Spring is Coming

These past few months have been so crazy for me as I'm sure you can tell if you've been reading any of these other posts. I was going through some of these last night to see what I've been writing about and I realize that I have been pretty blunt on here. I might even be too blunt but oh well, I don't think it's a bad thing to share some of my thoughts. 

I never in a million years would have thought that photography would stress me out. Surprisingly, it isn't even the photography side of things that stresses me out, its the business side of it all. There are so many people that appreciate what I do and so many people that don't. I've been stressed because when it comes to doing photography for work, I feel like people don't actually understand what we put into it all. So I guess I'll just have to start showing everyone what we do by putting out more content. This year we are going to take it to the next level, start working together and form an actual production team. That is something I am actually excited for whether people understand or not.

Over the past few weeks, we have been training someone new to pull onto our team. It is exciting to teach all the stuff we know to someone else and watch them learn and be so proud of what they are doing. It is a great feeling to pass on knowledge and help others and I am happy that we are able to take this step and bring someone new on board. With work slowly picking up, we are getting ready to be slammed and looking forward to some big things.

Aside from work, I am going to be trying a lot harder to put out more content again and share it via Instagram. It is so sad that there are not many ways to share your work and get it out there unless you are using your technology 15 hours a day. Honestly, it is so crazy how much time I spend on my phone sharing this stuff and interacting with other people. There comes a point in time where I find myself going crazy and I just want to put my phone down for a while and not worry about it. It sucks to say that I cant do that because my phone is essentially my job and all of my work comes through it. Welcome to 2018 right? Might as well embrace it and learn to deal with it because it doesn't seem like anything is going to change soon. The best thing to do is adapt to everything that is going on and learn to work with all the technology rather than despise it. I am trying my hardest to do that but damn is it hard! Anyway, quick little post here and some photos from the past few weeks to ease that mind. I'll be putting out more soon enough.

A Break from Social Media

It was a long time coming. I have been trying to grow my account for so long now and it is a lot harder than I had ever imagined. Last year, I did not post too frequently until one day my buddy John came up to me and said that I should be posting more because I have so much content and that all I was doing was making excuses. I'll be honest, that comment stuck with me for quite some time. It was like a kick in the ass, a wake up call to create, a realization that I actually did have plenty to share.

This past summer, I was going through a rough patch and I looked at photography as a cure for it all. Even after long days of work or days where I was questioning what I was doing with my life, I knew that I could always go out and fly to take my mind off of reality. It helped, it helped a lot. I was constantly out creating day after day. My eye for aerials slowly seemed to improve the more I shot and my editing also got better and better. For me, it wasn't just about going somewhere to shoot, it was about finding something that would look awesome from the sky. I invested hours into finding new locations, driving to them and editing the photos I got from them all.

Social Media was by far my best outlet for sharing this stuff. Finally, I was beginning to get the attention I wanted on social media as an aerial photographer. I was getting featured on a few larger accounts, linking up with other photographers and just enjoying the good side of it all. Behind the scenes was kinda where everything fell off though. After months of posting every single day, winter finally came. Work has been slow and things are a bit ugly from above. It's cold, harder to find places to shoot and eventually all this caught up to me. I needed to just take a break from all the posting and consistent sharing. 

I felt like I was forcing myself to go out and create all this work and I don't like that feeling unless I am happy doing it. I am usually super picky with what I choose to post too but in this case, it was more than that. I just felt trapped in a world of social media where things felt fake. This past week or so, I have been very inactive all around and I have to be honest, I think it was a much needed break for me to take. I won't get too deep into the details but I will say that I am going to keep it slow for a while and instead of posting everyday, I will be posting 3-4 times a week.

Now is my time to come back and try to grow my accounts more. From it all, I am not hoping for money or fame, but I am looking to develop a relationship with DJI and Sony so that everything I shoot represents their brand. Essentially, one of my biggest goals would be to become a brand ambassador for both of those companies. It may not come soon, but I will work pretty damn hard to get there. So back to work, back to flying and back to creating and hopefully inspiring many others to do the same :)

Life...

Life can just be so crazy. I can't seem to understand anything anymore. A few days ago, I was in a great mood because Vin and I loaded up our schedule with work and finally created a real estate package that we are happy going out to do together. Together as a company, as Simply Visual Productions. This was a huge step for us.... Until the other morning. 

After completing all the contracts and packing the car to head up north, the realtor calls and tells us they want to hold off on the video because of the weather. Understandable. Now luckily we didn't drive too far because that would have made it a bit worse, but to top it off, we call her to reschedule and realize there was actually an issue with the pricing agreement. Working with another company can be such a challenging thing, especially when it comes to valuing the work that is being done. I will explain exactly what went on here and I will also hope my clients read this at some point because maybe they should hear the dead honest truth from somebody who's been doing this for a while and actually cares about it.

