Reviving My Photoblog

It’s now officially been over a year since I last updated my photoblog. It kind of blows my mind considering photoblogs should take a lot less work than a wordy blog like this does to maintain. The process should be quite simple:

  1. Take a picture
  2. Process the photo
  3. Write a few sentences about the photo
  4. Post the photo

Yet here I am, without a post in 12 months. What a mess. Luckily I’ve promised myself that I would put an end to not blogging and doing the things that really make me happy. Also lucky for me? I get so many wonderful opportunities to take photos and make art out of them. Or at least what I consider my art.

This weekend my mom flew into San Diego to celebrate my birthday a bit early. I turn 30 next Saturday… Wish me luck on that one. More on all that later, I promise!

This post isn’t supposed to encapsulate all the fun and adventures we went on but I did want to use it as a way to hold myself accountable of making at least five updates to my photoblog in the upcoming week. Oh, quick note, all of the following images were taken with my Pentax MX-1. The most hipster of seriously-cool range-finder-ish digital cameras.

Let’s hope I don’t fail us all! It’s time you all start holding me accountable! There, I’ve passed my failure onto you.

Blame Drew’s Cancer

Click to VisitI remember reading about Drew’s cancer a couple of years ago, around the time that my aunt was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer, for the second time.  Things weren’t looking good for her, beating colon cancer was one thing.  Beating it a second time, after you’ve already been through several surgeries, was a totally different story.

The cancer moved from her colon to her lungs as we prepared to say our goodbyes.

It seemed impossible at the time, but somehow my aunt was dealt a second miracle.  An almost unexplainable disappearance of cancer in her lungs and colon.  The treatment from MD Anderson, which was experimental and not as promising as one would hope for, worked.

It’s been nearly two years and she is still cancer free.

Drew is not.

His fight against cancer has become a sort of internet phenomenon.  His website Blame Drew’s Cancer invites everyone to blame, you guessed it, Drew’s cancer for anything that goes wrong.  Stub your toe? Blame Drew’s cancer.  Lock your keys in the car? Blame Drew’s cancer.

The idea quickly spread and it wasn’t long before a hashtag was born (#blamedrewscancer) which people are encouraged to use on Twitter and various YouTube videos popped up.

This is by far my favorite.  It actually brought me to chills and even a few tears from my eyes.  Videos like this give me faith in this world, that it isn’t all bad, that there are good people out there.

Oh and thanks to @DaRave for indirectly reminding me about this movement.  No get to the gym!

Sessions with Joey L

Sessions with Joey L

Sessions with Joey L

Wow, he’s everyone I want to be.  Smart, funny, talented, adorable, successful and a photographer doing what he loves and inspiring the pros around him.

Did I mention he’s like 19 years old?  Did I mention he’s the guy that shot the infamous and oft impersonated Twilight poster?

Sessions With Joey L – Tutorial Preview from Joey L on Vimeo.

Joey has a couple of DVDs out with his tips, tricks and techniques and as with most photography tools, these videos are incredibly expensive.  And yet, I’m tempted to scrounge around for the money to buy them.  The two DVDs together will cost around $500!  That’s pretty incredible.

Imagine an Annie Leibovitz that’s guy, that’s 19 years old but nearly every bit as important and successful in his field of photography.  His is the style I’ve wanted to do since I got into art photography.  Real winners are rare between while the market is flooded with fluff photographers not work the equipment they are carrying.

I hope to someday do the work of Joey, to be as successful, humble and passionate.  I also hope that my current trip into architectural fine art photography isn’t a mistake.  That my critique of educational institution isn’t a handicap for my art’s success.

Click photo to visit my photography site

Click photo to visit my photography site

I hope my love for the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf style of photography such as the works of Candida Höfer and Andreas Gursky can actively be incorporated with my adoration of Joey’s and Annie’s works.

This post started as a small plea for things to come together for me to arrive at having a set of Joey’s DVDs and wouldn’t you know it, now I’m questioning my recent vein of photography for the bigger picture.

On the internet and in business I market myself as a social media/marketing/PR guy.  It’s what I do to pay the bills while simultaneously teaching photography both at the University and in my spare time at coffee shops, photo studios and over the Internet.  But perhaps I’m not so off base.  Joey does something similar.  Perhaps I should look towards him as my inspiration in both my business and creative energies.

Would love your thoughts on all this, any of this.  This blog is as much a teaching engine for me, as a vent for the good and bad and a tool for me to learn from my readers and contributors.  Thanks for all you do for me.

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Restoring Faith

One of the benefits of having a blog like this comes from the interaction I get from my readers, both the regulars and then more sporadic ones.

I would like to thank all of your for your supportive and inspiring words today either through comments on this blog or through Twitter (@justex07).

Through your comments I have come to realize that it shouldn’t matter what other people think, if they are capable or willing to show enthusiasm for my future.  That I should follow my heart, do what makes me happy without being destructive.

So, as soon as I am able to, I will apply to graduate school at Yale, Stanford and UCSF.  If I get in, what an incredible opportunity.  If that doesn’t work out then there are other options.  Work for, or run a photo studio.  Take over the company I’ve been doing work for over the past ten years through one facet or another.

I guess I’m lucky, I have options ahead of me and the chance to make a choice.

Thanks for helping me realize that.

Again I’ll end with a few more pictures of mine which have never been put online.  Sometimes going back through your catalog of pictures can be fun.  Even if they aren’t any good, it helps remember where you came from.

This one doesn’t fit with the other two but I like it, not sure why.  Just not a picture I’d typically take.

Time to get back to work on a paper.  Thanks again.