Vantage Point / Effort + Perspective

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Vantage Point / Effort + Perspective

Back in 2010, when I got married and moved to Miami, I had the privilege to work at Apple as a Family Room Specialist. This position is basically a one-on-one and workshop instructor, and part Genius specializing in mobile devices and some computers. Though I was only there for a short time before embarking on another great career opportunity, I learned quite a bit! Part of the mission of Apple at the time when I was there was to enrich lives through the products that are created. I got to be part of that first hand being able to sit with people every day to help and show them how their product can truly change their life. Not only did I show them how to use their devices but I was able to meet them where they were at and actually show them how they can use it in their daily life. It was such a rewarding experience! 

The marketing lesson here is seeing how people see things. I believe our experiences can put us at different vantage points in our lives. As content creators and marketers we have the power to sway how people see things. Don’t believe me?

If you have been playing attention over the past 2 decades you would have noticed that the American-made Ford Motor Company has been getting slammed. There are numbers to prove it, Google it. Remember the acronyms: Found On Road Dead, Fix Or Repair Daily? Not to mention the Firestone and Ford tire controversy which was a very huge deal.  One didn’t have to know much about Ford to determine if making an investment was worth the thought.

Does all mean that people never bought Ford again? No. In the past few years Ford Motor Company has done something to change the overall outlook on their company and their products. From my perspective and point of view I’ve noticed key changes that have made people change their minds about owning this American-made vehicle. Maybe they took a page from Apple but they showed how their products enriched peoples lives starting with the people that actually work at Ford. They launched a series of media that showed the hardworking people of Ford who are just like you and I. They showed the spirit and the hard working class of our great country. The focus was now shifted on the lifestyle brand of Ford. Consumers now have a vested interest in the company because I believe Ford Motor Company has met people where they are and connecting with every walk of life.

What does have to do with vantage point and how to shoot better? It has everything to do with effort. What if Ford never made the effort to connect with their audience? What if Apple created products just to compete with other computer companies? For the content creator, what if we didn’t push beyond our own limits or norm to deliver great content? 

Taking a photo or video is different for me now. I can take a shot of my kid from where I stand or I can take a shot by bending my knees, meeting them at eye level showing a different perspective that other adults can’t see. It all requires effort. Not everyone communicates the same and as creatives we can’t always assume the way or how people input/output information.

My virtual mentor, Chris Do of The Futur gave a resent talk about how mindset changes everything. There’s input and output but he explains how there is one more step we don’t factor in. Chris opens up by asking a true/false question. You get out of life what you put it. True. The part we fail to factor in is interpretation. I asked myself why that is and my experiences states the obvious: everyone’s interpretation is difference because people of difference walks of life have different experiences. In fact, they all have their own set of filters. Input and interpretation have different outputs of emotion. Anyone can find a way to be happy, sad, excited, grateful, angry, hurt, or inspired. Chris mentions that there must be a developed belief system that cause one to output happy all the time. I’m sure “happy” is an emotion we always want to interpret and output.

To invoke such filters, the creator must push beyond what comfortable, effort is required. What are you communicating? Through what filters shape how you’re communicating? Knowing this could very well change how you create, how you frame that next shot.

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By Default

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By Default

I set out for a few habits at the start of this year. 

I failed.

Not only did I fail, I went back to what I did before. You know, the tried and true—got the t-shirt kinda thing. I’m not one to judge my own self but I will. 

Why do we even do this to ourselves? Place super high standards on ourselves. I think it’s because we know our best self in just a layer deep within our…stubborn self. Reaching beyond our own level of comfort is right where our best self resides.

Our level of comfort is no match to the success we think we could reach doing what we have been doing all along.

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I heard this quote many times in business, “The best and fastest way to go out of business is by holding on to what emotionally feels good.


If you are exactly where you were last year (that thing you wanted to change) chances are…you’re probably still in that zone. This is the part where one goes to default, it’s automatic. For me, I’m having to learn to get out of my own self to do the things that gets me closer to such habits and goals of the successful version of me.


what I’ve learned about comfort zones


Staying in your comfort zone never results to truly feeling of being comfortable. There’s always the nagging feeling that I could be doing more. The more comfortable I feel today, the more uncomfortable I’ll feel tomorrow.

It’s always a desire. And desires always have a tendency of growth.

There really is no destination, it’s always exploring and exploring. Staying curious.


3 ways on how to get out of default



stay curious

Curiosity isn’t safe, maybe not so much reckless (?) I guess that depends! Surely, if I’m as curious as that cat I keep hearing about, I will end up just like it. Cats have like 9 lives so…theres that. There is already an increase in the fail-success ratio, clear advantage. But if I were to take notes from THAT cat, it showed me with being curious really means. It’s marked by a desire to investigate and learn. Having the mindset to be a life-long learner is what is really going to set you about from the person you are now to the person you set to be in the future. Another thing this cat teaches me is the inquisitive interest it has to it’s subject or new surroundings.



set habits

I made the mistake of creating goals last year. I didn’t keep it because my mind was set on THE goal—the THING. Maybe it was too big. I reached some goals last year but I felt like I sort of crawled my way across the finish line. There’s a better way. And there is, and I found out what I was doing! 

I train and mentor many creatives weekly and they always tell me that they want to shoot better photos. Some will even show me example of what they want to shoot like. My reply is that they can get there too but you have to stay consistent in one thing to make you better photographer: keep shooting. If it mean shooting everyday, do it. And that there is a habit. To some it’s simple, and to others that’s hard. If you shoot film, it’s hard and very expensive!

