2016 was certainly a rollercoaster year for me. My year started out with a phone call from my dad on New Years eve saying that my mom fell while getting out of the car and broke her hip and would need surgery to fix it. While i was very concerned and knew that it was major surgery and the recovery process would be long I felt that she would get through it ok. The next morning my dad called me saying that things did not go well and that I need to fly down to Florida as soon as possible. I hopped the next flight and met my sister who was flying in from Ohio at the airport and we drive up to the hospital. We spent the next few hours with my mom who was on a breathing machine and not awake, after a while we were kicked out as visiting hours were over and we were told that we could come back the next morning. We went back to my dads place and tried to get some sleep. We got a call from the hospital at around 4 in the morning saying that we need to get back right away as she took a turn for the worse. Her brain had swelled and was on full life support. We had to make the hardest decision’s of our lives and that was to pull the plug and take her off life support as we did not want to see her suffer any more and the chances of recovery was very slim.
The next few days were spent getting the funeral arrangements in order and the funeral. These days were very stressful for me and also going through my own medical issues I did not feel good the entire time.
One the bright side this gave me a chance to reconnect with my sister who I really did not talk too that much over the past years. We never had a fight but we both had our separate lives. This reconnection helped me through the initial grieving process. After a few more days I needed to return home and get back to work.
Something I had been thinking about for a long time was that I needed a change. I was working a high stress job that I hated and I was burned out being in the IT industry. I had started looking for other opportunities and after getting back from Florida I decided that life is too short and I wanted to do something I that want to do for the rest of my life and not what someone else wants me to do. I went to my boss and turned in my notice. Everything started out really well as I had a bunch of jobs come my way and was working from home editing videos and getting the opportunity to work on the set of some short films doing behind the scenes photography all while learning a ton about filmmaking.
Things then got slow as the client I was working for decided to go another direction. I was able to get a few more gigs to get by but it was time to look for something else to help supplement my income and I was able to start working part time at the local camera shop I always shopped at.
I worked there 3 days a week and then when one of the other full timers turned in their two week notice I was able to jump up to full time. This is a fun job as I get to talk photography and videography all day long. I am also going to be doing a YouTube channel for the store and get to be more creative.
The best thing to happen to me this year was meeting my girlfriend Jeannie. In the middle of May the Raleigh Photo Group had a meet up at the Eno River State Park. I spent the morning walking around the park and taking pictures and toward the end of the meet up I ran into Jeannie and we explored an abandoned cabin together and we started chatting with each other until it was time to go home.
The next day I got a facebook message from her and we started chatting online. We then met for lunch one day and takes about doing a shoot together and I got to take her to my favors spot and she modeled for me. We kept chatting online with each other and one day we decided to meet up and go for a hike and I decided that I was going to ask her out.I knew that she had moved here from Oregon to get away from her marriage and go though the divorce process and I did not want to be insensitive and ask her out while she was going through this but I said to myself it was now or never. We kicked for a few miles through the park and as we were almost at the car I asked and she immediately said yes. This made my whole year. We have been together ever since and as of the writing of this blog we are about to hit our 7 month anniversary. She has been the best thing to ever happen to me and I fall in love with her more and more every day. We just spent our first holidays together and and I could have not asked for a better Christmas.
So what is store for me for 2017? I have a bunch of projects that I am starting to put into effect. First is to market myself better to get more jobs and the first part of that is a complete website redesign. I have been working on it for about two weeks and I hope to launch it by New Years Eve.
I also decided that I want to start blogging. So this post is the first of what will be a weekly blog. I will be blogging about what is going on in my life and project updates. Speaking of projects I am starting to put the wheels in motion on a project that I have been thinking about for the past two years and I decided that it was time to get going on it.
I have been wanting to shoot a documentary film about my love of abandoned places. I want to meet up with other urban explorers and tell a story of why we love abandonment so much. I am still trying to figure out the title of it and I know this will take about two years to shoot and edit but I am excited to get the project off the ground. I hope to film a trailer for it in the next couple of weeks and then try to get some support for the film through one of the crowdfunding campaigns.
So to end this blog I decided that I would show you my top pictures of 2016. While I did not get out and shoot for myself nearly as much as i wanted to this year I still think I got some amazing images and I hope you all enjoy them.
Until next week.