Clearing the Mind

Every time I sit down to write, I have to come up with some sort of a title for what I'm writing about... That can be hard sometimes. Anyway, with this being the slow season for me, things haven't really slowed down much. I am a lot busier than I expected to be and I hope things stay that way for a while. It took us just about two years to land the jobs we are landing now and I am happy to say that I am starting to enjoy the work I do more and more when I can work with people who are passionate about what they do.

Tomorrow, I am going to continue a project I started last week, only this time I actually get to spend as much time as I need filming and pretty much have the entire day to shoot. This means we get to go crazy getting every shot perfect, we get to nail all the interiors, exteriors, details, drone shots and hopefully even the twilight and day to night time-lapse we plan on doing. This project is a first of its kind for us and something I am hoping will set the bar pretty high for future work we want to be doing.

Looking back on last week, I had my first helicopter flight over NYC. This was honestly one of the most incredible experiences of my life and I am so happy that I was able to get up there and do it. If you can believe this though, I actually came home a little bit angry because I didn't get the photos I had thought I was going to be able to achieve in my mind. This kills me because why the hell was I angry?? Who gives a shit if I come back with a photo to post or not? I feel like my whole experience was ruined because the entire time I was up there I was trying to take a photo that would be worth gold rather than taking the time to appreciate what I was actually up there doing. What I was up there seeing...

It was after I got home from this ride that I realized I need to just relax a bit and learn to enjoy life a little bit more. I am always caught up in my work and the quality of what I put out that the littlest things can bother me. I have become so picky when it comes to photography that I almost don't like anything I shoot anymore. I don't think any of this is a bad thing, but I do think that mentally it affects me and the work I put out. I really love what I do, but not when I force myself to do it. Maybe slowing down and taking a small break to clear my head will be helpful and something I am heavily considering to benefit myself.

With so much going on and the sun going down at 4pm, I can see why I'm going crazy. I will definitely need to make the most out of whats to come and just find things I can do that make me happy. There is a reason why I do what I do and I may not even see that clearly yet myself, but one day I am sure it will all pay off. Here are some photos from the helicopter:

Gone Missing

It's 8 am on a Thursday and your'e sitting home writing a blog at your desk in the office you made downstairs. You're probably having some coffee thinking about how much stuff you have to do in such little time, but you remember that you have your first helicopter ride over NYC tomorrow with a good friend of yours. Life can't be that bad, but it sure can be overwhelming. You've got a cat with more energy than you, a great business partner and a really supportive family who cares about you. It's easy to get stressed out and lose site of what makes you happy. However, it is important to remember that you can push through all the stress, work harder, learn how to deal with the cards you are dealt and get where you want in life....if you have the drive to do that.

Recently, I have found myself struggling to feel good or happy and it has really been tough to stay positive. I'm not so sure why this is the case, maybe its the burden of all the work, maybe its my high expectations for what I do, maybe its just a phase, who knows. I haven't had much time to sit down and write, there's been a lot going on in my mind lately. I guess with Thanksgiving coming, it is good to reflect on things and take some time to revisit reality. I am truly thankful for everything I have and know that I will get through this little rough patch I seem to be in.

In the next few weeks, I have a lot of exciting work that I am looking forward to doing. Tomorrow I am flying over NYC in a helicopter for the first time ever which I think is going to be pretty damn scary. I will have my legs dangling out of the Helicopter and my camera in hand, hopefully taking some awesome photos I wouldn't be able to take with my drone. I also have several jobs lined up, one specifically that I am looking forward to about the builder of a home and why she designed it the way she did. I have been wanting to do a video like this for some time now and finally the day has come. I don't want this to just be special to me, but I want it to be special for everybody else who watches it too. This is where I have always seen my business going, so this project is definitely pretty meaningful for that reason alone.

Now, I do feel like I have gone missing from my website and blog and I hate that because I try so hard to stay on top of this and post at least once a week. I never imagined I'd become a writer, nor did I think I'd ever become good at it, but shit happens and this has really been nothing but pure benefit for me once I made the commitment to doing it. That being said, all the social media and posting and liking and commenting and engaging and yadda yadda yadda has become absolutely ridiculous and I am at the point where I feel like I just need to step away from it and shut things down for a while until I am ready to come back. I used to try to post everyday but there comes a time where I ask myself what I'm doing and why I'm doing it. It is extremely hard to put out good content all the time and I have really been struggling to do so. Forcing myself to create kinda hurts the process of creating, so I think slowing things down for a little while might be something that will help me out, but that doesn't mean that Im going to stop shooting and posting... just gonna ease up on it all. I'm sure I'l have plenty more to write soon enough. Now some photos :)

The Power of Social Media

Back when Social Media first became a thing, I was definitely completely against it and thought that people were wasting there time paying more attention to someone else's life rather than their own. Today, I believe that this has gotten much worse lol but at the same time, I think Social Media has been one of the biggest influences out there for me and a lot of other people who create their own work. I am sitting here writing about this today because last week I was reading through some of my old blogs and realized I had briefly brought up this topic. I mentioned that one day I wanted to be featured on all these big drone accounts and be able to create content that inspires other people. After almost a year and a half of hard work and pushing myself to create more content, I am finally being featured on these accounts and chatting with so many people in my field that are incredible at what they do.

Social Media has become a huge outlet for my work, whether I am just sharing what I do, chatting with new people or even linking up with these people in real life. It's funny to think that only a few years ago none of this was really possible, but with the way technology is advancing and the power that that Social Media holds, I honestly think this creates endless opportunities for creatives. It may sound easy to create good content, post it day after day, engage with your followers, answer all the comments and DM's and so on, but I can assure you it is literally like having another job. I realize a huge amount of time goes into all this not only for me, but especially for the accounts who are sharing all this incredible work and actually keeping up with it. I am so thankful that the hard work has paid off and truly appreciate all the respect I have been shown from these accounts sharing my photos.

