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?

Photographing my New York

Day 268 of 365

I don’t know what to talk about today. Probably because I talk too much and listen to little. This week focusing has been a bit of a struggle for me along with productivity. I’m remodeling my life right now. Creating a new daily routine, new eating habits, new workouts and ways to make things. As scary as it can seem I think fear is exciting. I’ve always been drawn to being terrified. I think addressing your fears is a key element to growth. Specifically the fears you stray away from. For me, fears that put me in danger of bodily harm were never scary. The pain never lasts. What really scared me was financial and emotional pain. Those are fears I am still working on but the financial I have been addressing and kicking its ass. What I make now is 10x what I made 2-3 years ago doing 100x the work. I find it ironic the smarter I work the more I make but I think that’s in the nature of not giving a f*ck and trusting the process. Every decision I made since dropping out of college has been to live a lifestyle I was happy and proud to live in. Everything else is secondary to that. Life is so finite and money is not. Money comes whenever you need it and whenever you want more of it all you have to do is make shit happen for yourself. America is really the land of opportunity, address your fears and live the life you want to live.

No excuses in Brooklyn.

Day 267 of 365

Did you ever look up to something as a kid, something you wanted to be able to do but it felt so far away? Just to find out a year later or maybe even less you’d be able to conquer that beast with such ease. For example, driving, hanging with your big brother and their friends, or even learning something new. I realize the more I learn the smaller the gap is in between learning new things. For some reason, we like to put things we don’t know or can’t do yet on a pedestal.

For me that thing is video. When I started photography I would naive enough to shoot video whenever I wanted and as time went on and my direction changed I treated video as a big scary beast which is bull shit. Yeah, video is hard but it’s just a different way to tell a story and it needs to be treated as such. It’s a tool. A carpenter doesn’t avoid a specific tool because it’s more difficult to use than another. No, they pick that shit up and get to hammering. I think we as progressive people that like to learn and create, have to stop making excuses for why we can’t do things and just start doing them. I am so guilty of it and today is the day I am stopping. Whatever the job calls for well, that’s the tool I’ll use.


Day 266 of 365

For the past 6 months or so I’ve been really trying to give more than I expect from friends, family, clients etc. and I am learning how to do this better and differently for each interaction. How do you recognize when you shouldn’t give or invest into a certain person and it’s really quite simple. Don’t help someone who isn’t willing to help their self.

Some people are like a dead garden. It doesn’t matter how much you water it, it will still be dead in 5 months or a year. Until they decide for themselves to change they will not. On the other hand, you shouldn’t give to receive. Giving to people you love or like is an amazing feeling just because. It doesn’t need to be explained and in turn, it will always end up benefiting both parties. Here’s how. With my photography I have no secrets I help anyone who asks especially my friends who are working their beans off to be better at whatever they’re doing. It has turned out to benefit me more than I could have imagined. You’d think giving someone the tools to be better than I might make me lose jobs, or better the competition. There is no competition only then to be better than myself yesterday and helping my photographer friends learn new things or sharing my process with them has only gotten me more jobs. It builds trust and when they can’t take the work they send it my way and I do the same in return. It’s like watering an apple tree the more you water the good trees the more you eat. Don’t water the shitty trees.

Honesty, openness, sharing, generosity, and loyalty build trust. Being secretive, a lone wolf, hoarding your process only keeps you in a state of fear and solitude. You cannot expand your thought past the illusion of the immediate if you are alone.

Share in love, or hoard in fear.
You choose.
I can only tell you what has benefitted me.

One simple step a day.

Day 265 of 365

Only 100 more days until I hit one year of blogging. That’s a great feeling but I don’t write on this every day although I do write in my journal every day. The truth is I feel terrible when I miss a day of this. It has become a routine and a way to jump start my focus and creativity each morning. There is also a lesson to be learned from my inconsistency. If I were to have never missed a day of this I would have passed blog 365 by now because missing a day is a huge derailment to a goal. There is power in compounding small actions. Meaning that by staying true to your plans even if they are to lift weights for 5 minutes every day you will see more results than someone who lifts for 1 hour once a week. Consistency and commitment is the name of the game and there is no way around that. That goes for photography, sports, Law, science, piano, learning a new language etc. etc.

