New Direction

Yesterday I drove 850 miles.

On and off, the entire way, I was thinking about this image. I’ve posted this before, but it has taken some time to sink in. You know how things sink in over time? Like gnats buzzing around your head on a camping trip, at first a small annoyance and then at some point they become the entire focus of your existence.

As many of you know, on December 1st I stopped shooting commercially. No mas. No portraits, weddings, magazine work, commercial shoots, etc. I needed a new direction, and so far the grand experiment has been enlightening, making me think I should have done this ten years ago.

However, it’s not enough, just stopping the work for others focusing only on the work for me. Within this shift lies another, smaller, but I’m realizing perhaps more important, micro shift. The direction of the work. And when I say direction I mean the content, the style in which it is created and the method of presentation. Again, this image has been what haunts me.

So over the drive, a drive that started near the ocean and ended in the mountain peaks, I thought only of this photograph. What it means, how it was made, why I made it and how I wanted to share it with those that want to keep it for themselves.

In essence, I had time to isolate myself and think critically about what I was doing with my creative life. You might think this happens all the time, but it doesn’t. In fact, it feels rare. Like many of you, my life is cluttered, cluttered with mostly good things, but cluttered none the less. So when I get a break, like this drive, my mind, like the landscape, opens up. And then it narrows down.

This morning, as I checked my Twitter feed, someone wrote to me and said that my magazine, Manifesto, had changed their photographic life and direction. Now for me, there are few things that could be happier to my ears and eyes. If I can make something that has this effect on someone then I feel I’m doing something right.(Issue #2 on the way)

Over the past few days I’ve been scouring sites about design, something I know little about, but something I feel is opening up another opportunity for me, the opportunity of a new direction. I can’t tell you how good this feels.

Now the challenges still remain. In fact, the challenges of my new life and my new direction are what are so exciting. Every minute of every day my mind races with the possibilities. I feel that this change of professional focus, and micro-direction with the work, are only two of the many changes to come.

As I sit here in the cold, crisp air, my notepad is filled with sketches, dimension and direction. A map lies open with notes around the edges and the future fills my stomach with butterflies.