I don't look to slow it down anytime soon, but I do feel like it is getting very challenging to keep up with a post every single day, especially with winter moving in. I am going to have to work pretty hard to find new locations and things to shoot... or I'm gonna have to pack up my gear and start traveling a bit more! I think that would be a great thing to do. Aside from that quick reflection, I think it is important to always keep your head up and continue to work as hard as you can. Nothing good happens right away, but the harder you work, the more time you put in, I believe that one day everything will pay off. Just never forget why you are doing what you do because the most important thing through all this is how much you care about it.

Fall Shooting

Finally I feel like I am getting back into the groove of things. Day after day, I have been going out to shoot and these fall colors do nothing but motivate me to keep at it. I am a bit disappointed today because the weather these past couple of days is probably taking even more leaves off the trees. Though this gives me plenty of time to edit some photos I have been taking, there is something driving me to create new content constantly and when I don't or when I can't, I feel helpless. It has been a struggle finding new places and adapting to what I have but I think this has been pushing me to learn new things like I said in my last blog. Flying has become something that I love, in a way it is therapeutic and really helps me take my mind off of everything else going on in life. 

Every time I sit down to edit photos now, it becomes one huge process that I tend to overlook. A lot of the time I don't like my own photos or will discard ones that aren't "good enough" to me. This has been one of the most annoying things because as good as I know the photos are, there is something in the back of my head that is always telling me I can do better. The past few weeks I realize I am starting to like a lot of the work I am doing and I have also been spending probably twice the amount of time on my personal work than I have in the past. With work being slow, shooting becomes very necessary for me and keeping up with my personal work is definitely a top priority.

One of my favorite things to look forward to now is Texture Tuesday. This is something I used to do a while back but not something I ever took too seriously. The concept behind this is to shoot a texture (from the sky if we are talking about drone stuff like I do 90% of the time) that will make people question what they are looking at. In a way, this is some of the most abstract stuff I have ever shot and I gotta say I really do love it. Believe it or not, it is really hard to find places to shoot these textures and being able to add that to my list when searching for places to fly has been nothing but rewarding in the sense that I am finding new things to shoot and slowly beginning to enjoy it more and more. Right now I have to thank Abstract Aerial Art for inspiration, they are some of the best aerial photographers I have ever come across online and also two of the nicest people I have ever talked to. With their help and the help of a few friends and other dronies on Instagram, Texture Tuesday is slowly growing and I am hoping to be able to turn it into something much bigger than it is now.

On the other hand, I just got myself a kitten. I have always like dogs and cats but for some reason a cat has always been such a cool animal to me. I have three cats and a dog back at home and I know dogs are a ton of work between training them, being home for them and so on. Cats are much simpler animals and because I am out of the house a lot, I figured a cat would be better to have because I can give it some attention when I am home and not feel bad about leaving it at the house. Anyway, this kitten is such a little cutie and has really been opening up day after day and revealing her personality. These past couple days she has been getting used to exploring our home, now it's only a matter of time before she is too comfortable and causing trouble haha. No matter what, I still love her.

Getting Back to it

Ever since this move, I feel like I've been all screwed up and delayed on too many things. I never thought I'd actually struggle to make the adjustment but I have to be honest, it has been a bit challenging to adapt to this new life. We pretty much painted the entire house, we are still in the process of building/buying furniture to furnish the place and with all that, we still have to get our work done and find new work to go after. Slowly but surely, things are coming together and I think I will be back to my normal self before I know it.

These past few weeks, I have been trying to adventure my area and find places to fly my drone to shoot new content. It is not like it was over the summer with all the trees and lakes, but rather the opposite with tons of industrial buildings and all that jazz. I have been getting used to the new scenery and doing my best to create what I can with it. I think my style is changing a bit as some of the main things I strive for is good composition, finding unique patterns, interesting colors and symmetry all from the sky. Because I shoot real estate a majority of the time, keeping my lines straight is a really big deal, on top of that, I love to shoot things at a perspective in which we never see them from the ground which is where my drone and straight downs really come into play.

My Mavic has been my favorite drone lately because of its portability and the distance it can fly. It opens up a world of possibility when it comes to aerial photography for those two reasons alone. As much as I love my Inspire 2, it is not the ideal drone to be flying at certain locations. A few days ago, I actually went to go fly my Mavic and just capture a shot of myself working at a picnic table in the woods when all of a sudden I got it tangled up in a tree while watching my screen taking a video I could later turn into a boomerang. As I am doing a perfect pan flying back down to myself, I hear this weed whacker sorta noise only to look up and see my drone getting tangled in a tree. I stayed calm, tried to fly it out but unfortunately the motors shut off and I watched it drop 40 feet to the ground making a loud thump. All I could do at that point was laugh it off. I think the drone is going to be fixable for the most part and the parts are coming in today for me to fix it. Fingers crossed the poor little thing will still work :)

I feel like I've been slacking on my blog and a lot of other things because of this adjustment but I know that it is time to knock it off and get my head back on the right track. Like I said earlier in a few of my other blogs, this is only the beginning and there is going to be plenty of work to come from me and my business. One thing I am really looking forward to is doing some collab work and working with new people who share the same interests as me. In the meantime, and I promise to write again soon, here are some photos for those eyes!

Settling In

When I got back from Oregon, I typed a blog, added my photos and realized I only saved it as a draft... Whoops. Regardless, it has still been a while since I have written anything and I hate when I get to the point that I start to slack on that. I have finally moved into my new place, painted it and am still working on some finishing touches. Who the hell knew moving into my own place was gonna be as big of a pain in the ass as it has been haha. Everything looks a lot better now and I guess I just have to adjust to being on my own in a new place and new home.

Work has been kinda slow with the move and season change. I think there will be another spurt or two before things slow down for the winter months and Vin and I are out there searching for more work. My favorite part of my new place is the office and I think that when it is completely done, it is going to look great because it already looks great now. I have also been exploring the area a little bit to get used to some of the scenery while trying to find new places to shoot. I had about a good week or so break from flying my drone and boy was that painful. I really think I am addicted to it.