20 minutes a day can make you great at something in 1 year. Run the marathon, see long term, and take small actions daily. I’ve learn from my impulsiveness to chose whats best for me long term and I’ve seen my photography go from total shit to not so shit just from shooting every day. I’m getting back to that and I love it.

I hope everyone has a productive Monday and starts working on what they want to accomplish now before January comes.

Photograph what's closest to you.

Day 264 of 365

I’m starting to realize and pay more attention to the way I feel around certain people lately.
Notice how I said the way I feel and not “how people make me feel” specifically because being around anyone is a choice.
Wether it’s a boss, a friend, colleague, family member anyone you surround yourself with after the age of 18 is a choice. (its just a terribly hard choice to make but it is necessary in some cases)
It may be harder to make the choice to separate from some people like family members but if they are affecting you negatively it may be a good idea to get some space.
I’ve been feeling the effects of this heavily lately spending my time with 2 people that are polar opposites.
One being a highly motivated healthy individual, the other being the victim of the century.
The truth is we all feel pain but what makes someone’s life better than someone else’s even if they grew up in identical circumstances.

The answer is perception.
Having an optimistic and appreciative view on your life makes your life better, and happier.
I’m going to be frank here, I think people without real problems are usually the most depressed, sad, angry, distraught etc. etc. and in the past this was me.
I often see people with less than me dancing on the street, eating and sharing food every Sunday in the summer. It makes you think god damn thats all it takes, love and community.
Survival gives us a reason to celebrate.
Being a butt dart and complaining about not having the best gear for your hiking trip just makes you a douchebag.
I am grateful for my first world problems because that just means life is really, really, good.
I get to live in one of the greatest cities on this planet, with a great roommate, and my family and myself are healthy.
All other concerns are secondary to these^^^

Do not be dragged down by people who concern themselves with irrational dramas.

Where you want to be is right in front of you.

Day 263 of 365

It’s been a few days since I’ve been on here.
I got a stomach bug than ran through me like a track star late for a flight at JFK. It put me out of work for 2 days which a freelancer sucks.
I don’t have the luxury to sleep for two days. Regardless I had to listen to my body and I’m using the next day to plan out all my upcoming shoots and to find new work.
Which is something people talk to me about fairly often how do you find new work…or there is no money in the photo industry…which is BULL SHHHHHH.
Look around you everything is visual.
Yeah maybe the fashion industry doesn’t have the best budgets for photographers but there are other industries that do. You just have to seek them out.

What I have been realizing more than ever lately is how much people love fear.
We love fear so much we watch tv stations that talk about terrorist attacks, deportations, new toll booths on our highways etc etc. Think about that for a second we watch a TV show that talks about all the things we hate and are afraid of every morning to start our days.
No wonder why so many of us are in jobs we hate, living in our home towns with the communities founded for us by our parents.
(Imagine if you chose to read something inspiring for 20 minutes every morning.
Imagine what that would do to your psyche. )
There is so much beauty in these communities and the support they give heck I learned everything I know from these people.
It’s because of them that I chose to leave and forge my own path.
Listening to the regrets and should haves of the people before me isn’t sad their regrets are minor and their lives are amazing.
I just wanted something different.
With small town life you could see the end in sight.
It’s eerily too close for me.
Where I’m at now I have my goals and I still have no clue where it could take me.
It’s hardly a risk but it’s my first step in living a life of love instead of making decisions out of fear.

If you’re confused on how much we make decisions out of fear so am I. So over the next few days I am probably going to explore this thought even more and it’s counterparts as well.

You cannot be replaced.

