Love yourself first.

Day 346 of 365

This blog is a mess and a bit stream of consciousness but freak it, hope it’s somewhat legible.

Have you ever felt like you loved someone or helped them way more then they would help you? I’ve felt really dumb for this before but you shouldn’t. I think this mentality comes from viewing ourselves as objects rather than as conscious people. It all really comes down to who you are. Are you a lover? are you mean? insecure, anxious, giving? Whatever you identify with never view yourself as a victim. This in itself puts you in an objectified state. For example, if you were a car and someone hit you on accident would you then go put a dent in their car in return. Fuck no you wouldn’t unless you’re an asshole. I guess if you identify with that then this blog isn’t for you so you can stop reading now.

If you identify as a good person or as a loving person you’d get out of that car and ask if the person that hit you is okay.

Then you would take your care to the auto body shop and give it some TLC.

So why when it comes to ourselves do we feel the need to throw emotional stones back at the people that hurt us, even if it is on accident. I think it has something to do with our egos and again viewing ourselves as objects. The important part here is how do we deal with that pain. Most of us hold grudges I have in the past as well but this is the emotional equivalent of putting a dent in someone else’s car. It’s entirely crap and limiting behavior. This will keep your energy low and keep you unhappy. Instead, I’m learning that when people are insecure, mean, rude, or hold grudges all you can do is show them, love. For the people in your life who only show you love, are always there for you and deserve the world well it’s our responsibility to show them double the love we give our enemies. My point here is there is nothing pathetic about giving love, even if you yourself fuck up, all you can do is be conscious of your mistakes moving forward and treat people good.

Today I am telling myself to give more.

Away

Day 345 of 365

“The sand sticks to my charger port 

blocking any energy from entering me.
Like old grudges prevent a lending hand. 

For a while there I felt used, pathetic, naive 

that I valued some much more than they valued me. 

I have come to the grievance that my scale is far to one side.
And still I give. “

People will always have a problem with what you do.

Day 344 of 365

Im in a rush to leave the house so some of this might be a bit of a mess but yesterday I posted a few of the pictures below on my instagram.
People keep ranting how this place is a tourist trap but I didn’t care it’s history, interesting architecture, and I wanted to take pictures of it before the weekend.
On top of that Hudson Yards was the building developer/owner was really smart an printed visiting terms on the tickets to get into this amazing structure.
The ticket is free but it states they have the right to use any photos taken of their building.
This is really smart, kind of sly but smart.
I’m not a building photographer or architect photographer so I could give a fuck less.
(The only thing bad I see about this is other venues in the music industry following suit.)
Still people felt the need to roast me on my instagram for posting the pictures even though I lose the rights to my photos by doing so.
Just goes to show someone will always have a problem with what you do even if you are simply making yourself happy.

Fuck what anybody else thinks be yourself, be good to people, and don’t pay any mind to others opinions.

Be grateful.

Day 343 of 365

You can’t be happy if you don’t appreciate what you already have.
Not just material things but people, emotions, opportunities.
I’m sick as a dog this week, just a simple head cold, but I am having a really good week.
I’m in love with walking and taking photos and trying new things with my photography.
Most importantly I’m in love with the process.
I fell off for a little while with my daily shooting.
I realize now I am the type of photographer that needs to plan some shoots extensively, while also shooting daily as a form of visual journaling.
I have friends that are professional photographers that don’t touch their cameras for weeks between projects spending most of their time on research and production.
It doesn’t work that way for me.
I’m more of a soft blade that needs to be sharpened way too often.
I don’t mind I prefer it that way.
It touches something in me that’s deeper than photography it’s more about walking, and my walking is more about meeting people.
I love to talk to strangers I always have, honestly I’d talk to a wall if it would listen but I’ve always felt that everyone has a story to tell and that fascinates me.
Every individual has experienced something in their life that you haven’t.
There is so much to learn and I think that’s part of what makes life so exciting.

