Practice positivity.

Day 296 of 365

With anything you get out what you put in but more importantly you get what you believe.
Obviously you have to have self awareness, I am not a 5’10 blonde supermodel, or a professional hockey player but I am generally a happy person because I chose to perceive most things as positive.

Positivity for me ebbs and flows particularly because I haven’t been practicing it enough.
With all things we need to train to obtain our desired outcome.
The same goes for our brains.
Naturally our brains seek out errors, in an effort to make things better.
When solved this makes us feel good.
This practice doesn’t work so well for things like relationships, or our lives, it’s better left for problem solving.
If all we ever notice in our partners are problems and things we need to fix, all we will ever see them for is an issue.
The same goes for our lives, I think it’s a balancing act.
Know that life is great and a blessing but that no one is perfect and that we should be excited to learn new things.
If you’re happy you’re doing something right, if your not well guess what you’re lucky because you’ve got some new things to research and implement into your life.

Chose to perceive your surroundings in a positive light and you will find yourself happier each day.

For me I’m grateful for the struggle of being a new freelancer.
Yeah at times it’s really tough but with each day I’m figuring it out.

Chose your pain wisely.

Day 295 of 365

Almost 10 years seasoned.
With cuffs still around my hands and ankles.
In love with the shape of this city but not with the shape of us.
It’s a toxic wave.
With the tide comes sludge, garbage, and the feeling of hypodermic needles.
You can only pine for the future with a present so sharp.
The only escape to swim with the tide, not against it.
Eventually the pain will escape you.

Any old day.

Day 294 of 365

I’m 26 today and it doesn’t feel like much of a big deal to me as 25 did. I guess with all things repetition can diminish value. Like going out to bars etc. In other ways repetition increases value for instance photographing and walking only become more appealing with each cycle. I woke up this morning questioning the value of my photography or why I do it at all. I started taking photos just to preserve memories I quickly noticed it made my friends really happy. It gave me some sort of purpose, some value other than just being there. I have come very far from that practice. Photography is simply a tool for me these days, like a paint brush or wrench. I use it more to preserve and express my current state. I am thankful for that. I don’t know why I feel the need to make marks, to preserve, or to pollute the world with my own confusion but I do. It makes me feel good to accomplish these small tasks, to vomit on paper or to preserve with a camera.

I hope to make things until the day I die because it’s the only thing that makes me lose track of time.

Don't spend your holidays alone.

Regressing is a choice.
So is happiness.
I guess holidays once used to be a good time for me.
I don’t feel that way anymore I haven’t for a while now.
Distance grows between siblings and family members they have their own lives now and it makes you question why don’t I have my own.
How do I start building my own?
Am I doing something wrong? Am I wronging them? Do they just not want me around anymore?
The answer is yes.
Family for me is not about blood, and it’s not about who’s there for you when you need them most.
Family is about who’s there for you when you need them least, and who’s most honest with you.
All else follows.
I know growing apart is natural it’s life but their are just some people you never want to grow apart from.
All that’s left to do is what makes you most happy.
Go to your favorite place, work out, do whatever you love to do most.
Invite people to join you if they don’t want to forget them.

Photographing downtown Waterbury, Connecticut.

Day 293 of 365

No matter how hard I try to get away the love I have for this city somehow finds me. Below these words are some selects from only a single roll of film I shot in downtown Waterbury, Connecticut. I met some really nice people, and I met some really not nice people. Luckily everyone in these photos were the nice ones. Beautiful people just looking to have a good day, get to work, fill their bellies, spend time with loved ones.

The heartbreaking part for me is the disparity in part because of the economic collapse of the industrial brass industry after WWII. The fact that the city still hasn’t found a way to bounce back after all these years blows my mind. I know little on the matter but from my memories growing up, Waterbury has had a slew of corrupt politicians. Not only that but we have not taken the time to invest in our schools, specifically at the high school and collegiate level. No 18 year old wants to go to a school that doesn’t have a massive sports facility, great job opportunities, and passionate alumni.

In the future, I’d like to see Waterbury rebuild itself. I’d like to see the beautiful, shops, law firms, bars, and restaurants filled with the immigrants that made this city all that it once was. I’d like to see successful people leaving a college town, and not the current state of which it sits. Getting stuck and dying from overdoses in the parking garage of the Waterbury mall is hardly what this city should have turned out to be, but that seems to be the reality here now.

More photos of this will be coming soon.

Focus consistently.

Day 292 of 365

Black and white until cardinal red.

Hardly have I spoken of focus.
Consistency yes.
Disregarded the most important part.
You can live in a consistent gray all you’d like but until you take aim while you’re pissing you’ll never hit the toilet.

She focused in cardinal red. 

Photography in the physical world.

Day 291 of 365

I don’t think often about being remembered or about death.
I find when I am thinking about death too much I am doing too little and looking at other peoples lives over social media too often.
With that type of lifestyle it’s impossible ever to feel enough.
This brings me to my next point.
When your making all the time it’s easy to feel good but it’s hard to feel satisfied.
The tricky part is keeping your standards high and your quantity up while knowing that some projects are by nature going to fall short.
Not every project will be a winner.
Finish, focus, frequency, and most importantly quality have always been my goals but sometimes I have to remind myself of that to light a fire under my ass.

In the digital age we are living in it becomes hard to let our work marinate in our minds and our hearts.
We see one post and want the next and the next and the next faster with each cycle.
It’s making me crave the physical world.
Gifting photos, printing for my journals instead of them being just filled with words.
New photos correlating alongside the visuals of my life in each year as it passes.
Like a scrap book or family album of sorts.
There is a story to tell from each life and lessons to be learned from others mistakes and triumphs.

I don’t expect to be remembered when I die but while I’m here I hope I can make somebodies day just a little better in the physical world, not just online.

Break your cycle.

Day 290 of 365

(This was meant to be posted yesterday but we had a busy afternoon)

You can only bury somebody so many times.
This year finally did it for me. 
It was the last time I could mentally bury my father. 
I’m close to wrapping up a project I shot and curated about his existence and the empathy we should all strive for when dealing with our wrong doers. 
I was also able to speak in the presence of the man that killed my father this year and it felt pretty damn good. 
In some sense it was a form of closure for me. 
A chapter finished. 
From now on I’d like to remember my father for the good he did, his trips to Maine, his love for running, his passion for talking to strangers, and ability to have a good laugh. 
My mom painted a pretty picture of the man that would have raised us, she took us to his favorite places, and told us stories of him growing up.  Boy do I appreciate that now. Thanks Jeannine,
and as much as I don’t want to drink right now please bring on the Jager.

Open your eyes.

Day 289 of 365

I don’t have much to say today.
I’m grateful to have healed quite a bit from a nose surgery I had earlier this week and to finally be heading back to NY tomorrow.
It was good to be home and make some photos even though I was resting most of the time.
There is beauty in the everyday you just have to see it.

In ignorance of validation.

Day 288 of 365

Lately I’ve been frustrated with what I have been making.
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.
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.


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.


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.