Friday, March 30, 2012

We Have Our Moments

Working On a Tear

It's fun to observe toddlers. They have many moods and in a matter of seconds can demonstrate them all. It seems that regardless of what happens they are quick to adapt. If they fall, they pick themselves back up, even after a hard landing. They are resilient.

As I was photographing this little girl, I knew that if I waited long enough she would eventually smile for me. In the mean time, I wanted to capture all of her moods even when she wanted to shed a tear.

Between the years, we forget, if we simply wait long enough the good times come once again and with them bring back smiles upon our faces. There's a lot we can learn from children. Like them we have our moments, we fall, and we need to pick ourselves back up again. We wipe away our tears and smile once again.

Monday, March 26, 2012

A Family Moment

Quincy & Family

Quincy at One
Time has moved swiftly. Friends of my children are now having children of their own. It seems like yesterday when we were busy taking images of special moments too. It's a real joy for me when I have the opportunity to archive and partake of life's simple joys and memories.

Given my experience now, I allow myself to feel and interpret each frame I shoot. I visualize it as art hanging on wall covered with beautiful memories and broad smiles. A while ago, I was concerned that if I did portrait photography I would betray my desire to create fine art. My subjects however allow me the freedom to still create beautiful images that touch the heart. My images take on a life of their own and reflect the warmth that I sense around me. As I prepare to process an image, I allow myself to feel and interpret the frames all over again.

It seems that I spent  a quarter of my life sublimating many feelings. To that extent not only did I cheat myself but my family as well. Now I have a fresh opportunity to dream, experience, and feel. As an artist, I am challenged to convey emotions on to a blank canvas. In my silent way, I communicate and paint with tones, colors, contrast, and light. In many ways, I feel that I am both artist and cantor combined as one, beckoning others to partake in a choir lead by experience.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

From Negative to Positive

Comet Dancing
Keller, Tx

Life is like photography. You use the negatives to develop.
 - Anonymous

In Texas, we tend to exaggerate things. Everything is larger in Texas from buildings to boobs. (We even sent one to the White House and were prepared to loan you our governor too.) Our weather is also extreme and when it rains, it just doesn't come down, it comes down sideways and in buckets.

We had quite the rainstorm the other evening; the type even frogs have a difficult time swimming in. According to our weather reports, we had approximately six inches in some parts of the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Given our recent bout with drought few complained. Our lakes (reservoirs) are full to the brim once again. So what otherwise some would construe as negative was actually quite a positive event for us.

I suppose that as we reflect on our lives, we would find that many of the perceived negatives were nothing more than minor league preparation for something grand. The negatives help us "develop". Think about it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring On The Trail

Spring on the Trail
Keller, TX
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
Henry David Thoreau

Even an extrovert needs to withdraw occasionally. It seems that process enables us to put the immediate in perspective. Choosing to withdraw to the woods, where the shade of trees protect from what ails us while the songs of birds woo, may not be a bad thing.

It is not that nature is out of touch with us; it is in fact that we our out of touch with our nature. The symbolic act of going to the woods is nothing more than our search for meaning within our own nature. Who are you and why do you exist? What is your purpose?

These questions cannot be answered at a desk nor can they be answered by a friend, parent, priest, or spouse. No, these questions are resolved by venturing personally into the woods of your soul. The trail is not endless it is ultimately finite. To enjoy the journey, we must fine our purpose and pursue our own nature and dreams. No one else can do that for you.

Someone once told me that we do not choose when we are born nor when we die. We decide everything else in between. Got a feeling it's time to Soak Up the Sun.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Remington Romance

A Dash For the Timber
Frederic Remington
Amon Carter Museum

Spent most of yesterday at the Amon Carter museum in Fort Worth. The museum holds an extensive collection of western art by American master Frederic Remington. 

Frederic Remington
Amon Carter Museum
While western art is not my favorite style,  Remington's attention to detail and firsthand knowledge of his subjects (primarily horses) combined with his fascination with light (in his paintings) intrigue me. This becomes quite obvious to most, as it did with me, as you view his body of work.

After a while of studying, you notice how carefully he introduces subtle magenta tones into both mountains and foreground dust. Remington and his contemporary Charles Marion Russell without a doubt witnessed these lighting effects in the field. The colors rendered are not those of a vicarious experience.

Lone Photographer at Zabriske Point
Death Valley, CA
For me it was an epiphany to notice my attraction to the same subtle color found in the artistry of both men. I was drawn to it and realized that I also had an image of the west with that same magenta cast. It was an image shot nearly two years ago in Death Valley in the early morn. Its presence in my image adds majestic grandeur and gentle credibility to my photographic canvas.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Off Season Workout

Dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you're willing to pay the price.