Excuse my rambling but I am grateful for today, grateful to live in NY, to have never gone hungry, and be able to do what I love for a living.

On awareness.

Day 342 of 365

Feeling grey is really just a lack of action.
It’s an avoidance of movement and the comfort of not having to decide.
This approach lacks focus.
I know because I have embodied it in my work and in my life.
I photograph everything and vomit it out for the world to see.
It leaves my viewers confused.
With a culture so obsessed with labels if they cannot pigeonhole each body of work you create it becomes hard for them to define you.
Imagine how hard it is for someone to understand you if you can’t even understand yourself.

Don't doubt do.

Day 340 of 365

It was a great weekend.
I surfed, saw some old friends I haven’t seen in a while, went dancing, and I got to shoot a few photos and meet some new people.
Really a recipe of all I love.

Still I felt dissatisfied or even worried at times.
There is a voice that is questioning constantly and I get the feeling that if this questioning voice was another person I would have kicked him out of the room years ago.
Still I can’t help but listen to this voice at times.
It’s sings in the sound of insecurity, shyness, jealousy and much more.
It’s almost always wrong and when I hear that subconscious tone drone on about all that I lack I have to go against it in a conscious effort.
It’s similar to the feeling of pushing through embarrassment.
Like if you were to get on stage and start mumbling instead of singing all the way…in life you gotta let it rip.
You gotta fly you flag as high as you can.
Don’t let that voice of doubt ever hold your flame.



Photography Tutorials

Day 339 of 365

New York is really something else.
When I think back on the things I have been able to, I am stunned.
In the moment they feel so insignificant but afterwards you start to realize damn how lucky was I to be able to attend or be a part of that.
These photos are a look back on such a simple day here but there is nothing that makes me happier than a day on set or at the beach.

To switch topics I’ve been thinking about what I am going to do with this blog once I hit 365.
The closer I get the more fired up I get to wake up and finish another post.
So instead of canning it all together I’ve decided to make this blog into a photo tutorial and advice page.
If your looking to learn anything about the shooting, editing, storytelling process that’s what I will be covering.
I know when I started there were so many questions I had and every dick head I asked for help was often so afraid to share any knowledge they had acquired over the years.
Then presets came out and it leveled the aesthetic playing field a little bit.
You can now pretty much press a button and get the same edits as some of you favorite photographers or just buy the same film as them.
The technical side of photography is the easy part though.
To visually emulate a preset, or to shoot with the same film is really crap and emulating someone else’s editing process will often leave you in a sea of followers.

The meat of photography is in the story, whats in the image itself is what makes it beautiful and revealing.
What are you trying to show your viewer that they don’t already know?

I’m still struggling with this part of photography and I’m making an effort to focus more directly on portraiture and documentary work over the next year.

If you’re trying to get an honest an open review of how I get certain looks, edit, shoot, light, or even how some of your favorite photographers work with certain techniques I will be revealing all of that over the next few months.

Don't be fooled.

Day 338 of 365

Yesterday was warm, then in the blink of an eye the clouds rolled in and the temperature dropped.
Nothing new for New Yorkers or a native to New England.
We’re used to the cold but as it happened I felt that inner voice in my head say “it’s cold”.
In that moment I stepped away from my brain almost as if it was the narrator of my life and I said no shit dumbass but still I felt my body want to share the information.
As if saying it’s cold would do something?
What benefit does the verbalizing an unfavorable event have in ones life?
I was going to brave the cold to finish taking my photos anyways and clearly I was underdressed.
I guess it could help me avoid the mistake in the future but I felt there was more to this weakness than I was aware of.

In the summer months I love to run early in the morning.
The silence and mental boost of the exercise are intoxicating.
This is where I first started to build a relationship with that mental voice.
The loop I’ve always ran is 4 miles and in the early days of familiarizing myself with this route I would listen to my brain contest, “walk” can you please “walk” maybe when we get halfway we can take a break.
My conscious mind would scream in opposition “Don’t listen to this dickhead you’re a Williams and you don’t stop until the job is done.”
The reality of the situation was that my subconscious mind seeks comfort but my conscious mind seeks growth.
For me growth has always come in the form of conscious pain followed by joy.
You chose to do something that will suck but afterwards you feel as if you have slain the dragon.

