Life can be funny. You have dreams, or at least HAD dreams at one time. Then life gets in the way.
With careers, kids, family obligations, and health concerns sometimes those dreams get tarnished, bruised, or just fade away.
You look in the mirror and reflect on what stands before you, and hollow eyes are staring back at you.
What happened to my dreams, what I wanted, what I am interested in? Is it too late to dream again? What if I fail, am too old, don’t have any money, or don’t have the skill or ambition I once had?
Any of this sound remotely familiar? I am sure it does on some level to almost everyone. If only you had the opportunity to reinvent yourself, to find a niche that was just made for you, and a new way to impact the world around you… would you grab it, nurture it, and make it yours? I hope so, because that is what stands before you now!
In 2012, I heard about a seminar in San Francisco that was developed by Great Escape Publishing for those that were interested in becoming a travel writer. Now, I know what you are thinking… travel sounds great, but can I write and if I can, how do I make this work? Because that is EXACTLY what I was thinking…
But I signed up and attended with the hope of finding a way to fund my wanderlust. After three days of listening to many others who had decided to make their dreams a reality, I was all in! UNTIL, the next day… the day that changed my life forever!
On a whim, I had also signed up for the travel photography add-on class with instructor Efrain Padro. Efrain’s an accomplished landscape photographer, and his approach to becoming a better photographer had me at “hello”. Not only did I learn a lot, my focus changed entirely.
At the time, my wife Karen and I owned two businesses – an interior design business and a custom cabinet business. We are always in clients’ homes doing remodels, and one of our biggest struggles has always been finding unique, quality artwork to finish out a project.
Upon returning home with an overweight suitcase of enthusiasm, I told her that she was looking at the reincarnation of Ansel Adams and to hang on for the wild ride that was about to commence!
Being a very savvy businesswoman she said: “OK Ansel, learn to take good enough pictures that I can actually SELL and make some money!”
They say that behind every great man is a strong and cooperating woman who has her foot firmly planted in his backside… so I began to study. I actually got worse before I got better, but that was a blessing. All success is built on failure, so the more I messed up, the better I got.
I committed myself to learning all I could, not only by studying… but going out and pressing the shutter – over and over again.
Four years later, I have been to Hong Kong, Thailand (twice), Tanzania, Zanzibar, Mexico, France, Istanbul, and throughout the United States, capturing images that are in demand from our clients and businesses alike. Make no mistake, I am NOT even in the same universe as an Ansel Adams, but what I do works for me.
My advice to you is simple… If you are even remotely interested in travel photography, you have the opportunity to create a new beginning for yourself.