Sunday, August 31, 2008

My New Eyes

I've been wanting to blog something for quite some time about this brave new world. A brave new world that I am bearing witness to that for me is only possible because of My New Eyes. These new eyes were not delivered to me in a glasses case or through any new laser or cataracts surgery. They also were anything earned or deserved but through divine inspiration and intervention. The gift of seeing the world through the eyes of a photographer.

I was blind but now I see seems almost seems like an understatement of sorts. It's as if a shroud was pulled back revealing a world I was familiar with but now had the ability to see all the blessings and little gifts God has placed here for us. Sometimes I want to say to people "Did you see that?", or "Look at the way the sun is bouncing off the...". Or "Wow, did you see the awesome levels of colors in the sky".

In people I now see depth and character. Now it's not that I wasn't paying attention before but I am more interested in and give thanks for the details and the things that make us different and the ultimately the same. God lives in those details, we are ALL created in his image so I guess I am becoming more aware of his depth and love through my experiences behind the lens. He is present in the things we photographers stage and also in those moments we catch that are more real and natural when the world and it's people are at ease.

My New Eyes Have Seen:
* A Fathers Love
* Sky on Fire
* World Wonders
* Men, Women and children of other countries
* An awesome sunset
* The Becoming of Age
* The changing of the seasons
* The Moon watching over us
* The changing of sides between the Moon and Sun
* Those things I call Sneakers yet they are so much more then that

I have Blogged a lot of this and have many pictures still yet to add to my collection. I have captured my Downtown Boyz at their sporting events not in battle with the opposition but with their dreams, capabilities, passions and destiny. It's been a real journey for me and I would imagine any photographer that is interested in more than gain will tell you the same. It's what Ross Knight calls community, etc. It's what a friend of mine called "Love and Friendship On Fire". Whatever the expression or the words we use to describe what we see; it's timeless and truly for all seasons. It can sometimes be overwhelming, breathtaking, incredible, frightening, silly, personal and inspirational all in the same moment. AND it can all change without warning after you press the shutter button. Sometimes it's what happens before you "say cheese" that's most pure.

Everything in this life happens for a reason and I will submit to you that My New Eyes were exactly what I needed for that moment and season of my life. It has given way to my healing and journey towards north. It has allowed me and others to cultivate our seeds of greatness and bless others in the process. There is something for everyone and I needed a set of new eyes in order for me to see what's always been there or "Go Sailing" as Stevie Wonder says in his song by the same name.

As I write this Blog entry I am witnessing a father in the pool with his two sons teaching the youngest, who appears to be about a year old, to swim as the other looks on waiting for Dad as if to say "see what I can do". Watching the different perspectives of Moms and Dads with little ones in the pool is interesting also. This same Dad is like Barack Obama, "Yes We Can" and now here comes Mom in full protect mode to save her baby. Wanna guess who's holding the baby right now?

Or my middle son as he does his impersonation of Michael Phelps doing the butterfly in the Olympics. How about the mother who's teaching her daughter to swim and the way the daughter looks up at the Mom with love and thanksgiving when she realizes that she could do this on her own and wants to do more. What about the kid sister who is waiting for Big Brother to ride her around the pool on his back. Watching this unfold has made me realize that it wasn't about the ride but about spending time with her Big Brother; well maybe it was a little abut the rise as she tries for a "do-over" from Big Bro.

Capturing two kids from different sides of the city, different backgrounds separated my 2-3 years develop a friendship via the power of water, a diving board and who can make the biggest splash. Now they may never see each other again or possibly find they are in the same classroom at school but the moments leading up to their encounter today was priceless.

Like Leslie Nielsen says in his Naked Gun movies "Nothing to see here" was my mantra but news flash, I was wrong. So much to see and capture here behind the lens and Heaven only knows what lies ahead but I am blessed and equipped for the journey ahead with My New Eyes.
P.S. Mom gave Dad another chance with Junior but she's in close proximity :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Tools of Their Trade

Work has kept me pretty busy lately so I am using this weekend to make some much needed posts. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to shoot some Fire Spinning Friends and practice some night shooting. Well the opportunity presented itself again a couple of weeks ago and I wanted to share some additional shots with everyone to show the "Tools of Their Trade".

I continue to be amazed with their talents and they were getting so comfortable with me that they asked me if I wanted to give it a try. Yes, you got it - I chickened out and I plan on continuing my Kentucky Friend Chicken streak with Fire. It's not that I am afraid but just want to make sure I didn't waste any gas given the economy and all - is anyone buying this?

Anyway, here are a several "Tools of Their Trade" that make the pretty lights when ignited. I also included some additional shots from the evening.

Goodness, gracious, great balls of Fire!!!

Obviously this is not Fire but some sort of blue lights in what I'm going to call a very long sock. One of the Wicked Wicks members used this to warm up before picking up the hot stuff!

Group Shot - Wicked Wicks

See the guy in the middle Spitting Fire?!? Wonder what he had for dinner?


