When I was a kid I had a dog named, Boozer, whom my dad named and looking back it’s quite fitting that that’s the name he chose. This big fluffy, dirty, mutt of a dog and I became instant best friends. I can remember him following me everywhere, looking for me if I wasn’t around and he always had to sleep next to me. When kids would make fun of me or laugh at me, he could sense I was hurt and would start barking at them. He protected me and he loved me and I sure did love him. One day, Boozer bit a kid for picking on me and although the details are blurry, the end result was that Boozer had to be put to sleep. I was crushed and didn’t think the tears in my eyes would ever run out. My little broken heart told me that I would never have this type of connection, friendship or love for a dog ever again.
Then one day I met, JR, who was this big beautiful Golden Retriever with the kindest spirit. I kneeled down and said “hey boy” as I looked at him in his sweet little eyes and ran my hand through his frost white coat. He pushed closer to me and lifted his head while my hand was on it as if he was signaling that he felt the same thing that I was, an instant bond.
Every time I would see JR he would run up to me and start crying like a little puppy, though he was well into his twilight years. He would follow me all over the house, he would plop his big body on me or would at least have to place his paw on my hand when I was near. We would walk together and I even took him for a run while his old hips kept saying “stop” his youthful heart said “lets keep going”.
JR reminded me so much of Boozer and he transported me back to my childhood, back to when innocence and play was at the frontline of my existence. The small child version of me fell in love with the big fluffy aged version of him and in that bond, I felt a rare love for an animal that I never thought I would feel again. I don’t even have this type of kindred connection with my own fur-baby whom I love dearly. This was different, this was a brief expression of nostalgia mixed with magic, and for that he will always have a tender space in my heart.
When I heard of JR’s passing, it affected me deeply. Not because he’s gone, but because he reminded me of ways to love. Thank you for all of the smiles, laughs and memories, Old Boy.
This episode with Jenna is probably one of my favorite conversations that I’ve had on the podcast so far because it was so real, authentic and transparent. This was the first time Jenna shared her experiences not only as a model, but also as a human. After the session I thanked her for being so vulnerable and brave and expressed that I’m grateful to have this new space that we built where a true friendship can organically grow.
I’m pushing for 100 episodes this year and currently approaching episode No.18 of Season 2 of the SS/OUND WAVES® Podcast, which is astonishing to me because that means I’ve put out more content in the past four months than I have in over two years of working on this project. I went from recording on a small handheld Tascam® voice recorder, to a Rode® mic in my garage to now a set of Sure® SM7B’s in my dedicated podcasting space, aka, the Zen Den. I feel it’s only prudent for me to give a quick breakdown of why and how things shifted for me in this space. What held me up, and what lead me to freedom.
1. Self-Belief - I had to find it in myself that I’m capable of not only pursing a big dream, but that it’s also achievable.
2. Confidence - This is different than self-esteem (it took me years to realize that) and confidence is the fundamental superpower that allows you to keep saying “yes” when everyone else is telling you “no”. Even if it isn’t true ‘yet’, I always tell myself that I have the best podcast in the world. I say it so much that I actually began to believe it. That belief is like a canister of gas in your trunk for when you run out, and you will run out. – Believe in your product and sell it often.
3. Commitment - This was a game changer for me. I was always half in/half out because I wasn’t fully committed to this project, even though I knew the message was one of positivity. To sum this feeling up, I didn’t believe this podcast was mine yet and was too insecure of it to talk about it. Once I fully committed, this extravagant thing shifted in me, I fell in love with this project and I’m now so proud of it. I literally share it with everyone that I can, from the cashier to the stranger at the coffee shop to even my family (which is something that I’ve never done before). – Commitment in your belief will lead others to believe in your commitment.
5. Support - Speaking of telling and sharing my dreams, passion and purpose with my family; this is the first time I’ve let them be a part of my professional journey and man does it feel good to have them in my corner, rooting for me and believing in me. It gives me affirmation that the people who’ve seen my at my worst, acknowledge that I’m now at my best. It confirms that I am doing what I was meant to do. There hasn’t been an episode that I’ve released in the past four months that someone close to me hasn’t given me feedback. Either constructive or otherwise, its all positive and important because I know it’s authentic. – This also extends to the close friends in my life.
