There used to be a time when having a day job and a hobby meant attempting your best to keep those 2 portions of your life at opposite ends of the spectrum, but depending on what your pastime and day job are nowadays, there is no longer a need to compartmentalize those 2 components of your life because for me, one fuels the other.
I don't talk about this much, but when I'm not behind the camera, I work at Louis Vuitton, a wonderful company where I've had the pleasure of working for the past 11 years. In addition to having a "day job", I've still managed to dedicate time for client work and travel which has been the source of all of photography that you've seen me share and it stems from my free time or while on vacation. What's the secret? There's isn't any. It's just the willingness to sacrifice one aspect of one's life for another to dedicate time to what fuels you.
While I've been a part of many amazing projects put on by Louis Vuitton, I've always struggled with how much I can share. However, this one was such a pleasure to be a part of that I couldn't help but sneak my Leica Q2 out during downtime to capture a glimpse of what it was like to be surrounded by so much craftsmanship and history.
On Shelter Island, Louis Vuitton created an exclusive savoir-faire atelier for the Maison's most precious collections. The emphasis of the presentation was on products that highlight the Maison's illustrious history and craftsmanship, such as exotic creations, furniture and décor from Objets Nomades, specialized hard-sided and trunk pieces, made-to-order items, and luxury watches and jewelry.
As creatives, we may have periods of inactivity, but overall, we always have the inclination to mull over an idea, play with it, and come up with something new. Naturally, it feels good when our efforts are rewarded, but we shouldn't ever feel as though our attempts were also in vain when they aren't immediately recognized. All of this has some significance in terms of how we think, practice, and present to the world what is only possible for us in our own special way create and in those movements when you doubt your efforts, I leave you with the wise words of Seth Godin:
The body of work you’re creating adds up over time. The consistency and empathy of your vision will seep through. Drip by drip, you’ll create something worth noticing
I recently got back from a family vacation in the Riviera Maya in Mexico. Playa del Carmen, was a town we spent a significant amount of time in, which was very stunning despite the typical Caribbean heat. I set a goal for myself to just bring my recently purchased Leica Q2 on this trip, and after that experience, I am certain that it is by far one of the best travel cameras I've ever used.
When we travel, it's much easier for me to get into street photography mode than it is here in New York. These are some of the pictures I made while aimlessly strolling through Playa del Carmen using the Leica Q2.
On a stunning evening that gifted us with such a fantastic sunset and view, I had the opportunity to photograph Ebony Anderberg's first Ebony Bootcamp that she recently held on the rooftop of Spring Place in New York City. After the demanding 45-minute fitness class, we lingered for a while to take advantage of the setting to create some fun photos.
Even as we grow and mature in our life, the edges also get pushed out and they remain fuzzy. Don’t worry about “fixing” those outer edges — they will always be there. Instead focus on the center and on the core — the things that truly matter — and focus on making those stronger and better.
Prior to purchasing the Leica Q2 this year, I conducted significant research to learn as much as possible about other people's experiences and opinions on such a costly piece of equipment. We're talking about blogs, vlogs, technical YouTube videos, and anything else that will make me happy with my purchase. I eventually bought the camera and I've had no regrets. It's been an incredible joy photography with it, which is difficult to put into words, but I believe Peter McKinnon stated it best, "The Leica's have a look to them, they have a feel, they have a vibe."
Cory Vanderploeg delivers another insightful video. I'm a huge fan of his portrait work, as well as the quantity of information he regularly gives on his Youtube channel about the business side of the trade we all adore, photography.
"If you can't answer "yes" to all of these things, then you should be charging for your work" he says:
Will I use this in my portfolio for years to come?
Will I end up showing this on Instagram and my social media?
Comuna 13 is still evolving. And the vibrant hillside neighborhood is busier than ever, and you can't properly appreciate the beauty of a place like Comuna 13 until you understand its horrifyingly terrible past and all it has overcome.
Instead of aimlessly meandering through Comuna 13's wide maze, a tour guide will not only explain the significance and history of the neighborhood's prominent landmarks, but will also expose you to locations you would have otherwise missed discovering on your own. Without this understanding and awareness, a stroll around Comuna 13's streets is reduced to a shallow picture of many works of lovely street art. This neighborhood was at the top of my list to explore during our stay to Medellin because I had read so much about it before even arriving in the country.
As a side note, having the ability to document our entire trip in Medellin with just a curiosity and my freshly purchased Leica Q2 was extremely liberating because how compact the camera is.