One of the best moments while photographing my subjects is when I feel a connection. This connection is a spiritual one. At the moment of the connection, I sense a bond which allows me to create the story of the capture. It enables me to interpret the image fully after the shot has been taken.

In this photo, the athlete and I physically do not share appearances. Instead we share a common characteristic: determination. In the offseason the athlete sculpts his body so that he can get the desired results during the regular season. He is at the beginning of his career and knows what is required to achieve his goal. We both are practicing our craft and getting ready for our game day. We are equally determined and driven by our common purposes: success and passion.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Take a Step

Take a Step
(From Card Series: The Power of Words)

Many of you know that part of my daily routine consists of walking four miles every day. It's a great habit to help clear the head and keeps my body moving. 

The most difficult part of exercise is not the task itself. Taking the very first step of putting on one's shoes is the hardest exercise of all. Determination only precedes action. Action, the act of putting on the shoes and venturing out the door, is the most difficult task. Once, the inertia is sustained, there's no stopping us. This holds true for some many things in life: education, business, personal goals, and even sports.

What steps are you going to take today that will lead to your success? Today, I have a local guild meeting to attend and will do more networking. I also have some additional business cards to order and a new website to develop. Steps, all small steps, but they are necessary to achieve my goals. You can't just win a war with aerial bombings; you have to have troops on the ground. We are on this journey together: "Come Away with Me".

Monday, March 12, 2012

Images of Music

A Moment in Prague

Last night, I had the good fortune of listening to a group of musicians called the California Guitar Trio. My friends told me that they were attending the trio's concert and I decided that I should head to Dallas and break my Sunday night routine and join them.

The trio played many diverse pieces all with a classical guitar strain. One piece in particular, The Marsh, took me far away;  I closed my eyes and let the music transport me. Suddenly, I was in a good place and at peace within myself. As I looked around the room at Poor David's Pub, I noticed that the other sojourners were also being musically transported to various destinations afar.

My friend leaned over and whispered in my ear. "Do you see images?" Without answering she new my answer. My face must have shown the choreographed scenes I imagined.

If inspiration is divine then I must have witnessed something divine last night, perhaps a musical vision. It was enough to jar my creativity this morning; I found an image to reinterpret as I thought about last evening's music.

Blessings come in many forms. We all should be lucky to have such great company, friends, and music to share. The fine arts soothe and heal wounded sojourner spirits. Make and take time to heal.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Don't Worry

Mitzvah en San Miguel de Allende

Woke up this morning feeling a little more tense than usual. Searched for something that would put me in the right frame of mind: images and music. Found two very distinct things, a little Bob Marley (Three Little Birds) and my image, Mitzvah en San Miguel de Allende.

Old habits are hard to break. We get comfortable with them like an old security blanket. We can change them if we are willing to put forth the effort. Worry is a complete waste of energy. So today, I crank up the "Marley" and let go. Already, there's a good feeling brewing inside of me.

There's a whole lot of life to experience outside. The weather is changing and I think I will mix up my day and take my camera for a walk and "Stir It Up." Going to create something today. I can sense it inside of me. It's going to be a great day; I am going to compose it to my liking. It's time for me to give something back and to share.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Caddo Lake
Uncertain, TX
To unpathed waters, undreamed shores.
William Shakepeare

Feeling pensive and reflective this morning. My body anticipates the pending time change and the onset of spring. Rather than fight the natural wake up call, I choose to get up and write a few thoughts before the start of the day.

My friend Harry and I love going to Caddo Lake to shoot. It's a place where we can withness and absorb the changes a day and light can bring. Through the trees and and crowded bayous and the open spaces of the lake, we view Caddo's  ethereal complex and primal simplicity. In the morning, it's our own Jurassic Park. We say nothing or very little, sit back and enjoy the conductor-less symphony and witness the strains from life's orchestra from the cheap seats.

We think about the lake and how appropriate the city's name where we launch is for our journey: Uncertain, TX. There's nothing certain about what we will find that day. There's nothing certain what we will find any day. What is certain, is that we have another opportunity to live and to enjoy what the day brings. We have to look beyond the trees and perhaps in them as well. None knows what the day will bring.

Good day to play some John Denver: Poems, Prayers, and Promises.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Little Fun

A Fun Shoot
Keller, Tx

One of my friends asked if I would shoot some commercial images at his personal training center, "Pro-Fit" in Keller, TX. The images will be used for his revamped website. At first I must admit, I was a bit reluctant. So far, it's been a lot of fun.

It's been fun because I've been trying to learn to tell his story. His program trains athletes and non athletes individually. Each gets the special attention that they otherwise would not receive in other commercial gym settings. Eric trains people of all ages. It's never too late to get "Pro-Fit."

