Happy New Year! I hope the holiday season treated you all very well and you're all set for 2012. I don't want to ramble on too much but wanted to share with you what most inspired me in 2011.
As you all know, my career truly blossomed in 2011. Through the help and support from all of you, I was able to quit my day job at the restaurant and become a full time photographer/director. It's awesome and scary as hell everyday. I truly love it. I had no clue I'd be shooting so much video but I'm incredibly happy about it. I've had the chance to work with some amazing people and shoot a combination of inspiring, funny and cool ass videos. I'm a lucky man.
Through all that I learned last year, the thing that really stuck with me was "who gives a shit?"
Walter Hodges is a stock photographer as well as a mentor to me and we recently had an awesome meeting over a couple of manhattans. I was telling Walter how I'm in the midst of hiring an assistant and an editor and how tough the search can be. This wasn't new to Walter. He'd been hiring people for about 30 years. I told him "I think I found a couple people who actually give a shit". He said, "when you find someone who actually gives a shit, hold on to em'". We went on for a while on this topic. I realized, it's not about the technical skills or achievements as much as it's about heart. Most the stuff we photographers do can be taught. Especially the technical side of it. However, the drive to work through a 15 hour day in the cold with only a snack takes heart. The understanding one has to have to wake up 2 hours before sunrise, pack all the gear, drive for an hour to a location and turn around and go right back home because the weather wasn't right takes love. That drive can't be taught. That heart is special. I could care less how "good" you are. I want to work with people who give a shit because I give a shit.
So for 2012, I ask you, do you give a shit? Do the people you surround yourself with give a shit? If not, you may be holding yourself back. Get out of your own way and get to kicking ass!