In ignorance of validation.

Day 288 of 365

Lately I’ve been frustrated with what I have been making.
Directionless.
No plan or intent.
It made me think about my life.
What I love about it and what I am struggling with.
The underlying theme is separation.
Growing apart in some areas and growing together in others.
Life is really freaking good right now and it’s exciting.
I’m finally starting to regain the passion for my words in my writing and visuals in my photos.
With this I’m working to work in ignorance of validation.
The only person that validated my best work was me.
I didn’t and still don’t need likes to make me create.
I create out of impulse.
Not to be remembered, not to make a mark on something before I die.
Simply to make because it makes me feel good.
Why I chose photography as a medium is an entirely different story.
What really been on my mind lately is why I let validation creep into my work?

Why did I stop experimenting?

Why was I trying to uphold an imagine for people I do not know.
The only person you should ever be better than is you yesterday, no competition with others, no external validation.
Figure out what makes you move and let it drive you.

Photographing Home in New England.

Day 287 of 365

In the past when I’ve met new women I’ve always asked questions relating to their favorite things, their family, their upbringing, their passions.
From the 3 women I liked most in my life so far they all spoke of a strong community and family presence while growing up.
Yet somehow over the years that dynamic faded for all of them.
Myself included.
I guess my question today, is separating gradually the nature of life?
Are all things impermanent?
Do all families grow apart as the kids reach 18 until we start our own families that are like baseballs fresh when they are new and with each year of use unraveling at the seams?

I’m sure their are families out there that have only gotten stronger as years pass and I’m sure their are families out their that are entirely made up of adults and not dependent on the young to be a reason for community.
What keeps these families together?
What does it take to make one of your own.

I seem act and think in very opposite ways on this matter.
I think a family is like a team.
When that team feels a pain mutually and they all strive to beat that pain they build a bond.
With that being said families are also like a team in the sense that if you want to play in the game you have to show up to practice.

For me I’m willing to take the pain, I’m willing to go to bat in any game, but for somethings I really hate showing up to practice.
Then I wonder why I don’t feel closer with my family or why we don’t do fun things with each other.
I mean don’t get me wrong when were all together it’s my favorite times but I don’t think I contribute as much as I could.

I guess as I write this now I’m understanding who the responsibility falls on. Myself.
If I want a closer family I guess all I have to do is give without expectation.
If anyone takes advantage of that well then their no family at all.





Bumping into walls.

Day 286 of 365

Selfish in ways I often do not understand.
I can’t see the outside of the car from the driver seat.
I’ve hit a few walls but this vehicle is still moving still going forward.
That’s the import part for me.
Forward.
Keeping this damn thing out of reverse because nothing new happens in reverse.
If you’re happy with where you are in life, put that shit in park.
If not the only direction to go is forward.
Praise the people that help you go forward and do the same for them. 

Stop reliving the same chapter.

Day 285 of 365

So often I stay with whats comfortable.
What’s predictable.
For some reason or another we stick with what we know but avoid change and growth.
We stay on chapters that should have been closed years ago that we know we should have closed.
By not closing old chapters we are missing all the new ones we have in front of us.
Let that person go, quit that job, start that business you’ve always wanted to start.
Growth is in the muddy areas of life, not the chapter you’ve been reliving like ground hogs day.
You know the outcome.
Let those characters stay in chapter 2 move on to chapter 3.

The most confident person I know.

Day 284 of 365

Below are some photos I made 2 years ago in studio at SVA.
I met Samoht the model in the photos at a trade show and I was instantly blown away by his energy.
(It’s hard to describe without meeting him in person and seeing for yourself but he is as cool as a cucumber, laid back but has so much intent when he speaks that everyone listens.)
Samoht is a performer easily one of the best singers I have ever heard but to hear him in person last night was an experience on an entirely new level.
He spoke of loving yourself, holding onto pain and when to let it go.
It was an emotional and entertaining experience but what stuck with me the most was his message.
Never spend time with anyone that makes you feel less than a king or a queen.
If people aren’t raising you up (and you are doing the same for them) then they are dragging you down.

Samoht has a very gospel sound but I will link a live video just so you can see how perfect this guys voice is I’ll also link his spotify as well.

SPOTIFY SAMOHT

Never stop.