As time goes on, I will continue to find more places to shoot. In the meantime, I'll be honest.. It has been really hard to adjust to this whole new environment and I think its just going to take some time to get used to before anything crazy happens. I will share a few photos I have been shooting around the area and also share my Oregon video. Hopefully you guys enjoy the content as much as I do because I have been putting a significant amount of time into everything I shoot. It has even become hard for me to like some of my stuff because I am usually so hard on myself. That may be me going through some sort of style change or maybe a phase or even a midlife crisis, but I am sure it's not really such a bad thing.

Oregon

This was a much needed trip for me. I've had a lot on my mind lately and just wanted to get away for a little while to clear my mind. Oregon was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to and I got to see a good amount of it in the three days I was there. A lot of people think a trip like this is leisurely and relaxing but I can assure you it was far from that. Luckily, I was able to go with my buddy Tom Harmon who is as addicted to photography/droning as I am. Because of that, we were able to hit every sunrise and sunset during the three day stay we had. The latest we woke up was 4:30am and we would spend the day traveling and shooting different spots while also taking a few breaks to eat/drink and try some of the stuff Oregon is known for (the coffee and beer was killer). Though we lacked more than enough sleep, it was all worth it to go see things I don't normally see over here in NJ.

If I learned one thing from this trip, it is that patience is always key. I am not the type of person to be patient and it is definitely a downfall, but when I am out in such a beautiful place and I am there to shoot and take awesome photos, rushing becomes something I tend to do so that I can squeeze in all the shots I want before that lighting goes away. There were plenty of times that I was getting frustrated but then I sat back and remembered where I was while looking at the beauty of it all and taking that in. Aside from shooting, I realize that patience is key for life in general. I have yet to be where I want in life, but everyday I put the effort into getting there. I don't want to rush the work I do, I don't want to rush the relationships I'm in, I don't want to rush through life just to try and get somewhere faster. Waiting for things and putting the time in to do them right seems to be more important than rushing it. I would much rather be patient, put the time/work into what I want and let things come to me when they should.

There is a saying that everything happens for a reason. After all I have been through this summer, I almost think that statement holds true. When I look back and think about certain things, whether they are good or bad, I realize maybe that did happen for a reason and I try to put the pieces together. I know that I am still young, I still have a lot to learn and it is good to realize some of these things now as I continue to grow. My trip was more than just for photos, it was a bonding experience where I got to meet new people and make new friends, it was something that opened my eyes and showed me what this world has to offer, it was something that told me I should be doing this more because this is what makes me happy, this is what drives me to do what I do.

After just getting home Sunday, I am right back to work. This week is a big week for me and there is a lot to get done. I am finally moving out of my house with my family and getting my own place with my business partner, Vin. We will have a new office space and will be able to work from one central location rather than living an hour and a half away and barley ever seeing each other. I think that this move is going to allow us to grow Simply Visual to where it needs to be. Like I was saying above, patience is key, this year our business will be two years old and we are just beginning to figure things out and get the work we want. I have a lot to look up to and I am proud to see how far we have come. It will be even better to see where we are in 5 years from now :) Enjoy some photos from my trip below. I have so many more coming and a video in the works too!

 

Travel Week

It's been a long time coming here. A few months back, my buddy Tom invited me to go out to Oregon with him to adventure some new areas. I remember being on the phone with him when he purchased the tickets to go and now this week, we finally head out that way. It has always been a dream of mine to travel more but the problem is, I always want to capture amazing new photos. It's almost as if I travel to take the photos rather than actually be out there enjoying where I am. I guess it is sad to say that is somewhat true, but I think I will manage to enjoy my time out there as well when we are not out shooting. This trip is just for fun so I don't think there will be much stress aside from being at the locations we want to shoot at the right times for that perfect lighting.

Traveling is not always the easiest thing to do, it requires a lot of planning, money and time. With work being so crazy, it has been hard to find time for a lot of things. Also with work being so hectic and non-stop, I feel like this is something I definitely need to step away from it all and clear my mind. I'd also like to make an effort to start traveling more for the sake of my work. I have been stuck in NJ with the option to drive wherever I please but this summer alone, I have traveled to so many new locations around me just to keep gathering content for myself. I have learned that there are always plenty of places to shoot around you if you are willing to take the time to look for them, but I also realize that there is a whole world out there! That is something I would like to go after and experience. I feel like capturing the photos/video I do when I am out traveling become memories that I will never forget. Is it weird you can ask me where any of my photos were taken and I can pretty much tell you off the top of my head??

When I return from my trip, my life is going to take one huge swing. I will finally be moving into a new place with my business partner and really look forward to excelling my work and business from there. I am looking forward to where it will take me because I know that the opportunities are endless with the industry we are in. I only want to advance our work more as we continue to grow and turn this business into something incredible. There is a ton of hard work going into everything I do, but there needs to be in order to take things to that next level. Until then, I have some shoots planned this week, a collaboration project and a trip to Oregon :) Definitely looking forward to it all!

Just the Beginning

If you were to ask me where the summer has gone, I honestly couldn't tell you. I remember just a few short weeks ago I would be out shooting and the sun would set at around 9pm as I would be enjoying my end of the day flight. Only a week into September and the sun is setting closer to 7pm making the days feel shorter, especially with the cold air coming. With time flying by faster and faster and some of my larger projects in their final stages, I am very happy with where I am today. 

This summer may have gone by fast, may have been the most stressful and busy summer yet, but has also been one of the most productive summers for me in the sense of creating. Day after day, I go out to shoot whether I'm at a job or just out for a personal flight. I try to make the best of every situation to capture something that has value to me. Waiting around for the light to be just right has definitely taught me patients while actually being in some of these places to fly has showed me how peaceful life can be. Every photo I take, I aim to show something I can admire, something I am interested in and something I can stare at for a while and really appreciate.

