Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Unplug Your Saturday

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 recently read this interesting article titled, "Recline" by Rosa Brooks. She's frustrated with the "Lean In" mentality that Sheryl Sandberg has created through her inspiring book. I've seen the effects of my wife leaning in and have to agree on a lot of the points Rosa makes but do think there needs to be balance. I'm focusing this blog post on how to balance your use of mobile technology.  

A recent study showed that intensive mobile and computer use leads to sleep disorders, depressive symptoms and increased stress. Those things that are part of our everyday lives, the things we use to work faster, get more done and make things easier could actually be making our lives more difficult in some ways if we're not careful.  

This past weekend I went for a relaxing walk in the woods with my good friend Robin. He works for one of the most exciting companies in the bay area, Box.com, who just happens to be pre-IPO. Because of that, it's a "work hard, play hard" culture and they're asking a lot of their employees which equates to longer working days and being tied to your computer or phone more. He said that he was declaring Saturday a tech free day because he just felt his mind and body needed it. 

I've been turning off my phone one to two days a week for years now, so I totally agreed with what he was saying. I listened to him describe his desire to not be tempted by phone updates, social networks, etc. He just wanted to be with nature, friends and have time to himself without disruption. As he described this ideal day, it sounded to me a lot like a form of meditation. Just hearing him talk about what he wanted to do was calming. 

You see I'm a big fan of focusing on the things in your life that are most valuable. I'm not talking about monetarily valuable. I'm referring to things like health, friends, family and just time alone. I think you'll agree with me, those are some of the most re-energizing and valuable things we as humans can experience in your lives. I'm convinced being able to focus on those things without distraction is key to reaping the most benefits. Here's a test for you, think about some of your favorite memories and be honest with yourself about where mobile technology fit in. I'm willing to bet that memorable or life changing moment did not include a Facebook update or Instagram post. 

Again I'm not saying mobile technology or social media is all bad, rather I'm strongly encouraging you to find a balance and turn it off when it's not necessary. If find you always have to be plugged in that usually means you just haven't prioritized correctly.  Once you've been able to unplug,  you'll feel better, sleep better, and have stronger relationships as a result. 

Go ahead… find that one day a week where you can unplug and make it a habit! Good luck

Friday, February 07, 2014

3 Things You Can Do Right Now To Love Your Job and Life!

Here's a guy that enjoys his work!

I've been working at the same company (salesforce.com) for just over 6 years now, and in that time I've held 5 different roles. Successfully transitioning from Sales over to Marketing was a very large challenge, but to continue thriving and receiving more responsibilities is extremely gratifying. I'm proud of my accomplishments and I've learned a lot about staying focused and doing what you love. These three methods below, I believe, will help you in your career and life as well. 

1. Never stop learning - 
No matter what you're currently doing, there is always something new you can learn from a colleague, friend or stranger. If you're loving your job and just rocking, find something you don't know but are interested in. If you hate your job, learning new things can help revitalize your current role and focus. I did it when I started disliking being a sales guy. Heck! My brother in-law stopped liking design and in tandem started studying to become an EMT. Now he's doing that full-time!! You don't have to stop what you're currently doing to learn something new, just a little at a time.

2. Introduce Yourself To New People - 
I call them information interviews. You basically reach out to someone that you don't know but value what he or she does and ask to meet up with him or her. Something like this, "Your work doing XYZ has inspired me! I've been looking into that field or role and I was wondering if you'd be open to a quick coffee chat. I'd love to hear what things you think are essential to being successful in that role or field." That’s it! Keep it simple. 9 out of 10 times that person will say yes. You spend 30 minutes and $10 (drinks for you and them) and now you have a wealth of knowledge from their years of experience you can use. Take notes, ask questions, have fun and don't forget to follow-up with a thank you call or email!

3. Apply What You've Learned - 
This is key. Just like in school, you won't learn it unless you apply it. There's always a way to apply what you've learned to your current job. Strive to find what way that is and make it happen. You'll see that it keeps you motivated and excited while helping you grow and show your colleagues you have other skills. I was applying process management, design, and photography while still doing a sales role. It kept me focused and helped me continue to be successful even though I didn't love selling any longer. 

 You see what you do for a living is a big deal and bleeds into other parts of your life. You'll spend on average, 90,000 hours working in your lifetime so try your hardest to do or learn something you really love. I guarantee people on their death beds aren't thinking to themselves, "I'm so glad I was the most successful, high performer, etc, at my company!" They're thinking, “Damn, what if I had done that thing that I’ve always loved.” Find those things for yourself and enjoy the learning process!

Saturday, February 01, 2014

New 35mm Film Camera - Fuji Klasse S !!!

Just a few months ago I walked around Seattle taking cool pictures of things and people with Kirk Mastin. I had my massive Contax 645 and he had this little rangefinder I'd heard about but never seen in person. He said it was one of his favorites and that it fit his style. Super quick, small and it felt like "sketching" rather than "painting" he said. I'd seen the pics from this camera and I knew they were shockingly sharp and beautiful. I bought one just a few weeks later in hopes I could have a great pocket camera to bring around more often while still capturing beautiful photos. 


99% of the images you see in this post are with the Fuji Klasse S. They're sharp and I had so much fun taking pictures. It wasn't stressful, I just set my exposure at will, framed and snapped. Most people didn't even notice me taking the pictures because the camera is so small and I can set the focal range manually to be even faster for street shots.

Oh and in case any of you are wondering, the baby is not mine despite how badly my wifey wants another. That's my new little niece:)

Films Used: Generic C-41 BW Film, Kodak Portra 400 
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Saturday, January 18, 2014

32nd Bday in Seattle!

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My amazing wife surprised me with a trip up to Seattle for some alone time on my 32nd bday! My buddy ( who just happens to be a wonderful videographer) and his family live up there so it was great to hang with them and meet his baby girl. I also had the pleasure of meeting up with a photographer whose work I've really fallen in love with. Check him out, he's one of the best wedding photographers in the industry and super nice guy on top of that. http://mastinstudio.com

Lots of quite time reflecting on my most successful year to date as a photographer, hi-tech professional, father and husband.

All images shot using my Contax 645 85mm F2 and Kodak Portra 400

To start the trip off right, I headed to the San Juan islands where my friend's family owns a home. Roche harbor was where I stayed and hiked for a few days.

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I then headed to Seattle to take some family shots of Danny and his girls as well as meet up with Kirk for a photo walk throughout Seattle's docks and China Town.

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One of the best parts of the trip was the opportunity we got to watch a commercial diving class train off the docks. These are highly specialized divers that train in dry suits and in zero visibility conditions. They are basically blind in the water and use their hands to feel around and bolt together 200lb plus parts.
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