Monday, October 31, 2016


Wild Horses in Keller
Bear Creek Park
Keller, TX

Have always wondered what the fascination was with the west and wild horses. I think its our obsession and desire to be unfettered, to be able to roam at will, to graze anywhere we stand, to run freely, letting your hair down, throwing caution to the wind.

The nine months I spent in Tucson gave me the opportunity to explore the vast expanses of the Sonoran Desert and the panoramic views of endless space obstructed only by sensuous mountains at the end of almost infinite horizons. It was a personal oasis and a spiritual beverage. I was intoxicated by exploration and physical exhaustion. It easily made up for the amenities, I know longer had.

During my lone hikes, I enjoyed the music of solitude and the score nature provided me. I found myself enjoying a totally different beat. My success was measured not by accumulation but by the miles I traversed up canyons and mountains and high desert grasslands.

Behold the wild mustang, what an enviable creature in deed. If only I could latch on to him if only in my dreams at night freeing me from the cares of the mundane and the noise which accompanies it.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

What's Your Cookie?

Iglesia Rancho de Taos

New Mexico

When we moved from "The" Bronx to Winsted, CT, I was five years old. I spoke very little English but I new a few words to get buy; enough to make friends with neighbors, all it took was bag of Oreo cookies. "Do you want an Oreo cookie?", I would inquire. It didn't take me long to make friends.

My mom told me that my solicitation didn't just stop with the Oreo cookie offer either. In fact, she told me that she would place me in the grocery cart while at the store and I would start to sing: "I like people and people like me". The song was not original it was part of a Lifebuoy soap jingle I had heard. (Apparently, I loved that as much as my Oreo cookies too.) Both worked and I made friends.

It's been years since then, but I've managed to continue my cookie charity and singing my song to myself but not out loud   If you  are in any kind of sales you have to both have and be a cookie. You should genuinely like people. Be real, be you. It's important that you be willing to first give of yourself, before you ask someone for anything. Differentiate yourself from others by offering a cookie. Be interested in their wellbeing first.

So what's the cookie? Why it's you of course! Offer yourself. Be of value. Why should that person wish to speak with you again? What do you have of value to  offer them that they should want to speak with you today?

My blogs and photography have been my cookies for years. Sometimes both photography used and words spoken have been related but separately each was its own cookie for you.

As you knock on a door or get ready to call someone think about the cookie. By the way, my name is Al Hernandez and I am a financial advisor. I like people and people like me because I make the complicated seem simple. I happen to have an Oreo cookie would you like one?

Friday, May 27, 2016

Catching UP

Woman Trapped in Cactus Body
Sabino Canyon
Tucson, AZ

Life has gotten in the way. Have had to earn my keep and have had little time for me and the outlets that provide balance for me. Those outlets include self expression both with the written word and my visual perceptions of the world seasoned by my version of the truth. (Let's face it, we all have a version of the truth filtered and distorted by our own reality perception. No one is innocent.)

Took liberties with an image I captured several years ago in Arizona. My claim then was that I had spent too much time in the solitude of desert and with lack of companionship. Today I look back at the same image and see a politically incorrect woman trapped in a cactus body. It's hard for me to see it any other way.

Lighten up and laugh. It's an election year and there's plenty to laugh about. We should all be disgusted  enough to throw all of these pandering politicians out. I stand by my woman trapped in a cactus body. That's reality. I can almost hear: "What's a nice cactus like you doing in a place like this?"

Thursday, December 10, 2015

That time of year.

Keller Christmas
Keller, TX

Happened to look down at my calendar which happens to be my iPhone only to notice that its now the second week of December. What happened to this year? All I see on my way home now are tree lights and homes silhouetted by lights. When did the year escape me?

All I recall was preparing for the three exams earlier this year: Series 7, 66, and my Texas Insurance License. The next thing I knew I was in Tempe preparing to start my financial advisory business and knocking on doors like a hybrid Jehovah's Witness with Mormon parents.

Had to set aside my photography to earn money in earnest. However, I miss my doing my landscapes but I don't miss trying to earn commercial assignments. There are simply too many people giving it away and with negligible skills calling themselves photographers. A camera doesn't make you one nor does a license really make you a financial advisor.

It boils down to more: talent, skill, a calling. Two things I've always been my entire life: creative and financially oriented. If you stop by my office, in addition to my financial advice and guidance, if you are lucky you might also get a 5x7 card from me, a sample of my passion and creativity.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Playing in My Creative Attic

Aspens Ablaze
Near Kebler Pass
Crested  Butte, Colorado

The last of human freedoms -
the ability to choose one's attitude
in a given set of circumstances.
Viktor Frankl 

When I was a child I remember the countless hours spent at my neighbors house on rainy days playing in a makeshift playroom in a very dusty attic on 75 Prospect St, in Winsted, CT. The dreary rain did not bother us. It provided us with an opportunity to play and to entertain ourselves. It was always worthwhile.

For those of you tracking the weather here in North Texas we have been afflicted with large amounts of rain since Thanksgiving eve and into the long weekend. Its not been pretty and the wind chill has turned 39 into 20. I've no attic to play in so I've chosen to search my photographic archives and find images that I could breathe life into. Images that I've not had time to interpret to my liking. 

Today's image was shot while on an excursion with a friend on our way to Kebler Pass. The friend was someone we had met ironically in Colorado one year prior. We met as strangers on a journey with a common interest. Thank you Adam for inviting me to come out and play.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Wanted: Inspiration

Inspiration Lost
Hunter, NY

"Don't aim at success.
The more you aim at it
and make it a target,
the more you are going to miss it."
Viktor Frankl
Success has always driven me. It has driven my crazy. It's been fleeting and illusive. It has taken me to dark places in the absence of its financial definition. Viktor Frankl implied that success was the "unintended side effect to a cause greater than oneself or as the by product of one's surrender to a person other than oneself." You have to not care about it and let it happen.

If this sounds odd to you, you are in good company. It's totally foreign to me. However, when I am in my creative space not only am I happy but I find that I am also successful because I let go of all the conventions and simply work at something until I am satisfied with my creation.

This morning, on the tail end of a deluge of rain from a weather pattern I refer to as "el gringo" (unlike its cousin el Niño, it takes over the country and lingers), I had trouble getting inspired. I chose to find an image which would force me to communicate my mood on this dreary day. 

In doing this, I was able to feel both happiness and success on this dreary damp day. Find your inspiration even on the darkest days. That is truly a successful way to live. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Midlife Crisis or Self Discovery

Photographer at Work
Zabriskie Point
Death Valley, CA

"I celebrate myself, and sing myself, 
And what I assume you shall assume, 
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you."
--Walt Whitman

It's been a while since I started my journey in earnest. The catalyst was a combination of job loss and midlife crisis seasoned by financial and human loss. The crisis in time became a realization of self-discovery, a long journey. Its now that I can look back and say that it lead to an incredible metamorphosis. Irony for someone who abhorred change.

My bitterness and pain was assuaged by my priceless experiences and by the people I met; sojourners, slobs on the bus, traveling through life just like me.

There's so much more wisdom now to share with you. Things ultimately do get better. After the excruciating pain of birth there's is a complete life to enjoy. Suffering is not needless but an avenue paved by the realization of good times and the uncomplicated. Life and the breaths you have are worth celebrating.

Today, again, I renew my vows with myself and to the life I have, not to the one I dream of. I celebrate myself with all my foibles and what goodness might be within me. I am grateful to be alive and even more grateful to have you as my audience. Learn from my hardship and celebrate with me my metamorphosis.