Soon, I will be releasing two big projects we have been working on with Simply Visual Productions and I feel that this will be our intro into the world as a company. These two projects really speak our name and show our style and this is something I want to grow and get better at as we continue to work with clients. After talking to my business partner back and forth this month going over our business and revising projects, we feel as if we are just at the beginning of it all. It took us almost two years to get to where we are now, to learn all we have learned and to be able to shoot all we have shot. By the end of this month we are hoping to move into a new place, get our office back and really start going after more work.

I can say that overall, we are in a very good place and we are both happy to see where it is all headed. Not too many people see all the hard work we put into our business and personal work but they don't always need to. All the 10-15 hour days, with the editing, phone calls, driving and stress will pay off when the time comes. It is a real learning experience to be building a company like this but we could not be happier to have chosen to do what we are doing today. More work to come soon and this time it will actually be some real work we have been doing as a company :) Anyway, enjoy some of the photos from the past few weeks below!

Making Connections

Every time I sit down to write, I realize that I reflect on the past few days or weeks of my life instead of maybe writing things I look forward to or want to do. I guess that is something I can work on in the future but then again, does anybody even read these?? 

This past week for me, I have been drowning in my own work. I struggle to find time to edit everything I have and also struggle to make time to do things for myself like connect with people or go out and fly so I can create more content. With all of the editing I have, I put shooting off to the side and tried to force myself to use that time to meet new people. I am glad that I chose to do this because just this week alone, I have met so many awesome people that I would love to work with and become better friends with. I think the more people you know, the better off you are, especially when you are working with the right people. They always say to surround yourself with positivity and people who push themselves to get to where they want to be and I honestly think that is an environment I need to be in more. It's hard for me to be that lone wolf who does everything on his own, but it is so much easier to rely on myself than it is to rely on other people.

One huge problem I have been facing lately is due to the amount of content I have been creating. I set such high standards for myself that a lot of the content I shoot is just overlooked because to me, it isn't good enough to do anything with. I see that this is a good thing and a bad thing because it pushes me to strive for perfection, but at the same time it hurts because some of the stuff I am doing is really great and yet, I can't seem to understand why I don't think it is. Maybe this is some sort of a phase I'm stuck in, I think I need to continue to move on with my life, move out from home and actually live on my own and do things that I want to do. There are so many influences out there that push me to keep up with my work and there are also a lot of people who look up to me for what I do. I want to find a balance between those two things and create content for myself while also being able to meet up with others and collaborate with them.

As each week goes by, I learn something new. This week I learned a little more about people, emotions and stress as I face each one day after day. I may sound like a miserable depressed man, but I am not. I take all of these experiences and I learn from them which is something that helps me grow. If I want to be successful on my own and run a business that means so much to me, these are all things I will have to be able to deal with. Like any other job out there, there are always obstacles but I personally believe that we are our biggest obstacle. Being able to overcome our fears and push ourselves to do what we really want to do is not easy by any means, but when we are able to push those boundaries, good things come.

I am going to finish up the large amount of work I have and I am going to make time to do some of the shooting I want to do. My biggest thing right now is finding the time to collaborate with other artists or people to create more awesome content for us. I have a lot of new ideas that will take time to create, but if I don't find the time to create them, guess what... I never will :) so I'm not going to make that an excuse.

Keep your eyes open for some more work coming soon. I am looking to play around a bit more with portraits because I find that I can be as creative as I want with them. I am also looking to combine some portrait work with my aerial work to create content that is still fairly new. Exciting stuff! Here are some photos for your eyes now. 

Social Media Rant

I haven't written a blog in a few days, I hate when I get slow at this because I have been trying so hard to keep up with it all and I feel like I fail myself when I don't post things. Anyway, This isn't the standard blog because I have t go off about my generation and the impact Social Media has on it. Before I start, I can understand all sides of it but at the same time, there are a lot of issues that people refuse to address which is why I figure I'll dive right into it.

For my generation, I think it all started years ago when Myspace came out. This was the next best thing in the world and it truly appeared that way. Facebook was next, then Twitter... Now Instagram and even Snapchat. With all of these platforms to keep up with, it almost becomes a full time job staying on top of things or who is doing what. With technology evolving and opportunities arising through every different form of social media, it is almost necessary to keep up with it all. However, I think that this has a very big impact on a lot of us younger people and it is only going to get worse with the generations to come.

Social media is an outlet for people to get to know who we are, or at least who we want people to think we are. This whole concept has been bugging me lately because I see it affect so many people, yet almost all of them refuse to believe it is hurting them in any way. One of my biggest concerns is that people care too much about other people or what other people think about them just through social media alone. We are able to see who likes this picture, who comments on this one, who follows this person... and to make it even better, we have live updates as to when all this is happening. We even have these apps using our location to let people know where we did this or the last place we were doing this. This is the type of stuff that can open up so many trust issues with friends, couples or even clients if we really wanted to get into it.

Some of the people I am referring to have become so involved in social media that they pretty much turn into a spy and stalk what other people are doing. It sounds crazy, but I would have to say that almost 50% of the people I know actually do this. It has become so crazy that it now seems normal and okay to do. The amount of time we spend on our phones is absolutely ridiculous and the amount of times we jump from one platform to the next to see what is new is even worse. I find myself doing this all the time and when I do, it all clicks in my mind. I am just as affected as everyone else, the only difference is that I am willing to admit it and I know that there are times it is hurting me.

When we get this involved/concerned with the lives of other people through social media, it forces us to overthink things and look past the reality of it all. When we stay too focused on how we want to be perceived through social media, it hurts us even more. We are people... no one has it perfect. I don't give a shit if you have 14 million followers and post the coolest pictures of yourself traveling to the most exotic places or working the best job in the world and all of your stories are you living it up, being happy as can be and showing others how perfect your life is. Deep down, or at least in my mind, I know that it is not. It all seems to be an act we put on for others to make it seem like nothing is wrong. Don't get me wrong, we don't have to be depressed and post about it but we do need to understand that regardless of what others show, they are human too and if you have feelings or have ever had feelings for someone else.. You should know that there is a lot more to their life aside from the social media.

