Moving Forward from Back to Forward Again

I don’t think it is that often that we (the human race) reflect back on our past. It is typically a motion that we try to forget because, for the most part, you cannot change the past. Right? In just about every case I can think of this statement holds true. Unless, you consider options like the computer back-up, the running history of your Facebook Page, or even the history of your own website. I am the king of the website. I go through them like my kids go through gummy bear bribes for promises of one more run while we ski. This post is a milestone of sorts, a backup, a repeat, but also, a symbolic event of moving forward again to create a new history, a new look, and new beginnings.

I am probably a bit abstract at this point, but stick with me here. The last three months of my career have been involved in a project that is honestly the largest undertaking I have ever concocted. The worst part of it, is that I have not been getting paid for it, but the positive side of the whole thing is that I am headed in the direction that I have always wanted; and people are noticing the complete connectivity that I have been able to achieve. I licensed my photography business in 2006. It had been licensed prior, but never like that moment in time. It was at that point that I become a full-time professional. It was the point at which my business structure completely changed, I was no longer a sole-proprietor, but now a corporation. It was at that point that my blog became a regular work event and my other portfolio website became something that was designed by professionals. It was well thought out and it was Flash – something that most were doing, considering what was available at the time.

I kept the professional plan moving forward from that point and the site underwent changes that followed my professional course. Simultaneously, my creative and professional career underwent changes. I photographed a lot of things. All of which I loved to photograph, but during that course I drifted with the tides. I followed money for the large part and my heart less and less of the remaining time. My posts followed, my designs followed, and my brand followed the same process. I think at times I suffered, and others I succeeded. There came a point about six months ago that I really looked deeply at who I was becoming and where I was going. This led to me drafting a plan. A plan of action that had a schedule, an idea, and everything that I wanted to accomplish. That plan is a bit behind schedule, but you don’t get the butterfly from the caterpillar overnight, or do you? Anyway, I digress. That plan began with what some consider a simple task and others a daunting one. Just a simple website that could carry the direction that I wanted to go with an adjusted brand and mission for my company.

The website opened the flood gates of reflection. I built it, for the most part, entirely by myself. Why? Because I kind of knew how and I definitely knew what I wanted. The work that I didn’t want to spend time figuring out I hired Werkpress – an amazing firm recommended by Graph Paper Press (the company who’s template I customized). Once I had my design, I re-built my blog from the ground up. I went through each and every post one-by-one to make sure the images were current, the referencing links worked, and that it still worked for my upcoming brand change. In the end, close to thirty posts got put into the trash. I consolidated the whole site to my portfolio site url – and built-in every piece of functionality that works for my business and brand. The whole thing is updated utilizing the WordPress platform which means it can grow and migrate with me. It also means that you can view my site as you see here on the web or on any device out there – iPad and iPhone included. Continuous branding across the boards, and indexible by all search engines every time we add content.

One last thing…and probably the most important, this site represents a new beginning. In the review of every single post, I came to realize who I truly am – a photographer and writer who loves to share his experiences in a Calvin and Hobbesesque way. Sometimes a bit extreme, sometimes a bit weird, and sometimes right on the money of who I discovered I have always been – an adventure photo journalist. It all started with skiing. In fact, the first thirty rolls of film that I ever shot, were so grossly underexposed all you saw was black surrounded by a white cardboard mount. This then progressed to the proper exposure and then to the first image I can remember being successful for me at the time. An image of my friend Chris Cook launching a monster cliff in the backcountry of Vail just as the sun burned through the clouds. Moving forward 15 years, I now focus on combining the sports I love with the surroundings that I discover while participating in them. And a composition of my good friend Tyler Hatcher showing us why he is sponsored by Wagner Custom Skis, Smith, and Mammut. What is the adventure if you are not moving forward to discover something that led you there in the first place. Let me know what you think of the new content, new workshops, and new design that houses it all. There is much, much more to come!