Saturday, January 23, 2010

The End... And A New Begining!!!

There's a photo that hangs in my grandparents living room of their home. Its a big black and white portrait of my grandfather taken at his cabinet shop when he was in his early days. He even built the frame that it hangs in. My grandmother told me that a unknown photographer just showed up one day and wanted to take his photo. Growing up I looked at it all the time and I still stare at it every time I go over there. When I was younger I remember looking at it and always wondering what the photographer looked like and what his camera looked like. That photo played a big part in my quest of becoming a photographer myself. So, who ever he is, Thanks...

That last night of my trip back home from Missoula camping at Beavers Bend I wondered if it was all worth it. Putting down my day job in the mist of economic low and moving to Montana to become a photographer. Easier said than done my friends. It wasn't all just sunshine and rainbows you know. One week before leaving my grandfather was in a bad accident that left him in a coma that no one knew if he would come out of or not. Second, I had all my photography gear stolen during the second half of school, and may I add a hard rain is goin to fall on the SOB that took my shit to. I will be back to Missoula!!! Lookin, listin, and smellin!!! The third and hardest blow of all was finding out that my mother had been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
After hanging up from that tearful phone call, I deiced to give it all I had and catch this dream of photography that I was chasin. After all my mother gave me my first lesson in photography, little does she know. When I was about 7 I asked her if I could take a picture with our cheap family camera. She said yea, but that I could only take two photos, film is expensive she said. Walking around for an hour looking for just the right thing to photograph, which ended up being my stuffed animals!!! I took my first photos. So, I would say that was my first lesson in photography, taking my time and looking around before I just went to clicking away. I also remember thinking one day I'll have my own camera and I'll take all the photos I want. Well, that day has finally came and I have one bad ass camera along with the knowledge to use it, and I take all the photos I want to.
I love you Mom, and thanks for all your love!!

All turned out to be ok though, my grandfather is back on his feet and has the memory of an elephant, I upgraded my camera gear thanks to renters insurance and the donations of my fellow classmates and faculty of RMSP. And my mother is cancer free, stronger and more beautiful than ever.

Even after those three hard kicks to the balls, that took a lot wind out of my sails. I did manage to learn a few things.
I now have a new found skill. One that I knew I had all the time but needed help releasing, and a summer in Montana surrounded by talented photographers did it. I had a fire burning in me and RMSP poured the gas on it that turned it into a wildfire, and I don't ever plan on putting it out. My photo skills have grown by leaps and bounds in the pass 8 months. The seven weeks of my road trip back my camera was never more than arms length from me. I even took it with me when I stopped at stores to piss. Had to, the jeep is to easy to break into.

I plan to continue with my photography now that I'm back in Texas. Hell, I've just gotten started. Can't wait to see where all this takes me, and what comes out of it all . I need to get back to my day job for a bit though and go from there. In fact that's the plan, but I will still photograph on the side if anyone out there would like my services. I also need to say, I can no longer accept 12 packs as payment for my photography work. I will however accept the combination of 30 packs and cash money though... I'm a professional now people, that's just how it works...

Let me say one last thing!

Arriving in Montana I wanting to start a new chapter, so I did, and when I left there I had enough crazy ass stories, fun loving memories, and good friends to start a new book. Hell, a trilogy at that... That's why I have to get back there. The road trip back home with my new found skills was a blast too. The West is almost as wild as I am.
But back to the question. Was it all worth it? YOUR DAMN RIGHT IT WAS!!!
Anyways, lets look at some photos!!!
So turn the theme song Voodoo Child all the way up and lets take a ride, Wide Open!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

RMSP Raft Trip...

I was recently looking trough all the photos that I took this summer and found some that were taken on a rafting trip on the Blackfoot River. During RMSP, the group that I was in decided to get together and raft, and what an adventure that was.
The day of the trip I met Donnie, he was our raft guide and river expert. He and I ended up becoming very good friends and shot countless games of pool together over the summer at my office in Charley B's located on the corner of Space and Time in downtown Missoula.
What made this trip such a circus was the ride there. I still laugh just thinking about it. We dropped all the cars off at the take out point on the river and then all 8 of us, a deflated raft, raft pump, life jackets, paddles, and of course the beer cooler loaded up into Donnie's Ford Ranger! Yes, I said a Ford Ranger... There was not one square inch in that truck that didn't have something or someone stuck in it. I thought the damn thing was going to blow up it had such a load on it, but hey, we're talking about a Ford here.
The road to the put in was a winding one lane dirt mountain road with no guard rails and deadly drop offs everywhere. A quarter of the way into the trip I turned to Melanie and told her that I thought it sounded like the exhaust was about to fall off. The truck was getting louder and louder with ever hill we climbed over, and I must say I was getting a little worried about what was going on with the Ranger.
We all keep a tight grip on something so we wouldn't fall out and kept laughing at the sight of all of us in the back of this truck. All of the sudden the exhaust system of the truck fell off and was dragging along the road under us, making a hell of a noise. At the time I had no idea what the hell had just happened, for all I knew the motor had fallen out because of the bind that it was in.
Wouldn't you know that all of this happened when we were going up one of the steepest slopes of the road. Donnie stopped the truck and instantly slide under it like Pete Rose with no shirt on to see what the malfunction was. All the sudden the truck started rolling back!!! I dove into the drivers seat and put my foot on the brake. I screamed at Donnie and told him he didn't set the emergency brake. It doesn't work he screamed back. Great!!! He tied the exhaust back up with a shoe string or something and we were back on the road with the truck sounding like a NASCAR!!!