Day 283 of 365

I’ve been spending a lot of my shooting time just noticing small details and avoiding people.
This is definitely the wrong thing for me to do right now.
So I decided to give myself the weekly goal of 1 model shoot a week.
I am doing 1 this week and will start again in January after the holidays.
Small goals have always lead the way to any paid jobs or success that I have had within photography.
When people see you making new things they take notice, you learn, and you feel better doing it.
I don’t think I will ever be satisfied but being a goal oriented person accomplishing that daily checklist and crossing each task off is something that makes the end of a long day really fruit-full.

If you know you’re avoiding things that need to get done make a list on paper and cross off each task in red sharpee. It feels damn good and as a freelancer it seem to keep me moving.

Don't be stoopid.

Day 282 of 365

Yesterday something happened to me that put a lot of what I write about to good practice.
It tested me anger management skills, my patience, and my ability to have rational thought in an unfavorable situation.

Around 3 o’clock yesterday I was having a very productive day. I decided to take the last 2 small boxes in my room and to go through the things in them to make my room totally clean.
Inside one of the boxes I found Christmas lights so at around 3:40 I decided to put those lights onto my balcony railing.
I grabbed my hoodie, my sandals and I went out there to string up the lights.
When I finished I reached for the handle to go back inside….

This is where I knew I fucked up.
Somehow when I shut the door the lever to lock it slammed back into the lock position.
My cell phone on the bed in plain sight.
My jacket and warm boots on my clothing rack.
All I could see was my stupid alarm clock counting down the minutes slower than I’ve ever seen a clock move…
I tried everything to get off the balcony.
I knocked on my neighbors window.
I tried to kick my door open.
I considered climbing down but the last floor is just too high off the ground.
No matter how much force I used nothing even budged I’m also 4 floors up so yelling at people on the street was hardly an option.
I ended up looking at the clock knowing that my roommate would be home in 2 hours and he would be looking for me to do our workout together.
Luckily he came home and saved the day.

I was out there for 2 hours and 20 minutes.
All in all it sucked but the first 30 minutes was the worst.
It took my body that long to adjust to the cold and the wind was relentless.
I knew I needed someway to pass the time, which the only decent part was thinking of creative ways to exercise in a 2x6 space.
I jumped 300x, did 300 calf raises, and 200 air squats.

Moral of the story is now I know how that door works so I won’t let shit happen again lol.

Below are some inspiration photos I have been looking at this week.

Patience over anger.

Day 281 of 365

Trash master now. 
Is that all that is left of my brain. 
The subconscious swell of the waves. 
Now she writes despite my advice. 
The promiscuity of spite distracts all angsty teens. 
Only now is my awareness growing. 
That no anger is worth holding onto. 
Like a scalding cast iron pan.

Only patience can allow me to not be burned. 
The ownership is mine to have or to endlessly burn my hands.

Walk.

Day 280 of 365

I haven’t been on here at all this past week.
I was assisting full days with some other photographers but boy was it a blast.
I love being on set but it reminds me how badly I want to create things daily, even if it’s just walking around with my camera like I did this morning.
It forces me to interact with complete strangers and to leave the apartment.
There is something beautiful about seeing small details in your life in an appreciative light.
Even if it’s raining.
Get outside enjoy where you live, be a member of the community.

Pick your friends up.

Day 279 of 365

Have you ever been around someone for lunch or just doing things for a day and when you left that persons presence you felt so amazing, so excited to take on the world and so refreshed.
Now imagine the opposite how often are you around people that drag you down like a lead weight in the deep end of the ocean.
I’m in a transition period in my life and I find with each day I am more sensitive to peoples energy.
For me to escape negative energy I had to be honest with the people dragging me down and I had to take responsibility for the negativity around me and not allow it to distract me any longer.
With this came more positive in my life because to be honest anything was more positive than the person I was hanging around.
I guess the goal from here on out now that I am building an awareness and zero tolerance policy for this type of negative behavior is to now surround myself with people that I have quality conversations with.
No complaining, no nonsense, just progression.
I would rather be alone than in the company of someone who is miserable.

Think of the person that lifts you up the most.
We should all strive to be around them and those closes to them and we should lift them up in return.

Quiet your mind.

Day 278 of 365

It felt good to get back to nature the other day.
I spent just over 3 hours hiking with my family dog trey to one of our favorite places.
No people, no cell phone, just me and the pup and my camera looking at things.
It’s so important to be in a place that inspires you to create.
I’m striving to have a balanced life between the city and nature, between fun, work and freedom.
Man does it feel good when it works out.
I haven’t allowed my brain to be quiet in some time but this place always seems to remind just how important it is to allow your brain to shut up.
Even if only for 10 minutes quieting your brain has a way of sorting things out.
I hope you have that thing, whatever it is that makes you forget that time exists and just puts you in the moment.
If you do have it, do it soon.

