Whirlwind Weekend

April – what can I say? It’s been one of those months and we are just halfway through.  My weekends are here and gone before I realize it, yet I’m invigorated by the bustle of it all.  I have had something every single weekend and will have until mid May.  I’m still booking portraits and other shoots on top of this during the week so my time to sit and write has been limited, but I wanted to share with you my audience what I’ve been about the past few weeks.

The highlight has been Stars on Ice.  If you are not familiar it is the Ice dancing show with our Olympic Champions.  It’s so exciting to mingle with these young people who are so passionate and excited about their sport, many fresh off the plane from PyeongChang at the 2018 Winter Olympics.  This was my second year being hired by Stars and it was even better than last year, the show was incredible!  The skaters so kind and friendly and fresh faced.  Adam Rippon (Silver medalist PyeongChangcame) up to me and introduced himself , Charlie White (Gold medalist with his partner Meryl Davis, Sochi winter Olympics) remembered me from last year and did something quite special for me……I still get chills thinking about it (you’ll see it in the photo).

Meryl & Charlie-3

I take nothing for granted, I know how special this is and I look forward to doing it again next year!

 

NestFest

Okay it’s time to stop overthinking and get back to work of being a blogger.

On Thursday I worked our local arena for the Florida Gulf Coast University’s NestFest (they are the FGCU Eagles).  You may be familiar with FGCU because a couple of years ago they were in the Sweet 16 basketball playoffs as complete unknowns and became “Dunk City”

First I stopped to get myself and the Channa the young woman whom I report to, a healthy bite to eat; it’s going to be a long night!

NestFest is a yearly spring hiphop concert event put on by FGCU for the students as their college year winds down.  On this year’s stage is A Boogie wit da Hoodie & Hoodie Allen

A Boogie wit Da Hoodie & Hoodie Allen

If the names are not intriguing enough, you have to meet the players of the bands.  Interesting to say the least.  Please enjoy as I bring you Hoodie Allen and Boogie Wit Da Hoodie!

Writer’s Cramp or Brain Cramp?

I feel so inspired lately, so many things to write about yet I have a difficult time just putting it all down in the written word. It’s not because I don’t know how to start, or what to write, but the motivation to sit in front of the computer for another forty-five minutes to an hour after I get home from work is not something I want to do.  I’m on the computer all day at work, and when I get home even though I have a brand new shiny computer, it’s the last thing I look forward to.  I remember feeling this way when I worked a day job where I was on the phone all day, I would come home and avoid talking to anyone on the phone; I was burned out from answering questions and putting out fires eight hours a day.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the computer, the feel of my fingertips lightly stroking the keyboard, and as a trained typist, I enjoy the physical activity of typing. I enjoy the look of the words on the page, the satisfaction of seeing something I have created being posted for the world to read.

How do I overcome this aversion for my home computer?  I thought getting a new iMac would be the key to my success; nope, it’s not.  What about the prompts I try to write in my Passion Planner each week, that should do the trick, nope it didn’t.  Then what? What do I need to do to bring it all together and get the words jumbled up in my head down into written form?

I have to understand where my head is before I can get my behind in the chair and my fingers on the keyboard:

First, I feel if I’m not editing photos, I’m not being productive, or I get lured away to Facebook land and there goes my focus.  Second I need something to motivate me, something to lure me to log on and start writing. And third, it comes back to the mentality of maybe I’m not good enough to do this; the negative self-talk that undermines my confidence.  Understanding the few things I listed helps me to see what I need to work on to clear my mindset. How-To-Remove-Negative-Thoughts-From-The-Subconscious-Mind

Addressing the first issue is easy; I have to put in my brain that I am being productive when I write, it is part of my overall business of photography.  Next, I need to set a timer and not allow myself anywhere near Facebook until the timer goes off.  The second issue is I just need to stay ahead with some good content, blog my activities and where and when I’ve been photographing, add more reviews of the artists I photograph and the equipment I use.