A few weeks ago, the downtown boyz and I went to a car show in the local community. It was only because of a trip to McDonalds that we even knew it was going on. I decided to park and check it out and see what I could get in terms of shots.

For me, I could have spent all day shooting at this car show but the nostalgia only lasted about 30 minutes for the downtown boyz; they were ready to go big time. Still got some good shots in, connected with a photographer or two and had some laughs from the antics of a dog who was marking his territory.

I guess when you gotta go, you gotta go!

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Pride of India

What is "Pride" and can a country with so much depth, history, culture, beauty and world treasures point to one thing that depicts their pride? "The Pride of India"? Let's explore this a bit more. Google says pride is:

  • A feeling of self-respect and personal worth
  • Satisfaction with your (or another's) achievements

This past weekend I had a chance to rekindle my love affair with India by attending the "Festival of India" event in my local community. This was the second year the event was held and with a growing Indian population; I pray the event grows as such and also in popularity and attendance within the community. The part that I attended was inside thank God, due to the heat and humidity outside. There were several Indian states represented there and I had the pleasure of being a secret judge; oops did I let the cat out of the bag ;)

The festival was the closest experience I've had to being in India since I returned and it took me back to the many conversations I had with the people while in the many cities I visited. It was amazing!!! The Indian people have a way about them that always makes me feel like I am the most important person on the planet in the course of our conversation about their country; celebrity like status.

It was awesome and I am always so humbled, energized and overjoyed after being in their presence. The colors and pageantry is very breath-taking and I am always in awe of the many designs, colors and the magic that happens when the Women of India dawn those Sari's. Taking nothing away from the women but the Men of India are so rich in the history and culture and are very excited to share it with you. They are men of such strength and character and they always leave me wishing I had more time to immerse myself in all things India.

I will admit that I was taken-back to learn about the different countries of the world that have taken claim over various parts of India through their history. Although I was not there nor do I believe I am descended from any of those countries I feel unsettled by any culture that is "interrupted" by the claims of others. Yet through it all, the people of India have remained strong, remained hopeful, and remained prideful of their people, their accomplishments, their rich history, the culture and the possibilities that India has to offer to the world.

What is Pride? Self respect and personal worth? I submit to you today that the "Pride of India" does not rest in tall structures, their world wonders, many temples, natural resources, growing IT presence but the "Pride of India" rest with the people. It is from there that they will nurture, preserve and continue to deepen their culture thus enriching this Big Blue Ball we call Earth.

Pictures coming soon.....

Monday, August 18, 2008

Finding Your North

Focused, intense, silly, nutty, sexy mind, insightful, confident, serious, passionate, friendly, unapproachable, engaging, not doing what he was meant to do on this planet!!! These are just a few of the ways and words that have been used to describe and/or refer to me over the years. The truth of the matter lies in the context of the times, the seasons of my life, my passions and the quality of my support system .

I love to teach and I was asked to give a presentation next week. In preparation for the presentation, I took a test (Strength Engagement Track) that was suppose to assess my current and future engagement level based on my strengths. I was going to use my personal information from the test in my presentation but my scores were so low I decided against it. Time continues to demonstrate to me that you can’t hide from your destiny but you can find a temporary outlets. As I took this test, I could tell from the questions that my results weren’t going to be in my favor but maybe that's a matter of context when you really think about from another perspective. So confession is good for the soul right?

Each of us has to face the reality that we might not be doing what we’ve been called to do in this life. A young man I consider a mentor is living his calling. I say this because of what he’s shared about his journey away from the corporate world, being present at his workshop and his body of work that speaks for itself. His body of work is less about photography, even though he is awesome but more about how he connects with people and what he's able to create as a result.

God has given me a few talents in this life and also a passion for teaching, creating and making people think; sometimes to my determent but you can keep down what’s inside you. I’ve reached a point in my life where I have no other choice but to be honest with myself about my future so I can start living and walking in it. God is taking control or maybe I am just allowing him to do what he's been trying to with my life for quite some time. Time to stop ignoring what’s been so obvious over the years. I think I’ve bought myself some time by finding ways to channel my passions through other means but that’s becoming increasingly more difficult. I put this out there to the Blog community as a measure of accountability and to encourage others who are possibly struggling with the same realities in their lives. Not sure if I will make to the level of a Ross Knight, Scarlett Lillian, or a Art Wolfe but if I get to and continue to evolve and re-invent Dave Beasley I will be satisfied with that.

Everything and I do mean everything in this life has purpose and it wasn’t by mistake that I was asked to give this presentation. I continually challenge people to THINK and understand what differentiates themselves from others then find ways to leverage it in the pursuit of their dreams. I just never thought one of my folks would throw it back at me via a simple request to talk about this in a broader venue with others. So I sit here at lunch time trying to figure out what’s next??? Here are a few questions from one of the books I am using to help prepare for the presentation:

Q1 – So, what’s stopping you?
Q2 – Do you know what your STRENGTHS are?
Q3 – Can you live with the passion that fuels your strengths being taken away from you? – I made this one up but it’s so true
Q4 – Who’s in your circle keeping you accountable for Q1– Q3?

