Thoughts of clarity and personal well being (yoga)

Rant

The Boudoir Bash didn't take off, am I distraught about it? Absolutely it's an art form that shares multiple forms from intimacy to appreciation. I'll orchestrate another event sometime in the near future and approach it in a more unique manner. I've got a few private sessions but I felt slightly shot down when I coordinated with the hotel and management for the event, hired talents to provide their services so that the women and men could feel like they were truly royalty. However the weeks leading up to the event things came up for multiple participants and the number of participants 4 days before the event fell to 6. It's not about the money for me but I just couldn't justify utilizing an entire day for two women and have them walk away with what I felt was less than they both deserved. I'm doing a few private sessions which wont have champagne or cupcakes or the lavish set up that was anticipated however I can still deliver stunning works of art that cross from my visions into the index finger of my hand as I apply pressure to the shutter.

I will change the tone and get positive as January is rapidly coming to an end and February will be greeting me with my 25th birthday among many other things. At the top of the list is the joy of becoming employed once again as I'm eager to have something to look forward to once again and what is before me is a job in which I am already adamantly passionate about. Once things are finalized I will announce the news but for the moment it shall remain a secret!

State Fair & Photographs

Im heavily anticipating this year's Iowa State Fair as I will be participating in the Photography Salon once again. A few unique things about this year is that all entries must be in black and white. A category for film has been added, and this year participants may enter up to 5 images. I typically never photograph in black and white however the A7 has a black and white option and it helps me visualize what I'm trying to truly capture. It's still a little colder than I would like it to be but I'm making mental notes daily to calculate what I need for my entries. As for the 5 classes I'm considering I still haven't made the final decision there but last night while I sifted through some  photos that I had taken last year one instantly spoke to me. 

Old Vs. New - NEXVG20 w/ SEL18200

The title for the image came to my mind immediately, Old Vs. New - I wasn't aware at the time but the Berghoff Restaurant is a historical piece of Chicago located on Adams Street. It has gone unchanged since the 1950's, and the bright sign can't be missed! I was walking to the giant bean to do what any tourist to Chicago would do. Snap photographs of it and admire my own reflection! I quickly observed the Bentley Continental GT with it's hazards on as if the owner of the vehicle was inside enjoying lunch. I paid no attention to the situation, simply admired the luxurious car as I continued walking in the frigid temperatures. It was just before I turned my head and kept walking that an elderly gentleman exited the restaurant and stopped to admire the beautiful vehicle with his briefcase in hand, dressed from head to toe in black. For this moment in time the young and the old glance at one another in a historical part of Chicago. 

I will slowly assemble a folder of images to consider for entry with hopes of placing this year. Last year I walked away with one photo on display out of three entries and it received an honorable mention. I'll keep you updated with the progress as June and July get closer.

Yoga

Lastly personal well being, I'm no stranger to eating unhealthy items, having ice cream  for breakfast, or just not being active. 2013 was a dreary year for me, I sat in a surveillance vehicle for a majority of the year either performing my job or driving anywhere from three to sixteen hours to work. I ate horribly and was beyond sedentary. It was difficult eating healthy at 5 in the morning. Yesterday I met with a talented young man who is bringing new life to yoga and not only the importance but impact it can have. Matthew Koder not only instructs yoga but lives it, he managed to express such passion that I was overwhelmed with excitement. We discussed potential collaborations and ideas that we both agreed have huge potential. I also agreed to start practicing yoga with his guidance, I will document my progress and look forward to greeting everyone with a healthier me both internally and externally. Too often I managed to make excuses for going to work out. Despite half of my Facebook timeline being consumed with people posting pictures in gym mirrors flexing. I'm not doing this for facebook likes but rather buying the time I have on this earth and with the mediums of photography and video. 


The journey continues

Stay Warm

 

-Isaac

Oh you are a photographer? (Come get offended)

Just picking up the camera when the neighbor two houses down tells you that her gynecologist has a friend that she went to college with who slept with a guy who has a son in need of family pictures and will pay you $25 to take photos equates to you being a photographer. Well then Truck stop food is fine dining!

Art is subjective and that will forever be a truth set in stone that can't be argued. So you can spend hours in a classroom or a book but it's the progress and hands on experience that get you where you desire. 

It's not a facade it is a reality. I just skimmed over someone's Facebook profile and see suddenly their new job title is owner of a photography establishment? You can claim to be a photographer or videographer all day however I refuse to delve an ounce of respect towards you and your desired "profession" merely taking what should be a hobby and turning out crap material to paying people and claiming it's greatness. There are fundamentals and tiers beyond just making a facebook page and spamming the fuck out of everyone to suddenly get likes and claim that eqautes to being awesome! I'll applaud you for your slight sense of determination but I won't share much beyond a golf clap. 