Fitness is an incredible part of life. It's the key to staying emotionally healthy as well. If you are nearby Keller, stop by and meet proprietor Eric Chapman. He will put together a program based on your needs and age. Invest in yourself and get "Pro-Fit".

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Athlete

The Athlete

Every once in a while, we meet a special person. Someone who stands out not by what we simply see from the outside, but from what we can also sense from within. Last night that experience happen to me as I worked on capturing an off season athlete for a special project I am working on. With out a doubt I could sense my subject's playfulness, warmth, and kindness.

This athlete was noble in his demeanor and kind with his words. He has crafted his body to withstand the physical stress of the game of football and to chase his dreams. His discipline and focus has all been channeled to master the grid iron and to pursue a chance at playing professionally in the NFL. He is half-way there and already plays in the CFL.

We struck a relationship right away; not of camera, photographer, and client, but of two people chasing a dream and a passion. There was no barrier between us men. It simply became one shared of shared dreams and personal ambition. Passion is the stuff in life that makes it all worthwhile. The pursuit of personal passion and dreams yields profound pleasure and satisfaction.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bistro Fada

Office Mural
Keller, TX

Woke up this morning with several musical themes in mind. The dominant one was Stephane Wrembel's work, Bistro Fada. For those of you who have not heard his work please click on the link. His fingers lead you through a magical tour of late night cafes in Paris. The experience is quite magnificent.

For over a decade, my wife and I, have archived our experiences within the walls of a place we call home. We want our friends to feel our warmth and our joy. It's truly our way of taking you with us and bringing you back safely. There's so much to share.

There has not been a day that I've not enjoyed my office and the mural that watches over me as I work. Angels and Demons freely interact in a Mexican heaven and exist independently as a part of life. At times, when I lapse into forgetfulness of how good my life is; I choose to look up at the mural and experience specific moments of my travels once again.

During the past several years, there have been instances when I felt that the best moments were behind me. Now I recognize that the best moments are the ones that I enjoy today and that remain ahead of me. I choose to make each day count and to fill them with meaning. Life, my life, is both for me to enjoy and mine to share.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Joie de Vivre

Joie de Vivre
San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico

My journey has taken me through both the peaks and valleys of life. There have been periods wasted as I attempted to discover what it takes to truly live. The answers found were in places remote and obscure. At times, I mined within. The answers have baffled me. It seems that there's an inverse relation between simplicity and happiness. Happiness requires less not more. It requires letting go.

Simplicity seems to bring uncomplicated joy to most. Children can be happy playing with sticks and balls. Mature adults seem to enjoy conversation over coffee at an outdoor cafe with a few friends. The many times I've travelled to Mexico, I've noticed how energy gets replenished even though the amount of sleep diminishes.

Days filled with very mundane things such as watching people stroll pass and listening to church bells ring, mute all other disruptions thereby shifting focus to the present and the joy of now. Today is it. It's the only day we've got. Living becomes as, if not more important, than simply doing. We live when we insure that our soul gets nourished  To this extent, living is about quality and not quantity.

A cup of coffee or a glass of wine with a good friend is an exercise in a different form of spiritual "holy communion". We share in the body of our humanity both our joys and our suffering. To live we must learn to drink from its cup. Ironically some of us must learn to pause and look so that we can live. If we fail to do so, life with certainty and swiftness will pass us by.

To my new found friends, Devesh and Corrine, let me thank you for reminding me of "joie de vivre". This is what I've been searching for many years. To my new friends from France, bonjour, welcome to my Daily Journey.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Portrait of a Young Salesman

Portrait of a Young Car Salesman
Fort Worth, TX

Every once in a while you come across an individual who truly impresses you. Most of us dread the experience of shopping for a new car. The main reason we dread this is the reputation that care salesman have. They tend to be deceitful, obnoxious, pushy, and ruthless.

The reason I met the fellow pictured above was precisely because the other competing Volkswagen dealership drove me away by their antiquated style. I hate being made to think that the automobile I am interested is the last one on earth and I need to make my decision today. It's about as bad as when an evangelical preacher delivers a poor sermon right before lunch and insists on an altar call.  Even with hunger pangs I would rather hold out than to heed the pontifical beckoning.

This was not the case with my new friend. He did not push but rather he just wanted to make sure I was a serious buyer. We shot straight with each other and it was a completely harmless event. His style worked extremely well with a difficult buyer like myself.

The situation was so complete that I took out my iPhone and photographed the noble man. I would like to print this image and print it on aluminum. The techniques I used to render the final image really lend themselves to be printed on metal. By the way, how do I sell him this image without being or sound too pushy? It's a great image of a very handsome fine fellow. At the end of the day, let's face it, I'm in sales too!!