Well here it goes, Im going to try blogging. I feel like I'm so busy that I don't really get a chance to update social medias the way that my experiences should be shared so at least this way the stories will make it out into the world. Fair warning I'm a photographer, not an English major. This might be an indication that stuff is going to be misspelled and will be soaked in grammatical errors, please don't let this detract from the message. Because I like to make sure everyone is happy, if you are one of those grammar nazis please feel free to red line the shit out of my post. I promise I will not harbor any negative feelings. Secondly I'm pretty un filtered so be warned I tend to cross the line.
I guess to start this off there has to be a beginning. In this story I won't go all the way back to the night my parents, ummm yeah, created me. I'm sure the actuality is way shorter and less climactic than the story that may be told today, but I will save you details and start a little farther down the time line. The beginning... Ill give you a readers digest version. I moved from the only place I could call my hometown, (we moved a lot when I was young) Winnemucca. You would think that the 160 mile trip to Reno wouldn't be that different but ohh was I wrong. Living in a small town has it highs and lows and Winnemucca is no exception. There were a lot of good things I didn't even know about like the community, some people think is a bad thing but when you leave a place where most people know you to a place where no one knows you it really makes the world a bigger place. So when I received a message from one of my buddies that he knew a guy that needed good people to help grow his entertainment company, I saw this as a great way to regain the community I had left in Winnemucca. Ken Allen is his name and I still remember the first meeting we had at the official Amplified Entertainment meeting place, Starbucks. lol. This was a win win for me cause not only was I accepted into the entertainment community but also into the Allen family. People were getting to know DJ Savvy but I was more proud of being Uncle Joey. So things are going pretty well and Amplified Team was growing as well, the events got bigger and jobs multiplied. One night at the Knitting Factory was responsible for changing my life. This night was a concert we were producing and on top of all the things going on Ken comes to me and says " Umm so our photographer canceled" and I respond "With two hours to doors open what are we going to do??" So we both goto our phones and start texting everyone we know. Spoiler alert, everyone was busy. I walk of to Ken and say "Im all out of contacts, I guess we are not going to have a photographer." In his normal Ken way he says "Well thats not going to work we gotta find someone!" So I utter the words that every photographer hates hearing, (and every time I repeat this story in real life I imagine the camera going to slow motion when I say it) I say " I gotta good camera I can take the photos, it can't be that hard." Yeah I know it hurts me to know I said it but I did. Sooo I ran home grabbed my Canon Rebel XTi and went around clicking photos all night. The next day I upload all the photos to my computer and to my horror ALLLLL the photos sucked. I felt horrible, defeated, a failure.... These are not emotions I deal with very well. These were not just bad photos they were almost unusable. I think I was able to salvage like 8 or so. I went on a mission, not to be a photographer but just to learn how to take a photo. I had the pleasure of working next to some of best event photographers in Reno so I knew what the photos were supposed to look like and just how far away I was from being able to accomplish anything close to what they did. This was a difficult mission because I could go through all the learning and training but I had to have concerts to be able to test my new skills and discover my new short comings. After learning a little theory and getting some practice I hit a wall, my camera. My poor little Canon XTi had been pushed as far as it could be and I still wasn't taking the photos that I needed to. This is where the decision came in. I knew I didn't need anymore expensive hobbies so I either needed to give up on my mission or buy a new camera and make a business out of it. In talking to one of my fellow photographers and telling him of my situation he said you need to do this you are good at it. This was the moment that pushed me to make this work. What a journey this has been. I have been blessed, I have had way more support than negativity from people helping me do better. I have many long term customers that have grown with me and that is rare, most of the time you lose customers that had received free work when you first started and pay for it when you have to charge.
Felicia - One of the biggest influences in me being successful is Felicia. We met at our community studio, Hatch, (thats another story for another post) she has seen the good in what I do and she pushes me to be better. I work in an industry that is superficial and vain. I hangout with beautiful people. I take photos of people in all different situations. I'm in rooms with naked people. This can make difficult situations in relationships, I'm sure you can imagine. She sees the art, and believes in the message I preach. We both have a passion to show people the best version of themselves, that everyone is beautiful. I have been able to accomplish a lot on my own but with her love and support it has made it so much easier. I really never had a value for support in a relationship, most of the relationships I had previously really didnt support the DJing or Photography. I really didnt realize even though I pushed through that, not having the support of your loved ones is an anchor.
She has become my sail, propelling me, pushing me, pulling me to be better.
So I have told the story of the start and my new found driving force but I'm leaving a bunch out in the middle. Lets just say I have been blessed, blessed with good colleagues, customers and friends. People like Ken and the Allen family for treating me like family and pushing me to do this, Carlos and Michelle Martinez for teaching me and bringing me on all your shoots, Jeramie Lu and Ron Kots, with out these two I wouldn't have been able to make this a career. They welcomed me with open arms and gave me all the tools to succeed. Im sure most people have no idea the amount of people in Reno that wouldn't have the photography business they have today if these two guys hadn't been the amazing people they are. Oliver X, he gave me my first publication. I have so much love for him. He truly invests time and energy into the people he works with. Marcello Rostagni, this guy has pushed me to improve my technical skills, he has become a friend just as much as a colleague. Dreu Murin, with out his help and guidance I wouldn't have been able to make the leap from part time to full time. And David Marshall, even though we don't really know each other he was the original driving force that fueled my interest in photography. He was able to take the most amazing photos I just wanted to be able to do something even close. None of this would have been possible without the love and support of my parents and family. When I told my mom and dad that I was planning on quitting my good job to be a photographer they responded with what can we do to help! Like I said I have been blessed all the way around.
I hope this has been a little insight into where I started and all the support and help I have had to be who I am today. Now we can get to photos!!