When someone asks about my year, an overwhelming breath of anxiety falls over me. I tend to think of all the failures and mistakes that transpired. I sulk on the jobs that I lost or perhaps the connections I never followed up with. But, just as soon as I start dwelling on the missteps, a blast of positive reflection and extreme anticipation hits me like 10-ton a freight truck. I started my photography career in 2011 and every year since the milestones have become bigger, brighter and bold.
Although I hit a few holes, they prepared me for the mountain that I was to climb. I not only grew as a photographer, filmmaker, writer and educator but as a person. Albeit cliché as that may sound, my life went through an absolute change and I finally accomplished a life-goal that I’ve been working towards for close to 13 years.
Turmoil, emotion, adventure, elation, sweat, change, breakthrough; are all words that could describe the past 12 months. Rounding the corner to 2014, I was modest, working a full-time marketing position at a camera store to make rent, in the meantime attempting to drive harder and faster with my photography business. The balancing act was something I became used to and a tangible reality. When I was offered a position at Fstoppers.com in January, I didn’t know my comfortable living was about to shift sideways. Of course, I took the Fstoppers opportunity seriously and everything was sent into overdrive.
I traveled out of the country for the first time. My imagery was nominated for a North American Hairstyling Award. I enlisted with the agency Wonderful Machine. I hosted my first live webinar with hundreds of photographers all over the world. I became an official brand ambassador for brands such as SmugMug, Tether Tools, X-Rite and Savage Universal. I shot medium format film for the first time. I spoke to a live audience at the PhotoPlus International Expo in New York City and I shot for clients such as USA Today, Livestrong, Modern Salon, ProSales Magazine and First For Women Magazine. And, those were just some of the milestones.
In uniform with a roller coaster, this past year has had its drops, hills, turns and corkscrews. Halfway through, the ride took a swift turn and I came out the other side as a full-time photographer. I left my job at the camera store and became the career man I’ve always wanted to be. Taking the jump required every bit of bravery and strength I had, as well as a pure obsession with photography that couldn’t be stopped. Although, I could brood on the failures and mistakes that made me a better photographer, that blast of hope is what keeps the fire inside burning hot. When I’m asked about my 2015, it’s hard to say. I want to continue to educate and instill a passion in others as well as continue to grow my clientele on a national scale. I’m significantly blinded by the anticipation and eager to become even more obsessed with my love for creating, inspiring and paying it forward.