In late October, Christina (my wife) and I were driving through the worn down mountains and coal towns of southern Pennsylvania, and it hit me that just a few miles back, we’d passed through a perfect metaphor for the year: Wild and Wonderful West Virginia. It was almost foreign from our perspective, a little rough around the edges, and – being only 15 miles wide at the point we drove through – passed by in the blink of an eye.
It’s taken awhile to get past the sting of losing one of my favorite gigs. When VIP Wichita Magazine’s parent company pulled the plug on us, it blindsided me and I spent a few days touring the local watering holes with my editor in a mix of reminiscence and mourning the loss of a publication he built from the ground up.
In January, something happened that I never expected: I got hired on as a staff writer for Fstoppers, a top-tier photography news and education site that I’ve loved for years. A wedding photographer friend (and fellow Fstopper), Levi Keplar, thought I’d be a good addition to the site and suggested I apply. Within hours, I was signing papers. To be a part of such an elite community has been absolutely wild, and I regularly feel like the impostor of the bunch.
It’s no secret that I’m terrible at self-promotion, so I wanted to take a minute to share some of my work as an Fstopper.
Black and white, blurry, grainy images have been on my mind for the past year. The imperfection of it makes it feel like action is happening, and the camera just barely caught it. Perfection is overrated.
Normally, a video shoot involves some pre-production meetings, storyboarding, lots of discussion over concept and content, a small army of people on-set, and a well-defined goal.
With Mitch McVicker, all of that is condensed into a quick text that goes something like, “Hey man, I’m going to be in town on Thursday. Can we do a video?” And with Mitch, that’s all I need to know. We’ve worked together since ’09, and my first music video (ever) was with him in Northern Ireland in 2011. From day one, we’ve been a run-and-gun pair that lets our environment determine our course of action and circumstances become opportunities rather than obstacles.