Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Turning 40!

Today I turn 40. It's just a number. I certainly don't feel like 40. Then again, I don't know what 40 is supposed to feel like.

Either way, it's another birthday and a chance to think about this past year and see what's in store for me next year.

It's been an interesting year to say the least. A year ago I had a full-time job. A job I couldn't really say I enjoyed. I like the people and still consider them good friends. But the old saying, "Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life" just didn't apply. I worked everyday and it killed the creativity part of my job and it was no longer something I enjoyed. When my contract ended, it was not renewed. It was a bit of a surprise, but most of all it was a relief. A chance to start over. An opportunity.

I am a creative individual. I need to express my creativity, challenge myself and grow. It's something that I strive to do everyday. Sometimes I see a difference and other times I don't and I am my worst critic, but that is all part of the creative process. As I look back, I was unhappy. Today, I can honestly say that I am happy. The future is uncertain, scary even, but exciting nonetheless.

I was writing an e-mail to one of my former co-workers today, keeping in touch and I was trying to describe the satisfaction and enjoyment I get from photography. I get to meet new people every time I go out on a shoot. When I work with them I provide them with the best of my talent and they thank me for it. Something I rarely got at my previous employer. I have been touched by the kindness and innocence of children. Several months ago, I did a shoot with Holly & McKenna. While I spoke to Holly about photography, McKenna asked her mom if she could give me a hug. She had had such a great time that she wanted to give me a hug. Last night I did a family portrait session, the boy Chance, asked me to play with him on the playground. As we left the park, his sister, Mattea asked me if I wanted to go to dinner with them and have some hot chocolate. It's these little things that reinforces that path that I've chosen.

Photography provides me the opportunity to create, challenge myself and grow my craft. It's a bonus that it's provided me with rewarding experiences and clients that appreciate the work that I do. It makes me work harder and go the extra mile.

I've had the opportunity to meet some extraordinary people and even other photographers, that can work together and help each other out. Thank you Zack Arias for being an inspiration and introducing me to a more rewarding profession.

As I mentioned, the future is uncertain, but I look forward to it. I see exciting things happening and hope to share it right here. Right now, I'm doing what I love and it doesn't feel like work.

As for the photo, it's a self portrait and it's not photoshopped or composited in any way. It's a 30 second timed exposure. I painted the 40 with an LED light then positioned myself in front of an Apollo 28" Soft Box and manually triggered the flash with a Pocketwizard during the last 5 seconds.

Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving and spend it with your loved ones.

If you're looking for a portrait photographer in the Atlanta area, visit my portfolio.

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