Day 262 of 365

I am going to try and keep todays blog short because I am kinda confused myself. This morning I woke up thinking about validations and I stumbled upon some pretty radical thoughts about love. Obviously most of us know the saying “If you love something set it free.” Often problems would arise in my relationships when I would be afraid. When I would allow myself to be in fear of another persons actions. As time has gone on I have realized that loving someone means loving the individual they are and not needing their validation in return. Being in absolute truths with someone is the most powerful bond I have ever experienced and I have only ever had that with a friend. It breeds a loyalty that is unparalleled. The thing I am struggling with is how to apply this to my love life, to relationships other than friends and family. Obviously it needs to be similar but this type of love is so outlandish in our society. People often tell you what you want to hear to give you the illusion of happiness. That type of “love”/ validation only fluffs your ego.
It keeps you in an animalistic and tribal mindset.
There is an infinite amount of love in the world so why can’t we let our loved ones give it freely?
Can we be happy for other peoples success and seek validation only when it is internal?

Remember there is only one you, and you cannot be replaced no matter what.

Nostalgic about now.

Day 261 of 365

Over the past few weeks, I have been on my phone way too much. Mainly looking at photos on Instagram and watching some stories. There is really so much amazing work out there but there are also a lot of imitators. I will try and be careful about how I word this because I don’t want it to come off as negative. There is a market for imitators for example sketchers. A huge thing I see with imitation is that it’s nostalgic of the past. Looking back in a desired field, subculture, or style and trying to reincarnate it in a new way. Like skateboarders now with 90’s clothes, everything resurfaces. It is a beautiful cycle. Although it is beautiful to pay homage to the past it someone pains me to see us forgetting the now. I want to be nostalgic about today 20 years from now. I don’t want to be nostalgic about my parent's childhood. Yeah, the music was great but so is ours. I want to progress in the now.

If you’re a photographer don’t look for inspiration from past photographers, if you’re a dancer don’t look for inspiration in old dance, and if you’re into fashion don’t look for inspiration in past fashion. Everyone is already doing that. What inspires you is totally up to you but I feel that if we look around us and get inspired by the world we live in rather than reference photos on our phone we can see a shift from work looking extremely similar to discovering our inner voice and seeing original ideas surfacing more often. I know the above may sound a little condescending but it’s more of an open discussion. There are positives on both sides of what inspires me vs what might inspire other people. I’m just looking to try new things and if you’re here reading this I hope you are too.

Don't get stuck.

Day 260 of 365

Had some of the most amazing conversations last night with some of my friends in New York. We spoke of expanding thoughts, ignorance, and perception. How we allow behaviors that are unacceptable out of comfort and lack of awareness. Most importantly we talked about expanding and how to break out of limitations.

The example my friend Aaron gave was Boxes. We are all in our own box. Each different in size. The walls representing your limitations. The goal in our lives (my friends) is to get uncomfortable now. To experiment to struggle through the walls of this box so that we can continually move onto bigger and better boxes until one day the box is so fucking big you can’t even find the walls. Limitations so far away that you’re free to roam around in your box. The alternative, staying in a tiny box and 20 years later realizing fuck, I never took any chances, having no room to breathe and being stuck.

Don’t be a Larry, don’t get stuck.
Try something new.

Crochet your way to happiness.

Day 259 of 365

In my mind, I value a lot of things that I think most people would think are stupid or a waste of time. My favorite photos of water, my favorite thing to do is walk, and I know I feel this way about some other peoples hobbies. (Ex. crocheting, never really been a fan) That doesn’t mean there is no value for these things. We all love different things and certain small things play a very particular role in who we are and what lights us up inside. So just because somebody doesn’t value what you love doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value in your life.