Begin Rant. If you are a real estate agent listing a luxury property.... WHY DON'T YOU MARKET YOUR HOME CORRECTLY?? I have been shooting real estate for two years and I will tell you that when I first started I was not too good at it. I wasn't very good at photography in general. As time went on, my passion for it grew and I fell in love with what I was able to do with the camera. Because of that, I worked harder and harder to create better work. I have continuously been upgrading my gear and working as hard as I can to get better at what I do for the sake of myself and my business. 

Today, I realize that I have hit a wall. I am at a point where giving up would feel so right. I deal with people who don't understand the value of my work on a daily basis. People that are cheap and not willing to pay for better quality, a better skill set.. When I work with these real estate agents, I can tell that some of them care about their listings and want to do things other people aren't doing to market their homes. I know that they know photos are essential and I also know that video is a newer thing for them to understand. However, the part that I cannot understand is how they can claim they are marketing a luxury home when literally the only thing they are concerned about cost. My question is, does good work come at a low cost?

Taking photos and videos is easy though. I don't have to do anything but push a button. My drone fly's itself, my photos and videos look the way they do straight out of camera. My gear is cheap, my computers do all of my writing and editing, my car drives itself and I.... I'm just a fucking object. 

I decided to create my own business for a reason. I don't want this to seem like it's coming off in the wrong way, so I will start by saying that I respect everybody who is happy doing what they do. If you are a garbage man and you love it, I am happy for you. If you are a singer and you struggle to make ends meet but you love what you do because you know you'll make it... I respect you for that. If you are an accountant who works in a cubicle all day and you have a family but you are 100% happy with your job...I respect that too. However, for me personally, I don't want to do what a majority of people do after college. I don't want a 9-5 job, I don't want to work for somebody else. I don't feel like that is something I would be able to do, it just isn't for me.

I want to be me. I want to create. I want to build something of my own. I want to work with people who fucking care about things, people who have a passion to do what they do. I want to work with people who respect me and respect my work. I want to work with people who share a love for what they do.

All that being said, being cheap wont get you far. I put a lot of time and effort into the things I do and when people don't understand that my pricing is set that way for a reason... for me to live, eat, put a roof over my head, pay my bills and actually be a part of society like everybody else, I don't want anything to do with them. I can reason with you to an extent but there comes a time where some people cross the line and I lose a lot of respect for them. End Rant.

How did I get to the point I'm at today? Why has my work gotten to the level it's at? Some people really wonder. I can't actually explain it, but I can tell you that I have been working my ass off for a very long time now. I am good at flying my drone cause I have logged over 500 flights. I fly almost every single day, I travel all over NJ to shoot things that I think would look interesting from the sky. I take good portraits because I reach out to people to shoot with them and create images that we can both enjoy. I spend a lot of money on my car and gas because that is how I get around and get the practice in that I need to be on the level I'm at.

I'm not happy where I am at. I am content. I don't want to be content, I want to strive to do better. I know a lot of people really like what I do, I like what I do but I know that there is another level to it. A level that I want to get to and a level that I would actually genuinely be happy at. I've learned a lot over the past few years. Today was a day to absorb all that I have done and realize that I have much more potential than I myself even think I have. From here on out, I am done with the bullshit and ready for bigger things. I am going to work harder, stop dealing with people and things that hold me back and I am going to grow this business I have created and turn it into something I can look back on and say, "I am so fucking happy I stuck to what I wanted to be doing rather then settling where I was."

A long blog for all you readers out there but tonight I hit a level of stress that I felt I needed to write about. No pictures in this one but more to come when I can get my mind back into a better place.

Winter

I'll keep this one short and simple. I have mixed feelings about the winter and all this snow. The past couple of weeks have been freezing cold for us here in New Jersey with temperatures in the low teens. About a week back I took a trip to Vermont with my buddy, Tom Harmon, and that was even worse! I woke up one morning to look out the window and it was covered in ice. I then proceed to flip the apple watch over and see that it was -10 degrees.... Crazy.

So the snow seems like it would be great to work with. Everything covered in white and from the sky things just look like a winter wonderland. Well... that is the case, at least for the first few days where you are initially excited to go out and capture all this fresh snow; the new season. After a few weeks, the snow just ends up staying and it gets patchy and dirty and eventually doesn't look too good anymore. It doesn't sit on the tree branches, it reflects shadows very hard and the worst part is, it doesn't melt when it is extremely cold like it has been. I've been trying to revisit some of these islands I shot over the summer and shoot them in the snow but you'd have no idea they are islands because the lakes are completely frozen and covered in snow. It just turns into a blob of endless white. That also doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon and I feel like I am going through a solid amount of withdrawal not being able to shoot things like I normally would.