It's not something you can just buy a DSLR or video camera and set up a facebook page and instantly change your job section to "Insert your name here photography"  it is a fucking ART! If you feel the entire diatribe you are about to read was aimed towards you then step back and evaluate shit! 

You can say "Isaac surely there are exceptions?" and my response is yes! A hyper local example is a young man who I am friends with on Facebook and he manages to crank out movies constantly and is crafting his trade, I am more than willing to go out of my way and give him some plugins and keyed up materials so he can progress further and do even more! This young man manages to express his passion even if he is shooting half the time in his parents house or using the same friends in all of his videos he goes from writing scripts and plotting to editing and producing. The kid has heart, so when he uses a simple HD camera you can pick up at Walmart it doesn't matter because I fucking enjoy watching his creations. Do I need to pat his back and tell him good job? Nope he knows the direction he is headed and he is truly talented he knows who he is. I didnt go out of my way to shake his hand at Gamestop two weeks ago for no reason. 

The next thing is people walking around and claiming to be a photographer or videographer yet don't even understand their own devices to the full potential let alone the specs they were equipped with out of the box. I'm sorry but when you just pick it up once a week I can't give you the fortune cookie you feel you deserve. Sure we all have busy lives but you should breathe and live what you claim is your profession. Do you go out of your way on a weekend to enjoy a coffee and fire up a star guide to calculate where the sun will break the horizon despite being 25 degrees out? Do you attend events and workshops with other eager people with a wealth of knowledge and opportunity to collaborate? If you answered no then you probably feel your shit is golden and nobody is better than you!

News Flash - That's not the proper mentality to approach any trade or service with. Find what suits you and make it yours, that doesn't mean someone else wont do it as well, it's about niche categories and what works. In no way am I here to squash your dream but maybe try and enter a few contests or build a portfolio before you go slanging photographer or videographer titles around. Break out of your element before you fill the mold that turns into nothing but an empty void. Cut business cards, build a network, shadow someone else do something fucking amazing. Spend hours on blogs and discover mentors whom despite never meeting have the ability to influence you visually and mentally. 

I'll be the first to admit you have to start somewhere but some individuals are approaching things so aggressively and for the wrong reasons. I can hear your name and just understand you're not in it for the passion and love. There is a huge line between taking a picture and being able to create a portrait which is something everyone must grasp. If it wasn't the case then I wouldn't be buying gear left and right and would just film weddings with my S4. However that will never be acceptable with the current technology. While it is relevant technology is a plagued with misconception, you can rock a film camera and have a blast with the hundreds of options of film and the color rendering that sometimes digital fails at but it's a multifaceted playing field. Just because you're a trust fund baby and receive a state of the art camera doesn't equate to walking around with the instant title of photographer. Have you even heard of the rule of thirds? Are you aware of the history in photography, do you go to the library just to research historic pieces, participate in high school and college classes, and just live and breathe the passion at every moment feasible?

Need a better perspective? I love food but can't cook beyond a grilled cheese or a box of hamburger helper but that doesn't mean tomorrow I will buy a nonstick pan and call myself a chef. This happens to applicable with so many occupations and fields, I can't change my oil so I pay someone who properly can, yes I immerse myself with car fiends and friends who live and breathe it but that's because it is what they love and all they breathe.Art will forever come in many forms and multiple mediums but don't come to the table and wear the badge that it's what you're about when you don't know the dials on your camera or the middle names of any individual in your black book of sexcapades. 

Don't walk to the table and devalue what myself and so many others live and breathe when you can't find your way out of the paper bag you arrived in. Hopefully this brief moment of truth finds the proper people and many others realize that this in no way was to tear anyone down. It just sucks beyond belief when someone tells me 

Jane Motherfucking Doe will shoot for X amount of dollars can you give a better offer?

No I will not stoop to that level, if you want to come over and edit your own wedding video and or photos and realize that it's painstaking then go for it but Jane Doe won't arrive at your wedding or event with half of the knowledge, ability to adjust and comprehend at even half the caliber that myself and so many others would arrive with. If I lose more clients so be it, I'm not going to tarnish my talent and ideals just so I can take a loss when I know the hours after the event takes. I'm writing this at 4 am because I just got done sending out photos to clients, filling in calendars and responding to inquiries. Let alone I have two shoots to finish editing and wedding videos to finish in time for the holidays.