But it goes much deeper than any of that; My self-talk is not always kind, and when it’s full-on beating me up, the doubt slides in and goes for home base.  A good friend of mine Karen Zeigler wrote a great blog a few days ago titled “Tired of Peeling the Onion? Stop Peeling the Onion, It’s Time to Fry it Up!” (don’t you just love that title?) you can check it out here: http://karenzeigler.com/stop-peeling-the-onion-its-time-to-fry-it-up/

Karen has been a great mentor for me, mostly from a distance, but she knows how to ask those hard questions, the kind that open you up piece by piece and help you get to the meat of the issue.  She has a way of giving me the words I need to hear, even if I don’t want to hear them, and she uses her God given gift of writing to do so.   I’m thankful for strong women like her who push me out of my comfort zone to do the hard stuff; digging deep and releasing what’s been holding me back, “Peeling the Onion”.

Until next time, from behind the lens.

How Do I Compare?

Going to write this from my heart.

One of the most difficult habits to break is comparing my work to the work of others.  There are those moments when I look at my current work and I’m not happy, I don’t see the quality I want or the creativity I desire, and I get frustrated.  The work may not be horrible, but it’s not good, it’s not the type of work I strive for and I become really tough on myself and even doubting and fearing that I’m not any good.

I have to take a step back and ask myself, why do I feel this way? What caused me to underestimate myself? What can I do to improve my current thoughts about my work.

To answer those questions I simply need to take a step back and regroup.  Look at my work from a different perspective and try to figure out how I can improve.

Concert work is wonderful, but there are variables I have to deal with, such as lighting, venue and energy of the room, things I have zero control over.  However, I do have control how my camera picks up the light, I have control over where I point my camera and I have control over my own energy.  I need to stop making excuses and use those times of bad lighting to improve my camera skills, to work my scene and get the right angle even if I’m shooting all the way in the back, and I need to be truly excited about what I’m doing, and stop comparing my work to someone else.

 

Another Year with Stars on Ice

After feeling pretty bad about some shots I took from a couple of concerts, I was estactic to get a response from an email I sent out a few weeks ago regarding the Stars on Ice show here in Fort Myers at the Germain arena.  I have been approved to be hired again this year to photograph the promo shot, and to follow them about their day from warm ups to dress rehearsal and the show.

I know I shouldn’t worry, but I do.  Was I good enough? Do they want to use me again this year? All the questions I throw at myself in that negative self talk.  Well, the email stated they were excited to have me back!  Deep breath and a happy dance.

It will be much better this year, I’ll have a lot more confidence in what I’m doing, I will feel more at ease being with these young stars and Olympic medalists and I know what they expect from me.  Last year I was quite nervous being around the production team; this year it will feel more like I’m an important part of the show albeit back stage and in the shadows.  I’m looking forward to a wonderful day.

Promo-2
Stars on Ice: Recognize any medalists?

 

A Whirlwind of a Month

 

There are times when life slows down to a snail’s pace and other times I feel as if I can’t catch my breath.  This month was one of those times.

I was supposed to have gone to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens with my photo group, but because I had such a late night  the Friday  before with the Garden Bros. Circus, I woke and decided not to push it.  We have a horrible flu epidemic going around and the first thing I don’t want to do is lower my immune system and come down with the flu because I’m stressed and making myself over tired.  I also had a large metal concert, RoxStock and I needed to be on my A-game while mentoring a young lady and wanted to give her my best self.

That Sunday found me doing a class on portraiture (always want to add some training to my time behind the camera) and then Sunday afternoon another event Clam Jam.  So  I cleaned house and just relaxed to some great Mozart instead of going to the gardens.

I had decided a few weeks ago to take the following Monday off because I was offered a behind the scenes tour at Calusa Nature Center with a fairly new photographer friend.  It was a wonderful way to end the long weekend.  The rest of February was pretty much a blur with concerts and side shoots throughout. I enjoy being busy and I see no let up in March, so keep a look out as I’m trying to also do more writing and sharing with my followers.

I hope you enjoy sharing my adventures as much as I enjoy sharing them.  Until next time, get out there and shoot something!

Introducing……

A little over a year ago I worked for a gentleman who is incredible with editing video.  I asked him if he would want to barter with me; I would photograph him and he would create a video for me.

Our schedules didn’t always jive, so finally the first of the year I had my photographer/videographer son Tommy Owen take some footage of me working.  I am happy to announce that it’s complete and it’s wonderful! A huge thank you to Mike Holiday for his beautiful work and to my son Tom for his great video, without either this would not have  happened.