That being said, I have been able to capture a few neat shots with the snow. I am going to continue to try shooting and making the best of this cold weather. However, I may have to run on reserve for a little while with some of my favorite photos from 2017. Lets see how it goes for a bit and I will see what my mind wants me to do. Here are some winter shots for whoever takes the time to read this shit.

2017 Reflection

I can think back exactly one year ago and remember how I felt at the start of 2017. It was a rough time for me as I was going through some relationship troubles. I had butterflies, things weren't quite right, yet I told myself I would try my best to fix them. Months go by and things were on and off, I was really in love with this girl I had fallen for. Our happy times were truly happy but the hard times were not easy at all. In spite of how I felt at the time, I knew that I could always rely on photography to help me get through it. However, I was going through more than just girl problems, I was going through life problems. I was constantly asking myself what I wanted to be doing with my life and my business. What is the next step? How do I get there? I bought my Inspire 2 at the end of January last year and that has been one of the biggest, most life changing things I have done so far. 2017 was a huge year for me. A year of learning about love, stress, fear, struggle, work, creating... and so much more.

I really find it crazy how fast this year has gone by and it is shocking to look back on it. Last winter felt like it was really just last week, but I am in such a different place now than I was last year. A lot of things seemed to come and gone, and sometimes even just fell into place. Over the summer I was going through a huge downhill slide of emotion because of a girl I was once very close with. Being heartbroken sounds so corny, but in all honesty, it is one thing that can really make you a stronger person. My little heartbreak was actually one of the biggest reasons that I was inspired to create more. It all started with me making a commitment to get better at composing images from the sky and then finding a way to do it more consistently. I haven't been involved with much relationship nonsense since then, but I have taken all that energy and put it directly towards rebuilding myself and focusing on a lot of personal work. I can see now that all the shooting has paid off but I realize that this is the time to start really make something from it all.

As far as accomplishments go for the year, there are quite a few. From getting jobs I never would have imagined with Simply Visual Productions, to moving into my own place with my good friend and business partner, Vin. From going to Oregon with Tom and exploring/droning beautiful new land to collaborating with so many other creatives. From getting new gear like a car, phone, camera and so on, to me just evolving as a person through it all. I have to say I have accomplished a lot this year and I couldn't be happier about that or more thankful for the people who were there to support me along the way. I owe a big thanks to all of my friends and family but I also owe myself a pat on the back for overcoming my fears of failure to get where I am now.

Today, I almost feel like I am a different person and have learned so much from all my mistakes and experiences in 2017. One thing I notice about myself is how serious I take my work because of what it means to me. I am at the point where it is time to let go of the past, use that to push me and move into a new realm of life. A life where I can be happy doing something I love. At the age of 23, I don't think I am doing so bad and I'm sure a lot of people would say or think the same thing. However, I know that I need to do this sooner than later before I get stuck in a place I'm not happy in. I don't want to look back on my life and think, "I wish I did that." I want to do it now, when I can, when it matters. I need to do better work, push myself to create more and put myself in a place where I am truly happy. Talk about getting personal on here huh?

The thing is, I am more confused now about where I want to go and how I want to get there than I have ever been before. That may be the reason for all these weird thoughts and feelings but I am really hoping to make sure I get myself on the right track and take myself to bigger and better places. I want to take my friends and family with me on these journeys, I want to be a better person, someone people can look up to and always reach out to for help or advice. I want to inspire people to do what they love and I think 2018 is the year to really stick to my word. So cheers to the new year and lets start on a positive note :)

First Snow

Last week we had the first snowfall of the winter here in New Jersey and I knew that I couldn't miss out on shooting it. After sitting inside all day working on my business site by the fire, I decided it was time to pack it up and get out there to go shoot a bit. I cleaned off my car, loaded in the gear and headed out to shoot in some snow. I drove to a place about 30 minutes away and camped out in my car waiting for the light to be right so I could get the shot I wanted. I came home, edited the photo and was pretty happy with the result. That image is the first one below, all the way on the top left.

The next morning, I woke up around 6am to get out for a sunrise shoot before all the snow melted off the trees. Here, I started at the Keansburg Pier where I have found myself shooting a lot lately. I find this spot very private and peaceful, there are very little distractions and a few really neat things to shoot. After that, I headed back home, but decided to stop at a nearby lake on the way back. I was able to capture a few more images of what look to be snowy islands. I have to say that making commitments like this are usually always worth it in the end, though waking up early is not really much fun sometimes, I am usually at peace flying and feel a lot better about pretty much everything.

