2016. So many people have apparently been fed up with this year. (It's the same people every year, am I right)?
Right now it's officially 3:15 am on the first day of 2017, and you know what? I feel amazing.
I know this year has been filled with the deaths of celebrities that are "impacting" people's lives so deeply, and that our country is apparently going to crumble under out new president elect (whatever), but this year has been great to me.
I started off this year working 7 days a week, trying to balance my day job with my career, while barely getting to spend any time with my girlfriend or my son, because I was literally never not working. The money was awesome. My head was not awesome. My anxiety was at an all time high and my depression was soaring through the roof on every night that I sat at home, wishing that my girlfriend and my son weren't spending the night at her parents' house for the fourth night in a row. *Side note* We were doing fine, I just never had a day off so we had to make arrangements for someone to watch our son while we worked, and she was often too tired to wake up the baby, bring him home, and get him to go back to bed.
Running a business is hard work. Anyone will tell you that. For anyone that doesn't know, it averages out to making about 9 dollars an hour, while working roughly 80 hours a week. At least in your first couple of years. Often times you're working for almost nothing. You stay up late (it's 3:30 am as I write this), you spend countless hours editing, and then re-editing. You spend a few hours every day exchanging emails with potential clients, going over every possible thing you offer, just to have them sometimes decide to go elsewhere.
Let me get back to the point.
All of that aside, this year was still amazing. I have been really pushing the video aspect of my business pretty hard this last year. I can remember pretty much the exact day that I really saw things start to change and progress in the direction I wanted to be going.
I was shooting a video for one of my friends' bands. Halfway through the shoot, I had another band drive in from four hours away to meet with me about their video. I had to wait two months before the actual shoot, but that one video changed everything I was doing. It changed the way I looked at every single project I had. It made me re-evaluate the quality that I was putting out for everyone to see and share.
2016 was the year that I finally found my stride. It was the year that I finally did something right that helped to put me on the map (if you're from Arizona you already KNOW the other amazing film makers we have here). 2016 for me will always mark the year that I got my foot in the door in the industry that I went to school for almost 10 years ago.
I absolutely cannot wait to see where 2017 takes this for me.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to every single person over this last year that has reached out to me, that has let me shoot promos for you, or that has let me do a video for you.
Let's keep it up!
Recently I was in a pretty big rut emotionally with this business that I'm running. I was working too much at my day job (still trying to fund the first couple years of my new business) and I felt like I never had the time that I truly wanted to be creative anymore. Every shoot, although still fun to do, was seen as a dollar sign, money to support my family, gear upgrades, etc.
That spark I remember feeling the day I bought my first camera was going out at a pretty fast rate. I missed how I used to have time to go out and shoot anything and everything that I wanted to just because it was fun. Just for the sake of having a new video or new pictures to show someone later on.
Obviously, running a business, money IS important. It is what allows us to make a living doing what we love. I had had just lost sight of the "having fun" aspect of it, simply because I felt like I had literally no time to "have fun". It was all just deadlines and bills to be paid. I couldn't remember the last time I had a day off and just said to myself "I'm going to go shoot this today".
I needed to change that, badly. My good friend and I decided to take a day and drive to Jerome and Sedona for an afternoon and just shoot. Anything and everything. Every camera I own was used. This video is certainly nothing special or cinematic or anything like that, it's just footage of a day that I needed very badly. A day that helped me remember that having fun with your art is SO incredibly important.
If you are feeling anything similar, I highly suggest taking a personal day, and just getting out there and creating something, just for the fun of it!
Music- Ghost Mother- Shaking
It's definitely been a busy couple of years! As I go back to update the content on my site, I felt like it would be fun to make a simple post containing some of my favorite photos I've captured at some of the weddings I've shot in the last two years.
Sometimes, as I am trying to update my website, I have to delete some older photos that I simply no longer think are up to par with what I am currently doing. It's hard to get rid of something that you once thought was your best work, but it's necessary sometimes to progress. When I'm doing this, I often find myself looking through old hard drives and looking at some of the first pictures I did when I first started out. It's nice and inspiring, because as I stated before, that WAS at one point my best work. Sometimes, it's easy to get down on yourself and feel like maybe you're not where you want to be or you're not as good as you want to be, but if you look back on where you used to be, it can truly make you feel better about everything you have done since. This picture is one of the most recent shoots I did, and I look at it in comparison to my work from just two years ago, and I feel infinitely better about what it is that I do!
It's always fun getting to play around with new toys. While I do have a studio strobe, most of what you see on my site, especially for outdoor locations, has been shot with a number of speed lights and various diffusion materials, for portability. These last couple of weeks, my good friend has let me borrow a few of his Alienbees B800s and I could not have been more excited to play around with them! The following shots were done with anything from 3 light set ups with soft boxes on every light, to one light bare bulb bouncing off of a wall or ceiling. Enjoy!