Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy 2011 from the Big Empty!!!

Here it is, less than a week away from the new year so before I forget, let me wish all my friends, clients and future clients a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2011! Now, I'd recommend you stop reading now if you've come to see my photos. You can scroll down, click on any pic and see them larger if you'd like. This blog post is by far my longest, the least related to my business and possibly the most random I've ever written.
So with that caveat, I've spent the past week at my folks' in Elko, NV. for Christmas and as you can see from my pictures, it's a pretty place and I'm grateful I get to spend this season with my family here. These are my thoughts:
I like photographing my family and shooting around Elko. It really is a special place to me. Instead of waxing nostalgic or sharing about my family, I want to blog about where I'm from as opposed to from whom I came, so I can give all of my mid-western friends a better understanding of what it's like and give them a bit of an explanation of why I am the way that I am. So, if you're not familiar with the Great Basin or Northeastern Nevada, here's a little taste of what it's like to live in this very unique and sparse part of America.

Let me preface all this with a blanket statement. Nevada isn't in Las Vegas. When I say I'm going to Nevada it's assumed that I'm going to Vegas. As you can probably tell by the photos that don't have a christmas tree, or people eating or foods made diehliciously with love by my mom (those Danish Puffs are divine), My folks don't live anywhere near Las Vegas. In fact, to give you a really easy explanation of where I'm at in relation to Vegas, I'm just 8 hours north without stopping and well there's not much to stop for unless you're like me, someone that loves road trips & ghost towns. But if you were to drive from Vegas to Elko, you honestly have to stop everywhere youcan get gas. There's only like 3 places you can get gas between here and there. You think I'm kidding but really, you're foolish if you don't get gas every chance you get. If you don't you'll attach a new association to this area I call, "the big empty". So, in less words, Vegas to Elko is exactly like driving from Kansas City to Indy.
Now I love this area for a lot of reasons. It is full of personality and personalities. Geologically & geographically, the land's persona sort of mimics the people that live here. In fact, I could almost make a case that the people that live here are mirrors of the land from which they reside. I know I'm getting to philosophical but
the people here are fiercely independent yet very giving. The metaphor can keep going in this way. The landscape is unique and rich as well. The high desert requires protection and harbor but when something is needed it's easily found, (more riches come from Elko County's dirt than anywhere else in this hemisphere.) So I'm saying that a sort of byproduct of the land is the people and if I could describe "The big empty" as a person, it would be an independent, helpful, caring, rugged & breathaking soul. Much like the people that live there. Does that make sense? Could it be said that Cape Cod has a personality? The farmlands of Indiana and Illinois, Iowa and Mizzou all reproduce a "way" in its people that is often displayed within its people, right? Perhaps that's just the way the world works???
Another really great part of this region is the scale of everything. Living here you realize things are just bigger, larger, more spacious, more free.

Out here perspective is different. You realize how small you are due to the space. While if you're in Chicago or New York City, you feel small because of the space. Here it's because of the expanse of emptiness and solitude. While in a metropolis it's that you're one of mllions packed like sardines, insignifcant because you're easily replaceable. You don't feel that way here. Everyone is special in the Great Basin if only because you could potentially be the only human within a 50 mile radius!
Now as I seem to be meandering and sounding like the little boy on Jerry McGuire that keeps regurgitating worthless info, since you've read this far, please bear with me.
A neat geological fact about the Great Basin is that it's the only place in the United States where water has no outlet/tributary to an ocean. It's also special to me because there's more land then people. A lot more land than people, hence my favorite nickname for th area. Now, people that live in a place as sparse as this have to be a special breed. Honestly, it's a frontier, much like most of Alaska, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming and a frontier has a spirit and way that sort of models the Indians and nomads of the Far East. The folks out here are independendent, typically passionate outdoorsmen that love the land but use it like a best friend. They don't covet it, horde or abuse it.
Trespassing is done out here, just close the gate behind you. Leave the place you visit just as you found it and there's never a problem. It's a beautiful part of living out here.
Very few people in Elko today are from here. I'd say however that 80% of those that have moved here over the past 25 years are from the aforementioned states, including myself. So going home for me is a sort of special trip. It's not only going home to family, it's going home to a region. Very spacious, mostly unknown and generally special. .
It's not a trip one just does out of the blue, but every time that I do, I'm proud of where I go and am very grateful to my folks and thankful to God that they're still in a loving home in a nice town in the middle of nowhere

Monday, December 6, 2010

Photo blog without photos, is Brian ADD or???

Stop the presses! I know, I know, it's not right. I mean, what kind of photographer would have a photo blog that exists solely to promote his business and this fool not only doesn't post a photo but he also won't write about how much he loves to do his work. Nor expresses to the world how grateful he is to God that he has been blessed with talents that are so grand and span the hemisphere of arts and music. No, I wouldn't force you, the 26 readers that will eventually read this screen to know that I'm looking for weddings to book this next year so if you know anyone, send them to me and I'll make it worth your while or that I've yet to be announced formally as the best photographer you've never heard of in Indy.