The most prime example, MONEY. As a society, we place value on objects and inanimate things like fame. Fuck gas, tools, wood, electricity those things have real tangible value, but I believe simple things have more an individual non-survival value. There is an importance to your individual state of mind that benefits our society. The same goes for the value we place on people. Everything comes down to your perception. If you value someone who most sees worthless, fuck it it’s your life. Care for and love whatever you want to love. For me, I like mornings, an ice coffee through the winter, and walking with my camera. It helps me unpack the world around me. So whatever it is that you value, that helps you make sense of your world or help you forget it, keep doing that thing!

Don't get dragged down.

Day 258 of 365

I was doing some writing this morning and a had a few small realizations. The topic today comes from running into an old friend yesterday on the streets in NY. We bumped into each other and spent some time talking. Boyyyyy was he negative. It was like all the little things I would casually listened to him complain about before had all grown into massive monsters. Someone who was once so generous now so afraid to give, afraid to share, trapped in a solitude of fear. Somewhere along the line, he went wrong not the world around him.

You see the world around you is only a reflection of what you hold internal. For example, have you ever gotten a new car and it now seems like everyone in the world is getting the exact same car as you. You become hyper-aware when you focus on certain things. If you focus on the negative the world will reveal to you the negative. If you focus on the positive obviously you know the rest. The tricky part here is humans are negative creatures by nature. The very core of our make up is to seek out issues and to fix them. This is amazing for our species but not so much for our individual sanity. In 2018 there are much more productive ways to progress and be positive about what we are fixing. People are drawn to positive people especially ones that are constantly tackling new projects and being productive. What I am working on for myself right now is making good small decisions daily. Like completing this blog every day, choosing veggies over buffalo chicken wraps, and most importantly choosing to view the positive in things.

Yesterday I realized a lot all in one 10 minute encounter. It was like when you see a puppy and then you see the puppy a few months later and it’s a full grown great Dane. 8 months ago I didn’t realize my friend's negativity because I was apart of it. I too would talk about things that bothered me often, run to them with problems and not good news. I have come so far from that draining lifestyle and I am so excited about what is yet to come. Life is a daily progression and it’s easy to forget that when everyone around you is complaining. Take note of the conversations you have with the people you hold closest to you. Are those conversations progressing your life, and your mindset or are they dragging you down?

All love,

Get shit done.

Day 258 of 365

I’m feeling really inspired today. After a rough morning due to minor inconveniences, like traffic etc. I had a great test shoot with some friends. It was exactly what I needed. I felt excited to take photos again. To make images rather than to take them. The important thing here is to simply get shit done because DONE is always better than perfect.
I’m feeling really grateful right now and although this is a short post before bed I will be sure to do double duty for you guys tomorrow.
For now here are two sample images from the test shoot today.

Goodbye for now.

Day 257 of 365

This weekend I made my way back to Connecticut to grab some things from home. The smell of fall fresh on the wet mourning leaves. Perched where he always sits our small dog trey watched me pull down the driveway from the front window. To see a home once so full of life now so quiet is a somber feeling. One thing remains, there is no exception for the passing of time.

Now I’m sitting in the family room, the same room I’ve written in since age 16. Still fresh on my mind our old dog buried behind the shed, Memeres blueberry muffins, all the family parties ad holidays, first loves, Friday nights watching movies and making forts with my brothers, and snowboarding in the yard. The past warms me up and cools me down all at the same time. A ritual of happiness and sorrow. It cannot be recreated, only appreciated for what it was.

Time gives life it’s urgency and it’s beauty.
We can only go forward and enjoy each moment as they come.

“Be here.”

The benefits of sharing.

Day 256 of 365

Sharing is at the heart of all creations.
Artists although often narcissists share there work otherwise they remain starving.
In my opinion the best artists share most often.
They share their process, work, tools, space, etc. etc. because relationships are what makes work thrive.
With out my relationships with my clients I would never have a return client.
More than your talent, more than your work ethic, how well you connect with the people you are working with determines much more about your success than how well you did on the job.
Yes you should always deliver a quality product but never be stingy or competitive with your counterparts.
There is so much you can learn from each other and withholding your information like you have a patent on it only stifles the chances of you refining your process.
There is no room in my life for stingy people.
Knowledge is not a finite resource, it is unlimited and I will continue to share my photographic process with those who want to learn.
If someone in your life isn’t sharing with you or helping you grow but is taking all the knowledge they can from you they might just be an energy leech. Stay away from that ish.
Keep sharing.
Keep learning.
Hope everyone has a great day.