My point today is that the mind is a tricky thing.
Like the cartoons we saw as kids with the devil and the angel on our shoulders.
For me the devil always seems to come in the form of comfort and subconscious thoughts.
The angel my conscious mind, the one that tells me to do good even if someone treats me like shit, or tells me to work out even when I’m tired.
Don’t let your subconscious thoughts distract you from your purpose.


Vulnerability

Day 337 of 365

I feel like my blog has been really repetitive lately so I am going to get right back into the verbal vomit style of writing I’ve always strived for.


This morning I meditated.
I normally work out as soon as I wake up but today I switched it up, and it was great.
There is much more clarity in silence for me, that maybe why I find my self in solitude whenever I need to dissolve all that I have been processing in my life.
We live in a noisy world that’s constantly telling us were not good enough by means of marketing and I mean think about it most of the things we consume say something about our social status more than they actually function.
I think that ego is what I so heavily guard and it has caused some issues in my life.
It’s been a tug of war between my heart and my head and I think I am only just beginning to realize the extend of it’s grasp on me.
All I’ve ever read about this issue is that you have to be vulnerable, but god damn what a blanket statement that is.
I have no idea how to be vulnerable.
I mean should I walk around with my backpack open?
Emotionally vulnerability is so new to me and I’m trying to jump into it.
So this morning I started reading an article about it and it said SHAME is at the heart of vulnerability.
Boy have I avoided that before.
It was saying we need to allow ourselves to feel unfavorable emotions like shame so that we can truly appreciate the favorable emotions like joy and happiness when they do happen.
I think part of it for me is trying to hold onto my confidence and happiness too tightly and the harder I try the more I seem to be manic and boarder line depressive.
Lately I’ve been either way too happy or way too down on myself and I think loosening up and coming to a middle ground is where I want to be.
To wrap this blog up I’m going to end with another tip the article gave.
It states -

Recognize you vulnerabilities.
“Start by looking at what makes you feel angry, sad, self-conscious or annoyed, and find the common thread between these experiences. Once you identify these fears, you can start to counter them.”

For now I’m getting back into making my routines more concrete and returning to what got me here in the first place…taking photos everyday.
The photos from below are from yesterdays sunset walking around my neighborhood in BK and in the east village.

Here is the article I read if anyone else is interested in Vulnerabilities.
ARTICLE

Long term gains.

Day 336 of 365

There is a particular strength in ones character when they can respond to adversity with a calm resolve.
I’ve seen it before with my mother when shit hits the fan she just kept her head down and started putting the pieces back together.
From my younger years to now the way I handle adversity has changed entirely.
I used to handle my problems with impulse and pleasure, which just made them into bigger problems.
Now I tend to get myself focused.
I reaffirm my mission and try to eliminate the distractions I once allowed into my life when things were tough.
For example when I’m feeling down mentally etc. I know that drinking, traveling, avoiding the pain are terrible resolutions.
Instead exercise, meditation, work, yoga, eating healthy, and treating people really well seems to put my heart and my head right back in alignment.
It’s the choices made for the long term that give us the most clarity in life.
Don’t let short term pains cause long term problems.


Fear

Day 334 of 365

Over the past week I’ve spoken a lot about fear based decision making and how toxic it is to ones life.
I think fear in essence comes from a place of lack and when you believe you will not find something you surely wont find it.
It’s like getting a new car and suddenly everyone has the same care as you the same applies in reverse.
When you believe you don’t have a nice car suddenly you notice everyones car is nicer than yours.
Perception dictates your reality.
I guess my question is how do we change our perception?
My only method would have to be to practice consistency, through writing, meditation, and mantras.
Obviously those methods coupled with action.
An aversion to change is a death sentence.
If your heart is set on something do it don’t let fear dictate your life.

