It’s Strange

Hello Reader,

It’s been a while. There’s a lot that went on the last few months, I wish I could write about it all here but at this point it’s really way too much. So I think I’ll start this first post of the year with a video I made all about my 2017 creative video projects. Then, I’ll sprinkle in some of my favorite photos from the last few months in my writing. Enjoy:

The life of a starving artist was just that: starved.  I think I lost close to 15 lbs while unemployed last year.  I did end up finding a job.  I was always looking for something because we needed that extra support, but I was only looking in my area because I wasn’t down for the commute after almost 6 years of commuting 45 min each way every day.  It’s not that bad, but when you’re driving that far to be at a place where you feel like shit and surrounded by negativity, yeah it kind of gets old.

After my trip to Copenhagen, I went into creative turbo mode. I always wanted to do more videos like the one in my last post with Bria and Taylor.  Mixing portrait photography with some music and motion.  So I came up with this idea of look book style videos with a twist and I called them ShookBooks. Corny name I know, but it stuck and I’m now on my 4th one, 5th if you count the video I did with Bria and Taylor. Check out my Shook Book series on my Vimeo page to catch up on these crazy vids.

I will comment on this image, though.  Helen Chung was the very first model I ever shot with (original post here). Working with her a year later and seeing the progress first hand was awesome. She’s also extremely easy to work with and fun to catch up with. This photo set (as well as the Shook Book video we did) really helped me realize how far I’ve come. As the insecure and self loathing person I am, that was pretty cool.

I remember there was one weekend where I literally shot a video each day, in three separate locations. It took a crazy amount of energy and will (I didn’t have much money to work with), but the end results left me extremely happy, yet craving more. I feel like each Shook Book has been an experiment of style and techniques that is building up to what I’d really like to do soon, a music video.

Aside from my creative projects, I had some paid gigs scattered through the last few months. One of these gigs I will probably never forget. I’ve always had a great history of having no issues with the events I’ve shot.  Even when things seem to be going a little rough I’ve been lucky and never had a bad event.  Until now.  Man, was this a total cluster.  First of all I was late because of traffic going up to LA. Then, when I get there, things start going wrong.  Soon as I tried to start shooting, my Canon 6d was not taking 24-70mm lens and throwing a “Lens contacts need to be cleaned” error (which is fixed now, but at the time I couldn’t fix it), so I ended up having to use my Sony A7ii as a primary body in a dimly lit setting (which is terrible because the A7ii is so shitty in low light compared to the Canon, and it really showed in the photos).

Then, I needed to take some photos in front of a backdrop with flash.  The one flash I owned decided it no longer wanted to work, even though I had just tested it before I left home.  Luckily (or maybe I should say, kind of fortunately?), I had all of my studio soft box lights in my car which I was able to use, albeit with a damn soft box light in front of the presenter during their speeches (which was just terrible, and I kept having to move the light back and forward out of the way for the guests).  Of course my car was in valet and I was in a rush to get the lighting equipment, but there was no way that was going to be a quick process.

To top it all off, this was my first event working with this event coordinator that I had been very excited to work with, and this happened to be a pretty special event for her. I kept thinking to myself, what a terrible first impression this was. I remember texting Jamie in my downtime telling her how horrible I felt. She just kept telling me to push forward and do the best I can with what I have, at least to know I gave it my all in the circumstances.  I just kept apologizing to the event coordinator and even when she had me revise the photos because they weren’t presentable to her standard I kept going.

She actually taught me a lot about preparation and presentation. She really could have gone off on me with how badly things went, but she chose to make sure I took it as constructive criticism and pointed out exactly what needed work. I really appreciated that. She said she had been put in a terrible situation once with a client and didn’t want me to have to go through what she did.

So that was that, and I haven’t heard from her since. I don’t really expect another job from her, but that was definitely a learning experience and reality check I needed.  Other than that, every other gig I had went pretty smoothly. At the moment, I’m kind of at a tipping point. Life could throw a curve ball at me at any moment and turn everything upside down.  I love the place I’m working at, the people are the kind of co-workers I always wish I had, my boss is awesome and real with me, I actually feel like I’m contributing to something and care about the company.

Who would have thought right? Well hold your horses my dears, I’m only there temporarily on a 2 month contract right now, basically substituting for a guy in the reserves that got activated and is coming back in a few weeks. It’s a really weird place to be in.  Everyone loves me there (it seems), even the big bosses. I’ve connected with more people that work there in the last month than the past few years working at my last job. And yet, realistically, it’s up in the air whether logically the company can afford to hire me on.

Whether that happens or not, I guess you’ll find out for sure in the next post. But one way or another, these last few months have really strengthened me and encouraged me. I thought I was done working in the IT field after years of working in it and only experiencing negative environments with the barely, if any growth available being just a shimmering light in the darkness. So dramatic I know, but this job made me realize that there really are positions out there that encourage growth and learning. It really revitalized my view on the field itself.

And now, I just need to give my 110% knowing that it could go either way. I’m okay with that. I’ve always honestly been the type of person to give 100% only when needed. Call it a combination of laziness and self doubt. This year though, I need to be giving that 110% or more whether it’s a sure thing or not. Why give any less and expect the same outcome? I’ll definitely need to remind myself this from time to time.

As far as my upcoming creative works, I think you’ll find the themes to be going down a darker more raw path.  I’m going to start going a bit abstract and strange.  Sometimes the strangest things create the most interesting of memories. Accidents, coincidences, peculiar items, unfamiliar and familiar people, and awkward situations. 2018 is going to be full of them, and I’ll be ready to dive right in.

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