When you get to where you envision yourself, you'll discover that your voice mattered long before you earned a title.
There's no greater freedom than not having a title but letting your influence and behaviors decide how you connect with others and make an impact.
This is the intriguing thing about the world we live in. Influence can sometimes have a greater impact than a title, especially when the two don’t always go hand in hand.
I’m not a “professional” photographer because I don’t do it for a living but not having that title doesn’t take away the value and work I’ve had the opportunity to make either way. It drives me crazy when I see people holding back from ideas or opinions they may have simply because they may not be in position to do this or that but
I feel a Leica is not a camera you simply purchase on a whim; to me it feels like a reward for countless hours spent honing your skills. It’s a piece of equipment that becomes a silent partner, a witness to your growth, and a catalyst for always wanting to discover and document more.
No matter how you look at it, a Leica costs a lot of money, and that's a justified price for a camera that you can only truly appreciate if you get a chance to handle and photograph with one. The cost of my Leica Q2 alone deterred me from making the purchase three years ago, but once I did, it turned out to be the best photography investment I've ever made. The greatest camera isn't usually the one you carry with you; rather, it's the one that feels like an extension of your body rather than a burden you have to deal with.
For me, Gajan Balan said it best, “A Leica feels like something that you earn…and you continue to pay your dues by shooting the hell out of it.”
The most talented artist, often times hate the self-promotion aspect of being a professional artist. They love creating it, hate promoting it. It feels inauthentic.
However, it's important to remember that the world isn't going to knock on your door and ask what you made. How can we support your great project if you never tell us about it?
I will be honest. I think I struggle with talking about my work more than actually creating it; that's something I need to focus on.
Even though it consumes a lot of our time, we frequently rely on platforms to do the legwork so that others can find us. However, this approach can only go so far because the work we produce demands that we talk confidently about it.
I feel it’s always helpful to keep your eyes open for things that no one has asked you to do but that need to get done.
Things are always going to be expected of you regardless, perhaps because they’re either part of your job description or simply part of your responsibility in life.
The easiest approach to feel good about what you do is to not always anticipate anything in return since that's when nice things come your way. It's what you normally do beyond what's expected that can frequently get you noticed.
I frequently witness this. I understand that as individuals and as creatives, our time is valuable, and we should be paid for the value we offer to a space, but sometimes it's not all about us.
Going above and beyond what is asked of you, sharing your knowledge, and knowing that you can leave a place while recognizing that you have done your job well and that you have delivered beyond will, in my opinion, is the biggest contribution you can make anywhere. Your influence will then be felt whether or not you are in there or not.
I think that in the environment we currently live in, it's incredibly simple to get self-absorbed, and that tendency frequently prevents us from understanding life's bigger picture.
I feel like I've fallen behind in terms of blogging, or more specifically, the act of setting aside time to write the way I used to, away from that addictive device we call a phone. I know that developing a routine won't happen by itself until I'm more deliberate about making the time, so I thought I'd take advantage of the fact that I'm in the mood to write and share these photographs I took of Natalia Borges.
In between figuring out where we can find a space to create for the sake of collaboration, Natalie recalled how gorgeous the natural light always seems to be in her old apartment, so it became a no-brainer to take advantage of the fact that she still had access to it. Natalie had recently moved into a new apartment in New York during the time we took these portraits.
I'll always be thankful to Nikeva for giving me the chance to work with her on a spontaneous summer day a few years back because it was then that I first understood how much I enjoyed taking pictures of people in their everyday lives. Since then, we've kept in touch to work together when her schedule allows whenever she visits New York.
Similar to this article, I also ran into Anthony in Williamsburg, Brooklyn after finishing a photoshoot on a fairly muggy summer morning. Following a conversation with him, I discovered he has a passion for rollerblading, so we headed to the closest park to capture movement in his element.
They say that the oddest places can be a source of inspiration. Sometimes you don't have to be actively engaged in your own pastime to feel it's the only way you can genuinely advance in it either.
Between Anthony Bourdain's amusing anecdotes in his television shows and books, his self-deprecating humor, and his propensity for foul language, I like to think I've gleaned some unexpected photography lessons from watching the show.
I use the term "lessons on photography" very loosely because none of them focused on imparting technical knowledge; rather, they are more on the inspirational/enlightening side.
1. A warm meal shared with a person is more likely to give you a sense of a location than a travel guide or a book will.
2. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in desiring the lifestyle of a certain job that we forget that in order to make earning that title worthwhile in the first place, we need to have a life.
3. It’s never too late to start showing interest in anything. Tony dabbled in writing on occasion, but it wasn't until one of his phenomenally successful pieces appeared in The New Yorker that he recognized he was good at more than just standing for 12 hours in a kitchen, drinking, or getting high. I wouldn't say that I came to photography late, but even if I had, anyone can now start taking advantage of the wealth of resources available to them.
4. Don't take yourself too seriously or else you'll become fixated on the demand for perfection and, more likely than not, you won't produce anything or meet anyone. This has occurred numerous times in the past. I no longer believe that one flawless photo is enough to convince me that my outings are worthwhile. I like to photograph in a chronological order so that the majority of what I see and everyone I encounter contribute equally to the feeling of being somewhere.
5. It’s important for more of us to be awestruck since fear and ignorance rarely get us far. I was often perplexing and embarrassed to learn that acquaintances from out of town knew more about my city than I did. I don't know every inch of New York, but I'm far more aware of the places than I was before I started experimenting with photography.
6. It's not always about the money. I've declined photo gigs simply because they didn't fit with my interests or sense of style. An attitude of scarcity encourages compromise since it makes you feel forced to accept jobs solely for the money rather than you being genuinely pleased to share the end result. Bourdain disliked the notion that it was the standard path for any chef back then to build and expand their brand by coming out with cooking tools and appliances. He never saw that as an opportunity but as a way to blend in which is the opposite of standing out.
The 116th Street Festival has changed and expanded in size throughout time. What began as a little neighborhood gathering has grown into a famous festival that draws visitors from throughout the city and beyond. While remaining faithful to its roots and conserving the cultural legacy of the Hispanic population, it continues to develop while the primary highlights continue to be music, dance, and cuisine of the Hispanic community. We went to the festival and had an enjoyable time connecting with my wife while she proudly waved her Puerto Rican flag, and captured moments during the event with my trusty Leica Q2.
El Divino Salvador del Mundo, a well-known landmark with significant cultural and historical value, is situated in San Salvador, El Salvador.
In addition to being a religious icon, El Divino Salvador del Mundo is a landmark that has come to represent unity and pride in the country. It has evolved into a key feature of the city's skyline and acts as a hub for gatherings, celebrations, and protests. This significant landmark draws both tourists and residents because of its artistic beauty and spiritual significance. The space in which El Divino Salvador del Mundo is also a meeting spot for local skateboarders and on this particular evening, I happened to walk by to observe them practicing with the intention to capture the atmosphere with the Leica Q2.
Your goal as an artist is not to make perfect work. You goal as an artist, is to get to the point where your imperfection is seen by others, as perfect.
Tom Noske is a content creator and endurance athlete from Melbourne, Australia.I'm not really sure how I came across his Instagram, but his constant message, which talks to what it means to be both an artist and an individual, always resonates with me and makes me feel as like his statements are exactly what I need to hear at that particular time.
People aren't necessarily searching for someone who has more information, especially when it comes to fitness, they're looking for someone to make sense of it, and Stefanie Williams has precisely that with WeGlow.
I had the pleasure of contributing as the event photographer for WeGlow's Wellness Festival recently held in Miami. It was an incredible pleasure to be a part of it because it marked the start of even better things to come.