Everybody has their struggles but not everybody shows them, not everybody talks about them. Some of the most successful people on social media may seem like they have the perfect life, but they portray themselves in that way to make other people look up to them. We aren't all perfect, in fact, nobody is. This whole game of social media almost each and everyone of us takes part in is becoming unhealthy to our actual relationships with the real people we are. We need to use social media in a way to help us out while at the same time, not letting it take over our lives. I will always remember that there are real people sitting behind their phones, tablets and computers. People with real thoughts, real feelings and real emotions. No matter how glamorous you want to make your life look, I know that there is a real person behind that little screen we view all this social media on. 

For me, social media has allowed me to connect with several people. Friends, artists, models, accounts that feature people doing things they love and even work. When I use social media, I try to be honest about my life. I may have some really great photos, but behind each photo, there is a story, there is meaning, there is a reason why it's there. In my captions I try to write things that are relevant to my life or I try to make them goofy to show that I am not always the most serious person in this world. Life is about doing what you love and as hard as life gets and as many times it can knock us down, we need to get back up and do what is best for us.

It takes me a really long time to write these blogs sometimes. I try to write things that important to me and sometimes struggle to get my point across. Over the past few months, I have definitely been going through a lot and trying to find happiness within myself. I have never been so stressed or bothered by certain things, but through it all, I have learned how to manage and overcome a lot. I always say that I am happy being where I am and that is true. I work as hard as I do and try to understand the things I do to better myself because I know that it will help make me a better person. I hope that my words can also help others overcome some of the problems they have as they can see that I go through all of these problems myself, and have still gotten to the point I am today. Nothing comes easy in life and it is good to see that there are people out there who are honest and there to help others.

Aerials After Aerials

This entire summer has been one huge ride for me. I have shifted my focus towards creating better work and strive to keep doing so whenever I find free time. With all the work I've been doing lately, it has been very tough to get out there and create but everyday I try to find new places to go to create new work. Even after a long day of work and about 5 hours in the car driving from job to job, I find myself getting in my car again to drive another  50 miles out to a location I'm interested in shooting. Though it can take a while to drive to these spots, there is something about being out there alone and photographing them with my drone that is so peaceful. It is a feeling I can't really describe.

If you have read about my Island Series below, you can get a sense of reason behind some of my images. As I move forward and continue to do more work, I am looking to maybe start another series of some kind. I'd like to finish my islands but I think I am out of houses until I can travel a lot further away to shoot more. In the meantime, I can share ones without houses, but I am doing my best to keep all of these images consistent so that they can relate to each other. I think next up will be a series that has to do with texture, I have always been interested in seeing such abstract things from the sky because on the ground, you would never be able to see it in that way. I guess I will have to start thinking about a name for that as I go out to find more and more places where I think there would be good texture.

One thing I need in my photos is my own approval. That isn't always easy to get from myself. There are times I'll go out to shoot and come home with some awesome photos, but sometimes they aren't awesome enough for me to share. Posting almost everyday on Instagram has been a big challenge because it forces me to let go of that and understand that a lot of what I am creating is pretty solid. For me, I just always want to do better and get better so even an amazing photo is something I tend to look right past. Here are a few more images from the past week or two and keep those eyes open for some good ones this week ;)

It's August Already?

I moved back home in June 2017 and cannot believe how fast the time has gone by. Today it is August 2nd but where the hell did those two months go? I have been working so much day after day that it scares me when people say they are bored. I used to have that problem not too long ago but I feel like now I always have something to work on. It begins to get hard to find the time for certain things. This summer we have done just about three big commercial jobs with Simply Visual Productions and though it may not sound like a lot, it really is a good amount of work to handle. I am very excited to release these projects and show what we have been up to outside of our daily real estate work. I am hoping that these jobs will land us more in the future and people will begin to realize why we are different from other companies out there.

Having my own business is tough for sure, I still have so much to learn and do to get where I want. Slowly but surely, Vin and I are making our way there and continue to get more and more work that we want to be doing. Though the stress can be crazy, at the end of the day, it is worth it to know we are on the right path to building a life and company we both enjoy. One day Simply Visual Productions will be a lot bigger than it is now but it will need some time to get there.

With the summer coming close to an end and fall approaching, I just booked a trip to Oregon with my good friend Tom. Tom and I have been working together for a few years now and have really gotten into this whole drone thing. Both of us look to excel and create better work for ourselves in order to take it to the next level. We are trying to work on the dual operator capabilities that the inspire 2 has in order to create work a single pilot cannot. We have plenty more practice to get, but the more time we put in, the  better we will get and the more potential we will have a ways down the road.

After a summer full of work, stress and drama, I think this trip to Oregon is going to be one of the best trips yet. It has always been a goal of mine to travel more and finally things are starting to work out for me where I have the option to be able to do that. I hope that one day work will take me around the country and around the world, but in the time being, while I am young, I would like to see, experience and document as much as I can. It is nice to surround myself with people who encourage me to do what I do and also appreciate the same things I do. Traveling can be awesome when you are with the right people.

In the time that I don't spend actually traveling, I am looking for more and more places I can shoot that are within a driving distance from me. Call me crazy, but even after working all day and driving from job to job, I will still drive an hour or so away to shoot something if I think it is going to be worth it to me. This summer I have created some of my best aerial work yet and look to keep up with it. It has been a rough summer with all that is going on but it is certainly a summer I will not forget. Here are some straight down, industrial type shots with cool patterns and colors and light I have been messing with. I wont go too into depth but I love shooting straight down and seeing these almost perfect lines and shapes, I feel sometimes we take things for-granted seeing it the way we do from the ground all the time. Having a drone and shooting from the sky has changed my perspective on a lot of things, even the ugliest places can be so beautiful.

Where Writing Led Me

When I first started my site, I didn't even want to have a blog section. I thought it was stupid and people wouldn't care about what I had to say. I was also afraid of being judged or knowing that other people may think of me a certain way or make fun of me for writing. Screw those people. I am happy that I was able to overcome those things and become as personal as I am on here because I think it helps show people the true me.

