#travelphotographer

Its not bragging if you can "Back It Up"- Muhammad Ali

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So as of writing this, I have Netflix playing on one monitor while searching for a new external hard drive for my iMac. I have a 5TB option now that is great but since recently switching back to Apple products, my drive is read-only and that's not helpful. I thought I had formatted it properly to read and write via Mac and PC but apparently, I was wrong. As much as I loathe admitting my shortcomings, I must admit my failure here. Anyone who takes digital photos, on your phone or with a camera you NEED to be backing your information up somewhere. I won't get into options or my opinions on them but wanted to bring some simple awareness to the matter. I am happy to help you find the drive or online service that would work best for you but since this is a case by case basis, I would ask you reach out to me personally on this matter. Not all options are created equally.

Why is it important to back this information up? Maybe you have the brand new phone ( pick your poison here ) and accidentally drop it in the pool before you could upload your files to the cloud. So now they cease to exist. Maybe you're new to photography, graphic design, or even writing and without backing up your data, its simply playing a modern version of Russian Roulette. One power surge and everything disappears. If you work on an iPad, laptop, or desktop you are at risk. Don't get me wrong, you may never have a hard drive crash, or power surge failure but isn't your work worth protecting? Archiving and passed down to others? Life happens constantly and our technology is as vulnerable time itself.

This is especially true due to living in a society so dependent on immediate gratification. We take images to upload to social media hoping for what exactly? Likes? Hearts? Attention? We post them and they are as good as gone. On to the next image, the next big thing. Don't get me wrong, I truly enjoy social media myself but I am trying desperately to keep that to a minimum and to try and help promote business. I also enjoy keeping up with my friends and colleagues but what happens if those servers go down as well. Unlikely I know but what if? User data drives these sites and when that data fades, a new platform steps up. See ya later Myspace, and hello Facebook.

Ok, let's get serious here for a moment if I may. I would truly enjoy comments below answering this question. When is the last time you printed your work? If you're writing a novel, and only posses a digital version and there happens to be a failure, then what? I am thrilled to say that we are seeing an uprise of film shooters and the analog community grow as a whole. Why is this important? Well, you will have to follow me on Youtube for the answer to that as I am trying to gather my thoughts for my next video.

My advice to you? Print that novel, print your photos and look for the invaluable attachment that is possible in the tangible. Don't get me wrong, I love my technology and hope its last forever but I also don't want anything to happen to me, leaving my loved ones hacking into my electronic database for memories of and with me. Hoping to find some digital link to who I was and the life I lived. This is truly a sad state of mind if you take a moment to consider this.

I hope if you are a writer, I hope you have a favorite pen, a photographer with your favorite print, graphic artist with a framed piece hanging for all to enjoy somewhere. We desperately need more actual, physical pieces of our work in this digital world. When is the last time you visited a loved one and flipped through a photo album? How did that make you feel? Did it connect you to a moment in a way that your Instagram feed simply lacks? Of course, it did, and thankfully so. I hope you find inspiration here, in my work but more importantly in your own.

