Last night as I drove home after a 16 hour day of photographing and being on the road I was suddenly struck by the glaring contrast of where I often work and where I live. From country roads, farms and rural living to the hustle and bustle of NYC and back in a day. It almost feels like I’m living two lives on days like this and as much as I love it, sometimes it’s challenging. The transition from one life to the other can be difficult because of it’s stark differences. I’m required to shift gears from being the slow, easy going country boy to the aggressive driving, fast moving photographer in the same day. I just always remind myself to enjoy every day, regardless of the role I have to play.
Usually, I’ll stay in a hotel near the shoot location, but sometimes the way the schedule lines up it just makes sense to save the client some dough and make the long trek in the same day. And, when it happens like that I don’t mind, because I love coming home. I love driving out of the loud and raucous city and then getting out of my car at the other end to silence. Some people might think I’m crazy for commuting 4.5 hours for one day of work, but I love what I do and get a thrill out of transitioning from one life to the other. That’s why I live where I do and do what I do. I get a little taste of both worlds. And although some days can be extremely long and tiring, I have plenty of days that are filled with gardening, drinking coffee in the fresh morning air and playing with my son to make up for that time spent in the car and in hotels.
From one road to the next. Here’s to enjoying every day.
Clearly I haven’t updated this blog in months. While that saddens me it’s also a good indication of how busy I’ve been, which as it happens is a good thing when it comes to business.
I’ve been enjoying working with clients new and old on a wide variety of projects over the past few months. I’ll be talking about some projects in more depth later, but for now I just want to share an image I like. I like it for two reasons. One, I think it’s interesting. Two, I shot and edited this entirely on my cell phone. This second point is interesting to me because I think it represents the future of photography. Hell, it represents the now of photography.
While I don’t think I’ll be trading in my Canon 5D mark III anytime soon, I have really been enjoying experimenting with my Galaxy S4 phone. It really is a pretty amazing device and some of the images really are quite nice.
I just got back from a personal trip to Jackson Hole, WY and shot everything on my phone and a GoPro. It was fun to use only small cameras and really allowed me to focus on the experience. To keep in line with this mobile trend I’m posting to this blog from my phone for the very first time. I don’t think I’ll do that too often because typing with my thumbs is tedious.
If you want to see more mobile photos of mine follow me on Instagram. My handle is @ryansmithphotog
When I was younger, I remember asking my Dad how he knew how to do so many things. He said, “I don’t know. I just know.”
I’ve thought a lot about that over the years and realized that my Dad is one of the greatest problem solvers I know. He is a mechanic and has a very analytical mind. When presented with any kind of obstacle he diagnoses the problem and then starts to troubleshoot. There are times when he doesn’t know the outcome ahead of time. He figures it out as he goes and comes up with a solution.
Unknowingly, I have always applied that same logic to problems I encounter, whether it be a complex lighting situation or how to make wine. I love to learn about new things and how to do new things. I’m a hands on kind of learner so I usually jump in head first and trouble shoot later. Because after all, you can see how to do anything on YouTube, but you won’t know how to do it until you actually do it.
With that in mind, I don’t want to shoot the same thing all the time. I like diversity and I didn’t become a photographer to shoot widgets. I like new challenges and I like learning to see the world from various perspectives. That’s why I love my job. I get to work with a variety of subjects for a wide array of clients. Here’s just a few of the recent projects I’ve worked on.
This week is special for me. 7 years ago my wife (Larissa) and I took out a loan from the bank in order to pursue a full time photography career. Back then our business plan was very different than it is now and in all honesty, we were a lot dumber. Despite that fact, we have made good on our debt and consistently paid down our loan total for the last 84 consecutive months. Yesterday, we made the very last payment on a debt that has been a huge financial burden for 7 years. The balance is now at $0.00.
Holy shit! Did 7 years really just pass? We have had some good times and some bad times over the last 7 years, but never once did we miss our monthly payment. It blows my mind that even during the worst business months of my life, we somehow found a way to pay back our bank loan. We did so with hard work, willpower, wise financial decisions, great clients and a lot of luck.
Thank you to all of my clients, past and present with whom I have been able to share some great times with. I am ever grateful to do work that I love with other passionate, creative people. Cheers to 7 years!