At the least, I hope what I do encourages others to do what they feel is right. Today, we live in a world where our lives look nothing but glamorous behind the walls of social media. People don't see how others feel, the struggles they go through to get where they are, all they see is the success a person has online. Behind those walls, you will meet real people, people with feelings, thoughts and emotions. You will meet people who are driven to do what they do, people that have gone through their own pain and suffering that want to encourage others to do well. I have started to realize that few people are actually this way because it isn't easy to keep up with or we just don't want to do it. Some of us are busy hiding our thoughts and emotions behind this wall out of fear, but is it really worth it to live in a generation where social media is who you are? Looking back, I know that I was there at one point but I look to get passed it all and be who I really am. Even to all the people who know me, I look to be as honest and helpful as I can because that I know, goes a long way.

Through all of the writing I have done on my personal blog and for Fstoppers, not only have I gotten better at writing/expressing my thoughts and ideas, but just recently I was contacted by a company I have been trying to get in touch with for so long. After reaching out several times and never hearing back from anyone, I woke up one morning to an email from someone on DJI's Marketing team. I am honored to now be a Content Partner with DJI, my favorite company by far because of the work I do with their products. It took a long time for me to get to this point but I am so happy to be able to work with such an amazing company. This is only something that is going to drive me to push my work further and further. 

This past year has been one hell of a ride for me and I am happy to be where I am today. I have been working as hard as I can to do some of the things I have done and have to thank all of the people who have been there to support me. When I graduated college, I wasn't sure where I was headed or what I wanted to do with my life but now that has cleared up a little bit as I find myself doing work that I really enjoy. From here, I want to get better with my aerial work and pave a road for the future where I can travel and work with clients who have a similar artistic vision to me. I know patience is key and that I have a while to go before I get exactly where I want to be. With time, practice, more work and expirience, I hope to get there when I can. Here is some work I have done in the past week or so, just trying new things/learning more about my equipment.

Island Series

After writing my last article on Fstoppers, I wanted to go a bit more into depth on why I began this series. I have tried a series like this before, one being the sandbox series but that was almost like a dry run for the one that I am working on now. I didn't feel any sort of personal connection to the sandbox series which was something that kind of slowed me down from continuing it. So here, I will be as real as possible and explain my reason for the Island Series.

My Island Series has to do with the sense of loneliness. For the past few months I have been bouncing in and out of a relationship that I have really wanted to keep. Spending so much time with one person can be such a great thing, especially when the connection is so strong. We spent so much time together, talked every single day and enjoyed every second we spent with one another no matter what we were doing. Somewhere along the way, it seems like the connection fell apart. It's happened multiple times over the months but we always end up coming back to each other. Whenever we separate, the feelings come with it whether choose to show them or not. I never realized how painful this stuff could get, but it sure has affected me more than I thought it would.

On top of the relationship trouble, I have been getting hit with a ton of work. Last year I started my own business with a good friend of mine and slowly but surely, we are growing to where we want to be. Over the past few months, my business has landed some big jobs and on top of those big jobs comes all of the scheduling, traveling, planning, shooting, editing, answering emails/phone calls, dealing with clients and so on. It may sound like I'm complaining but I'm not, it has just taken a bit of time to get used to dealing with everything that comes with running my own business. To all my friends, having your own business seems like a breeze but I can tell you that it has been one of the hardest things I have yet done while also being one of the most rewarding and stressful things as well. I have to say that I am proud of myself to getting where I am today but sure has taken a lot of hard work. I have made so many sacrifices, stopped hanging out with people who hold me back, stopped going out as much as I used to and through it all, I have become more mature. All this to focus on creating something for myself and my clients. Through this whole process, I have also felt like I am one of the only people I know who is willing to do the things I do and take the risks I take. I am so invested in what I do and I love it so much that there is no turning back. Again, I have felt pretty alone here too, but I know that all this hard work will pay off, I just have to keep at it.

In the midst of it all, as I try to deal with all the emotions, business and goals I have for myself, I came up with the idea to start the Island Series. I wanted this series to relate to my personal struggles while also being very captivating for other people. Each photo is an Island on a lake, with a home on it, sitting all by itself. There is something about this that stood out to me. There are feelings these images evoked. Who lives on these Islands? These little get aways... Everything about them just seems so peaceful. Are these people alone? Do they share these with their families or significant others? It is just so interesting to see these Islands on their own; each one so different, reminding me personally of the place I am in right now. Maybe I'm not like the others, I see what I want and do everything I can to go after it and I will continue to do that until I am where I want to be.

When most people look at a series, they just look at the photos. People who are interested will look into the meaning behind the photos and how they all relate to one another. As I am in the process of creating this series, I am trying to come up with short captions that convey a sense of isolation from the busy world we live in. Like most of my work, I like to keep things simple and this series is as simple and straight forward as it can be. Photographing this series has been the highlight of my summer so far and just being at these lakes and flying is so peaceful. From this, I have inspired myself to continue shooting and creating this series because of how interesting and amazing the process has been so far. I look to continue photographing and hope to come up with at least 9-15 final images. For now, the photos I share are just samples of what I have so far. 

Coffee & Thoughts

My mornings feel like they have been thrown off a little cause my coffee maker at home doesn't want to work anymore. I feel like writing and having a coffee is usually a little more enjoyable but anyway, after running out to grab some, I am here to write about a few things I've had on my mind recently. First thing I'd like to say is thank you to everyone who has supported me and the work I do, it really means a lot to me. This past week alone I have been featured on three different Drone Instagram accounts from a photo I took in Wildwood NJ on the 4th of July. It has always been a goal of mine to be featured, and I have before, just not on three different pages day after day. I aways told myself that if I could take a photo good enough, it will spread to all these big accounts and a lot of people would see it and hopefully be inspired by it. It turns out that was the case and I am going to try even harder now to keep up creating content that I myself can enjoy and thousands of others can be inspired by.