Is this bragging? Fuck No it's merely displaying that it's a tedious process and walking out snapping 15 photos and calling it good won't suffice to someone who has previously worked with an individual or entity that knows what they are doing. Your ass will get burnt and you will be more torn down than if you had just been patient and completed the steps properly now you're stuck with bad relations and the word of mouth is the fastest way to clients and damage. Perform and act wisely because things are harder to build upon being torn down.

I will also throw in the mix that I don't do it for the money, and it seems that so many people feel it's a get rich quick scheme when in reality it's an expensive trade that isn't a hobby. Sure you can have Jane Doe do your event but will she roll up with versatility? I could sit here and mention 100 things that add up to being costly, then include travel and other expenses and you will see it's not entirely for the money. Personally it's capturing the moments others fail to grasp. It's meeting new people and forming relationships and watching people enjoy their special day, or help capture one day that will forever be memorable. Far too often people end up thinking if they invest in an entry level unit that they can turn a $600 investment into $60,000 a year. You deserve to be hit the face and realize investments and fundamentals. It's a business not a hobby, there are so many things that you have to understand and grasp before things start going your way. 

If I have managed to offend you then I'm sorry as I haven't even broke the surface. I honestly should make a video rant and outline everything that I want to discuss but I've spent an hour just pulling small things together. I think since I love animals I will become a veterinarian in the morning.  

I truly hope you walk away and feel that I am an absolute asshole or an insensitive prick because if you walked away feeling like that's reality then you misconstrued this entire blog entry. 

Be modest and reasonable, I dont give a shit what you charge or do but when you fuck up a couples wedding that is the turmoil you have to live with. So don't say multiple people didn't warm you because they thought it I just took the time to deliver the message. 

Have a wonderful day!

-Isaac

 

Note:I will be spending the next few days in Minneapolis so expect to see some new photographs and new scenery! Stay Warm!

 

Nomad Sculpture - Des Moines, Iowa

4 months until a potential quarter life crisis!

What do Dr. Dre and I have in common? We both share the same birthday - February 18th. Is 25 surreal? No, age is nothing but a reminder of how far you have come from the starting point which is where we all originated. Sure the story of origination may vary (drunken one night stand, vasectomy gone wrong, love child with the mistress....who really knows) It all boils down to a few things that keep me personally balanced and in a good frame of mind which will in the end prevent a "quarter life crisis". 

 

  1. Photography and Video - I can't draw for shit, if you asked me to sketch you a design or image you'd be better off finding a sketch artist in a small town of 500 people than trying to make out whatever my right hand tries to render. If it wasn't for being able to capture what I envision on a daily basis I don't know where I would be. Probably not cooking meth with Walt and Jesse but you never know, I do know that the surreal mood created when I carry the camera I get so fucking high (metaphorically) that Cheech & Chong would be envious. Pure bliss would be an understatement for how I feel the minute I put in a fully charged battery to the moment I shut off the computer monitors.
  2. Family - If it wasn't for the absolute pandemonium that can always be expected from my family at any hour of the day, I feel I would be one bland individual. There was never a dull moment growing up, from being in first grade and having the most difficult time trying to write the name "Corrina" (Yes in first grade it seemed like the most obnoxious name and really long but now its a few swift hits on the keyboard) to having my brother give me stitches in a pillow fight (I can't make it up, he pushed me over the arm of one of the chairs in the living room and my cheek his the base of the fireplace. I cried like Nancy Kerrigan at the 1994 Olympics because it was at that very moment I knew Ashton Kutcher would get the Calvin Klein underwear contract and not me! In all honesty it was 5th grade.) It's these memories that have helped mold me into who I am today and keep me eager and excited for what is in store. 
  3.  Passion - Insert a bunch of heart felt bull shit about why I have it so perfect..... No I may not have it perfect but then again who really knows what perfect is? I make what I have perfect! I embrace everything, I've recently become responsible for my actions and decisions and I would have to say I'm pretty damn proud of myself for not having a mugshot posted on the local news website. I aim to please others, instant gratification is not what I'm looking for. If I gave a shit about the numbers I'd be begging for people to like the simple page I set up on Facebook about my work and craft. However this isn't the case, I do what I do because I love it and I know out of the 7 billion people on earth people are bound to share a sense of empathy and appreciation for my work no matter the genre, style, or medium in which it gets disseminated. 

I could write a diatribe about how every piece of this puzzle called my life is flawless but it would then end up getting distorted. So I remain humble and cherish every moment I guess the times where you can truly reflect are the ones where you absorb the most and really have the opportunity to appreciate the often overlooked.  