Find your why, lead with love not fear.

Day 255 of 365

I had a nice run this morning over the Williamsburg Bridge from Brooklyn into Manhattan. With my headphones in and my music off it was almost complete silence all I could hear was the drone of my own breathing. I looked out to Manhattan skyline over the water and thought holy fuck I am so lucky to be alive in this time, in this place, at this moment. I have a bit of a cold today but I’m jazzed up. Each day I care less about what people think of me and more about what I love to do. Goals and action are stacking up faster than ever before. It feels nice to be doing what I set out to do some years ago.

On that note…I recently read a post from another photographer saying “People often tell you to follow your dreams but once you do they say What if it doesn’t work out? What is your fall back?” etc. etc. etc. I used to fall into fear when people would ask me questions like this. They still sting, although these people lead with good intention, their questions seem to doubt your ability. Often people let their own fears dictate the conversation rather than encouraging you to dive off the motha freaking deep end. Life is so freaking short and in 2018 it is possible to make a living on whatever makes you happy. It is a niche world we are living in and monetizing that is as simple as doing what you love and showing people every single day. I learned the hard way and let others fear hold me back for too long. When you find what you love to do please for yourself ignore everyone's opinion. Keep making work you are proud of and let that guide you to a career in happiness rather than a career in mediocrity.

Don't be a gate keeper.

Day 254 of 365

Recently I was talking to a friend about progressing in creative careers. Along the way it is inevitable that you will run into great people, assholes, and people that are somewhere in between. One of those types of people is what we would call a gate keeper.
This is someone who learns a trade secret or something that there friends can benefit from but instead of helping their counterparts they hold this new found knowledge in a vault like their life depended on it.
This is also the type of person that will have an opportunity they cannot take but will not toss it to you because they cannot stand to see anyone do better or more than them.

Don’t be this type of asshole.

Here is why.
Although being stingy and cut throat may get you ahead in the short term once the word gets out you will always lose in the long term.

People catch on and they will never forget the way you treated them.
If instead we help each other give more than we take most of our colleagues are going to be there for us when we need them most.

My friend Nick and I spoke a lot that day on relevant topics to our craft but I think what we spoke about was more relevant to being human.
We’re looking to play by our own rules.
Always try to give more than we take and make things were damn proud of.

If you want to step on people to get to where you want to be this blog isn’t for you but if you want to build a community that is more than just contacts in your phone or a stepping stone in your life try giving more than you take.
So far it’s been working wonders for us.

The end of progression.

Day 253 of 365

Back in the learning phase. I haven’t been trying to learn anything new for some time now and it has wasted precious time. Time I could have been adapting and growing stronger. Now I see the importance again and I am trying to save myself time by expediting my retouching process. Reigniting old routines. The night owl in me is coming out to watch how to youtube videos. You know you’ve been there and why wouldn’t you…We live in such an amazing time where education is as free as you want it to be and as expensive as you want it to be all at the same time. Education is a big part of my life if I am not constantly learning I feel like I am a pancake stagnant and wasting my time. Here are three things I am doing to learn right now.

1. Watching youtube videos on how to edit my photos faster but still get the same quality I do from photoshop.

2. Reading…specifically (Keith Ferrazzi's Never eat alone.)

3. Reaching out to friends for help with things I cannot figure out.

I hope you guys are progressing. Actively working towards a goal and not just a material. It’s never too late to learn.

Below photos feature edits I made in Capture one. A photo editing software I am hoping will help me speed up the editing process. The edits aren’t quite there yet but they are moving in the direction I would like to see them go.