A Year In The Life (Favorites from 2018)

June 16, 2019

Wow, it’s been a while since I did one of these, let’s see if I remember how to do this. As some of you know, last year was pretty wild for me. In the spring my relationship of 3 years ended. Even though it was hard, her and I knew it was the right thing to do for both of us. The love was there but sometimes that’s just not enough and that can be difficult to come to terms with. During that same time my good friend Tyler was in the Bay Area slowly getting ready for a road trip to NYC where he had a job lined up for the summer. After a quick phone call he said he had room for one more and like that, I decided to quit my job and bought a one way ticket that left a week later with no expectations other than to make photographs and clear my head. 

 

What followed turned into a 14 month long journey spanning nearly 30k miles of travel around the US and Mexico via planes trains and automobiles with a 4 month pit stop in NYC for the summer. Another cool thing that happened was I adopted a minimalist lifestyle. Throughout my life I’ve had the opportunity to live out of a backpack and travel a fair amount. Each time it opens my eyes to what I need in life and the things I can live without. After 3 months of travel I had to go back to Denver and get our apartment move out ready. It was during this time I got rid of 90% of my stuff. I packed up most of my art collection, and my prized possessions that fit into a 16x16x16 box and mailed it to my parents house in Arizona before flying back to NYC for the remainder of the summer. Tyler and I rented a 10ft by 10ft music studio to live out of in Brooklyn. The price was right and I didn’t need to get a job so I could focus all my time and energy into creating what would be my 2nd photo magazine. 

 

The following images are in no specific order other than divided between color and BW. I think it’s also worth mentioning that I go out of my way to do everything right in camera so all these images are uncropped unless I mention otherwise. 

 

^(Cropped or Straightened)

 

 

 

 

The year of 2018 was huge in terms of mental growth. While I probably still have a fault list longer than a roll of 2-ply toilet paper, I’ve undoubtedly made progress. More recently, I’ve really been getting clear on my values. I’m also starting to recognize and take pride in the fact that I have achieved a lot of goals I’ve set for myself over my lifetime. For more years than I can remember, I really haven’t liked myself and so I probably haven’t given myself or others the credit or care I should have. All that is starting to change as I’m recognizing my own self worth for being the imperfect person that I am versus seeking validation through being talented at something. After so many years of praise it’s mostly all become so valueless to me. That’s a big reason in 2019 I’ve deactivated comments on my social media. If I put an image out for people to see, it’s because I love and believe in it. If it gets 0 or 1000 likes and comments it’s not going to change how I feel about it. At the end of the day, the feeling of being proud of myself or my work belongs to me and me alone. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

^(Cropped or Straightened)

 

On the subject of photography, I think 2018 was a milestone year for me. Not only did I make more photographs than any year since starting in 2012, but I feel like I’ve really started to develop my own style. While I’ve always loved leading lines, my new and latest obsession has been natural framing and negative space or some harmonious blend of all three. After the first night I went out with a camera, I’ve since been driven to become really good with it. I think it’s from my competitive background that I’ve chased this desire to be “the best.” I’m coming to terms with the fact that this isn’t a skate contest, there can’t be a clear winner. Photography is a subjective sport. In the last year I’ve learned that my competition is with me myself and I and not with my contemporaries. I believe it’s this shift in thought that’s had one of the biggest impacts on my work over the last year and a half. 

 

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The other factor would be living in New York City. While I feel I’ve always had an outside the box way of pointing the camera at things, being here has no doubt brought about a change in my desire to push my creative boundaries. Being in a city that’s been shot to death by not only millions of people, but in my opinion some of the best to ever do it, pushes me that much harder to try and reinvent the wheel on what’s been done and or how its been done no matter where I’m at. 

 

 

^(Cropped or Straightened)

 

 

Over the last several years I've become a big believer in timing. While I'm not totally sure EVERYTHING happens for a reason, I do believe that things will happen in your life in the right time. Reflecting on how my life has unfolded and the timing of events to get me to where I'm at as I type this is to me, so interesting to think about.

 

For example, in 2015 I made the decision to move to Denver. Not long after I helped a friend with a photo shoot and the client suggested a place to eat for lunch. I ended up really liking the place and the next day applied for a job. I got the job, met my ex (that really helped me in so many ways) that connected me with a friend that got me what is probably my favorite job I've ever had. The job allowed me to financially get back on track and also travel a lot. One of the trips landed me in Memphis, TN where I fell 25ish feet fracturing my skull in 2 places, shattering my right knee cap and blowing out both my knees. In those dark times I really thought my life as I knew it was over, and in truth it partially was. 

 

 

 

^(Cropped or Straightened)

 

If you asked me in 2016, I would have never thought something so fucked up would have such a profound and amazing effect on my life. While I wasn't able to work, someone I use to work with suggested I get my Commercial Drivers License and join him at a new job where he was making boat loads more money. After getting that job I soon paid off all debt and had a decent amount of money saved. Then the breakup happened, and while it was rough, I couldn't be happier an thus started the whole trip in 2018 and being able to check off a life goal of living in New York City. 

 

^(Cropped or Straightened)

 

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^(Cropped or Straightened)

 

 

 

Of course it's more complex than just those events that got me to the place I'm at, because there were a lot of choices involved. However, the circumstances needed to be there for the choices to even exist. To think back on how assisting a simple photo shoot and or the choice to apply at that restaurant set off a chain of events to get me here is just so fucking crazy. I could go on and on about this but I won't. What I will do is challenge you to reflect on your own life and think of those perhaps small events or moments that unleashed a butterfly effect that got you to this present moment. I hope that like me, you can sit and laugh at it all as you connect the dots.

 

 

Thanks for reading.

 

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