Welcome to the :e: picture journal. Within these walls you'll find a mix of commissioned and personal work so feel free to subscribe or to just swing by whenever you're seeking... [hint: click on a big image and then use the L and R arrows on your keyboard to navigate through the rest]
It has been almost a year and a half since I've properly blogged a wedding or specific shoot. I'm not apologizing or explaining or justifying anything - just informing you. I have all the posts written, lined up ready to go - it's over 2 years of posts if I post 3 times a week. I've had a new blog coming for a while - finished the design may moons ago but ran into a slew of problems in coding and development which is still where we're creeping along. It's coming. I wouldn't hold your breath, but it is coming, I promise.
This year has been truly fascinating so far. It has brought along with it a whole host of changes, both personal and professional, and much growth. The fall in New England is always my favorite time of year and encourages much pause and reflecting - all the miraculous stories I have documented, faces I have seen, sounds I have heard and food I have tasted. You wouldn't really know because have pretty much abandoned Facebook and pay very little attention to Twitter and the rest of the internets. Maybe I will get back into it at some point, maybe not. We will see what the off-season brings. There is just so much noise out there and I don't have the patience, time, or desire to be sifting through it all in front of a screen when I could be spending time with the people I love outside or taking pictures or building things.
Anyways, I just wanted to let you know I am here. I am still documenting family history. I still love it. Brief and to the point. Enjoy the images.
seek the joy.
There is nothing more in this world that I adore with greater vigor than family. Not my family [well, yes, my family - my family is the most important thing to me in the world, hands down no question], I'm talking about family in general. The concept of family. It's just awesome [in the literal sense of the word.] The bonds that tie us together most often unchosen but stronger than virtually anything... Family comes in as many shapes and sizes as the human form and in at least as many flavors. It's one reason I'll never tire of being a family historian. Love, family, legacy... it's never the same thing twice and long as you're looking for the right things.
Shooting weddings gives me this incredible front seat to family history. Don't get me wrong, I also adore stepping into a normal average day in a family's life and documenting daily life [it's amazing and you should have me do it for you... WINK WINK] but there is also something very humbling about documenting life's major events. It's a yin-yang thing. I don't see one as more important than the other but those major events... they knock you to your knees some times. What does it for me is always family. That's what I get so excited about. The birth of a new family, the uniting of an old... It's that incredible strength that is inexplicable that I'm always looking for a way to preserve. It manifests itself sometimes in the tears of giving your daughter away to her new family, seeing your grandmother watch you dance, the simple joy of sitting in a huge apple crate with your hubby and dog....
The best thing about families, I think, is that they don't end. They expand. They continue to grow and grow and grow.... I marvel at the fact that you don't leave the family you've come from, you, in essence, expand it. You double its size by choosing to spend the rest of your life with someone that comes from his/her own family and legacy. It all becomes connected. I'm probably related to you somehow... especially if you're from Estonia :]
That's it for today, I was just sitting here thinking about my own family and loving the fact that I get to be a family historian. I love it, I take it seriously, and I'm pretty sure I'll never want to stop doing it. Thanks for having an awesome family.
seek the joy
I am a working photographer. I am not a rockstar, my blog is not a resource for brides or for other photographers or for anyone really, and I don't roam the country giving seminars and workshops. I shoot. I wake up every day and hustle my ass off and it feels great. Some days I have highs, some days I have lows. Some days I worry about money, some days I do not. It's part of what we do, us who are in the craft. That's what this is - it's a craft - and I am craftsman first, small business owner second. If I wake up one day and have no money, I can still make powerful imagery for people but if I wake up one day and can't make images that make people feel anything anymore, it doesn't matter how successful my business is or has become or how much money I have in the bank, I am a failure. I am breaking the hearts of couples that have trusted me with documenting the creation of their family, with all their friends and loved ones there to pat them on the back and whisper, 'We are so proud of the people you have become.' Because of this, my work comes first, before my self, when it comes to promotion and getting the word out. I could be the nicest guy in the world [which I am not... but I am brutally honest, so that has to count for something, right?] but if my images were garbage I could never stomach shooting something as important as a wedding celebration. That's family history you're messing with...
The road I am on is not a shortcut or a path to something bigger or grander... there really isn't anywhere I'm dying to get. All I want at this point is just to improve myself and the imagery that I create a little bit every day. I want to improve the soul of my images. I'm not looking for new post processing techniques, different ways to market and sell, the latest gadgets or software, or the brand new absolutely must see resource blog. Not interested. That doesn't enrich my perspective nor does it make grow. I want the heart and depth and internal life of my images to continue to get stronger and stronger. I know that I am standing on the shoulders of thousands and thousands of brilliant shooters that have influenced every single aspect of my craft, from the mundanely technical to the beauty and art of delicate composition. I may never attain their influential status or popularity, but that's OK. The grandfathers of this incredible medium set a pretty high bar, after all. I don't really pay attention to what my peers in this industry are doing because, well, it doesn't inspire me nearly as much as the documentary shooters of yesteryear... and some of the one's working today, too. It is so easy to make wedding imagery mediocre and I refuse to fall victim to it! I grow by studying the greats, not the populars.
This journal entry is coming off 6 weeks of straight travel to DC, Ohio, England, New Jersey, Virginia, California, Colorado, and of course, my beloved New England. I have seen both coasts, the middle of the country and the motherland across the pond. Traveling always gives me pause because the normal exploring that I occupy my time with at home - whether it's the bari, bass, guitar, bike, the farm, the pup - are not with me so my patterns and habits are broken, and that frees my thoughts. Today I went for a lovely 15mi run through miles and miles of Ohio cornfields just starting to awaken and stretch a little bit before their work for the season begins. It got me thinking about the differences between polishing an established craft and destroying and reimagining it. I see merit in both and to each his own until twos each own.
I've never claimed to know a whole lot. In fact, I think that in the grand scheme of things I know very little. One thing I'm sure of though, I am a working photographer and that's right where I want to be. I am always happy to lend a hand or offer any advice if anyone wants it, but creating important images for those amazing people that trust me to do my thing, that is what I cherish. I don't have appropriate words or an appropriate venue to let the world know how grateful I am, but if you are one of the three people that follow along on my adventures via this journal, thank you. Your support means the world to me and I hope I can make an important image for you someday.
seek the joy
I don't do pretty. Pretty is a crutch. Pretty is I couldn't think of anything better to do so I decided to try my best to make myself just like everyone else. Pretty is stuck in traffic in rush hour. Pretty is not beautiful. Pretty is over processed and over romanticized. It's washed out, back light, vintage, and the same thing you've seen hundreds of times. Pretty is I wasn't paying attention, so I missed it. I have no patience for pretty.
Here's the kicker - I don't care. I don't give a shit about pretty because pretty doesn't make me feel, It makes me bored. It's shallow. You cannot see who is in pretty, you can only see what is in pretty. What is boring but who is fascinating. I do not waste my time with pretty.
I do honest. It isn't making or creating, there isn't a creative bone in my body. I observe and I fall in love. I wake up every day and I fail just a little bit more than I did the day before. My failure rate increases exponentially as I grow and every single day I struggle to the point of exhaustion and though in the end I emerge trampled, I have just enough strength to forge ahead because I believe in what I do with the utmost conviction. I believe in the power of honesty and truthfulness to show us a reflection of individuals' actions [and thusly of humanity as a whole] that fundamentally asks us to question who we are and why we behave the way we do. Behavior defines character. Environment shapes behavior. Don't be a lemming. We have enough of those.
Plus I like cake. Actually, that's a lie. I'm a pie man.
seek the joy