 

In other news the four Canon FD lenses arrived today, I'm off Sunday & Monday and have shoots lined up and might throw a few more on top just to stay occupied! So look forward to some images from the recently repaired VG20! I'll keep doing what I want and continue to work on improving myself both in my crafts and my personal life! 

Thanks for pretending to give a shit, if you're still reading this my mind is fucking blown! Not really, I'm slightly interesting.....at least to myself!  Have a good weekend and stay safe people! 

Good bye camera phone?

   Great news after being without my VG20 for an entire month it arrived back home today. I'm working in Omaha, Nebraska through Saturday but I am eager to get home and see that it was properly repaired and back up to specs as the work was done by an authorized Sony service. During the past month I managed to get by with just using my trusty Samsung Galaxy S4 which has helped me cope during this hiatus of not having my camera or favorite lens. The moral of the story is do not attempt to make a repair on a lens that has more screws than you have fingers. 

 (Camera Jargon AHEAD)

   The Canon FD lenses I ordered shipped today as well! For those of you interested I picked up the following lenses for a little over $50 after taxes!

  1. 135mm F3.5 
  2. 50mm F1.8
  3. 100mm-300mm F5.6
  4. 70mm-210mm F4.5 Macro

I wanted to make sure I had a fast 50mm out the gate because with the A7 it will feel like I am holding air. The 135mm F3.5 although slower than I would prefer for low lit situations will allow me to get a few light stops in over the 100-300mm. Of course I had to pick up a 100mm-300mm for multiple reasons, it was 20 bucks, until now the longest range I have had was the long end of my SEL18200 which on the APS-C is the 300mm equivalent on the full frame sensor. So this will allow me to still feel like I did when shooting on the VG20 however, when necessary I can switch the A7 to APS-C and make the 300mm become 450mm which may be necessary to achieve certain images in mind as well as lend some creativity in the long run. 

  While the topic of gear is still present I purchased something today that was long overdue. A diffuser for my on camera flash. It will help immensely to avoid harsh lighting during the fast paced shots and dramatically decrease the amount of post editing required. I'm aware that it's 50 dollars and looks like a crunch up cup for a shake but after countless reviews and example images I'm confident with my purchase.

   The A7 (the new camera) should arrive on December 3rd as I expect no delays because I was so quick to reserve it. The only things that remain for me to pick up are one more external camera flash for even lighting during large family photos during the upcoming weddings and a few W series batteries for the A7. Things are finally coming together nicely and I look forward to sharing some stunning images and videos during the upcoming months!

    If I am excited about anything in particular it definitely has to be the individual who has the role of the best man for an upcoming wedding. The groom in one of my December weddings is having his 4 year old son take on the special role and I am beyond excited to have an adorable blond hair, blue eyed lady killer in what should become timeless photos! Is he preparing a speech or is he currently watching cartoons? I am not one to speculate but I can't wait to meet him!  Add the fact that the wedding will take place in a beautiful barn and did I mention boots? 

 

Accidental Damage Warranty? YOU BET!

   So this morning at 12:55 am my cell phone alarm went off and for once I did not push the snooze button. Because all that stood between me and the official unveiling of a camera that I had meticulously followed for the past five months were a mere five minutes. 

    I quickly opened up my laptop circa 2010 (Yes it could use an upgrade but I dont use it for much anymore) and logged into the live Sony stream on Youtube. The chat room was flooded with people just as eager as myself waiting with baited breath to learn more about the groundbreaking products Sony was about to unveil. 

   So much for being live, what was actually broadcast was a prerecorded and well assembled announcement. Two Sony employees from Australia spoke for a little under twenty minutes about the camera and it's features. They then remained in the chat room and answered the same five questions that were constantly repeated. If only people were punctual to such announcements they wouldn't continually ask what battery the damn camera utilizes.  

    To ensure I receive one of the first units I opened a new browser window and hit up Amazon.com because if there was anyone prepared for such an event I had my faith in Amazon. I had also previously done research on Accidental Damage Warranties in the event that a mishap would occur. When I purchased my Sony NEX-VG20 in December of 2011 I bought the Accidental Damage and Handling plan from Sony for a whopping $399. To my pleasure Amazon offered a plan for a fraction of the price and still promised the same coverage for a small piggy bank marking of $75. I quickly selected the A7 (24 megapixel body with the anti alias filter) and added it to my shopping cart along with the warranty. Entered my credit card number 6969-6969-6969-6969 clicked the expiration month and year XX/20XX and finally pushed confirm! My place in line with Amazon was finalized and without a doubt guaranteed myself to receive one of the cameras that is part of the first batch they were allotted.  

