Exploring the City By The Bay

SanFrancisco-8795Turns out it was actually cheaper for me to fly Virgin America from Seattle to San Francisco and then SFO to Dulles, as opposed to flying directly from Seattle to DC. This also meant that I would have a 14 hour layover in which I planned to stretch my legs and explore yet another city for the day. I spent the morning soaking up the sights and sounds of downtown with no particular agenda.

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Exploring the Emerald City in the Rain

Seattle-7875In keeping with my travel posts I’m pulling some more photos from the archives for this edition…

One of my best friends lives in Seattle now and another one of my friends just so happened to be getting married there, so it was a perfectly good excuse to spend a few days in a new place. The weather was horrible the entire time, but that’s pretty much what I expected; so we had fun with it. Continue reading

Exploring Bean Town


    Photo by Stephen Elliot

Just a couple weeks after my trip to New York I was asked to shoot an event in Boston. Having never been there I jumped at the opportunity. Even though I was on a tight schedule I decided to make the most of it by getting up before sunrise to go exploring for a couple hours.

The only thing I learned (from a photography standpoint) was somewhat of an accident. By underexposing a scene by a couple stops you can more easily “read” the light. See the rest of the photos here.

Filed under: Don’t Hog Your Journey

Exploring the Big Apple

NewYorkCity-1744New York City is a mere four hours away from DC, yet I spent over seven years in DC before ever venturing into the Big Apple. All along I kept saying I just needed to go there by myself, camera in hand, with no agenda to speak of. One week after the call to accumulate experiences I found myself on a Bolt bus headed for Manhattan…

It was a bit overwhelming. I had no idea what exactly I was doing there other than “exploring.” After about 2 or 3 hours of wandering aimlessly I decided that my primary objective was simply to throw down some tracks and see the city, capturing it along the way. I wasn’t focused on getting great photos, I just wanted to see as much as possible. Continue reading

Accumulate Experiences

This is the first post in the series called Don’t Hog your Journey.

I was seconds away from clicking “Publish” on a new batch of photos when suddenly things started making a lot more sense… I had to rewind all the way back to September 2009, but it seems to be the right place to start this series.

A book publisher asked me to review a book titled The Power Filmmaking Kit for a small stipend. Since I never did get around to blogging about it before now, I have the advantage of seeing how it has affected me. Not even half a dozen pages into the book I read something that has changed my outlook ever since:

Good films are born from real experiences. Therefore, accumulate experiences. (paraphrased)

This idea got under my skin and challenged me to explore life in a new way. I’m realizing now that this has been the driving force in my decision making lately, so I figured it would be helpful to let you know where I’m coming from. For better or worse I have spent the last 18 months chasing experiences of all kinds. I’ve tried my best to capture them with my camera and Moleskine, and now I’m excited to share them with you here.

The first stop of our journey takes us to the Big Apple…

Don’t Hog Your Journey

It’s been said that the difference between a good photographer and a bad one is that you never see a good photographer’s bad photos. If I’m really being honest though I think that I’ve used that as an excuse to not share anything at all. I’ve simply renamed laziness and called it perfectionism.

Someone once told me “Don’t hog your journey.” For me, that’s what this 30 Post Challenge is all about. There are so many things I’ve learned, experienced, and photographed just in the last year and a half but I’ve been so painfully stingy in what I share. I never meant to keep things to myself, but it seems there is always one more reason, one more thing to finish before I’m ready to share my journey.

I’m realizing now (as I write) that the repercussions of this are far reaching. When I keep my journey to myself I get discouraged because it reminds me that yet another opportunity has been stifled. This in turn destroys expectations among my friends, family, and even clients. I then get stressed out and frustrated because I feel like I’ve let people down. To make matters worse I am robbed of opportunities to teach from my experiences. …all because I didn’t share.

So in an effort to overcome this disease called perfection I’m going to be pulling some photos from the archives and telling their stories here on my blog over the next couple weeks. There is so much I’m eager to share…

Share The Journey

Not only is it common sense marketing to share your work, but in my case it’s downright unhealthy not to. So don’t take for yourself the painful route that I stumbled upon. Let’s keep shooting, sharing, and inviting others into our lives. Whether you’re making music, teaching improv, or serving the brokenhearted let’s share the journey together. We’ll all be better off for it.