This is an image I edited of the frozen Mississippi River from the Illinois side looking over into Missouri.
Here is the before image:
I recently realized that I never posted the images from the wine tasting at Parker’s Table! Parker’s is an awesome shop here in St. Louis. Not only do they have a great selection of wine and beer, but cheese as well. They won’t hire me to work at their cheese counter because there will be zero profits in that area! They get their cheese from Baetje Farms, which is right here in Missouri!
If you are in the St. Louis area, head over to Parker’s and check out their awesome stuff! They are located at
“You’re going to meet many people with domineering personalities: the loud, the obnoxious, those that noisily stake their claims in your territory and everywhere else they set foot on. This is the blueprint of a predator. Predators prey on gentleness, peace, calmness, sweetness and any positivity that they sniff out as weakness. Anything that is happy and at peace they mistake for weakness. It’s not your job to change these people, but it’s your job to show them that your peace and gentleness do not equate to weakness. I have always appeared to be fragile and delicate but the thing is, I am not fragile and I am not delicate. I am very gentle but I can show you that the gentle also possess a poison. I compare myself to silk. People mistake silk to be weak but a silk handkerchief can protect the wearer from a gunshot. There are many people who will want to befriend you if you fit the description of what they think is weak; predators want to have friends that they can dominate over because that makes them feel strong and important. The truth is that predators have no strength and no courage. It is you who are strong, and it is you who has courage. I have lost many a friend over the fact that when they attempt to rip me, they can’t. They accuse me of being deceiving; I am not deceiving, I am just made of silk. It is they who are stupid and wrongly take gentleness and fairness for weakness. There are many more predators in this world, so I want you to be made of silk. You are silk.”
“I am no longer afraid of becoming lost, because the journey back always reveals something new, and that is ultimately good for the artist.”
When I began on this journey of being a photographer and an artist, I had no idea where it would lead. I had no idea if it was something I would enjoy or if the art world would call me a hack and send me packing. I have been very fortunate to be embraced by the art world and the photography world. They have allowed me to blend my unique and creative side with the world of creating portraits. I have found a family of amazing people who can create things that blow my mind, make me want to be better, and who constantly inspire me.
When you become a photographer, people will tell you about the “rules”. People will tell you what you need to be doing, what you need to change, how you need to change it and then all about some other changes you need to make. Sometimes this comes from a very good place. Sometimes it comes from a place of experience, wisdom, and from making mistakes and learning from them. Do you have to listen to everyone? No. Should you listen and then consider their advice and see how it fits into your art, your world, and your business model? Yes. Absolutely. Should you disregard laws or aspects of safety for your clients to get the shot? No. No. No.
I think once you learn the rules of photography that it is perfectly fine to break them. Once you switch your camera from auto to manual mode you are beginning your own journey into artistic freedom. Do you have to follow the rule of thirds? Nope. Does your exposure have to be exact for every image? Not if that is not the look you are going for. In your head you see the image before you even create it and it is your job and your mission to make other people see that just as you did. But first, you must make sure that you are following the laws of the area your live in and following general safety rules for your clients (no shooting on railroad tracks or hanging babies in trees).
Along your journey there will be people telling you to give up, discouraging you and bringing you down. Ignore them. People who are successful at what they do really don’t mind seeing other people succeed too. Follow your dream. Create art. Be bold. Be artsy. Be unique. And when someone tells you that you need to find a “real” job or that you suck at what you do, create more art just to show them that this is your job and that you will continue on this path. Van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime. ONE. Did he give up? No. He continued on and painted and painted. We all may not be Van Gogh’s but we can learn a lot about perseverance from him. It would have been easy to give up and to walk away, but he didn’t. And you shouldn’t either.
(Please do not resell these textures or claim them as your own.