    At this point some of you may be wondering why in the hell would I just abandon my VG20 after I just had it sent away for a month to get repaired. False! I am in no way abandoning the camera, it will still remain my pride and joy as it helped propel me into the role of being a greater entrepreneur. It boils down to camera jargon and sensor specifications that a majority may not be familiar with. The VG20 carries an APS-C sized sensor which is cropped and has a 1.5x magnification. The A7 is a full frame sensor and with that it's also the worlds smallest and lightest interchangeable lens camera so what better way to upgrade then take part in a brand new take on the realm of photography and video.  It will allow me to further display my capabilities in a more multifaceted manner. 

   To help accommodate the larger sensor I took a Delorean and visited the 1980s! Canon FD lenses used to be all too common in the market and with a majority of people switching to DSLRs and auto focus capable equipment these units have simply gathered dust. So for a little over $50 I was able to pick up 4 solid lenses in excellent condition! Yes my current E-mount lenses will work in a cropped mode on the A7 or in full frame with an image circle and heavy vignetting. 

    I apologize to the readers who are currently asking themselves what the fuck am I talking about but what it truly boils down to is higher quality images and video as well as the ability to operate two cameras for filming weddings that are equal in quality. 

  I was able to chat with both of my December brides and they are both as eager as I am! I promise some unique and breathtaking images to come from the two glorious days! The creativity is roaring and I look forward to sharing the end results with all of you as I slowly build the online portfolio to where I want it to be! ( I have so many folders to sift through from the past two years it will truly be a blast from the past)

   Finally the online store will soon be updated and no longer the template crap that the layout came with. I will list prices and options for prints as well as a variety of services. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you remain as excited for what is to come as I am! 

 

 

 

Amazon Order

 

What do I do?

   Recently I've found myself having to tell more and more models and potential clients that I am unavailable. Until now very few people have been aware of what my actual occupation is. I would love to say that I travel the United States and photograph for high profile businesses and boutiques however those days remain in the distant future. So what do I do that requires me to travel some weeks in excess of 1,000 miles per week? 

    It started a year ago this week, I parked in a bank parking lot during the early morning hours on an extremely cold day and entered a vehicle driven by somebody who I had previously never met. It was the most sketched out thing I had ever done in my life but this individual was an employee for a company I knew nothing about yet was heavily intrigued by. So there I was with a complete stranger as I shadowed what it took to be a private investigator. Yes a P.I. not a police officer but someone who remains in the shadows and continuously utilizes the mask of anonymity to deliver the facts to the client. 

   So it's now a year later and the past 10 months have been absolutely amazing. I've had the opportunity to travel to a variety towns of under 200 people to large thriving cities that are filled with a working class that is beyond familiar with road rage and the last thing on their mind is where you are from as long as they get to where they are going.  

   I still live with my parents, at this point most of you will finally understand why that is reasonable. During the average month I am home maybe 7 days at most. So why pay or rent a place to call home when I would never be there? I'm currently picking away at my student loans and just enjoying this rare opportunity. One year ago after leaving radio I had no idea what I would do, but I was certain it wouldn't be radio. Managing two stations was truly eye opening and it was way more high strung than what I had encountered during my high school and college radio experiences.

   For the past ten months a majority of people were under the impression that I was an intern for various zoo keepers. When I checked into small towns on my Foursquare application several people started messaging me noting that there were no notable zoos within hundreds of miles.  When that fell through I led people to believe I was chasing my dreams as a comedian, to my surprise the announcement was well received and multiple people informed me that they looked forward to getting high and watching me on Comedy Central. Personally I feel I am hilarious without Marijuana but I can't be the decision maker for every individual. 

   So here I am finally doing something I love that is never the same, I wont delve into the specifics of my occupation but I am indeed a private investigator for a company that will go unnamed. I will continue to film and photograph at every opportunity, I've been slacking on video but I will turn over more amazing pieces as time allows. I am able to accommodate most requests if I am given enough notice to avoid conflicts with my employer. 

    So to answer your question no I have not fallen off the map, I've simply disappeared into working habitually so I can conquer student loans and continue building my arsenal of equipment to further embrace my side profession of photography and film. It became more than a hobby when I found myself bringing my personal equipment on trips and going out in the early morning and evening to capture the stories my eyes wanted to tell. 

   The past 50,000 miles have been life changing and I look forward to the next 50,000!

Where I have been