Catalyzing Curiosity

A curious mind begins with the premise that things may not be what they seem on the surface, and that exploring the scaffolding of one’s point of view may help you uncover faulty or beautiful assumptions that aren’t necessarily obvious at first glance.

I lost count of the amount of times I've re-read this quote probably because we do live in a world where the default reaction is to judge and not necessarily take the time to assess situations or people. The quote is from a book I'm currently reading entitled Wisdom at Work: The Making of a Modern Elder by Chip Conley in which he "captures the essence of such an important dynamic in today's working world - how we can be both mentors and mentees...and how those of us who are a bit older can both teach the younger generations some important lessons we have learned through experience...and at the same time be open to what they have to teach us." Highly recommend!

Dare to Bare NYC 2018

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At Dare to Bare, their "mission is to help women build positive body image through fitness. They create health and wellness events, empowering content, and apparel that enable women of every body type to uncover their best selves."

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For the 3rd year in a row, I had the honor to work alongside Movemeant Foundation to sweat it out at Dare to Bare NYC 2018 in Union Square Park. Over 1,000 participants showed up in a big way and raised a whopping $125,000 for Movement's impact programs. "This translates to impacting hundreds of girls all over the country who will now have role models, resources and a myriad of opportunities to connect with their bodies and move like never before."

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I do realize my little girl is only 4 years old at the moment but I'm proud for Movemeant to have established a beautiful foundation which instills "confidence and for young girls to develop healthy habits so they can be successful in their future and fierce in their determination."

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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.