Sunday, June 22, 2014

FJ Pre-Sedonafest Expedition Run

Went with a couple of the AZFJ people on a day-trip yesterday. Had a great time, chatted with some cool people and generally spent the day outdoors!

Got the crew to come down the line at me - here is each FJ individually and sequentially. These pictures are mostly for the owners of each vehicle.

Dustin stuck in the mud...

Winning the award for "most mud flung" - Derek

Lunch stop after playing in the mud.

Camp for the evening - I left after hanging out for a few hours, but am excited to camp with this crew for Sedonafest!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Freidlein Prairie (and on to new things)

Kristen chose last weekend's spot - up at the Freidlein Prairie disbursed camping area. There are 9 sites open for free camping. No water, no toilets, nothing fancy, but nobody else around.

Most of the sites looks the same. One site, though, is situated in a gorgeous aspen grove, well away from the others. We set up camp there and spent a lazy Sunday reading, napping and making pictures.

I am finally done shooting the Tepui tent - a project I worked on for the last couple months came to a close, at least for now.

Now, I am taking on a couple new clients and shooting their outdoorsy-adventure products in real-life settings. Currently working with Canyon Coolers and hoping to pick up one more as we near the FJ Summit in Ouray, CO, who has also hired me to photograph and blog my experience at their event.


Now, pictures.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Goals and Half Way There

It's June already! Can you believe it? We are half way to 2015.

Not everyone is as goal-oriented as I am. In fact, few people obsess over goals the way I do. The last few years, I always find myself feeling lost without a specific group of goals to strive for. Some personal, some business, and some others still that are a bit of both, or neither.

Anyway, my question for you today is this: If the year 2014 is half-over, what do you need to do for the next six months to achieve the goals you set for yourself this year? What projects do you need to finish, what people do you need to talk to in order to set yourself up for an incredible 2015?

If you haven't done it recently, take a few hours (or the whole day) today and wrap your mind around what you'd like to achieve in the coming months and how you're hoping to get there.

It is a fairly simple exercise, but one that needs to be done every so often if we are going to keep ourselves on track.

I won't bore you with my goals for the rest of the year and where I am hoping to go with them; everyone will have different goals and different ways to achieve them. What's important is that you know where you're headed.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Creative Cycle and A Beautiful Anarchy

Pretty much every self-aware creative person that I know has come to the same conclusion.

Sometimes you are at the top of your game, making art that inspires you and resonates with people.
Sometimes you suck at everything, have always sucked, will never make good art again.
Sometimes you're in the middle, maybe you could make something, if only you were a *little* more inspired.

Many of us do not realize that this is a universal experience to creative people. We all go through stages where we feel like this. It's a cycle, which means it repeats endlessly and will continue to do so for as long as we live.

Furthermore, we don't necessarily realize that we have some control over this cycle. We may not wake up in the morning and decide "I want to be stuck in a rut today," but if we choose to watch Netflix all day instead of getting out of the house and making new art, taking in new sights, or taking time to just get away from it all - we are effectively making exactly that choice.

David duChemin released a new book recently. I've been reading his books for five years - religiously purchasing those that resonate with me. The new book, A Beautiful Anarchy is an honestly-written experience that I think all creative people should read. It is one man's experience with the creative cycle, with the struggle of avoiding stagnation and procrastination. It sheds new light on the cycle not because David knows anything you don't already know, but because he is willing to talk about it, to honestly put it all out there, to be vulnerable.

You will find yourself nodding and smiling as you read because you know exactly how he feels, but you've never bothered to put it into words (probably because you've never bothered talking about it with anyone). In this sense, the book is very much like having a conversation with the author, who knows what you're thinking while you read it because he has been there, done that, and (most importantly) gotten through it.

As I write this, I feel like I'm on a roll with my photography. I've been making images I am happy with, getting sound feedback from those around me, and generally I am on the crest of the wave. Three weeks ago I was in the trough and I hated everyone and everything and couldn't imagine making a good picture. This book is going to resonate more clearly with those in the trough, because that's where it is most difficult to be a creative person. When you're at the crest, "it's all good" and you don't need a book about creativity, especially one that is listed in the Amazon "self-help" category.
[David, I agree they should call that category something else.]

Regardless of where you are in the creative cycle at the moment, you need to read this book. If only to help you recognize where you are and what your particular cycle looks like. Honest conversations like these are always worth having - being more aware of your cycle will allow you to guide it, shape it, and in so doing guide and shape your life as a whole.

David, thank you for putting this out there, for being vulnerable and for adding to the conversation about life as a creative.

Now, I'm off to create something. You should be too.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Alstrom Point

Spent a night at Alstrom Point camping with my buddy Ryan after I took (and passed) my exam for a HAM radio technician license (woohoo!)

One of the most beautiful places I have ever camped - highly recommended if you have the high clearance vehicle to get there. Doesn't need to be 4x4, but you will need at least 8" of clearance. I'd bet that most crossovers could do. The FJ performed wonderfully.

Anyway. Pictures. Please excuse the sensor spots/hairs. It took me a while to notice them.