The Photoshoot

This blog will be a little different. It’s about doing something I love and didn’t realize until this year. It’s one of my photo shoots in which I asked someone to model. 

Now selfies and nature are easy. You just need the right lighting and scenery, but shooting a person you want to bring out the best in them. There’s qualities of the person you want to showcase and highlight. 

For Senait, I definitely wanted to showcase her. She’s been an amazing friend and person. 

So how do you bring out the best in someone? Do you try to get them to see what you see? Or do you let them do them?

That answer I had to learn. I had my idea in mind but the best photos came from when she was in control. She is powerful, funny, and smart in every way. 

In her element she is easy to shoot. She made it easy as a friend to get really good photos. Her energy allowed me to be at my best that day.

While she would be my first official photo shoot she will not be my last. She reminded me why I picked up the camera… to bring out the best in people and society. 

Life & Death

This post will be completely different than any of my last post.  This one is based on an experience that happened to me in Austin, TX.

I was on the hunt for new photos and decided to try to take pictures down by the river.  The first two ways to get to it did not work so finally as the day starts to wind down, I find Turkey Creek Trail.

Quickly glancing at the map, I find that I can reach the river if I just follow the trail.  I quickly rush off down the path.  My first photo is a shot of the creek, shot with my newest lens.

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I continue up my way quickly trying to reach the river, as today the clouds are perfect the sun is high and the weather is perfect for a hike.  Quickly an hour passes and I have not yet reached the river.  I get to a point that looks like I will have to stop as the trail seems to go down hill.  I test it and I know that it would not be wise to go that way.  As I am turning around I look up and see the trail.  I find myself in a beautiful valley to take a few photos.

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I keep trekking because I finally have the height to see the clouds over the trees.  I look down at my phone and see I have no signal, but my photo opportunities keep getting better.  I finally reach a point to where I realize that I will not be able reach the creek.  As I reach my final stopping point, about 20 feet ahead of me, I see an animal run through the bushes.  It is large enough to do damage if it charges at me, but it runs quickly across the path.  Now fear builds because it is on the side of the path I am on.  I decided to take a photo of the clouds anyway, but still listening for any potential harm.

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That was my warning…stop going forward head back before you cannot see your route back to your car.

As I am heading back, I find I can take a better picture at one of the valleys that I stopped at.  I stop to take a better photo.

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Stopping for perfection, I lose more of my lighting for the trail back.

As I head back down the trail, I turn at what I believe I think is the path back down.  I realize quickly it is not but try to make my way to the trail from that path.  I am utterly wrong, and if not by shear will of God, I look down and see if I completed my next step I would step on a sleeping rattle snake.  I skid to a halt, seeing my life flash before my eyes and run up the hill.  I imagine my death, caused by the rattle snake biting me and being off the trail to where no one would find me.  No phone signal at all to call anyone to assist me.  It is at this point, in my mind I would of died.

I immediately start freaking out, I start half running down the hill and start being less cautious about my steps.  At the peak of my fear, I see something flash by my eye.  I stop thinking that I am in some immediate danger.

As I stop to look, I realize that it is a firefly.  My mind slows and I have peace.  My heart stops racing and I realize the beauty in their flashes.  I stop to take photos on Instagram and Snapchat.  I am no longer fearful but excited as this is my first time seeing fireflies.

I see them as my guide back to my car.  I feel blessed as they show me that I am safe.  I follow them back to my car.  As I arrive I realize that I was shown the mortality of my life, death, and I was shown the beauty of my life as well in the same trip.

I did not fear death prior to this moment, because I knew I had taken the actions to save my soul.  What I realized is that I found out is the reason why I was fearful this time is that, I found something that I still want to build.  My photography.  I had so much to learn and grow.  I was afraid my photos would stop here.  This moment showed me what truly was important to me.  I may not be the best photographer, but this matters.  Now matters.  My life matters.

 

Other photos:

Me Vs Him Series

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had this internal battle with myself.  This feeling of wanting to do something or feeling like I deserve something and in the back of my mind feeling like I can’t.  It’s that feeling of battling against myself.  Basically like there is Me…and then there is Him.

He’s always been there trying to tell me “no that’s not possible”, “why would you want to do that”, “that’s not something that you can do”.  I’ve always had to fight against that feeling I would not be able to do it.  He’s in my subconscious, he is my doubts, he is there trying to prevent my constant striving for greatness.  He’s like a shadow trying to loom over me.

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Several times, I had this conversation: “I want to go out tonight, I know I will have a good time.”  In the back of my mind he’s there saying, “Well what if you don’t.”

Overall, I have started winning my battles against him, but I have to remember that he is a part of who I am.  So the battle may not be Me Vs Him, but it a battle to remain positive and continue to grow.  When He gets in the way of my growth we will be in conflict, but I will never let him decide if I am good enough.

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I am Him and I must be at peace with that.

Be You Series

I don’t know about you but a lot of my life I’ve felt like I’ve been chasing others dreams. For example, I was running track trying to be the next Michael Johnson. I was studying math trying to be the next Einstein. I was trying to start a business and be the next Elon Musk.

Overall, all my life I’ve been chasing the dreams of others as opposed to my own. Now if you’re content always reaching for someone else’s dream more power to you. For myself though, I have to chase my own.

So whether that’s working out to get to my own fitness goals, or going to church for my mind and spirit, I’ve got to be me. No one can take you away from you except you!
These photos are my expression of me. You can love them or hate them but at the end, they are me being true to myself!

The Gift of Sight

At 5 years old, I found out that I would have to wear glasses, and since then I have appreciated sight.  I found it as a gift, but gifts can get lost…in this case I mean figuratively.

Over the past few years, I lost my gift of sight, moving from instant to instant thinking 30 steps ahead.  Not looking at the value of what I have now.  Luckily I have been blessed enough to have someone who can slow my life down.  She has gifted me with a new light and that was gifted to me in my photos.

So this weekend was our Valentine’s Day, and these photos are my thanks to her for being the woman who can bring me into reality.

Hello World!

How do you explain how your first post might be life changing? All I can say is I’ll try to put it into perspective of why that is.

From the age of 5, I wanted to be this world changing engineer. Not your average story for an amateur photographer. I spent my time in the books capturing math and science as I went. Over time, I became really quite good and actually reached my dream…at 22 years old.

So what was left from there? I wasn’t sure, I worked hard (and still am working hard at my dream job) but something was missing. In my quest for tech, I forgot about my quest for creation. So at 25, I’ve picked up the camera, which has given me that much needed creation I sought.

So back to my question: How do you explain how your first post might be life changing?

It’s life changing because it’s an action that can change the way I see the world a second time. My camera was the first.