6. Showing Up - Okay, this is probably the most common sense yet underrated or underestimated factor when it comes to not only chasing but also achieving your goal(s). You can’t enter a race, let alone win one, if you don’t first put on your running shoes and get yourself out the door. Showing up on a daily basis in pursuit of your mission is EVERYTHING. There are many episodes that I’ve recorded that suck and that will never get published. I was either tired, distracted, unmotivated or uninspired. The fact that I showed up and recorded them anyway is what gives me the edge for those magic moments when I’m in a flow-state and my message is told in an authentic and impactful way. There are no failures when you show up, there’s only lessons learned and muscles built. – Put on your shoes and run daily!
7. You Are Your Product - This actually needs to be its own podcast episode because there’s a lot to cover in this one. When I realized that I’m not selling anything, in fact I am now giving it all away for free, I realized that I am not only the product but I am also the packaging. Which means I can make this product as impactful, special, desirable and as high-end as I please. – What are you selling and why should people buy it?… And would you buy it for yourself?
8. Would You Do It For Free? - Speaking of giving away for free, I’m a firm believer that your passion, mission and purpose stem from the one thing you would do enthusiastically even if you never earned a dime from it. When your work or art is centered around your heart and is in service of others, the universe has a very endearing way of making sure your external life matches your internal experience. – Are you focusing on making dollars or making change?
9. Pay Attention - When I’m writing, recording, or talking about my aspirational pursuits, I can feel my physicality, voice and energy shift. I start smiling and getting excited. I get pumped up and feel this exhilarating energetic momentum take over my body. Are you feeling a dynamic shift when you engage in your work? – Our bodies tell us the things that our minds can’t say.
10. Move Your Feet - I used to do a lot of dreaming, a lot of talking and a lot of mental projections of future manifestations but always found myself disappointed or let down because these dreams weren’t coming into existence. Then I realized words that aren’t followed up with affirming actions forward are just that, words. Now I talk and I walk. I ramble and I run, because I know my words will tell people I coming but my feet will show people that I’ve arrived! – A winners words in lockstep with a winners actions will result in a winners experience.
I’m going to be honest, none of this was premeditated, I literally typed this entry in about five minutes with little to no effort on my end, which tells me that this was just as much for ME as it was for YOU. I believe in you, I believe in me and I know we can do this. Let’s go!
Welcome back to the blog! I can’t believe I’ve left this thing on the back-burner for so long, and to be completely honest with you – I actually forgot about it until about an hour ago when I was listening to a podcast and the words “successful blog” was thrown out and I consciously caught them like an outfielder that caught the game winning catch (I’m not really into sports but felt this analogy sufficed).
I mean, it’s been nearly two years since I’ve been active and posted on this thing, and yes there’s so many reasons and variables as to why I went M.I.A but to sum it up – I needed to heal some things and learn to love all of the pieces of me, even the old creative ones (like this) that I was trying to stifle and suppress because it reminded me too much of my old life. After a lot of internal work, I’m now in this really beautiful space within where I no longer wish to silence any of the pieces that serve me. Now I’m only interested in celebrating and loving all of me, and that includes my creativity.
When I first started Steezy® Studios and this whole photography project, I had no clue who I was and I especially had no idea of what I had to contribute. Now, I’m so clear about not only who I am and what I stand for, but also what I want to offer the world. I want to move and inspire others through my verbal expressions, positive actions and this creative visual language. I want to communicate love in anyway that I can to those who feel they’ve been deemed unlovable.
So, here were are, in the NOW and man does it feel good to get these fingers back on the keyboard as I openly express my feelings in a way that I forgot was so special to me. Stay tuned for more insights, updates and visual expressions of my life.
