It’s been years since I’ve planned a trip. I’ve traveled, but always on short notice. It’s been since my honeymoon almost 8 years ago, to be exact. I returned from that three month honeymoon equipped with a sound mind and a plan. I was going to get a real job. A super sweet real job. I would walk into a meeting with Chase Jarvis and I would state my case; that I was the exactly right person to run the back end of his operation and free him up to concentrate on his art. Sure, I’d be expensive and he’d have to commit to a full-time employee with benefits and the whole shooting match, but it would be worth it. He’d have someone he could really trust, day in and day out.
It worked. I got that job. I like to think I kicked ass at that job. For eight years I put my own photographic ambitions on hold. I had seen the side effects of photo assistants and interns trying to concurrently work for photographers and run their own photography careers and have never liked the resulting and inevitable conflict of interest. I decided from the get-go that as long as I was taking a paycheck that said Chase Jarvis Inc. on the top, I’d make that work my only professional ambition. It worked like a charm.
But a couple of years ago, something started to happen.
I got a Canon Powershot G9 and I started taking snapshots in the mountains. I know, a G9 isn’t the biggest or the best camera going, but it was my gateway drug. I could have bought a big SLR camera like the ones I used at work, but I figured that would be crossing the line. That if I had that caliber of gear out with me, I’d have to take my photography seriously, which I was trying to avoid at all costs. But try as I might to avoid it, I started taking pictures that I liked. Even worse, I started taking pictures that other people liked. Uh oh.
I was going out into the wilderness, climbing and skiing mountains, taking and sharing pictures. All of my favorite things combined. OK, I thought, I can make this work. It’s just a weekend thing. Then came the voices. Strangely, Chase’s voice was the loudest, but it was also other creative people who I respect, athletes I follow, inspiring voices from across the human landscape. They were all saying the same thing: do what you love. Don’t worry about the paycheck, don’t worry about your career track, don’t worry about your mortgage. Do what you love and share the results, the rest will take care of itself.
Romantic love aside (all of which is reserved for my wife), my first love was skiing, my second was photography. I’m not really spinning at full speed without the combination of these elements. They’re my medium and my muse. Armed with these tools and a big bag of photo equipment, I’ve taken my last paycheck and taken my first trip; skiing in Alaska with my dear friend as a guide and a helicopter full of close buddies as cohorts. The future is uncertain, but from this vantage, all I can see is blue skies.
Speaking of looking forward, I’m doing a lot of that right now. My fused passions for photography and the mountains have pulled me squarely into their court. It is not without a bitersweet taste in my mouth that I walk away from what can only be considered a dream job at Chase Jarvis Inc. But my hope, my fundamental belief is that my new journey will generate a compounding sense of purpose and accomplishment as I explore my own artistic vision.
I’d like some company along the way, so if you’re willing to stay tuned, I’ll do my best to share the ups and downs that come with taking the big leap. You can find me on Facebook, Google+, 500px and Twitter. Wish me luck!