St. Louis

#unionstationhotel

I am sitting thousands of feet in the air on my flight back home from an amazing weekend in St. Louis. It’s funny how life works and how are lives get tangled up and intertwined with others due to unexpected circumstances. Back in November of last year, 2018, Wes and I were to head to Nashville to work the Nashville Night of Champions Body Building show. Unfortunately, Wes had been moved around by work and was unable to attend, so I took off on a solo trip. I was there simply to capture the BTS ( behind the scenes) of the event and was not the official event media. Upon getting checked in, I made my way around the arena and came upon a vendor booth selling apparel, but immediately after speaking to the guys there, I knew it was something more than just clothing. It was a life style, a call to be more, to simply be yourself. Or as like like to say, BYFS ( be your Fn self ). It was clear they were passionate about this motto, and I found myself circling back all day long and hanging out. Long story short, I had just met the owner of Stand Alone Apparel and the men who help him make it work at these shows. He introduced me to everyone, even his wife and baby girl but I also met new friends. Since November, Brandon and I have spoken a few times. I have posted pictures of my apparel I picked up from them, and he is always quick to give us a shout out. He contacted me a few months ago, and asked me what it would take to get to St Louis this past weekend to document the show they were setting up at. We made a plan, he flew me to the show, gave me a room at their Airbnb, and just welcomed me in like family. For this I’m grateful. It was nice to be surrounded by like minded people, who have more tattoos than I do and to work along side them. It was also pretty dope for 5 grown, tattooed men, carrying a Tiffany Blue Yeti cooler to walk into a place downtown where they LET YOU THROW AXES at stuff. By stuff I mean target walls, and toward the end of the night we also had metal throwing cards, and ninja stars.. yep, ninja stars.  I wont say who was the victor overall but believe me when I say, I’m competitive so I brought the inner Viking out and hurled axes with the crew.  We met new people everywhere we  went and St Louis was welcoming, except for one old dude that tried to run us over, all of us while we crossed the street. He wont soon forget us, especially Dean. 

Brandon and I talked business, and its clear that Stand Alone Apparel and Throat Punch Pros, will be collaborating more and more in the near future. We have big plans, that you don’t wanna miss. 

So from running to catch planes, to throwing axes, eating good food, taking lots of photos/videos, and hanging out with people that have your back, I can honestly say it was a successful trip. I’m excited to be headed home to see my family and wrap them in my arms but it wont be long before you see us teamed up again. 

Now for the goods, go check out the video over on YouTube and hit the bell to subscribe because more heat is coming down the pipe soon.

https://youtu.be/Pvxb3Dz2tQc

So dont forget to BYFS or get Punched in the Throat. 

J

 

#standaloneapparel
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#historic
#stlouisarch
The man behind, @standaloneapparel never stops working.

The man behind, @standaloneapparel never stops working.

Grayson Highlands and Dinosaurs

Adventure Portraits

I was blessed to be able to capture William and Rebekah’s wedding 2 years ago. I have also had the extreme pleasure of working with them several times since that November day. Rebekah messaged me asking about doing something special to celebrate their upcoming anniversary, and I was excited to see what they had in mind. Little did I know at the time there would be a dinosaur on a mountain top but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thrilled that it happened. Let me back up and catch you up. She and I were discussing locations, and she mentioned that they really wanted views and mountains, and knowing where they live, we quickly settled on the amazing Grayson Highlands State Park, in Virginia. She mentioned they wanted to wear their wedding attire to celebrate and to do something different. I asked how quickly we could make this happen! We found a date that worked for us both, and once we were close to the day, the weather was throwing us curve balls. We are booked almost every weekend for the rest of the year so finding another day seemed difficult if not impossible, but fortunately we aren’t afraid of the elements. Any of them! So we decided to go for it and believe me when I say, it was the best decision we could have made. They planned to hike up comfortable clothing and switch over once we made it to the summit. The week of the session, Rebekah messaged me to let me know she had a surprise for William and wanted to make sure we could make it work and we worked out the logistics quickly. We met up at the entrance to the park, hugs were exchanged because we are friends and friends hug it out. I knew where I wanted to take them and after checking our location via compass we chased sunset. This is where the pictures speak for themselves because this is how we communicate our vision best.

We had sunshine, fog, and a sky of fire for about 60 seconds. Being confident in your ability and with your equipment allows those moments to not pass in vain. What are you waiting for, contact us now to join the fam. Also the beast ( that still needs a name ) my Pentax 645n medium format film camera came out for a few frames and I am excited about those frames for a few reasons. The film was provided by a great friend of ours, the ever so talented Katy Sergent of Katy Sergent Photography and she also shares a passion for the outdoors and Grayson Highlands State Park. This creates a new value that cant be explained or duplicated in my opinion. Those will be coming soon so follow us on Instagram.