Tag Archives: photography

Hello 2011, nice to meet you.

Well, its unbelievably 2011 already and time to get back to the grind. Lots of things have already happened this year that could make it even better than 2010. I can’t image what is in store for the rest of the year. As I said in my last entry, “I’m only going to get busier.” and that sure happened quicker than I thought it would. Some new and interesting opportunities have presented themselves – and I intend on fully taking advantage of them. It’s really amazing how one conversation can change the rest of your life and instantly swing you into a new mode.

Recently I was asked to display some photography in an exhibit that is taking place next month at Hybrid in Santa Monica (more info to come). I am very excited for the show, but I’m even more exited for what it has already taught me.

I have been culling, pouring and sifting through hundreds of images from my travels, adventures and random moments. During this process I have come to a realization; I have really just been taking pictures. Thought-out, controlled images that show you what I’ve seen – and demonstrate that I know my way around a camera. Not images that take you on an adventure and allow you to play in the theater of your mind. Not being a photographer. Now I have captured some interesting moments and people during my travels but not as well as I could have. Not moments that take you there. I’ve been a tourist that has a nice camera.

It’s been so incredibly challenging to focus the message and create a thematic presentation of my imagery. I’m not sure I have it down yet, but I now understand a greater concept behind the images that I create. I want to shoot imagery that takes you places. Not images that show you places. Images that pull you into the moment. Images that allow you to capture something.

This newfound insight will make it profoundly harder to shoot, but that work on the front end will make the next show that much easier. In the 13 days that have been 2011 some interesting things have appeared on the horizon.

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The perfect priority

Unfortunately I don’t even need to ask myself “what did I fail at today?” It’s been weeks since my last blog. Not to say I haven’t thought about it. I just haven’t acted on it – even worse. Granted we have been slammed rolling out the Hyundai Holidays Pomplamoose campaign, but that is no excuse it’s really not even a reason. I expect myself to only get busier. To top it off “The Perfect Opportunity” isn’t the only thing that I said I would do – that am not doing. Time to get focused again.

In the last four or so weeks our team has rolled out a plethora of work. The holiday TV shoot, Print shoot (which was me and some christmas lights… awesome) Six or so TV spots, rebranded the YouTube channel, national and regional online banners, dealership POS and some social strategy. All with only 5 of us creatives. So ya, I guess you could say we were busy. And in all that busyness there were a ton of lessons. All shadowed by one. Priorities and knowing them.

Know the important tasks, when are they due and what are elements of those tasks that are worth fighting for. I’ll admit it’s hard for me to not want to fight for all of them. It’s hard to let some things go when you know they should be another way. Having the ability to recognize their importance will take some work, but mostly vision.

What it really boils down to is knowing the difference between being right, and being happy. I could fight till I’m blue in the face on something that I am never going to win. On something that is undoubtedly going to frustrate me and those I’m working with. For something that is probably not even that big of a deal. So why fight those inevitable battles? What’s the point? I need to learn to pick battles – know how to frame my debate in those battles all while keeping the big picture in mind. There might be other things that I am not privy to that effect more than my current project. It’s probably one of the most important lessons I can learn in my career. Not only will it help me stay sane but it will probably help me even more when the politics of this business weigh more heavily on me and my work.

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So I have decided that it’s blog time.  Why now? Why at all? A couple of questions that I try to ask my self before any venture, and the answer came from a very unusual place – A graduation speech that I read almost 2 years after graduating. There was one line that seems to have stuck with me: “You have to ask yourself the hard questions every night. What did you do today to get you closer to reaching your goals and what did you learn today?”

This immediately got me thinking – I don’t think I have ever asked myself that question. Everyone has been asked, “What did you learn from [insert experience]?” but how many times have you asked it of yourself? So, I decided to ask myself the “hard” question. “What have I been doing to get me closer to my goals?” I quickly discover that’s an impossible question to answer unless you have your goals laid out. Which led me to another even harder question. What are my goals? I thought; the same as everyone else – get a place I would be proud to call home, find someone to start a family with and hopefully do some good out there.  Now, those are pretty standard goals, and solid ones at that but a little ways down the road and awfully vague (Vaugé for some of you). What is something that I want to accomplish that is more immediate? Now, having a blog was not on my radar. I didn’t even think I was that good of a writer. And then it hit me. Goal number one; become a better writer. It’s the perfect answer and opportunity to the question that started it all.

I have decided to write about the “hard” questions. What did I learn today? more importantly, I think – what did I fail at today? What are my real goals? What did I do to get me closer to them? How did I help someone today?  Think of this as a career journal not only for me, but hopefully you – My friends, colleagues, and fellow students of life.

Now lets be realistic. It’s going to be almost impossible to write everyday. I’ll just chalk that one up to the goal column. Once a week seems to be reasonable. I’m thinking Saturday mornings, I will write about my week. For you young advertising professionals and students – what I learned in the seed of my career. And how those lessons get me closer to moving up the ladder. I hope this will help you to avoid some trip wire.

Lesson number one: Be a good writer, even if you are an Art Director.

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