After flying for about two years now and having such a huge interest in drones and aerial photography/videography, I myself have been inspired by some of the best or most popular/featured drone people online. Everyday I would see these awesome photos, I would follow these guys and look forward to seeing more of their work. I would tell myself that I need to go out there and start capturing amazing images like the ones I was seeing day after day. This is when things began to pick up for me, I never had such an interest in doing something and this was just last year. Today, I have far better equipment and way more of a drive to go out and achieve goals I have set.

Since I've been home for the summer, I noticed it isn't hard to be lazy and make excuses to not do things. However, there is a way to turn that around and it is simply by realizing that I am making excuses and complaining about things I shouldn't be. As soon as I took this step, it brought me right back to reality and made me want to work harder than I ever have. Because of that, I have literally never been so busy, never gone after so many things. I am landing jobs with big commercial companies, shooting multi-million dollar homes every week and making some of the best content I ever have just for myself on the side. I realized that fear plays a big factor in life, not only in mine, but many other peoples as well. It's not easy to take risks and do things that I feel are right, but I do them anyway. I do them because I know if what I'm going after goes right, things will click and everything will take off from there. There comes a time where you need to stop listening to other people, stop relying on other people and start worrying about what you yourself can do. You need to know yourself, know what you are capable of and use that right there to push yourself forward. It is not going to be easy to do, in fact, I feel like it is a lot more work than most people can handle but if you have a dream, chase it. Don't let the excuses you make for yourself stand in the way.

Speaking about excuses, we also have to overcome obstacles in life. I haven't been the happiest of people lately myself with all of these thought and things I want to do. I feel like I've been a bit down and beat up because of some stirred up emotions and all that nonsense. I am sure you can probably see it reflect in my work but I realize that in times like this, I really, really love the work I create. Every time I go out to shoot, I am alone with my drone just finding some of the most amazing things my eyes have ever seen; things that compare to the images I am inspired by online. When it is just me and my drone, I don't have to worry about anything else, no drama, no feelings, no games... just technical difficulties here and there ;) In the past few weeks, I have been coming up with more and more ideas of work that I'd like to do with my drone. None of it is work work, mostly all stuff I want to shoot myself and everyday I look forward to doing that because in the end, I know that is what will make me happy.

I've never been the type of person to rub what I do in peoples faces and brag about my accomplishments, I feel it is better to stay humble and respect others no matter what they do. I am not perfect by any means but I do strive to encourage people to do what they want with their lives and try to show them that there is nothing stopping them from chasing their dreams. I think from here on out, my goal in life is to continue to create my own work that has meaning to me and inspire others to be themselves and do what is important to them. Sometimes we need to forget about others, forget the opinions, judgement and criticism. Be yourself and don't let anybody stop you.

Time

Last week I turned 23. It's funny to look back and wonder where the time has gone. Five years ago, I was getting ready to go into my first year of college with the idea that I may want to major in psychology... The years flew by, I dropped that, studied photography and design and boom. Today, I have my own business doing something I absolutely love and five years ago, that was not a single thought in my mind. Sitting here now and thinking five years into the future is a thought with endless possibilities. I know that if I believe in myself, anything is possible and all I need to do is push for what I want in life.

Looking back, I realize I didn't really know what I wanted to do, I was too young to think about reality. I didn't know what to do with my time or how to use it in a way that could potentially benefit me later on down the road. It took some time to figure out what I wanted and it wasn't easy getting to where I am now. Through this whole process, I have really matured and not only learned to be myself, but learned to rely on myself as well. There are times to goof around and times to be serious, there are times to have fun and times to focus, and there are times to spend with friends and family and times to spend on work. All of this is valuable to me. Learning to manage my time has been difficult but after thinking about how fast the years have gone by, I think that I need to learn to appreciate "time" more. 

I can say now that I know what I want and I know what I am looking for, it's just a matter of getting there. This summer alone, I have been out as much as possible shooting with my drone, spending time with people who are important to me, and working my ass off to get more clients and work that I want. None of it has been easy and I don't expect any of it to be, but I look forward to keeping up with what I'm doing because I think there's a lot to come from it all.

Tomorrow I will be heading down to Wildwood for the 4th of July with my friend Tom. I never usually have plans or do anything on the 4th, so it was nice to be invited somewhere with someone to do something. Right now, I have a lot in mind and couldn't be more excited to get down there! I'm hoping to gather a little more content to add to my collections and by the end of this month I am planning on launching my first actual Drone Demo Reel. In the mean time.... Wouldn't write a blog this long without photos. Enjoy!

Good Vibes

I feel like every time I write a blog, I tell you all about how busy I am. I've realized that... I am very busy and the work seems to be never ending hahaha. This is not a bad thing, but it sure is important for me to be able to manage my time so that I can get my work done, make time to edit, write and also shoot my own personal content. I've been getting it back together this week and pushing myself to get up early again, I get to the gym around 6am and go home right after that so I can get my day started. I have to say that I feel so much better following this routine rather than going about my days with no schedule or plan of action.

I wanted to talk about my weekend in this post. It seems like every weekend can be the same sort of thing and almost just routine. Last weekend was fathers day and I got to go hangout with my stepdads side of the family and like always, eat some of the best food ever because they are such great cooks. It was that weekend I realized I needed a kick in the ass and after going out and shooting almost everyday the week before, I knew that I needed to keep up with that the following week, even with all of the jobs I had scheduled. Now, I don't work a normal job by any means, and I like that (most of the time lol). So after a day of work and being in the car between 3-5 hours, I would come home, upload, edit, run or whatever I had to do, only to get my stuff packed up and ready to go so I could go out and gather some personal content. I may seem crazy driving up to an hour or more away to photograph a certain place or thing, but to me it is 100% worth it. I always say there is something about flying that I love and it is just something I cannot describe. After I finish shooting, and I usually shoot from 7:30-9:30pm, I head back home to upload those photos and finish up the actual work I had from that day. Maybe some of you would recommend I don't go out and shoot on my own if I feel so busy.... But yeahhhh, no thanks. I will continue to go out and fly and get better and better because I know that is what it is going to take to get to the next level I'd like to be at.