The photos you see on this blog entry came from a medium format film camera I got from my dad right before he passed away late April 2018. He loaned it to me earlier in the year and I vowed to myself to shoot more film so he could show me his process on developing. It’s an art form I was always interested in and growing up I always saw him transforming our bathroom into a darkroom. Needless to saw, 12 exposures took serval months, and I finally got it developed from a local place. The roll before that, about 3 of 12 came out decent. This roll, I was pleased with! I got better, still some work to be done, but I know I must be consistent with it. Now reviewing it, I know I really need to give a good clean to the lens and some other parts. Also, I can work on better exposure composition. In short, I need to be shooting more. For now, I share the straight from the negative scan, no edits. In a few weeks I will touch it up and give to clients I did the work for. I will be sure to share on my socials as well.

repeat

It’s simple. Repetition. Work the habit like a muscle till it’s muscle memory. And yes, muscle memory is a thing. Has a lot to do with motor task but I believe the same could work for whatever task you are trying to make part of your successful self.


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What habits are you setting for yourself this year?

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The Up-Keep / The Keep-Up

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The Up-Keep / The Keep-Up


Keeping up with content
Starting / maintaining (finishing - the work is never done)

being overwelmed


The current state of how we consume content has greatly increased. I believe this is due to the moves consumer tech has been making in today’s market in the past few years, mainly mobile technology. If you’re a church your expected to have a podcast. If you’re an artist you expected to be on Apple Music, Spotify or Amazon. If you’re a designer you’re expected to have a Behance, website or blog to share your process. All these demands that we feel like we have to meet...it all seems exhausting.

I had a conversation with my chiropractor this morning about some past and resent projects Ileana and I have been currently working on for IB. He was quite interested in what I was telling him. I knew what his next phrase was going to be. “Do you have a website?” “I most certainly do!” In the back of my mind all I could think about was how behind I am on updating all the content..blogs, films, photos, other projects. That sense of being overwhelmed suddenly came back. What’s funny is that my doctor and I started talking about that very thing, how most creative professionals get so busy working on other clients work that they leave their own projects for last.

When I got home I told Ileana about that moment. We begin to list off the number of creatives we follow and saw how active they were in producing content for their clients and how long ago their latest blog post was on their personal site.


We get overwhelmed with ideas
Starting is always exciting
Maintaining is the real drag

Where is that same excitement from the start?

How we prevent that:


Bring others along on the journey
Different personalities can bring life to a project
They are also capable of seeing things that one solo person working on it can see

Visit often / set frequent goals
Weekly meetings, goals, bench marks

Find people who do it better than you
Some thrive off competition while for others it keeps them inspired
 


but let’s get real

Keeping up is one thing, up keeping is something totally different. It requires another discipline (sometimes many others) that needs to be developed. I for one, don’t have the natural disciplines to up keep ideas. I may have ideas that can keep up with today’s trends but now, more than ever, the up keep discipline are currently in develop-mode for me. Having either isn’t a bad thing but I believe where many creatives are is in the grind of always creating new things they are super sporadic. One week would be a fashion blog, another week it’s selling t-shirt’s on Etsy, coffee review blogs, then People of NY type of thing on Instagram.

At this point of my career I’m starting to understand the importance of execution and consistency. Get me together with another creative and we can have enough ideas that would start up a new country! That country will so crumble because with all the ideas that were given, executing a plan and maintaining all ideas for future decades is just far too...nerve racking. The last thing we need is yet another idea. Let’s actually stick to something we can properly and creatively maintain. You know the saying, quality over quantity. I would rather my next vacation be something of value having fewer activities I would thoroughly enjoy than having a bunch of activities being stressed out jumping from thing to thing.

I believe thinking this through has much to do with the art of enjoying the process.


self assessment


What are some things I need to stop doing to be more productive?

What 1 idea can I rally around and make it the best putting all creative energy into?

What are the ideas I can lay to rest for now until the right time, right season comes around?

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Road Trip to Florida

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Road Trip to Florida

This past week Brandon and I took the kids on a road trip to Florida. We where celebrating my birthday and our 7th wedding anniversary. What better way to bring in my 30th year than by celebrating it with family! The older I get the more I appreciate and treasure this time with family and I wanted to celebrate this milestone next to them.

Elijah and Esther did fantastic on our 18+ hours on the road and it was totally worth it when he got to see the BEACH! Even though it was windy and in the 70’s he enjoyed it!

Esther, on the other hand, did not appreciate the sand hitting her so we decided to go on a bike ride while Elijah enjoyed the beach with the Abuelos.

Brandon asked me what was the best part of the trip and other than seeing family. I mentioned that the food was by far the best part! We ate like we would not see food in 3 weeks! We ate...and ate...and ate some more. It was great!

While we were in Florida we also got to see some of our friends we love and treasure! Elijah got to see his best friend on our last day in Florida. He was ecstatic!

As I reflect in our trip, I am grateful that He has given me the best family and friends one could ask for.

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Jace // Newborn Session

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Jace // Newborn Session

Last month our friends Jodi and Abram welcomed in the coolest dude ever into the world..meet my buddy Jace! Let me say that Jace was THE best baby I have ever done for a newborn session--probably better than my own 2 children, HAHA--but seriously!

We had alot of fun crashing their home on a Saturday morning, taking photos and hanging out with the Schulte family. Shout out the the girls for letting us use their room. They had the best lighting!

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