Have you ever watched the sun set over the Pacific Ocean? Ever stood on a remote peak at sunrise as a storm began to clear over the eastern horizon? I can’t begin to count the number of times I have photographed a sunrise or a sunset in the many spectacular places I have travelled in our world. I do know that even today, after twenty years of taking photographs, when the colors begin to swirl around the roof of my house like a scene out of the Wizard of Oz, I stop, grab my kids’ hands and make them watch. I want them marvel at this spectacular place we get to live, with such amazing things we get to witness. I am forever grateful.
There is no place I would rather be, than here in Jackson, Wyoming. Living in the mountains. Photographing the world around me, and writing about concepts and ideas that at times, seem to defy the very laws of nature that tell me that the sun is going to set in the west. I live within a dream. A fantasy factory of times, emotions, and scenarios to bear witness. I challenge myself every day to get better. I see where many have gone; they inevitably inspire me, often forcing me to ask of myself why I didn’t think of that brilliant idea before. For some reason our similar souls have chosen to seek out beauty and adventure. And when we find it, we put this little black box up to our face to record it.
We are hoarders of that beauty now; in that all of our hoarded material, the photos and stories which we create reside in another little metal box which has a screen attached to it. Held on some crazy binary code, chock full of zeros and ones. Now more than ever I create something that doesn’t physically exist. It only exists when finally, after countless sleepless nights, a client chooses to show the world that image, that vision, that moment in time that briefly existed right then, right there, in front of me when I chose to press the shutter.
This is not a task for the faint of heart. You must learn to forge walls of metal around yourself so hard that you may as well be bomb proof. Those walls that make you so indestructible can be the very ones that destroy the frolic and innocence where I strive to dwell, in order to produce something different, new. Enlightening. Mostly for me, but also for you, the client, the viewer, the student. Let’s see if we can hold hands out there on my porch, watching those colors swirl, capturing a moment in time that can only be repeated within our memories and in a file that has the ability to provide a glimpse of that ethereal beauty within the world.
What is an “About Page” or “Bio,” besides the obvious ego-fluffing, “pick me,” “look at me,” emptiness? It is the embodiment of an artist’s work, right? This is the page on the website, in the jacket of the book, or at the end of the article where you, the artist, get to tell the world that you are the top dog, the means to all ends, the shit. But what does this get you? Where does it take you? Yeah, people read a bio to answer the questions, “Can this guy produce for me? Is he is going to be money well-spent, or is he going to drop the ball and make the world come crashing down?” I get it. You need a resume or something like that, right? Why? Because all those images could have been Photoshopped into reality? Because they all could have just been created from bits and pieces of other artists’ works? Really, is that the deal?
The reality of being a photographer or “artist” today is that it is a struggle. What is it that would make a person pursue this mission? I don’t know how many times I have been told that I am envied, only thirty seconds later to be told how stupid I am. Lazy. Get a real job. What is a real job by the way? Waking up at 5 am, dreading another day at the office? You’re right, that is as real as it gets. And completely not for me.
There is an indescribable urge in my gut 99% of my waking hours. It is almost an unrest. A tension. There is something inside that needs to come out, and no I’m not talking about needing to use the loo. I see things, feel things, and want to show my world vision to others, because the reality of life is that no one sees this place exactly the same. Some people just have more of an urge to convey their unique vision to others.
I could sit here and write some professional hoopla about all the publications, all the awards, all recognition I have achieved, and yeah, you might be impressed, but what the heck does that have to do with me? I am talking about the real me. The guy who loves his family to death, but doesn’t necessarily always show it. The guy who is moody-happy one minute and smashing the watchamajigger the next. The guy who heads off to cloud nine when on a triple shot, 12 ounce, low-fat mocha. Or who wakes up like a five year old when it is a huge powder day ready to, in youth speak, “crush it”. Yes I am a professional photographer. Full-time. No joke. You know what, there are tons of us, and many of us are amazing artists. I am in good company.
There is no doubt I love what I do. I am willing to do it 20 hours a day 365 days a year. I am a slave to my art, and driven to continue building a professional reputation. I want my clients to be happy. I want to grow with them and because of them. That is how you truly become a qualified professional. I love the journey. I love creating and being creative. I love both following a client’s direction and suggesting something that they have never thought of. Although working through the toughest of times is never easy, it too is a reality of being a business owner. And that too will promote growth and stimulate creativity.
I have looked at so many other websites during the creation of this one. I have read all those bios on all those other sites, “so and so has achieved this, they worked with so and so, become such and such.” That is all great, but who are you as a person? Can we even talk to you, or does your ego bounce off of the door jambs on the way in?
That’s not what I want you to get from this. I want the connection – I want to have a mocha with you, or a great tequila. No, not Jose Cuervo, he is most definitely not a friend of mine. See, we already have something in common. Let’s take the connection further. If you want to see my life’s work at this point, type Jay Goodrich Photographer Inc. into Google (click the link, I did the heavy lifting for you) and sit back in your chair for a while. I’m not going anywhere. ~ Jay Goodrich