So back to this past weekend and why it was something different. I have been writing for Fstoppers a little over a year now and am one of the youngest guys on the team. Through that entire year, I haven't had the chance to meet any of the other writers because we are spread out all over the world. I love being a part of this community because of all the knowledge that is shared, and all of the connections we have amongst one another. Anyway, Saturday was the first time I got to meet up with one of the writers and together we drafted up an idea for a pretty sweet drone article. Steve Kampff is currently out in NYC all the way from Ireland, shooting some product photography with a company in the city. I knew he has been out here for some time, but it was awesome to actually meet up with one of the other writers and just immediately become friends because of our field. Not to mention, for fun we went out to film a video and then went off to do some more flying near NYC, a bunch of nerds if you ask me haha but I am very glad that this was able to happen and I look forward to meeting up again and even meeting with some other members of the team!

On top of that I returned to a home in Ridgewood, NJ I had shot earlier in the week. Because the weather was so bad that day, I only ended up shooting interiors (which came out awesome) but I had to go back to do the exteriors and aerials. When I went back to the house to shoot it and finished flying the drone and all, the owner of the house Scott seemed to be interested in what kind of other work I did. I began telling him more and more about me and told him about my company when suddenly he tells me that he is a director. It was such a great opportunity to meet someone in that field who was looking to make more connections. I am hoping that I myself and even my company will be able to assist him at some point down the road!

Another long blog for you guys, but who even reads these?! It has been an awesome, very busy past few days and I feel great about everything that has happened. I will be keeping my head up, trying to have the most positive thoughts possible and see where life takes me next. If reading this was too much, here are a few photos from the past week or so!

Understanding

Recently I have been trying to keep my mind off certain things but it can be extremely difficult to do that sometimes. Late at night or randomly during the day, I find myself thinking about the past and how good everything once seemed to be. There just always seems to be something that can trigger a thought or memory in my mind and then I start to get carried away. Everything of course is fine but I am certainly in an odd phase and just need some time to deal with this whole situation. The one thing I can always do to help me out involves my camera, mainly my drone because I am trying to put out more work that has meaning to me. I find that when I go out to fly, my problems disappear and I focus on something extremely valuable to me, photography. I have mapped out several places that I want to travel to and photograph and plan to shoot as much as I possibly can this summer. I think it is great to step away from reality and go out to shoot on my own because it separates me from all the day to day drama and stress. Creating my own imagery is rewarding in the sense that I can practice my flying while having all of the freedom I want shooting. In the end, I come home with photos that have a real value to me. 

Most of these trips/photos I plan all on my own, I travel up to an hour or more away during specific times of the day to get the shots I have in mind. If they do not work out the first time, I always consider what I can do differently so I can return to get the image I want hopefully the second time. Everything from planning the location, time of day, finding a place to park and fly from, choosing lenses and filters to fly with, composing the image, coming back to see if everything is sharp,  narrowing down my choices and finally editing the image/images to look how I pictured it in my mind. A majority of my time is spent out shooting, I tend to get so focused on what I am doing that nothing else seems to exist around me. I almost feel like this is some sort of meditation for me and it is honestly something I cannot get away from. It is nice to have people join me on adventures like these, I love to pass on my knowledge and see others get excited about photos that they are able to create. One of the best things I can do is be here to help out others because I know that to them, that means a lot and if I was ever struggling or had a question, it would be great to have someone help me out. I unfortunately don't always have that option myself which is why I like to be there for others. I've come to realize that it is a lot more rewarding to help out people rather than to always worry about yourself; at least in my case that feels like the right thing to do. So on my journey's moving forward, I would like to hold myself to this blog and continue to challenge myself to go out and shoot.

With time, everything will sort itself out and hopefully everything will turn out to be better than it was before!

Wisconsin: Baileigh Industrial

This was our biggest trip yet and one of the most exciting steps forward for Simply Visual Productions. It was an honor to work with such a large company who was interested in stepping up their social media marketing and allowing us to take full creative control. For two full days, we shot in a warehouse that was rented out specifically for us. Baileigh brought over all of the machinery and had everything ready to go when we arrived on location at 6am to begin shooting both days. We worked till around 9pm the first day and till about 7pm the second day in the warehouse. Though the days were long, we accomplished a lot, filmed plenty of machinery and learned a ton about this equipment that was so foreign to us before hand. The other two days we spent filming some of the equipment in Baileigh's warehouse and finished up the last day shooting some of the building and lifestyle of Baileigh. Now we are left with the hardest part of the job which is to select the clips that will be used (I'm afraid there may be too many good ones).

The best part about this trip was creating a relationship with a new client. Being on set all day for 3-4 days in a row really allowed us all to get to know one another. We met the people who operate the machinery on a daily basis in their own shops, or in this case the "talent" that Baileigh flew out to star in the videos and show how their machinery works. All of the people we met were awesome, smart and extremely talented. It was amazing to gain some knowledge on all this stuff that makes no sense to me. It was funny because when I talk cameras, no one understands a word I say about lenses, bodies, aperture and so on... For once I found myself unable to understand the terms they were using for the machinery and other equipment but thats when I realized how passionate they were about what they do. In the end, we had all come together to create these videos for Baileigh Industrial. At times we hit ultimate levels of stress, but being on set with everyone, we knew that we needed to stay calm and keep everything going. I've never had so much trouble flying my drone, this was my first ever indoor flight. Once I figured everything out, I was finally able to execute some awesome indoor shots that I have to say I feel very accomplished about. 

Overall, I am very proud of the team and all of the people who helped on the other end. If it weren't for everyone there to help, none of this would have been possible. This goes to show that hard work pays off, and if you believe in yourself and know what you are capable of, there is no limit to the work you can do. I hope to be working with Baileigh again in the near future, creating more awesome videos for them to promote themselves and their machinery. In a few weeks I am sure we will be sharing some of this content!