A Mobile Phone Contract for a Son

Cameron Moll’s oldest son just turned 14 and like any rational teenager, he’s been asking for a mobile phone. After much consideration, the parents eventually fulfilled his request but not without first presenting him with a contract for him to abide by all of which to me sounds more than reasonable.

Out of the 15 rules, the following 3 stuck out for me the most:

Financial Reality of a Career in Art in NYC

Whether we like it or not, money is very often the measuring stick of society and because we don’t necessarily want to feel short, talking about it fits right into that much-avoided bucket of difficult conversations to have. It’s a loaded conversation for sure and more so if you’re an artist. Add to that the fact that you find yourself living in New York and the whole vista changes.

There’s multiple reasons to avoid a chat around money but I can assure you everyone feels the same way unless you’re obviously Floyd Mayweather or some other a$$ who believes flaunting it is more priceless than doing something more valuable with it. Either way, you would think this similarity we share would empower us more to have an open dialogue but that’s generally not the case.

Like Erica said, “money is hard to talk about because everyone thinks that everybody else has more of it,” especially now in a world where “you can’t see beyond the filters”, which is why I found it completely fascinating to read this financed-focus series by the folks at i-D where they “rounded up five young creatives in the fashion industry and asked them to get real about money.”

What you read will either shock you or inspire you but hopefully not deflate you from pursuing what you love irrespective of any initial struggles!

Onboard Royal Caribbean

For the time being, especially with the kids, cruise vacations have certainly turned out to be a very cost-effective way us to indulge in the ultimate relaxation paradise that doesn’t involve cooking, cleaning, dealing with public transpiration but instead focused on great food, entertainment, enchanting destinations, worldly conversations with crew members, comfy accommodations all packaged and promised to delivered one heck of an experience.

I’m well aware that cruising is very often frowned upon within the travel community on the basis that vacationing in such a way may not necessarily allow you to fully immerse yourself within the culture of the countries you would be visiting but like anything else, you get what you put into it.

There’s a quota of people who never step foot off the ship and simultaneously could care less on what the local beer or typical Haitian dish in Labadee may be, but if you’re the group that does care, you would do anything to sift through the commercialized goods easily available in exchange for the culturally enlightening stuff that’s likely to convince you to come back on your own.

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Here’s photographs taken on board Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas on the days that we remained at sea as we took a break from long yet exhilarating days at the port of calls.

A couples a quick pointers when it comes to cruising:

  • Always books in advance. We booked this trip 7 months before the scheduled departure date and there's always promotions going on building up to the date. We managed to snag a great price where both kid's ticket was free.
  • Realize you won't necessarily have enough time to do everything you would possibly like at each port of call but you'll at least get a taste and idea of each place has to offer where perhaps you can book a trip in the near future specific to that island.
  • I have one Carnival credit card and a Royal Caribbean all of which I always keep at zero balance which I use to make any purchases related to a cruise trip in order to build up points and get free credit onboard.
  • Once you're onboard the ship and with all the ammenites available, it's very easy to fall into the trap believing everything you can possibly want is already around you, so there's people who never leave the ship but I can't image what the allure would be in saying you've visited Bonaire when you've never even bother disembarking the cruise ship. Get out there and explore!

Inside Brad Pitt’s GQ Style Cover Shoot

Everyone has their individualized reason for loving Brad Pitt. I’m sure you have yours or not, but regardless, I can’t ever recall a moment reading of anyone who’s expressed the opposite of admiration towards the guy. I’ve enjoyed a few films here and there, and while I may not necessary categorized myself as a fan, I have to admit it was riveting to read this candid story that’s been circulating, where he speaks for the first time about his divorce with Angelina Jolie. Yes, his personal life is his business and I absolutely respect people’s privacy, but more than anything, I was more drawn to the accompanying photographs to the story.

There’s so candid, so liberating, so unlike any setting in which I’ve ever seen Brad Pitt photographed in. I definitely encourage you to read the full interview with GQ Style Magazine but I equally encourage you to give Will Welch’s write-up a read as well where he gives you a BTS glimpse of the entire shoot.

Boathouse Adventures

On the last 2 occasions Elise and I have worked together, we were confined to the space we photographed in based off how incredibly cold it was to even consider having her out going through the motion attempting to portray how warm the weather might have been when it really wasn’t. Instead, we worked with what we had while keeping each other optimistic about how much fun we would have outdoors once the weather began shifting more into Spring.

In the process, since the demand for video content is growing by leaps and bounds, I managed to capture a few video clips while Elise and I shot with the intent to provide you with a glimpse of what the photo shoot was like simply because I’m very often curious myself when it comes to other photographers being on set.

8 Steps to Shooting Cinematic with Your iPhone

Typically anyone will tell you that the iPhone in your pocket is a sufficient enough device to go out there and explore a deep interest of yours and create something magical with it. It’s certainly been the case for me on a daily basis but as my interest with utilizing video has deepen, I realize that just pressing record may not be enough, especially when you’re hoping to achieve that indispensable cinematic feel to your videos.

Luckily there’s no shortage of videos on YouTube briefing you on how exactly one can achieve this polish look we all want but I personally found this one from Park Walbeck the most informative, as it pertains to all the technical aspects as far as setting up your iPhone for optimal performance when using Filmic Pro app which I had never considered.

I already own a stabilizer for my iPhone and I went ahead and purchased Filmic Pro app which really seems to be the most highly recommended for those who take their video creating passion seriously with their iPhone. In the end, who cares what you’re using as long as the story of what you’re conveying is compelling enough to resonated with anyone.

Tips for When You Feel Inadequate as a Photographer

Here’s what nobody tells you; feeling down about yourself, your work is an integral part of the creative process.

Well, that’s for sure! Typically, during those initial creative stages, we’re very quick to get caught up on this high of wanting to own the latest of everything with the notion that these “things” will guide us much farther in producing our greatest work. While that may potentially be the case, I must admit that for your sanity and mine, it’s in our best interest to be much more inquisitive about what the life of the people you admire is really like during those moments when it’s not super polished the way you see it on it social media.

I lost count of the amount of times I went through severe low self-esteem when it came to my work. I disliked it and regardless of what physical or mental angle I attempted to approach it, the ultimate sentiment remained the same…”I hated it.” The assessment might have been a bit harsh but at least I eventually understood that those feelings of inadequacy are completely normal as a photographer. The issue was that no one ever briefed me on it and then again I never asked about the questions that mattered.

Anna Bouma

Literally the day before heading out on vacation with the family, I met up with Anna at a yet another newly discovered coffee shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn called Butler Bakeshop. The space is absolutely stunning and to me, it fulfills every attribute you can possibly think of that would make a coffee shop a success regardless of how saturated you may think a neighborhood may be with them. This impromptu outing also gave me the opportunity to test out the newly purchase Instax Mini 90 I snagged to take with me on vacation which practically ended up being free after having amassed a good amount of Amazon giftcards.