Friday, November 30, 2012

You are Good || Faith

Lord You Are Good- New Philly Gospel Choir Thanksgiving Banquet Performance from New Philadelphia on Vimeo.

There are times when absolutely nothing goes your way and it seems like the whole world is against you. But God is good. All. The. Time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

time of transition || life

The month of November is already coming to an end. It's been an incredible year and I can't wait for December. I've got a few writing assignments to do, a few quizzes and then I'm off to Australia to hang out with one of my best friends. December is going to end with time with family and friends at our end of the year retreat, The Well

I'm sure you've noticed the number of blog posts have dwindled down to almost nothing. I've done probably 4 or 5 since I've been in school. It's a time of transition for me. I think we're always going through a process in life. None of us have reached our final destination. I would hate to think this is the end. Even if I reach my goal of getting married, having a good career, having a kid or two - I don't want that to be the end. There's always more to life than we can see right now. It's not a matter of contentment, but rather knowing there's more for you. Enjoy the moment, but don't get stuck.

Times of transitions are always uncomfortable. I have to always adjust. My learning curve goes up super high and I make a lot of mistakes. Sometimes it'd be easier if someone told me exactly everything I have to do so I won't have to make any mistakes or look like a fool. 

But that's not how life goes. I'm someone who has to make mistakes if I want to learn something. In almost all my assignments I make a lot of mistakes but I gain so much insight and wisdom through them. 

When things get rough, boring or uneasy I say silly things like "I wish I could just start my life." But this is my life. I don't know if an ideal life really exists. It gets worse when I look at other people's lives and feel a pressure to be somewhere I'm not. I think it's always bad news when you force, manipulate or cheat your way into something. If you rush into something that isn't ready and that you're not ready for, it's messy. 

Learn to be faithful and excellent in the small things. We all long for greatness, but if we can't grow in the small things we can't handle the greater things. It's ok to be hidden and unknown for a time being. It the grand scheme of things, it's only for a second. Times of transition should be welcomed. I've tried to resist for a while, but I think I'm finally ok with it. 

Faith is being sure of what we do not see and certain of what we hope for. Don't let what you see now determine how you live. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

let truth be the prejudice || life

One of my favourite parts of being in photojournalism school is my history class. The last time I took a history course was in my first year in university and it was terrible. History of photojournalism is not your typical history course. 

Last week we learned about W. Eugene Smith. He's an American photojournalist who struggled his entire professional career to abide to the truth. He did not believe in compromising any of his professional standards. If his photos in a magazine or newspaper didn't fit with his personal vision, he would be really upset if they were published. He believed in truth and integrity when it came to photography. 

We watched a documentary/video on his life and his struggle with photography. It was called "W. Eugene Smith: Photography Made Difficult". 

It was painful to watch at times because of how real and emotional he was with photography. Some may say it was excessive, but all he wanted was to be honest.

As I take on different projects I find myself in constant turmoil with what I'm doing. I don't want to just do something for the sake of doing it. There has to be purpose and reason to everything I do. Maybe I'm an idealist, realist, dreamer, whatever... I just don't like the status quo. I can't fake something or pretend to like something when I don't. 

Before I went to Korea in 2009 I was barely going through life. You know... merely surviving and always looking forward to the next best thing. In high school, my goal was to get to university. During university it was to graduate, after graduating it was to find my career, marriage, the next country I could visit, etc. I lived each day in anticipation for the next. I was a zombie; alive but dead. 

Not until I became honest with myself and sought after the truth was I able to truly become alive. I had been swallowed up by lies and confusion. I believed I was good for nothing. I believed I had no real purpose in this world, I believed I was unwanted and I would never be good at anything. What a terrible way to live. To fight against these lies without any truth to back you up. 

I've learned the importance of being honest with myself, remaining true to what I believe in even if the whole world is against it, and fighting for the truth. 

In everything you do, do it with honesty. Anything that is real will last forever; imitations and counterfeits are cheap and eventually breakdown; they become useless.   

My principle concern is for honesty, above all honesty with myself..." - W. Eugene Smith
With considerable soul searching, that to the utmost of my ability, I have let truth be the prejudice. - W. Eugene Smith

John 8:32b
the truth will set you free

Monday, November 5, 2012

"your energy.... success guaranteed" || school

It's been a while since I've written on the blog. School has been really busy so I haven't been able to redesign my blog, but I know where this blog is going. It'll happen soon!

I've decided to mainly focus on my growth as a photojournalist. I found my niche in the photography world and this is only the beginning. I'm amazed at how much I'm learning in this program. More on that later.

Today was my first experience in doing a portfolio review. At my college every program has an advisory board. Our advisory board is really unique because the members come in and sit down with us and look at our portfolios.

When advisory board was first mentioned I was so clueless. I just knew it'd be big name photographers/photo editors checking out our portfolios. Honestly, after my first few critique classes I thought my portfolio would suck and I wouldn't go to advisory board. It's pretty intimidating when your work is being looked by anyone, but especially by professionals. 

But since they only come in twice a year, I knew it wouldn't be good to miss the first one. I had to get over my nerves and fears. I would rather take a risk than miss an opportunity. I put together something - something I wasn't sure would be well received. 

The tension and the energy in the classroom today is the kind of environment I enjoy being in. I also really enjoying talking to people so what I experienced today was much better than I expected. I had braced myself for scary people and harsh critiques. 

The risk was totally worth it. Each person I spoke with was incredibly helpful and motivating. Some were really positive about my work. Others were interested in who I was and how I see the world. I got a lot of good feedback - more than I expected. I was afraid I'd come out doubting myself and what I'm doing here, but rather this whole experience confirmed why I'm here. Today has probably been one of my favorite days at school.

Through this experience I learned the importance of being myself, being confident of who I am and what I am capable of. I'm embracing the amount of growth I'm going through and it's only been 2.5 months. Incredible. 

"Your energy, eagerness to learn, natural talent and infectious smile will make your success guaranteed." 

Words are powerful. I soaked in every word that came out of each person I spoke with. When someone believes in you and can see what's going on in your head, it means a lot. Take it and cherish it. Each person I met weren't giving out cheap words. They meant what they were saying. 

Here are a few pictures from my portfolio. The challenge now is to go out and take enough shots to replace all of these with much better photos. Its a good kind of pressure.

Until next time... enjoy!