America

Last month I watched an on-line talk given by a photographer that I very much respect. He dished out a lot of great information, and briefly mentioned something about another photographer that he very much respected. The remark was about a book that photographer was about to publish, and the speaker said "I already know what it looks like". He hadn't seen the book, or any of the images, but was referring to the fact that the photographer was very predictable. And that stuck with me. He also didn't mean any disrespect at all, was just stating a fact. After thinking about it for a while, I realized how important it is to constantly be charging ahead in different directions. That's something I've always believed, but it was cool to hear from his perspective. As a photographer, you'll always have your "bread and butter", but it's boring to rest on that. Branch out and try new things. Develop portfolios in areas that your audience is expecting. Challenge yourself even if it means failing miserably for a while. In the long term, I believe that's the only way to make it. 

Last month I did another cross-country trip from San Diego to as far as Plymouth, Massachusetts. Time on the road was shorter than I initially planned for, but it's always great. Shot a lot of images that are probably a lot different my norm, and people might not connect with them right away, but whatever. Some of them are certainly winners. I enjoy looking at them, and can see this stuff developing into a much larger portfolio. My main objective on this trip was to wrap up shooting on the barbershop project. So all of this "America" stuff was on the side, but I love it, and am always eager for more. 

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America

My America gallery of images is the one that gets the least attention and interest from people/clients. Which I find strange because sometimes I think it's my best stuff?  Either way it's something I've been shooting for a long time, and will continue shooting forever. Lately I've been getting a lot of images request from clients for other bodies of work, which is always a gift because it forces you to go back through old hard drives, causing me to look at images I haven't seen in a long time. And whatever it is about time, that factor has made turned me on to images that I thought were worthless in the past. That might be a problem, but then again it might just be part of the process. Regardless, I'm happy to have stumbled upon these images that have been during road trips from as far back as  2011, and as recently as a few months ago. Can't wait to get back out on the road. 

Rodeo

Getting outside your comfort zone is a beneficial thing in all aspects of life. Without it growth is not possible. The rodeo in Poway was last week, and I thought it would be a fun thing to shoot. Certainly something I've never done, but was very drawn to. So I reached out and found someone who needed some coverage. Like most things I shoot, my focus was not so much on the action, but behind the scenes. The little things that add to the culture but aren't really noticed or seen by most people. I loved everything about shooting this event. Being back where the riders were was awesome. Such a foreign culture that I've never experienced. And all the auxiliary stuff was great too. I got there really early and just wondered around the grounds, where I ran into a lot of characters. Everything I shot was natural light, and after the sun went down it was cool to see how much the color temperature of the "house" lights changed so quickly as they fell off. Learned a lot, most of which is that I'd shoot something like this again in a second. The grittiness of it is right up my alley. And everything felt so authentic. These aren't showy athletes on multi million dollar contracts. They are cowboys being cowboys. 

America

 Among the many lessons I continue to learn during cross country road trips, is that things inevitably come up. Things that cause you to deter from the original plan. And it's easy to get frustrated because you're time shooting in one place gets cut short, but it always seems to come back around. I used to be extremely high strung about this. When I got to a place, I couldn't relax until a shot was in the bag, which would sometimes take away from the whole experience. Now I like to have faith that the shots will come, just maybe not in the way I was expecting. Being open to that idea is a lot of the key though.  Sometimes the shots you originally had planned, turn out to be your least favorite anyway. So when you just go with the flow, and take advantage of situations that pop up, great things come about. This past road trip to Cape Cod and back was rushed due to other commercial responsibilities (a great problem to have). Even so, my time shooting on the road didn't amount to all that much. The set of images that resulted are far from my favorite. However, because I was rushed, it made me look for other places/times to shoot. And in the end, I am left with another batch of images and potential assignment/partnership that never would have otherwise happened. 

MORE AMERICA HERE