Attitude is everything.

Day 333 of 365

Following my last blog post my conscious decision to stop being a baby really made me feel like a grown as man.
I had the best weekend and met and interacted with more people than I normally would.
It was intoxicating.
I let my mouth vomit whatever it wanted to and I let the extrovert in me talk to anyone that caught my attention.
I was vulnerable.
It felt natural making my neighbors laugh in the elevator, talking to old ladies in line for a coffee, and I felt all the problems in my life melt away.
There is something so routed in our DNA that is tied to human connection.
As humans we need much more social stimulation than animals but often we let the fear of rejection or looking strange hinder our innate desire to connect.
This weekend I was entirely ignorant to any fear based decision making and all the good in my life seemed to hit me in the face.
I was really surprised that such a simple conscious decision to change my attitude could alter outcomes so drastically.
I wont try to hold onto this one too tight but I guess the moral here is perception and attitude really influence your reality.

Squash that shit.

Day 332 of 365

I woke up this morning feeling pretty down on my self so I hopped in the shower turned the nob to cold and squashed that shit right the fuck out of me.
You can’t feel down on yourself and be cold at the same time just like you can’t be sad on a jetski, it’s impossible.
Life is a series of ebb and flow like the tide.
You can go through waves of pure confidence and waves of doubt.
Put the work in to make your mind believe that a brighter future is coming.
Always come from a place of surplus and abundance.
This is the hard one for me but I specifically need to give more love than I expect in return.

Hope ya’ll have a great day.

Below are some photos a friend and I took together yesterday around sunset.

Don't avoid the pain of growth.

Day 331 of 365

Home is a shifting value.
Now hard drive paper weights hold down my birth certificate.
It feels less real.
The once comfort zone of my ego dying in big chunks.
The temporary nature of my memories fleeting.
I think that process is more difficult than the actual vacancy of property.
I didn’t mind giving up the ownership, we were always of a kind sharing people.
In any case something somewhere inside me is dying and I guess that feeling is the resistance associated with growth.
It isn’t easy but if avoided it can be catastrophic to your well being.
Don’t drown with the ship, make yourself a new home.

Self Doubt

Dy 330 of 365

I guess we all doubt our self sometimes and it fucking sucks.
When the world doesn’t see what you make as valuable we have to ask ourselves do I change what I am making or do I keep experimenting and fulfilling my purpose.
It seems my ignorance has only gotten me deeper into this hole because I refuse to follow a format that doesn’t make me happy.
Progression has always been my goal, along with quality.
I cannot be proud of work that is replicated like 10,000 selfies all applied with the same preset.
I need to experiment, and even when the work comes out like shit like the picture below. I know I tried, failed, and learned something for the next time.
There is knowledge in repeatable actions but you can only cling to the same subject matter for so long.

Soul Sucking.

Day 329 of 365

It’s been a few days since I have taken these photos but the images still stand firm in my mind.
Not of importance but of practice.
I enjoy walking, I speak of it a lot.
It keeps me happy and without it I’d be a melancholic person.
The same goes for interacting with people.
I become overjoyed when I connect with complete strangers.
I love how temporary these meeting usually are but how quickly you can dive deep with someone.
I guess that’s part of who I am, someone who has always hated small talk but loved to dive deep into someones being.
These things really help me relieve the stress in my life.
At times I forget that it’s the process of doing that makes life worth living not just the finished product.
Do what makes you happy.
Do it often.
Don’t look back.

Embrace.

Day 328 of 365

There is a lot of value in a warm embrace.
In friendship.
In loving your neighbor.
Even in loving your enemy.
I never really got far with hate.
I felt it always took me 10 steps back so I’ve always been a loving person.
Even when my friends and I would go out in college if we met another group of guys doing the same thing we would great them with open arms.
Most of the time we combine to make some sort of mega group but occasionally you get a couple of bad apples.
People that don’t want to mingle with anyone but hot girls or anybody for that matter.
I don’t know if these kind of guys understand the concept of socializing but it seems pretty simple to me go and be nice to people you meet anything else is a waste of time.