Well I promised the direction of this Blog was going to be more photography and based on this entry I have strayed but I just couldn’t hold it. It is my hope someone gets something from this and is able to find their “North”.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I Was Just Thinking...

I once had someone tell me that they liked the way I think - this was in a business context. I’ve always had a passion for understanding more about the things that interest me which is expanding into what I consider my new life/rebirth of sorts which has been happening over the last 4 years. I do tend to think differently about things then the average bear, not better or worse just different. It usually scares the heck out of people because there not use to the questions I pose and are afraid of my follow-up question (s). Understanding and challenging the status quo are passions of mine whether it‘s something serious or just to be silly. Trying to find the right channel for this has been a challenge in some venues and even taken for granted. What gets taken for granted will eventually find its voice and my channel for that voice is my photography.

So much more to learn about lighting and composition but I am giving myself some grace here since I’ve only been at this for a little over a year and the fact that I do have a full time job. As my Blog readership expands I get a lot of compliments about my work. Sometimes it’s very easy to think about where I’m not versus where I am and the feedback I get from everyone keeps me focused forward. 12 months ago I had no presence on the web and hadn’t taken a lot of pictures of people or things other then my kids. Well almost 12 months later, I have 1 website (2 slideshows on my website), 4 blogs, completed 6 professional shoots, shot the Taj Mahal in India and backed in to one commercial shoot. I am looking at these blessings to continue as I learn more about my craft.

Each time I pick up my camera it provides me with an opportunity to capture people and places I would have possibly ignored before I got my new eyes and new friends in the Blog community. I check my Blog statistics daily and wanted to share with you that my Blog community extends throughout the United States and into other countries (India, China, Netherlands, Turkey, etc). This has been extremely flattering and humbling to me at the same time. Who would have thought!!! I am going through sort of a transition over the next 12 months as I refocus my knack for thinking from one world to the world of photography and see where that takes me. I am just so grateful for the journey and the love I receive from everyone. I would just ask that you keep me honest on the goals I established for this year and develop for 2009. AND in the words of Ray Charles – “I’m going to make it do what it do baby”.

Be Easy


Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Father's Love

This is amazing and I cried when I watched this being a father myself. The story goes like this...

A son asked his father, 'Dad, will you take part in a marathon with me?' The father who, despite having a heart condition, says 'Yes'.

They went on to complete the marathon together. Father and son went on
to join other marathons, the father always saying 'Yes' to his son's
request of going through the race together.

One day, the son asked his father, 'Dad, let's join the Ironman together.' To which,
his father said 'Yes' too. For those who don't know, Ironman is the toughest triathlon ever.

The race encompasses three endurance events of a 2.4 mile (3.86 kilometer)
ocean swim, followed by a 112 mile (180.2 kilometer) bike ride, and
ending with a 26.2 mile (42.195 kilometer) marathon along the
coast of the Big Island.

Father and son went on to complete the race together.

Friday, August 1, 2008

My Horizion

I am taking a page from a young man I consider and friend, mentor and AWESOME photographer (Ross Oscar Knight) and listing my goals and progress from 2007 to present. In October, I will have been at this photography thing for one year and wanted to take a moment and document what I wanted to accomplish versus what I have actually accomplished. None of this could have been possible with out God, family, friends and the support I have received via the Blog community.

It has been a personal and professional journey and we will celebrate more, do some reflection and stuff, on the one year anniversary of this Blog in October. Thanks again for all the love and support!!!

Thank God for my Healing (claimed it)
Come to grips with where my passion lies (hard pill to swallow but I got there)
Buy digital SLR (done)
Learn how to use said camera (didn't quite get there; I shot in automatic mode)
Complete first shoot (done)
Get photo editing software (done)
Learn how to use photo editing software (still working on this)
Start photography blog (done)
Attend photography workshop (will do this in 2008 but I was signed up)
Get a real camera flash (done but my best friend it telling me to buy a better one)
Get out of my own way (making progress)

Attend photography Workshop (done)
Develop my own unique style for photography (getting there)
Launch website (done and also added a new Blog)
Buy new digital SLR (done)
Buy new flash (done)
Refer to myself as a photographer (done)
Get business cards (done)
Sell non-professional lenses and buy “L” series Canon Lenses (done)
Travel abroad (done - went to India)
Sell house/buy new house (in progress)
Shoot w/Professional Photographer (hopefully September and December)
Network with other professional photographers (done – 3)
Take relationship w/girlfriend to the next level (Done – got married)
Redesign Blogs and develop branding (1-blog done, branding in progress)
Get published (1 down and working on another)
Do a commercial shoot
Shoot a wedding as a second shooter (working on it)