A Look Back at 2015.

It is time to reflect on the things that happened over the last twelve months. 2015 was an amazing year and last night I was laying in bed at 2am thinking, “what did I accomplish or do to move my life and my career forward?”

Here are some of my ongoing reflection for 2015 and my plans for 2016.

I had the opportunity to photograph some of the world’s largest sporting events and most elite athletes. I made some pretty amazing photographs, but looking back they are just pictures on a screen, in a newspaper, or in a book. They aren’t helping me fulfill my dream to change the world or even to help change the life of a person.

Events and photographs from 2015:

  • Famous Dez Bryant “Catch or No Catch” photo
  • My 5th Super Bowl
  • My 7th Daytona 500
  • Five hours in the Goodyear Blimp
  • Women’s Tennis Association Portraits
  • My 7th Indianapolis 500
  • Three assignments for Sports Illustrated
  • My 4th NASCAR Championship
  • Worked for four Fortune 500 Companies

Clients I worked for 2015:

  • WellTower
  • Home Depot
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Old Dominion University
  • Toledo Museum of Art
  • Sports Illustrated
  • Andersons Inc.
  • NBC Sports
  • Toledo Ballet
  • Toledo Opera
  • Getty Images
  • Miami Hurricanes
  • Wilson Sporting Goods
  • National Football League
  • Wounded Warrior Project

Looking back at that list of clients and events I photographed, it was an amazing year of which I could have never dreamed. Thanks to all of my clients for giving me the opportunity to create amazing content for you in 2015. However, I am not going to get complacent and settle for that, and 2016 is going to be even better. I already have two large projects lined up for which I am extremely excited.

I want to be more than the “oh you’re the sports photographer” guy that people whom I’ve never met think I am. I want to be change and create disruption into an industry where millions of people are carrying cameras in their pockets.

Where my career is headed in 2016:

  • Focus more on producing high quality content for my blog that isn’t just photographs from an assignment. I want to transition the blog into a platform where other photographers can go to get information, ideas, or a little inspiration.
  • Explore, shoot, and share photographs for 365 straight days. There were many times in 2015 when I got stuck in a rut where I just wouldn’t pick up a camera for days. I want to create a new style and create photographs that I enjoy.
  • Collaborate and meet new photographers. There are a lot of great photographers in Toledo and Detroit whom I follow on Instagram, but have never met, and that needs to change.
  • Photograph more people; take a minute to ask if I can shoot their portrait. The world moves so fast, so most people don’t know the story of their local bank teller, mailman, or bartender.
  • Write more thank you notes to clients, old friends, and new friends. The art of the thank you note is going away due to social media.
  • Keep a daily journal writing down my ideas, thoughts, and goals for the day, week and month. I want to be able to look back at a specific day or time and see exactly what I did and thought.
  • Enjoy taking photographs again. When I started as a photographer 8 years ago, I enjoyed every minute of it. But as time went on, it was slowly becoming a job and that shouldn’t be the case. I should be extremely grateful that I get to pick up a camera and capture photographs for a living.

Where my personal life is headed in 2016:

  • Be a better husband to my beautiful, amazing wife Stacy. We are both extremely busy, but we need to make time for each other at the end of the day to decompress and ask each other how everything has been.
  • Spend time with friends. Having such a great group of friends makes life so much more enjoyable, but sometimes you don’t get to see them as often as you would like. So I am going start a monthly dinner group to get friends to see each other more often.
  • Travel to Cuba to see the country before it becomes Americanized with hotels and resorts.
  • Eliminate Facebook from my life. I find myself just endlessly scrolling while standing inline at the store, a red light, or even home seeing the random updates and shared cat videos people post on a daily basis. I don’t need that in my life.
  • Get into a daily routine. In 2015 my life wasn’t the same from day to day. I need to get into a routine of waking up at the same time everyday, writing in a journal, working out, and eating breakfast.

Now let’s kick 2015 to the curb and focus on 2016!