rebranding, honesty, and an announcement

The Mission

I promised myself, regardless of cost, 2018 will be my year of learning and finding my “brand” or my style or people – something along those lines.  This is my most traveled year – and I cannot be more proud of that.  With that travel has come some amazing life lessons, moments of “finding myself”, and connecting with other people on this planet I wouldn’t have met if I didn’t plunge into this mission.

The mission started on a small hike last December.  I slipped on some rocks, fell head first into a boulder.  My camera and I were submerged in freezing water.  I came out of it with a concussion and a dead camera.

Maybe it was the concussion prohibiting me from sound logic, or maybe the concussion prohibited fear from taking over, but I tapped out my savings account the next day and purchased a Canon 5D Mark IV and a 24 – 70mm wide angle lens.

I was broke and pumped.  It’s rather funny how those two things can go hand-in-hand.

The year started off in Iceland, then headed to Long Island to Canon HQ, then Women’s Travel Fest in NYC, then Tennessee, then Montreal, then Delaware, then Japan, then Singapore, then Bali for a Bootcamp, then Australia, then Texas for TravelCon, then Maine…

The Lesson

And I’ve realized more and more how absolutely disingenuous I’ve been.  The way I write, the pictures I post.  If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen I post daily around the same time.  Sometimes I push the character limit with thoughts of positivity, other times it’s a bit more lackadaisical and blah. EX: “Yeahp – Maine.”  These posts exhibit crisp and clear photos with some questionable amounts of oversaturation in color.

I’m not being fair to myself by not sharing who I am, and this means I’m not being fair to you.  You – A person in the universe who has stumbled upon whatever bullshit it is I’m throwing out there.  I’m hoping A) you’ll feel inspired to travel B) share that inspiration to pass on to others and/or C) hire me to be a photographer and writer to help represent an amazing locale.

For those who do know me:  I go the Spongebob Squarepants route and think swear words are sentence enhancers, I like to use big words, I enjoy old things, and if I could, I’d wear steampunk inspired attire every day. I’m negative as fuck, and I’m far too critical on myself to the point of debilitation.

The Injury

When I got back home from traveling for the year in mid-September, I set the goal that I would spend the rest of 2018 getting my shit together.  I’m currently a manager in a warehouse, and as much as I love the company I work for and my co-workers, it’s not what I want to do for the rest of my life.

But real life sneaks in and clam-slams a little too hard sometimes.  I fucked up my foot, and my ankle, and kind of my leg.  I’m limping and can barely make it from the bed to the toilet without holding on the wall for support and biting my lip in pain, let alone travel the world.  I’m in physical therapy and physically exhausted all the time.

I’m barely writing or reading.  Most of my energy goes into trying to get through my shifts at work.  My weekends are spent passed out on the couch recuperating.

Progress is on hold.

My sister came over a few weeks ago, and she asked if I could take her picture in my backyard with this bomber jacket she got.  It’s a pretty badass jacket.  I snapped a quick photo and something in my head clicked.

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My sister.

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Not on a ferry boat leaving Miyajima, Japan.

Not in the monkey sanctuary in Bali, Indonesia.

Not seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland.

In a tiny backyard in Nazareth, Pennsylvania it hit me like a ton of bricks; the thing I love but I’m not sharing. I’m so focused on what everyone is doing or how everything else is doing it, I’ve completely set myself aside to mimic-to-learn, but never really own what I have to offer.

The Point

My photos are going to change drastically.  They were still be landscapes, and whatever kind of POV I’ve been sharing, but it won’t be highly oversaturated.  I love old photos – the cracks, the folds, the dust on the lens, the nostalgia that lingers around for decades after, and that gorgeous crispness that focuses on something specific and helps tell the story.

I’m still shooting on digital – I’m a techie and I love my digital camera.  For awhile, I really didn’t know if I wanted to post-produce, but now that I’m doing it, I feel the creative spirit inside me flourish.

Someone out there may wonder why I just don’t shoot on film:  First, it’s expensive.  Secondly, I’ve invested heavily into my arsenal of digital photography equipment, I want to see this through.

I have a small following, and I can only hope you’ll hang around and see what I’m bringing to the table.  But I also know, I’ve been projecting myself out in a certain way, change isn’t always what people want to see – it’s not who I am and I hate the content I share.

I hate it so much.  I hate a lot of the shit I write, and how I write it.  There are things I won’t share on social media or my website because I am allowed to have my privacy.  However, what I do share needs to be honest.

So – cheers to the new adventure.

The Announcement

There is also some fantastic news to share.  One night, I caught something on Women Who Explore‘s Instagram, and I went ahead and applied.

I am now an ambassador with them, creating a new group local to the Lehigh Valley, PA.

We’ll have an event once a month, and a couple of getaways a year.  The goal is to aim for free things to do, or within an agreed upon budget.  If you’re looking to connect with some like-minded women and see some new places – please join.

Here’s the Facebook Group. It is a closed group, so you will have to request to join.  I will use my IG account to help announce things going on, but I will always use this facebook group first.

Essay Where's the Bear Update

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