The answer to the title very well could be, - Possibly, very much I think so but I don't have the patience or the health care to take the tests.

Which I know is really not a great read in and of itself, but I'm compelled to publicly journal these thoughts as I don't want to just think about this in my personal journal and perhaps give folks insight into what it's like. Chances are really good that I won't even get this written tonight. Why? well it's 10:47 pm on a Monday night for one, 2nd of all is that it's really hard to get all that I'm thinking down now and lastly, I'll probably get distracted.

Why, I ask do I want to "out" myself as a person with ADD, I mean, I can spell and I am pretty good at simple arithmetic so why say you have a problem with grammar and math? Now I know that sentence will be a little cryptic, but bear with me because it's part of the joy and part of the pain of having Attention Deficit Disorder.

Let's face it, I'm a creative guy. I mean, that's my job. I naturally am and thankfully, I'm not only creative, but I'm good enough that I can make enough to pay my rent. I naturally think outside the dots. I look at words, spellings, letters and come up with "derivatives" for the literal so, for example, ADD to me means the neurological disorder, but I also thought it humorous to play with ADD as in it also is basic math and that if you took the sentence gramatically and not literally it wouldn't make sense and this probably even is perplexing to most people so I won't dig any deeper. But here's another example and because of this example you'll get a photo because I'm pretty proud of this creation I made on Saturday.

I was invited to Tara and Travis Carie's home for their annual wreath building party. Travis' sister and I went and I thought earlier in the day that I really wanted a tree, not a wreath and that I really really wanted a Charlie Brown style Christmas Tree, so I went to the Carie's party with the sole intent to not build a wreath, but to create a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. No one else had ever made one there before, thought of it, or even conceived it possible. Thanks to Travis' awesome garagemahal with every tool known to man, it was so simple and such a joy to create that it made everyone smile and each morning when I wake up and look at it, I feel the same way. So, that's a little bit of pride and joy.

Now here's a little shame and embarrassment. I get overwhelmed. I lose focus, forget and pile up things. Some piles are literal, some are metaphorical, both weigh a ton and smell if left for a long time. There's been things I've messed up professionally that had I been on top of "it", would have garnered me acclaim, promotion and success that I long for. But somehow, some way, I've managed to mess up enough to do everything short of give me a bad name. I'm cognizant of these things and each week I'm alive and still in business, push myself to gain a hold of things so I don't repeat my past blunders. An example, just so you know potential bride, if you're reading this, I have instituted and succeeded in getting my wedding photos up and processed AND have an album design made for proofing before the honeymoon is even over. And that's huge for me. And for events I shoot, they get done faster than anyone else in the city, and portraits... the same. So my workflow is generally sound, fast and efficient. I want to make this clear as I'd be in grave danger of making it sound like I'm not responsible or that my character is not something I take serious. It is, it is. But I struggle with the minutiae. Currently, there's a couple projects that are killing me. One is that my computer got a virus, I had to wipe it, reload all my software and while all the images I've taken are safe, all my edits in Lightroom are most likely erased. Which translates to hundreds of hours of editing lost. I've got a couple cards to design and while that sounds pretty simple, and it is, something happens in me and I feel an unnatural block causing resistance towards forward movement and success. The biggest current foible is my church's directory which I had the pleasure of creating has been done for months and months. Well, almost done, and so I finally got it done and now I've got the edits and once again, I'm stymied. Why? I have no idea.

The impetus for this post was a show on PBS I saw tonight called I've got ADD and it's Fun. It was brilliant, insightful and thankfully humorous. But it made me think as they progressed through the show how much different my life would be if I had a better handle on this issue.

So here it is, March 28, 2011. Months have passed and a good bit of growth has occurred. I still and will continue to struggle with this, but I fight weekly, daily and hourly sometimes to stay focused and if I can't do anything else, I either pray or go to bed, sometimes both!

Last night, I just went to bed at 9:30! Not that I don't have things to do. I just couldn't do them. AKA taxes.... OH yes, the taxes toy. It isn't one that I want in my toybox, nor is it one that will just disappear. So, rather than deal with it last night, I went to bed! Yep, welcome to my world.... Now this could be diagnosed as depression, or procrastination, irresponsibility, or general immaturity, but all of these things are symptomatic sadly of the great symptom. Unfortunately shame adds to the pain, guilt and other feelings of inadequacy and it is those things that stymie, handicap and cripple the suffers of this.

So I guess that's really all this post is/was written for. A voice of just one that I'm certain many can identify with.

Who's this Brian guy?

My photo
I'm one of the few people from Wyoming in the midwest. Born and bred, by default I'm a cowboy, through life though I guess I've kept the wanderlust and taken it urban. Having lived in 11 states now, I feel safe to say that I've found home in Indy. I'd never have dreamed I'd live here but 5 years later, I have no complaints! I've been a "lifestyle" photographer for quite a while. Cutting my teeth in landscape photography and photojournalism out West I've developed a style that focuses on simplicity, beauty and life lived well.