Semi-Rant + Link: DPS – Running the Photography Marathon to Success

I subscribe to the daily email digests from Digital Photography School (which I encourage anyone interested in photography to do), and yesterday, this digest contained the article, “Running the Photography Marathon to Success” by Deidra Wilson, a guest contributor to the site.

Although I have no experience running marathons, I think she makes some excellent points and comparisons.  So often, I find myself trying to figure out what I want to accomplish with my photography…  Do I want to go professional, or just share with friends and Flickr users?  Do I want to make a giant leap into doing this professionally, or do I want to take baby steps and potentially never go all-in?

The crux of her article is that you can do anything you put your mind to, and that if you go into something, you have to go in full force.  Whenever I decide to make that change of going full force (if I do), I will keep her statements and story in mind.  I just don’t think I’m ready yet!

Link to “Running the Photography Marathon to Success” by Deidra Wilson


Part of my lack of confidence or enthusiasm is the sheer number of people who are now “going professional.”  Armed with their DSLRs, backdrops and processing software, and not really taking a look at the true form or art and communication that is photography, many of these photographers make the jump too early in my opinion.  Don’t get me wrong, some of these people take great photographs and are truly good at their job/hobby/passion/livelihood/etc.  However, so many, including several in my area here in Southwest Kansas, have a “[NAME] Photography” “business” and don’t appear to have taken any time in getting prepared, or having done any research, for starting a business.  Contrary to my thoughts on this, I created a Facebook fan page for my “photography business” just a few days ago, but I decided that, basically, I don’t want to just go into it half-assed.  If I am going to do this, I feel I would owe it to myself and any potential clients to do my research, practice more, and do the groundwork to make the business a true (and financially/business-legal) success.

I feel like I do “make” some good shots, but I don’t feel that I have the expertise, abilities or – dare I say it? – time yet to make it more than a hobby, and I am scared of the idea of feeling “forced” to take good photos of people or travels instead of enjoying the moment.  (This is not to say that many professional photographers still do not enjoy what they do.)

So, anyway, I guess my rant is about people calling themselves pros when maybe they’re really not.  I like taking photos, but does that mean I should start a business?

So, for now, I will enjoy taking photographs and sharing them with people, and learning more about photography from friends and sites like DPS, but I will keep Wilson’s encouragements in mind and “Just.  Keep.  Going.” in case I really do decide to make a go for it.

I’m Super-Psyched About…

Cover of “11/22/63” | Link to Book
…”11/22/63″ by Stephen King!!
This book basically takes a look back at what would have happened if a thirty-five-year-old English teacher could have went back in time and prevented the Kennedy assassination.  I probably won’t be able to start reading this book for a while, but it sounds like a compelling read!
I must admit I’m a little surprised the publisher decided to publish the book on Nov. 8, missing the obvious 11/22.  Perhaps so people can read the book before the actual date??  I will probably never know…  🙂 

SmarterTravel: World’s Most Mysterious Destinations

Link to Article

“Mystery.  As traveler’s, we’re suckers for it.”  There could not be a truer statement!  I personally have always been fascinated by the sheer remoteness and difficulty of accessing many places in our world, including Easter Island (mentioned in the link/slideshow above), the Galapagos and Cuba.

Cuba??  Yes.  I have always had a strong desire to go to Cuba…  It’s basically preserved in the 1950s, and is full of color, people and culture.  It would be neat to explore that and learn.
Unfortunately, I forgot that one of the moai from Easter Island was at the Louvre when I visited Paris this summer.  Hopefully, I’ll get to see the real thing as it appears in its natural habitat someday!

"Writing down your thoughts is both necessary and harmful…"

“Writing down your thoughts is both necessary and harmful. It leads to eccentricity, narcissism, preserves what should be let go. On the other hand, these notes intensify the inner life, which, left unexpressed, slips through your fingers. If only I could find a better kind of journal, humbler, one that would preserve the same thoughts, the same flesh of life, which is worth saving.”
~Anna Kamienska

Crossing things off my "To-Do" list

Let me begin this post by saying I am a HUGE procrastinator.  As in, I have literally several thousand photos that I have yet to process from the last several years, and dread editing, processing and organizing them.  To add insult to injury, every time I take one or two things off my to-do list, at least five more go on, no joke.  😦

However, I am proud to say that this evening, prompted by an email requesting pictures that I should have gotten to this person two weeks ago (hey, I’m busy and it was of an art opening that I just happened to have my camera at, you know how that goes), that I have crossed what I call “a big one” off of that list.  Yahoo!  With the help of my mom and her discerning eye, these photos are edited/processed and currently being uploaded!

