Agency

I need more Z blocks, said No One Ever. 

Game Boy Tetris

The only consistent person in your business is you. When everything falls apart all eyes are on you.

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Fear and Failure From a Pro.

Canon in the Mud | Jackson Hole, Wyoming Photographer

 

To say I’ve made a few mistakes in photography unarguably the biggest understatement any of you will hear today.

Hey, your lens cap is on. ah geez.

I thought you got the memory cards? Dang it!

No charged camera batteries? We’re screwed.

Or worse yet… Having to tell a client that you’ve lost all their photos… That one hurt.

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I Live In a Van Down By the River!

“I live in a van down by the river!”-Matt Foley

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How You Climb a Mountain. BUT THIS IS MARS!

By putting one foot in front of the other. But, what if that mountain is Olympus Mons on Mars? 16 miles high and three times larger than Mt. Everest. What then? Now you’re playing with a whole new deck of cards… Mars Cards. Geez…

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Goff was onto something.

“I used to think, but NOW I know.”
-Bob Goff


A girl raised her hand in the photography class I was teaching and said, “I only have this crappy camera and I have to use this crappy free software online to edit photos. I can’t do that.” Her disgust was pretty obvious in her tone. I looked at her and said, “So, what?” Maybe a little too honest, but SO WHAT?! 

We make excuses to justify our ignorance.

I fell into this trap early on too. If I only had this light I could… If I only had this camera I could… You name it! I was fed up with it. Sounding familiar? Are you frustrated too?

I once went on a trip to Burma with the number 3 cross country runner in the world. This guy spent HOURS by himself running. I asked him how he did it. “How do you not just get completely frustrated at the distance you have in front you?” He told me that the trick was to live in the now. Not the future. The now… Deep right? Very uneventful at the time but then I started to think about it. Make the best of where you are. Be content not complacent. All the muck you’re in right now is part of the journey. It’s what will make you appreciate that camera when you can finally afford it. OR, that software that you’ve been dreaming of.

Learn problem solving skills with what you have. Invest in yourself first! 

I Can’t. So YOU Can’t.

Brian Hunter Across Mongolia

People will place their own limitations and understanding on your abilities to do something.

A buddy of mine took on this amazing feat of endurance and adventure. 3 months and 1500 miles he was going to run across the entire country of Mongolia in support and awareness for the orphans of that country. 30 miles everyday with his wife and two kids helping on the support team was the game plane. A few weeks before he’s supposed to board a plan and head out, he’s talking with a potential donor of the expedition when a stranger walks up and hands Brian a business card. He’s a doctor, has heard about the trip, and wants to speak with Brian about it. They shakes hands and make an appointment for sometime over the next few days.

The day arrives and Brian meets up with the stranger. For an entire hour and a half he’s listening to this doctor tell him how he won’t be able to make the expedition happen. “It is physically impossible to run that long!” the doctor says. He’s completely dead set that it’s his job in life to convince Brian NOT to go on this expedition. Brian is sitting there just taking a verbal beating and somehow keeps a smile on his face.

Brian was telling me about this story and he says this: “People will place their own limitations and understanding on your abilities to do something. They think because I can’t, that means you can’t either.”

Man, these words have stuck with me and have become a filter that I run any “advice” I receive through. Don’t be discouraged by other’s ignorance or limited imagination. You were given this idea. NOT them. So when you’re met with those that say it can’t be done, just remember this story. Do you think you can? Then do it! Go for it! Don’t settle for being mediocre when you’re made for more.

Brian went on to run across the entire country of Mongolia and did amazing works along the way. A blister was his biggest injury. You can find more about this expidition at STRONGTOTHEFINISH.COM

Problem Solved

I’m always curious what people’s perceptions are and what causes them to feel a certain way. But how they see you? That’s a tough one.

There was a shoot I wasn’t a part of because the company my client was working with brought in the, “I Know a Guy.” Everybody knows a guy, right? My client was in charge of everything, except for hiring the photog. So they walk up to the “I Know a Guy and ask that he come away with certain shots but the response back from the photographer was “Oh, that’s not possible to do.” My client’s telling me this story and says, “I remembered I wasn’t working with Corey Lack at that moment.” Wow, what a compliment! As he was telling me the story I was incredibly humbled and remember thinking through a handful of scenarios that would have worked to have gotten that shot list he wanted.

Knowledge Bomb

When you are working for someone and become confronted with a problem, don’t bring the problem to them and ask for answers. Bring solutions, offer the course of action you’d recommend, and ask them to pick 1, 2, or 3.

Be a problem solver not a problem maker.

 

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That’s it. I QUIT!

I’m done. I’m throwing in the towel. I don’t want to do this anymore.

I’ve probably said this 100 times over the years of shooting professionally. I mean it would be way easier to work for someone else and let them have all the headaches. Sure, I’d have to give up making my own hours, being at every school event, going on adventures, building a future for MY children to take over, and not get to travel to incredible places with a camera… Sure I could quit.

I was in a funk the other day. I was sitting and feeling sorry for myself when my wife drops a pen and paper onto my lap and says, “I want you to write 50 things you’re grateful for.” Frustrated I picked up the pen and paper with a little more attitude then what was required and began to write, really hard… My thoughts wandered to “she doesn’t understand what I’m going through. What does she know!?” I mean she’s only been by my side from the beginning. Pity party. Geez! Thinking about it as I type this makes me feel silly. By about number 15 on the grateful list my heaviness started to thin and clarity began to bust through the fog. I realized how small my problems are and how I choose to make them mountains when in actuality they are mole hills at best. Perspective is everything.

 

Knowledge Bomb

I’m not being preachy here, but I want to encourage you as I have been encouraged. Hang in there! Much like the illustration, you might almost be at that pivotal point in your journey. One more swing of the axe, one more time to say yes, just another day and you’ll discover the diamonds. Don’t give up just yet. You won’t be put into any situation you can’t handle. Also, make sure you count the small diamonds that reveal themselves along the way. It may not come to you in one large cache but gathered one by one along the path.

(Disclaimer: I understand everyone’s situations are different and I’m not advocating that working for someone else is a bad thing, but for ME and MY FAMILY what I’m doing and the course we’re on is non negotiable.)