Show love to people, even those that don’t deserve it.
Kill em with kindness.


How to build a community.

Day 327 of 365

Simple details like walking make me really happy.
Below are some images from walking around the city.
They are filled with things that draw my eye in, some things I love, and somethings I hate.
It is bitter sweet living in NYC.
We have some of the best people in the world here, and some of the worst lol.
I watch my neighbors litter everyday, sell drugs, whistle at women on the street and on the flip side this city provides me with endless opportunities to help others and to connect people.
New York is an interesting place.
Safe to say I love it but damn somedays I miss the woods, fresh air, and being well known.
I see familiar faces often but I recently moved to a new neighborhood so those faces aren’t as common anymore.
I guess the point of todays blog is that New York can really easily be a lonely place.
Hard to imagine a city with over 8 million people ever having room for loneliness but it does happen, and I think it really comes down to 2 factors your personality and your neighborhood.
Luckily for me I am fairly outgoing and I have always lived in good neighborhoods where I knew a ton of shop owners was a regular at the local coffee shop and endlessly met new people.

I miss that because my new neighborhood is not walking distance from any locally owned businesses…It’s next to Pop eyes, Mcdonalds, Taco Bell , and a hospital….probably no coincidence there.

I don’t eat that shit and as part of my practice I often make images that depict my current state and yesterday I was really missing my old neighborhood.
Today I am in my old neighborhood and I’ve already seen a few familiar faces, had some good conversations and enjoyed some coffee.
If you’re moving anywhere new, have some awareness on what you like.
If you are like me and don’t like commercial businesses close by but rather prefer the community of a neighborhood seek that.
There are great communities everywhere you just have to show up often.



Don't get fluffed.

Day 326 of 365

Unfortunately I didn’t choose this love. 

I remember being grounded as a young boy, always in trouble.
Stationed in my room for days the only access point to the attic and I’d sneak to it for hours to sift through boxes of family photos.
It was the only thing that could stop me from putting holes in the walls.
A form of history.
Since then I’ve always had a fascination with the past.
For hours I’d sift through pictures of my father that taken by my mother.
It was the only connection I had to the man I had heard so many stories about. 

Something tangible. 

Not the internet, and it healed me.
My mothers hand, it healed me.  

Made me whole in some sense.
It’s solved every problem I’ve ever had.
For that I cannot turn my back on my love. 

I will always take pictures.
With or without instagram.
Without the money.
Only with my parents eyes. 

Be Your True Self.

Day 325 of 365

This morning I asked myself why do I ever stray from the person in myself that I identify with the most?
The patient, loving, committed, good side to me. That’s the side I love.
Truth be told I can be lazy at times, I get distracted and let it stop the momentum I’ve been building for weeks.
Why do I have cheat days, or judge people, why at times am I insecure, or shy?
Why do I have an aversion to change?

These negative behaviors do not serve my purpose at all yet at times I cling to them like a life preserver out at sea.
In this questioning I wrote some things this morning that apply to a bunch of us that stop us from being who we truly are.


  • Instead of being you, you’re looking up to someone who’s trying to portray a perfect life on the internet.
    No ones life is perfect.

  • Instead of being you, you’re applying to jobs in a major your parents convinced you to be in.

  • Instead of being you, you’re staying in a relationship out of comfort.

  • Instead of being you, you’re not being vulnerable and allowing yourself to give love.

  • Instead of being you, you’re already cheating on those new years resolutions.

  • Instead of being you, you’re wanting things that other people define as success that have nothing to do with you or your interests.

  • Instead of being you, you’re seeking the validation of others.

    This list can go on in so many ways if you have one don’t be afraid to add it in the comments.
    Life is a learning experience.
    Ask yourself who am I?
    Who am I on my way to become?
    Take some time to understand yourself.