Don't be a butt dart.

Day 277 of 365

63.jpg

I often don’t realize how primal we are as humans but each day I am making an effort to recognize the subconscious ways in which I act. Addressing fear and insecurities. Much of which serve no purpose but pain. What does an insecurity or a fear protect you from? I mean emotional fears, not oh I’m afraid of heights it protects me from dying. I’m talking about the fear of starting your own business, being afraid to tell someone you love them because it will make you look weak, being afraid to let go of a grudge. I think this constant state of fear based decision making is draining and when we launch our selves into things we are afraid of and address these fears we grow. This growth is what I’m after. It’s not always easy to figure out what you need to grow but I have a feeling it takes the shape of fears often.

To kind of explain this and how it relates to my life, I have to take you back about 5 or 6 years ago. My parents used to hang out with a big group of couples, the guys would play poker about twice a month and they did this for like 8 years it was the best time of my life growing up with their kids and seeing seemingly healthy adult friendships. They no longer play poker because of their pride. They let arguments and now judgment of others keep them away from each other. They all demanded respect but gave none in return like each one was some superior being. It still is entirely he said she said drama bullshit. They’re all good people and I know not all good things last forever.
It’s okay to part ways but you don’t need to part ways with an explosion. It feels weird when I see some of these people now. These people were once were such an influence in my life, and having grown up without a father it felt awesome to learn about sports, and poker, and just be a kid around a bunch of dads for a little bit. Luckily I’m still close with a few of these guys but from seeing this situation I’ve learned what insecurity does to grown men who have never addressed their insecurities while they were younger. It was such a primal reaction for most of these guys to get upset and part ways. They couldn’t see the good these times did for us all when we were kids. Regardless of the outcome, I wouldn’t change a thing. I learned the importance of communication. Addressing what upset you in conversation, giving respect and expecting nothing in return, and being secure with yourself is a great way to guide you through your adult life. Not drama, talking shit and being insecure.

Lately, I have been trying to see beyond the immediate dopamine my brain receives from cheap actions. I want a happy life and I think that involves some level of discomfort in order to grow. I hope later in life as these issues will arise that I handle them like an adult with love and security and not the opposite.

Do we need validation?

Day 276 of 365

The American felling.
Consumed by validation.
Our selfish creations only guide us to an innate desire to be remembered.
Why?
Why do I need to be more than an echo in the wave of for forever.
For never.
Did I even exist? because I don’t know a single thing about my great grandparents.
They are all forgotten.
I guess this gives some insight into the mind of terrorists or mass shooters.
Their dead names repeated on tv’s so incessantly we have no choice but to remember them.
I can name at least three but I cannot name a single victim. 
In that case I don’t want to be remembered.
Let me go gently into the night.

Day 274 of 365

After my run this morning I was thinking about the english language.
Made up entirely by peoples thoughts. That thought alone really amazed me.
That some how people stared making sounds with their mouths and agreeing on the meaning of those sounds.
Within all languages there is slang and it’s up to the listener to understand the connotation of those sounds.
Slang and differences in languages really fascinate me as well.
For example I went to college and had a few close Chinese friends for a year and they would tell me sayings in Chinese and I would ask what it meant and they would say oh there is no word for this in english.
This really expanded my thought process when talking to foreigners.
It also affected the way I approach photography.
I started looking for small yet relatable details in everyday life.
I want people to feel the time and place I am in at this moment.
Something that words can’t always describe so well as there are a finite amount of words in our language some that have not yet been created for our use.

For example the language of color in all societies always started with 3 words, black, white, and red. Following after this were yellow, blue, and green. Yet there are thousands of other colors in the world.
Still today their are some societies that do not differentiate between green and blue.

I think my point here is that we shouldn’t hold onto people words so tightly because we hardly have the words to describe emotions and feelings that we have yet to explain.
Just like the commercialization of color in our culture which has thousands of colors, probably for the purpose of selling paint. We still don’t have ways to describe so many things. For this I think it’s important to lead with your actions and not with your words.

Hope everyone has great day.


Don't watch your life away.

Day 273 of 365

Over the past couple days I have realized how important it is to allow myself to be bored.
In the past my best ideas, focus, drive, has come entirely from mundane tasks, exercise and discipline. Putting my phone away for hours and getting to work reignites a part of my brain I so whole heartedly welcome. Yet it is so easy to reach for my phone, to mindlessly scroll on the computer and to read useless often depressing information.

