Here I am!

Hey guys. My dog Russ and I are on a road trip. Atlanta to Cali and back. We're meeting up with friends along the way and sharing pictures with everyone. Here's where I am now. 🤓👍🏻

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The crew from last year's NYC meetup.

This creative community is powerful. It's changed my life. I've met people who inspire me. People who make me feel like I'm not alone. Like I am loved. Not because I look like I'm expected to, or say what I'm suppose to, but because I am strong enough, crazy enough, to honestly be who I am. No games.

I am very grateful for the experience of these three plus years. An experience that came to me unexpectedly through little, low res pictures.

I'm grateful, but to be honest I'm also a bit concerned.

I am naturally introverted. To a fault. And I'm concerned that I might have a tendency to loose the big picture in the stream of shiny images and pleasant comments.  Bare with me and I'll try and explain.

The truly powerful thing happening here is not about pictures at all, but about friendships. So I don't want to settle for platitudes or niceties.  Here's the hard truth.  It is sometimes very tempting for me to take the praise in but still keep to myself. I call it hermit mode. :-)  a

And hermit mode is not a good place for me.

Can you relate?  If we're not careful, social media is kind of like "relationship junk food" isn't it?  Tastes great. . . but not much substance really.

So this week I'm gonna make the time to buy someone a drink instead of liking their picture.  I'm going to make an effort to go deeper than a three sentence comment.  I'm not going let the hermit win.  ;-).

I don't want to loose sight of the big picture.  Because, in the end, if this thing is going to work, it's not really  about the pictures.  It's not about an app.  It's not about a quick little digital boost to our egos.

It's about really connecting. It's about friendships.

Things have changed.  This one time, SLR camera nerd, is now surprisingly comfortable shooting small, square, images with my phone. And, in the end, I guess I'm ok with lowering the pixel count of my jpgs.  :-). But I DON'T EVER want to be ok with low resolution friendships.  In the end, that's the big picture. That's what's worth while. Isn't it?. 




Thats a quote above from a great article I read a while back. It's a feature of the iPhone photojournalism of @michaelchristopherbrown in Digital Photo Pro Magazine.

At the @planetagram conference in brazil, @kevinkuster gave a great talk on what I guess I'd call "artistic self image". We hear this all too often. . . "I love the #JJ community. The pictures inspire me but I'm not a "photographer" or anything. I only shoot on my phone and I'm pretty new at this. I don't know the difference between an f-stop and a bus stop to be honest".

Lets just get this out of the way guys.

BS!!! ;-).

In my opinion this makes about as much sense as being proud or ashamed of your writing skills based on your intimate knowledge of pen technology.

Things are changing.  Creativity is more accessible now than at any other time in history and I'm stoked.  If you've charged your phone and you're passionate about taking pictures, you've got everything you need to make compelling images.  In fact many accomplished pro photographers are choosing the same phone you carry everyday as their preferred tool for some jobs.

@michaelchristopherbrown thinks so. Who are we to argue?  ;-).




Happy last week of summer vacation everyone!  :-). Kind if sad huh?  Miss Miranda and I are sucking Icee's at the water park today.   But that's not the kind of "Suck" I'm talking about today in my journal entry though. Have you given yourself permission to fail?  You should. Here's three reasons why I think failing quick and often is a critical part of the creative process.

1. PERFECTION WASTES YOUR TIME-  The more ideas you try. . . angles, lighting, different exposures. . . the better your chances of finding that killer pic. If something just doesn't seem to be working, let it go and move on to the next thing.

2.  FEAR OF FAILURE IS EXHAUSTING-  Did you know that your brain, your thinking machine, uses up 20% of your energy. 100 watts. Relative to its size it's an energy hog. Thinking is hard work and you've only got so much energy to give. If you're using up your brain power worrying about the next shot or regretting your last you'll not be able to see the possibilities right in front of you.

3.  YOU'RE IN GOOD COMPANY WHEN YOU TRY BUT FAIL-  In one of Fred Astaire's first screen tests, an executive wrote: "Can't sing. Can't act. Slightly balding. Can dance a little."  Albert Einstein was a terrible student and Edison tried and failed literally 100's of times on the lightbulb.  It seems failing is actually integral to genius.  Don't run from it. Big mistake.  :-).


Don't you love the happy accidents? That over exposed shot that ends up giving your image a surprising, warm, even ethereal glow. Or maybe the oops snap that came after the  "CHEEEESE"?  The shot that maybe missed his perfect smile but captured your rascal nephew, sneaking a finger into the frosting on the cake.

It's all about authenticity I think. That hard to define, but easy to spot, "something" that just feels real. That special piece, that feels REALLY true and genuinely beautiful.  I love those pictures.

It's been at least a year or so and I can't remember the details of the discussion, but maybe it's just as well.  ;-).  Miranda was upset at the thought of being embarrassed about something in front of her best friend.   The dreaded, fill in the blank, hadn't happened, but "What if!?!?"  A pretty common 6 or 7 year old situation I'd guess. :-).

I remember I thought it through and I was pretty proud of the my wise and fatherly response.  I let her know that, it's ok to be vulnerable. In fact, it was very important.  I explained that sharing our flaws is actually what endears us to each other and helps us to trust each other.  She listened tearfully. . . but then, of course, let me know that "I just didn't understand".  :-). So much for my Father Knows Best ending. ;-).

I can't say I blame her for being skeptical.  It's taken me almost 40 years to learn how beautiful life's flaws are. . . both in our relationships and our pictures.