I must say that I really love to-do lists, even if they always grow and make me feel somewhat overwhelmed.  However, I find it’s easier to see what needs to be done rather than forget something major.  I personally use the “Reminders” app on my iPad, and I am most happy to report that I have now crossed this latest item off of that list.

Good luck, and may you do many things this week!


One of my all-time favorite quotes currently adorns the top of this blog:  “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”  These words, spoken by Eleanor Roosevelt, have been a guiding force in recent months as I struggle with what I want to do and accomplish in life.  It says that, yes, dreaming is OK, and the future belongs to those that have them and actively pursue them.

One perfect example, which I tried to demonstrate with the quotes I chose in the above picture, was traveling to Europe the first time this summer.  I don’t know how long I will live, and I don’t know what circumstances may potentially bar me from doing what I want in the future.  I always hear people say, “Oh, I wish I could do that,” or “Oh, it must be nice to be able to do that.”  Yes, it is!  And if you know what you want, go after it.  No one else will.  No one was going to travel for me, no one was going to pay for this trip for me…  I had to work, sacrifice and dream to get there.  That trip profoundly changed me – for the better, I think – and showed me that I can have dreams, go after those dreams with a serious fury, and make them come true.

And have dreams, I do.  Too many to count, too many to list, too intangible in some respects to even write down on paper or on this blog.  I want to travel the world, I want to touch the lives of many, and I want to be respected and to respect others.  I want to be successful, whatever my interpretation of that may be; it changes everyday.

Regardless of my confusion, doubts from others, or negative thoughts or things said about me or how I choose to live my life, one thing I will always have is the dramatic, wonderful power of dreams.  And may I continue to have them, and pursue them, and be a dreamer.

60 Minutes | 10/23/11 – Steve Jobs Biography, Apps for Autism

Steve Jobs playing with the Apple iPad 1.
Photo |
On this evening’s edition of 60 Minutes, the show’s Steve Kroft talked to Walter Isaacson, the author of Steve Jobs’ authorized biography, titled “Steve Jobs.”  (Link to book:  Some interesting things were revealed about the man and the mystery (ooh, aah), and I must say I am totally interested in this book and can’t wait to get my hands (fingers = reading on iPad) on it!!

The book will be released tomorrow, and for those who have not yet heard anything about what was revealed in the book, here are a few links for ya!

As if you couldn’t already tell by the headlines on those links (add to them the fact that he dropped acid, was mean to people, etc.), this is going to be one hell of a read!

Link to story on 60 Minutes:;cbsCarousel
On a more meaningful and serious note, one which adds to Jobs’ legacy in a positive way, Lesley Stahl and the show’s producers looked into how iPad apps are helping kids and adults with autism communicate.  It was truly amazing to see how technology opened up these lives, which so many believe contribute nothing to society, finally allowing them to let out to the world what they’ve been forced to keep in for so long.
Basically, these apps are allowing them to have a constant in their life, according to one woman Stahl interviewed for this story.  This constant, without emotions or impatience, allows many children with autism (true to life, people learn differently and these apps don’t work for everyone) to tell people how they are feeling, what they are thinking, what they need and want, and other vital things they need to communicate.
Being the new owner of an iPad 2, I can say that the device is true to Jobs’ statement that it was a “magical” device, and it’s really something to see how it has a practical, very meaningful usage to so many.  Hooray for this!

November is National Novel Writing Month…

… and I am planning to participate!

According to its 2011 press release, “November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo, the world’s largest writing challenge and nonprofit literary crusade. Participants pledge to write 50,000 words in a month, starting from scratch and reaching ‘The End’ by November 30. There are no judges, no prizes, and entries are deleted from the server before anyone even reads them… Although the event emphasizes creativity and adventure over creating a literary masterpiece, more than 90 novels begun during NaNoWriMo have since been published, including ]Water for Elephants’ by Sara Gruen, and ‘The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstern, both #1 New York Times Best Sellers.”

I have always loved writing, and in my later years of middle school, was known for creating several short stories.  I’ve always wanted to write a novel, and I think this project and challenge is the best motivation for me to get started.

One concept I had for a potential novel came to me Friday evening while watching “Twelve Angry Men,” a show put on by our local Depot Theater Company (which, by the way, was FANTASTIC), a dinner theater show at the historic train-depot-turned-theater in my hometown and current place of residence of Dodge City, Kansas.

My idea?  What would happen if a man was put on trial, accused of murder, and the real murderer was selected as a member of the jury?  What lengths would that jury member go to to make sure that the accused was put away?  Would the existing justice system fail, or would the truth come out?

I look forward to working on this idea and seeing how it goes or if I’m able to do it.  I know I will be busy with school and work, but I know that it’s something I’ve been wanting to do, and I think I can do it!

I look forward to keeping everyone updated!