No Easy Mode.

I went to South Philly Barbacoa for their First Friday, before meeting my date for dinner at Sate Kampar, to check out the pieces that Isiah Zieglar posted.  They were cool 3D pieces with a lot of facial and hands in them.  They should still be on the walls there unless they were purchased.  Check them out if you can!

While I was waiting for my date to arrive, I met this guy and his mom who came in from the Manayunk area to check out the work and the place.  He told me that he was substitute teaching while he figures his next move since he recently returned from a long stay in Mexico and Cuba.  One thing he mentioned about Cuba stood out as I said that I do want to visit Cuba one of these days.

"People are always saying that they want to go see Cuba before it gets touristy.  It's like they are in destitute porn." Well something along those lines.  People wanting to see it before it becomes just a tourist attraction.  Which he does have a point.  You can read those in the comments about travel to Cuba.  I won't lie, there might have been a part of me that wanted to go see Cuba before it gets flocked with other tourists..

Then he said he was thinking about doing photography full time.  But just didn't know what he wanted to photograph.  So I figured I'd tell him the truth about trying to pursue photography full time.  A note, I am not a full time photographer yet, and I am still struggling to pursue it as full time.  But that doesn't mean I can't give advice and suggestions.

My main point was to do this for the long term.  This changing scape of running a successful photography business, outside of weddings and portraits, means having multiple streams of income, a LOT of hustle, networking, and constant flow of improving work.  Not to mention luck.  But luck is just a very minute percentage, compared to everything else.  It's a simple truth that documentary, photojournalism, and still photography is finding much harder time as a single income these days.  So in order to pursue this full time, it is a 100% hustle with everything else involved.  

But as he didn't know exactly what he wanted to photograph, he spoke about looking to assist.  So I said, contact photographers in the area that he looked up to, to try to assist them.  

As the title says, there is no easy mode in pursuing photography as a career.  It's a very long, slow, and at times aggravating pursuit.  But if you put your head down to the ground and keep on pounding the pavement, who knows you might very well succeed in doing so.  

Looking at what's being made at home and inspiration.

As I have been working on test shoots, to improve on my lighting manipulating and styling, I have forgone mentioning something else.  Lately I have been buying more heritage clothing and shoes.  My dad would be shocked if I told him how much each item costed.  The way I see it that I am spending a lot up front, but over time these clothing and shoes will be with me a good 20 years or my entire lifetime.  I am not a fan of fast fashion which majority clothing industry is at right now.  I know that some of my clothes, like my Levi jeans and dress shirts have come from overseas, but I am slowly moving my wardrobe to be Made in America.  If you want to see the human costs of fast fashion here are some youtube links to watch.

Cladwell.

John Oliver

Give them a watch.

So these brands that I have been buying?  Wolverine bootsFilson and Allen Edmonds.  So while I do admit that the cost of each item is a little hair raising, e.g., just one pair of my allen edmonds costed me $395.  Thankfully I am done buying dress shoes, or shoes in general.  I previously owned some shoes that I bought from DSW a year and a half ago that broke.  I spent $120 on that one pair.  If I had to spend $120 every year and a half for shoes, that would be more costly if I bought them every year and a half at about the same cost compared to buying a pair of $395 allen edmonds that is recraftable.  What I am trying to say is just buy smart when buying clothing for your wardrobe.  

Because of these new wardrobe purchases my own personal style has evolved from the put whatever comes in my hands or college dressing to a more refined and heritage look.  The three businesses, Wolverine, Filson, and Allen Edmonds have been making their products for a very long time.  I think Filson is the longest lasting one of the three.  Having three of their items, a Mackinaw Cruiser, Tin Cloth Short Cruiser, and their Magnum camera bag, it is suffice to say that I have a great love of their products.  

I am pretty close to finishing my wardrobe now.  I might pick up a pair of Redwing boots...

At this point, how this fits with my food work.. is that I am drafting up story pitches that combines those pieces and brands with food work.  For example, since I am in the city often, one story is a couple guys wearing allen edmonds shoes going to get cocktails and tapas.  Another is of an outdoor shoot, with filson gear and wolverine/redwing boots cooking food over a campfire.  I am trying to iron out those ideas and finding people who would be up for that.  I don't mind if they have to use my items, provided they fit and don't be abusive to them.  

While I was mulling over story pitches and ideas, I did some test shooting.  Check them out.