There is no time like the present and I am in the process of finding a happy medium to use my cellphone less.
Luckily the past two days I have been so extremely busy and my happiness in this moments is through the roof.
Shooting days are manic.
Editing days are dull and they drag but there is an excitement to see the finished product.
I think long editing days are so important to my work flow because they make me want to get out and shoot so much more.
If editing was as fun as shooting I’d be a retoucher and I’d never see the light of day.
Fortunately for me I like to be out interacting with people and taking photos.

I guess what can be applied here in every life is that allowing yourself to be bored inspires action.
It’s very hard to be bored with a cellphone in your hand and endless entertainment at your fingertips.
Entertainment in excess is a huge waste of life.
For myself I am going to strive to be bored more often.
I want to think twice the next time I go to pick up my cell phone.
I’m setting up new rules to make sure I stay strict with myself.

No cellphone in the bathroom, in bed, during meals, or when I am with my friends.

Life needs to be had while it’s here in my hands I’ll save the endless scrolling for when I can no longer move.


Limiting Beliefs.

Day 272 of 365

Back to my old alarm.
It rings so loud I have no choice but to get my ass up at 5:30 and I love it.
It’s forcing me to get to bed earlier or be a waste of space all day.
Kicking yourself in the ass isn’t easy but damn it feels good when you do it consistently.
I find that when I run as soon as I wake up and then come home and start my day my mind is almost kick started.
It’s much easier to focus.

When I was writing this morning (a 20 minute free write no stopping) I wrote through a section on limiting beliefs. I realized that as a baby you do as your parents do and you believe what they believe (same with your parents and grandparents) and until you recognize that not all those beliefs are conscious and well founded you will not be able to move past them and grow.
With emphasis on growth, I want to be a better me than the me I was yesterday.
I think that starts with figuring out what is holding myself back.
Often for me those things are illusive, a hard to identify snake in the grass.
Simple things like saying “that’s too hard to do, how will you afford that, or even spending money sucks” are limiting beliefs.

I reference money often because early on my limiting beliefs revolved around money.
Affording what you want is not easy…so pull your fucking boots up and go get what you want.
I don’t think it’s okay to say that’s too hard and roll over and give up.
For me I want a certain lifestyle, I want freedom.
I think we all want freedom.
I am only scratching the surface of what I would like to obtain but damn it feels great and I wish more people knew how accessible it is to live a life of passions and interests rather than a life of misery and regret.

Don’t limit yourself by letting I’ll founded beliefs stop you dead in your tracks.
The distance between you and an expert in any field is a daily objective done for several years.
Make an effort to learn daily, and produce something out of that new found knowledge.
What’s daily will define.



Winter Photography New England.

Day 271 of 365

I know I often speak of awareness and making things better for yourself but fixing things that aren’t working so well. It’s important to notice what is working and give those things the proper attention as well.
Our subconscious minds are always looking for the negative. How to improve and survive. With industrial food and housing survival is no longer a difficult task. Which renders that negative mindset of seeking out problems as healthy and as satisfying as it once was in the past.
Imagine living 200 years ago and making your own wood stove…you would be freaking pumped. These days I feel it’s better to know what your doing well and commit yourself to it.
There are too many people doing what they hate and what they are not good at.
Give yourself some credit.



Make moves.

Day 270 of 365

At times we all look outward at others lives wishing that was us.
It’s normal but it’s not healthy if its done too often.
It’s important to live on your own plain and to enjoy each step of your personal journey.
The present is a beautiful thing and looking to where people are instead of worrying about yourself breeds resentment.

Chose to live the life you want to live.
If it’s excitement you want, do exciting things.
Make more plans to do things you’ve never done before.
Life is meant to be spent out doing not inside on your phone being jealous of people posting shit that’s for the most part fake.

Put the phone down and talk to people today. 

NYC 35mm

Day 269 of 365

I heard a nose coming from my bathroom this morning.
I left the sink slightly open just enough for it to drip.
When I went in to shut it off the sink was filling with water.
From a small drip.
If I had left the apartment my bathroom would have flooded.
Decisions work in the same way.
It’s a really fucking simple concept but so often we work against our favor.
Just like a leaky faucet if you make one bad small decision daily in a years time your bathroom will be flooded.

The good news is the same concept works in the opposite direction.
If you made one good decision daily it compounds.
Leaving your pockets full of cash, your belly skinny, your mindset healthy etc. etc.

Do you want to be great or just good?