The Konica® Hexar AF became my new favorite camera after the first roll. Everything about it makes it a pleasurable shooting experience and I figured I might as well buy a few accessories since I know it’ll be in my permanent collection. First, I had a custom leather black on black half-case made by a wonderful artisan in Japan. It took about a month and a half but the outcome is truly a thing of beauty. Next, the good people over at Peak Design® was kind enough to send me a quick-release Slide strap. I then added a 46mm-49mm lens adapter to fit a bunch of old Japanese made filters that I ordered including my favorite, a black pro-mist (when buying filters be sure to purchase superior glass that won’t dilute the quality of your lens). I honestly think this camera could single-handedly take on the tasks of pretty much every 35mm film camera that I own. It’s super versatile and produces photos that never seem to disappoint. The only other camera that I’ve been using is a T4 when I need something small to throw in my bag. Which then makes me question why I’m hoarding so many other cameras that seem to sit in a cabinet all day.
We haven’t eaten “dirty” in a few months so we decided it was time for a treat. We stopped by Pizza Cookery which is a quant little spot that the gal and her parents used to frequent during her childhood. Walking in was like stepping into a time capsule embodied with a full wood treatment anchoring the atmosphere, fairy lights dangling, tchotchke’s adorned on the walls, saw-dust on the floors and ice in the mens urinals (I never understood this method but its always fun to watch it melt). The decor was warm, welcoming and filled with love as if you were visiting your Nona’s house for a Sunday supper. The vegan gluten-free pizza and pasta was quite delicious but honestly, my mouth was salivating as the real deal authentic traditional dishes were walking past us. Sometimes being a vegan is tough when you remember just how delicious certain homemade food is, but nevertheless, we left with our bellies full and smiles on our faces. Thank you to the extremely kind staff at Pizza Cookery for being so welcoming.
As someone who enjoys running and being active while pursing creativity and embodying a vegan diet, I have found that it’s absolutely essential to take daily supplements to keep me functioning at peak performance. I really wish someone would have told me years ago how important a chemical and nutritional balance is when trying to live a life that enables me to navigate clear minded and full of energy. We were designed to build, assembled to move and use our bodies. We were created to create. It’s vital to unblock any resistance that doesn’t allow us to do our obligations.
I feel like every few months I have a new epiphany or a realization that I grew out of what I created here at Steezy Studios. When I reflect on how it all started and how in love I was with photography, it somewhat puts me in a state of grieving because I’m no longer the person that I was when I started this project. I’ve grown up and expanded. My new pursuits don’t align with what this site/project once was. The audience came for wild nights, naked models and a person behind the lens that was okay with living life on the edge if it produced self-indulgent content. Sometimes I joke and say, “Trying to feed my current audience the positive, conscious minded subject matter that I want to inject into society now is like trying to preach the bible to a room full of atheists”.
So where does that leave me, or shall I say where does that position this website? Well, I know that this isn’t the place to try to endocrine the comprehensive state of wellbeing that I’m currently in. It’s not on brand and you, the audience, came here purely for photography, which has lead me to a fork in the road because I don’t know if I identify with being a photographer any longer. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love photography and will make photos for the rest of my life but it isn’t at the forefront of who I am or what I wish to pursue. To say I am a thing that doesn’t fully fulfill me any longer would be a disservice to a discipline that I have a tremendous amount of love and respect for.
Do I re-work this site and shape it to mold my viewpoints or do I completely start over with a new brand, new idea, new place for spiritual and creative growth? That’s what I’ve been grappling with for the past two years. I feel like I’m in an unfulfilling relationship but its hard to leave because I’ve spent over a decade here and I still feel a sense of comfort in the discomfort. When life was hard, bad, sad or chaotic, photography and this website was always here for me to vent to. For me to shed my tears with and for me to pour all of my aspirations into. This project has saved my life more times than I wish to express. It was, and somewhat will always be, my baby.
What do I do? That my friends, is my current battle.
The Dubblefilm® Show plastic camera is a recent expression of a nod to an industrial marvel, the disposable camera. The Show is a reloadable 35mm film camera that has all of the characteristics that people adore about the old disposables but is completely reloadable with a fun blog worthy color-palette.
We added a small batch of high quality compact shooters to the SSCC. These are guaranteed to help you capture special moments.