
Simply put, last night was a gift. It was amazing. It was perfect. It was everything you could ever want behind the lens bottled up into four minutes of ridiculous organized chaos and color and mosquitos and sore knees and…wonder.
I wondered if I captured “it”. I wondered how “it” could be so overwhelmingly gorgeous. I wondered if anyone else had seen “it”. I was certain no one else had seen it like I had. It was impossible. In fact, it was UNpossible. There was no way that anyone else in the world had witnessed nature in such harmony as I had.
At least, that’s what I was telling myself. And I believed it.
Instinct is what you rely on when logic leaves your brain. And believe me, when you get conditions like this in front of your lens, logic will depart. In a hurry. You’ll be left with the most beautiful scene anyone on this earth has ever laid eyes on, and you’ll be bumbling around like a teenager in a Victoria’s Secret store.
Take a deep breath. And rely on what you have done so many times before. Which brings me to my point–if you haven’t done it “so many times before”, you’ll not have much to fall back on when things hit the fan in a good way.
Practice really does make perfect. And in the end, it is a simple practice of sorts that will capture moments like this for all of time. The more you shoot, the more you learn. The more you learn, the more capable you are of handling whatever happens to present itself in front of your lens. Interestingly enough, we only think of practice coming in handy when things go bad. But what about when things go…good??? When conditions are best for capturing five-star imagery is when you will feel the most pressure to perform. Because there’s no reason you shouldn’t come home with something spectacular. And really, there’s no excuse if you’ve done your homework and have…practiced.
On a near daily basis I receive emails from aspiring photographers, curious as to how I made it to where I am and if I have any advice that may help them in their quest. It is both humbling and gratifying to know that others think my thoughts have enough merit to better them as a budding photographer and business person. Let me be clear that I feel I am by no means “there” as a photographer, but I feel that I’m certainly somewhere on the way to “there”. I know I’m much closer to “there” than I was two or three years ago.
The truth of the matter is this: if you’re reading this blog post, we are very much alike. We have far more in common than you could likely imagine. I am still very much clawing my way to greatness, but I can recall, when I was just taking my first steps into the unknown that defines a green photographer’s career, wondering what went through the brain of one more seasoned than I. For those of you perhaps in that same situation now, here’s a glimpse into my psyche as a person and a photographer. Whether you’re a seasoned vet, or a newbie to this fine medium, I’d love for you to add your own confession in the comments field if you like.
1. I sometimes wonder if I can do this for the rest of my life, and continue producing exceptional imagery.
2. My 3-yr old son knows I’m a photographer, and I love it.
3. I dream of shooting large format film one day–just for fun.
4. I hate the “look at me” part of showing my work to potential clients and friends.
5. But I have figured out the difference between arrogant ego-padding, and proper self promotion.
6. There is no better motivator to work hard than knowing I have to provide for my family.
7. There is no better motivator to push my photography than knowing I’m surrounded (everywhere) by exceptional photographers.
8. I am ridiculously anal about having tack sharp images. I throw away most anything that isn’t tack when it’s supposed to be.
9. I, too, have an equipment wish list a mile long.
10. I love to teach photography. Someday I hope to make that a more significant part of my job.
11. My favorite time to shoot is sunrise, when everything is quiet and Mother Nature is the one doing the talking.
12. I am constantly wondering if I’m good enough. I have learned to deal with this in a positive way, and I hope this sentiment never leaves me.
13. I use gear I believe in, not just gear I get for free. That doesn’t mean I don’t love free stuff.
14. I am screwed without my Grad ND filters. Really.
15. My office is a freakin’ mess.
16. One of my greatest inspirations has always been David Muench.
17. The day goes by so much quicker when I’m working for myself. That’s not always a good thing.
18. I am afraid of flash photography.
19. My workflow is a freakin’ mess.
20. I think my favorite places to shoot are National Parks. They are so beautiful and grand. I wish I could have been around when they weren’t quite so crowded, but it’s great to see people out there enjoying them.
I’m excited to once again have several of my images on display at Pictureline. Part of Gitzo month at Pictureline, I’ll be giving a presentation in partnership with Gitzo tripods as part of their 5 Star Summer Tour event. I’ll have details soon, but please come and join me on July 30 from 6-8 pm for a slideshow presentation and extensive discussion/Q&A on how to take your landscape and active/lifestyle photography to the next level through traditional and alternative photographic techniques. Look for another blog post soon with details, and stop by the store if you get a chance to check out the prints and meet the good people at Pictureline. They will make sure you’re taken care of!