I don’t know whether to begin this post by saying that it has taken me since the day before Thanksgiving to pull the trigger on posting these photos of Jason Terry and his family or by freaking the f out that I got to photograph Jason Terry and his family the day before Thanksgiving 2015.

The free-spirited, just go, do and be mentality that I take pride in really fights with the business focused, solve problems, “don’t take no shit”, work hard so that when opportunity pitches, you’re poised to strike a home run side of who I have become. I want to make great things happen in my lifetime. I want to stand up for what’s right, battle what’s wrong and live for something. I want to bring the people around me the same kind of great opportunities any time that I can. This opportunity below is a catalyst of events and because I don’t do it enough, I’m going to stop and retrace my footsteps.

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One of my favorite things to fill my ears and brain with is the speech from Al Pacino on Any Given Sunday where he talks about how the  margin for error is so small. He goes on to talk about how every inch matters and there’s always a chance around you to gain another inch.  That speech has been wedged in my heart since and I don’t plan on letting it go anywhere. I discovered two nights ago, a heavenly mesh of all of my favorite speeches, thoughts and hopes including some Rocky quotes, a conversation with Will Smith where he talks about simply deciding to be what you want. You can check it at the end of this post. So retracing my footsteps goes like this:

  1. 1. I discover in my last year of college, while playing my last year of organized NCAA Basketball, that I have an innate desire to photograph the world around me. I sit up hours after hours, stalking photo blog after photo blog, learning how to perfect skin tones, how to reach the clarity I’ve always wanted. It was nights of seeing the sunrise in my apartment, holing up, pacing around my apartment in frustration as I couldn’t nail the skill. I spent years trying to learn on cheap equipment because I just didn’t have the money for the good stuff. No one around me felt what I felt. My dream wasn’t anyone else’s. It was mine. And I just couldn’t get there.
  2. 2. I finally get a job after college, and move to Dallas, rooming with my best friend, Rachel. For years, she was my subject, always calm, always patient and understanding with me as I snapped away, doing it wrong over and over and over. I just couldn’t let it go.
  3. 3. I finally got desperate and reached out to my favorite photographer to ask what the trick was. She wanted nothing to do with me. She didn’t want to help me and she made sure I understood it in her first and last e-mail.
  4. 4. I still couldn’t let it go. I got a better job in Houston and moved south, where I knew no one. I didn’t know the city, where I should live, what I could afford and I was becoming desperate to make enough money so that I wouldn’t have to move home. I started learning websites and code (my degree was in graphic design/multimedia) and I leaped out like I’d heard so many photographers do on a credit line to get the good equipment. All their stories talked about how they paid off $10,000 in 2 months. Part of me wonders now if they were amping their stories. It took me 2 years. But I fucking did it. And just last year, I was able to buy a new camera and pay it off my credit card in two months.
  5. 5. Houston has been a beautiful city to me, with just as many caring hearts as there are shitty drivers. I met two business colleagues, did right by them, was always willing to help them and then one day, they helped me. They asked me to help with a cheap budget they had on a project. I said absolutely and as it turns out, the Creative Director for the Rockets was there. To this day, he’s one of my favorite Houston personalities and as time went on, continuing not to take advantage of my chances, I ended up on the referring end of Jason Terry and his family’s want for family photos.

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Sorry for the watermarks. I’ve had enough of my photos stolen and used by other people/photographers across the internet, not naming any names THE SOURCE GEEZUS, for Bun B and Dwight Howard that now I’m a little ticked off and have to put them back in. The Source won’t return my requests, so if anyone knows someone who could help, much obliged.

In better conversation, Jason Terry’s wife is absolutely stunning and she produces mirror images! This is one insanely beautiful family and I’m just so lucky to be able to have taken these photos at all.

So in retracing my footsteps, the lessons I will take away are:

  1. 1. Do right by people.
  2. 2. They say it’s not about what you know, it’s who you know. I say, bump that. It’s both that keeps you there.
  3. 3. Spend more time YouTubing how to get these women’s beautiful eyebrows.

Inch by inch, the opportunities get better, and my journey continues…