Mindset of Greatness

I'm usually not the type to follow social media accounts that publish daily inspirational quotes but every so often you'll come across one that's difficult to overlook because in reading every single post you can't help notice how every statements in one way or another seems pertinent to a moment in your life. This particular Instagram account is one of them which I hightly recommend without having to feel guilty of scrolling because this particular type is good for you.

I particularly love this entry: 7 things to change in your life in 2018.

On Athletic Women

 Photographed at Rockaway Beach, New York with Viviana.

Photographed at Rockaway Beach, New York with Viviana.

Thought provoking article that touches on some of the abuse athletic women receive due to their physique. As someone who has delved deeper into the fitness industry here in New York, I can tell you there's no shortage of absolutely fit women who I've photographed and who look absolutely amazing and the reason I believe people have a difficult time embracing a strong woman is because it challenges their assumption of what a woman should be like.

We should all start thinking differently about women with muscle. I love the fact that I've met women who can squat far heavier than I can because it reinvigorates my perspective in believing that my daughter can one day be just as strong, independent and not be preoccupied by people's opinion who don't have the will power to put in half the work of what these women are doing day in and day out.

The money quote for me in the article: "My body represents my work and my training. I actually train to improve my performance and not to have a good body, but one thing naturally leads to the other."

I personally wish the piece had been longer and I'm curious as to whether there's a documentary surround the topic.

Swipeable Panos on Instagram

I’ve received a few DM’s recently with people asking how exactly do I go about publishing swipeable panoramas on Instagram. I’m sure there’s numerous ways to do it but I’l give you a quick rundown on my process.

Panorama created in Photoshop and cropped with Swipe Left app in iOS.

Applications used:

Photoshop: I create the desired panorama within Photoshop first. How I layout each photos is a matter of experimentation but once I’ve settled on a desired look, I export the panorama to the desktop and subsequently AirDrop it to my iPhone. Because I experiment a lot with photo layouts, I’ve amassed a handful Photoshop templates which I alternate with depending on how I envisioned a specific series of photos to look like.

Swipe Left: Once the final photo is loaded on my iPhone, I import it into an app called Swipe Left. The app enables you to crop panoramas into multiple photos which you can then load individually via the Multiple Photo option on Instagram. In the end you’re left with one seamless cohesive piece when published.

For this particular shoot, I got commissioned to document a one-of-a-kind experience on the amazing rooftop of The William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn as part of their #SummerSweatSesh. A pure hi-energy class with the one and only Charlee Atkins in partnership with Drink Body Armor and Well+Good.

How I Made "I Like Me Better"

On any given day regardless of the time, you're likely to come across my daughter seeking for anyone to become her audience. She loves to dance and often times not just alongside the music but with actual video to the song as well.

One of her favorites is Lauv's "I Like Me Better" and so one day as she had me searching for it on YouTube on the iPad, I randomly came across a short video shared by Lauv himself describing how he composed this song which I practically know by heart thanks to my 4-year old daughter. His entire process is fascinating. No fancy booth, no fancy studio, just a highly creative guy utilizing his iPhone and talent to create the hit that we know today.

It's not often that I see videos giving us glimpse of musicians in that state of flow creating work. We all appreciate a finished product but you're likely to appreciate it more when you see the steps it took to compose it. Being able to share more of my thought process behind shoots is a detail I'm looking to improve on simply because I know how secretive we creative tend to be as if we'll lose value by teaching others.

Jason Lanier Talks

It doesn’t matter how good you are if nobody knows it.

During that time when I was switching from Canon to Sony, I scoured videos on YouTube variously to find people who were sharing at the time their experiences on having made the switch themselves or even those who were contemplating it. Within that mix of videos I stumbled upon Jason Lanier. Coincidently he was one of many who found himself in that transition phase and since then, I've found so many of his talks enlightening, raw and necessary, especially for somone like myself who's still attempting to figure out the business side of photography.

I'll be honest, I'm not particularly a fan of his work. To me, it's all over the place but that doesn't disqualify him from being a photographer who I can still draw encouragement from. Jason is very forthright with his feedback on what he sees in the industry which anyone else would probably be too timid to share because sometimes reality stings.

Either way, I highly encourage you to listen to his talks because they're likely to jostle your perspective on matters of photography that you've been struggling with. In my case, marketing myself and not giving into the illusion that photography is all about just snapping away.

No Passport Required

There will forever be a void left behind by Anthony Bourdain's passing. There's no denying that. The most we can hope for from a standpoint on what Bourdain showcased which involved the perfect fusion between delicious local food and the people who proudly made it sprinkled with their world perspective, is that someone else at least continues to share stories from people who are not always necessarily seeking the attention. Stories from people who continue to grind it out and consistently and receive support from the cultural community that fuels them.

I became more aware of who Marcus Samuelsson is through Bourdain, specifically the episode on Parts Unknown where Bourdain traveled to Ethiopia with Samuelsson and his wife Maya, to the towns they were born. There's not better way to become aware of a place and it's customs than from someone who's lived it. I highly recommend that episode!

To my surprise, Marcus Samuelsson has come out with a show of his own titled No Passport Required. It's difficult to see the show and not see where the inspiration for a show like this came from which I love because it almost feels like it's picking up a torch that needs to be carried, especially because it feels as if it's a show which America needs right now.

I'm a little biased towards the Queens, New York episode because it's the borough we live in. Samuelsson navigates through the community of Richmond Hill to learn more about the community and sample some of it's Guyanese cuisine. We're literally 20 minutes away from that part of Queens and I can't wait to report back and experience a culture which I've always seen from afar but never really took the time to explore until now.