on self-doubt

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” 

i was talking to a friend about this quote recently, and it’s absurdly relevant in this day and age. it’s so easy to lose yourself in the endless stream of content made by people far more talented than you, who seemingly have their shit together. your appreciation for beautiful work always outpaces your ability, and it’s hard not to judge yourself harshly amid the crushing chaos of meticulously curated content.

i am often filled with doubts about my work, and the idea that if i’m not creating amazing content at all hours of day, then i’m washed up and my time has passed. but i have to remind myself that i am not those other people, nor will i ever be. and as long as i can imbue my work with elements of myself and my values, then that’s all that really matters. if my work can make real connections with other people, then that’s beautiful in it of itself.

i think it’s important to remember that everyone supports your creative endeavors when they have the time, opportunity and inclination and the fact that it happens at all is wholly beautiful.

when i see beautiful work from talented artists, my reaction is no longer self-loathing. it’s alright to be a little jealous - as long as that jealousy does not fuel loathing - and is instead used as a catalyst for growth.

i love everyone that makes shit - whether you’re a writer, painter, sculptor, ANY creative - for even trying to tap into the occasional magic.

on film

shot my first roll of film. and let me tell you, I get it. I understand why people still swear by film photography in the age of digital cameras.

sure, I had to wait a bit to see the final product, but that taught me patience.

sure, I had a limited amount of physical film to use, but that taught me how to shoot with intent.

sure, I totally screwed up my settings and focus in a few shots, but that taught me that I still have a lot to learn and master

even though this isn’t my best work, it’s reigniting a lot of creative possibilities within me and I can’t wait to focus on developing my work in the new year.

if you’re to ask me what the theme of 2019 is for my photography, it’s this: back-to-basics.

enjoy these shots, I can’t wait to look back on these and see how much I’ve improved down the line

[for all you nerds out there, this was shot on a Nikon Fe2 with a 50 mm lens and Portra 400 film]

first shot/first roll

photographs and memories

I’ve always loved this photograph. I took it up with me when I moved to New York and it’s the only physical photo that I have in my possession. Composition-wise, it ain’t perfect, but it manages to capture all the emotions in that moment. Equal parts curiosity and fascination, I keep this photo as a reminder to stay curious and engaged in the moment.

I suppose that’s part of the reason why I latched onto photography; it’s now a way for me to assemble my own narrative. When I was young, I used to try and picture what I would be like as an adult and nearly two decades later, I’m trying to look back and piece together my past.

That’s why these old photos are so crucial. That little tub of shit has has dreams and expectations. He can’t possibly know how tragic and difficult life can be. And through it all, he serves as a reminder to do my absolute best to make him proud of the person he’ll wind up being.

As photographers, we take pictures to stop time, to commit moments to eternity.

I recently spent some time back at my parents place in Maryland. I took the time to capture some day to day moments, moments that I know I’ll treasure. I think as I get older, the more urgent it is for me to document loved ones as they were. 

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