In the end of this all, I was able to get a few winter shots that I really liked and I think it was a great start to the winter season. I am really not a big fan of the cold but I do like the snow when there is enough of it to make everything look pretty. Lately, I have been trying to avoid shooting the patchy snow because I don't think it photographs very well from the sky. That being said, it is always a challenge to create new content but it is never impossible. I look to keep at these little ventures to produce more and more work and I also look to travel a bit more whether that means a few hours of a drive somewhere or flying out and finding some new ground. With 2017 coming to an end quicker than I ever could have imagined, it is time to step up my work and start to take things to the next level. Enjoy some of the wintery photos below!

Learning Phases

It's funny how hard it gets to find time to sit down and write things. Sometimes I think to myself, I'm gonna sit down tomorrow morning and write up my blog for the week. Then all of a sudden, I don't feel like writing the next morning or something else comes up and it just doesn't get done. I also got a cat a few weeks back and she is such a cutie, I love her so much. I find myself doing things for her before myself and realize I am all of a sudden a cat dad. I feed her before I even eat in the mornings, make sure she always has water, clean her litter box, shop for her and all that basic animal stuff. For me it's all new but it definitely adds a layer of responsibility on top of living on my own. In a way, I really like that and it does make me feel pretty responsible for my age.

Just recently, Vin and I experienced a little website turbulence on the business site when we were trying to do our SEO. Right when we both told each other over the summer that we were going to be doing some heavy updates and getting the SEO ready, The site kinda fell apart. Just last week we decided to start the site from scratch and create something more worthwhile to the people who are looking for us. With a solid skeleton site up, we will be updating the site as frequently as possible and getting it to look more aesthetically pleasing than it already is. With that being said, feel free to take a browse at simplyvisualproductions.com

Another thing I notice when I write these blogs is that I feel like I'm writing some sort of holiday card to a grandparent far away letting them know how I've been lol. Like sometimes I wonder who I am actually supposed to be speaking to on here. Anyway, back to the writing... I have been working pretty hard at adjusting to this time change and adapting to the light going down so early in order to keep up with my personal photography. I hit a point where I felt like I was going to fail and almost felt there was nothing left in the area to shoot. There will always be plenty to shoot but it is just a matter of getting out there to shoot it all. I need to start making more time to go out and do this so that I can keep up with my work. I'm not sure if you can see, but I feel like I have been keeping things pretty clean and simple lately. I really like the direction I am headed with my work and look forward to keeping at it. I think that is enough for this post! Next one will cover some stuff about the first snowfall. Photos are below for you all.

Updating

I will start this post saying that my "i" key is not working very well and I have to press it down harder to get it to actually work. Very annoying  -_- but what's life without any trouble?? Good question.

It is Monday morning, 11am and I am desk bound for the day writing articles, blogs and this. I have a few other things to do and some editing to get going on but it is kinda important for me to keep up with this and make sure my site is looking good. I am falling behind in a few sections which is funny cause those are the ones I do for work but also the ones I update the least. I guess you really can tell the drone has taken over my life.

Another exciting thing, I took a shoe box and slapped a comfy piece of cloth in it then put it up on my desk.... Now my cat can sit with me while I'm on my computer :) She's adorable... and I'm a weirdo, but that's alright with me haha.

I've been planning bigger and bigger projects recently as I have mentioned in a few posts before. This weekend I am going to be collaborating with two portrait photographers and a few models in AC. I think taking myself out of my comfort zone will be a good thing for me to do. I need to find more work that I really enjoy doing otherwise I feel like I am forcing myself to create content that doesn't have any meaning to me. I don't like that.

In a recent post on my iPhone Instagram account, I mentioned that I have been really discouraged lately and struggle to like a lot of the work I have been doing. This has been very tough for me because I have set my standards so high for what I expect out of myself and my work. I am getting through that faze now and I am going to work a little harder to create things I truly enjoy. It is so easy to get down on yourself and crumple but it hurts more when you let yourself get stuck there. We can always make excuses but literally... they are the only things that hold you back from really doing what you want.

I will share two articles I just wrote on Fstoppers just going over some real basic things about personal work and social media. I know that I can't be the only one struggling here and there so I may as well share some ways about how I go through it all and just hope if anyone else even reads this, it can help them out too.

https://fstoppers.com/aerial/why-we-sometimes-have-accept-failure-learning-your-mistakes-204414

https://fstoppers.com/apps/insight-instagram-look-how-algorithm-works-205485

This last year has been one of the toughest rides for me yet. Between actual work, personal work, relationships, family and so on, so much has happened, so much has changed and I think it really could all be for the better. Right now, it feels good to be able to support myself at 23 and do what I love. Though I struggle from time to time, it is a part of life and will only teach me more and make me stronger. I can tell you if it weren't for photography.. I would not be where I am today. I am so thankful for all I have done and all I have been through. I Know this is kinda a messy post on my end here, so here are some pictures! Been messing around with composition and lines a lot lately.

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 ;)