Its been a great week for work this week as I’ve had two big travel stories on the Big Island and Maui run in the New York Times and the Associated Press released my writing and pictures on a trip to Kalaupapa on Molokai.
But if anyone takes likes as a measure of fulfillment, the shot of the surfer flying off his board at Jaws on Maui got over 16,000 likes on the @nytimestravel instagram page. Impressive!
But more impressive for myself is my new career of writing. In college I wanted to be a writer and took a few classes but didn’t take myself seriously to follow through with any of it. I doodled in diaries and mailed long love letters during my travels in Latin America and Asia. But its only been in the last few years that I’ve gotten acknowledged as a writer and published. Taking pictures has become second nature for me but writing is still the great frontier.
A few weeks ago, I received an email from an editor at Popular Photography magazine asking me if I’d like to be featured in their “How Traveling Photographer” article for December 2015.
Although I had shot a portrait for Pop Photo a few years ago, I was thrilled to be featured as I was obsessed with the magazine as a very young person. Their articles showcased big name photographers, fancy equipment, and different photographic techniques. They published images from far away places that truly did seem so far away from my little bedroom in San Antonio. I fantasized about one day being a Nikon slinging photographer crossing deep valley gorges to capture exotic people and locations.
At the time, I was taking pictures with an inexpensive Pentax with third party lenses, but I longed for a Hasselblad, a state of the art Nikon strobe, and Kodachrome film. The magazine made me believe if I had a camera with an evaluative metering system along with a Vaseline smeared filter, I could be a jet setting photographer and travel the world.
Jump a few decades forward and I have crossed a few valleys and do live in an exotic location. I just did it without the Vaseline.
The assigning editor asked me for a few of my best Hawaii pictures and set me up with writer, Jeff Wignall, interview me on how and where to take the best beauty photos in Honolulu. The writer and I went back and forth a few times and he came up with a great piece. I’m more of a travel guide than a photographer guru as I gave no technical advice, but it is an enjoyable read nevertheless.
I hope the article inspires a young kid somewhere to dream big about making a life with a camera. I know it did for me.