Today marks a pretty special day in my life, as today is the two year anniversary for living in Albuquerque, NM from Kalamazoo, MI. I get questioned by clients here in Albuquerque, as well as everyone else around town on why I moved here, so I wanted to talk about that.
Prior to moving to Albuquerque, I was in a pretty serious relationship with a woman in Kalamazoo. That relationship ran it’s course and left me devastated, confused, and uninspired. Prior to the relationship even ending, my photography and the creative side of my life was suffering, without me even knowing. So moving to Albuquerque was my bold attempt to start fresh, find myself again, and get my creative side back on track.
And that’s exactly what happened.
I moved to Albuquerque without even knowing anyone. I wanted to get out of Michigan for years, but never really knew how (Sometimes being stuck somewhere voluntarily can still make it feel like a prison). The confusion, the heartbreak, and the lack of inspiration gave me one thing – courage.
I decided that I wanted to go somewhere, and Albuquerque always seemed like an interesting place to start fresh. So I loaded up a 16’ moving truck, and sold the remaining stuff I had, and set my GPS west, hoping I’d find my creativity along the way.
I arrived in Albuquerque with little understanding of how the city worked and where the cool parts where. I didn’t know anyone, which at times made me feel even more lost than I already was. But quickly, I was able to meet some pretty spectacular people such as Jennifer Garrett, a local photographer who I’ve worked with on multiple projects; Kata Baron, my local makeup artist and go to girl for anything creative; and Zach Work, a photography hobbyist who has always found a way to encourage me to approach the world with a different perspective.
The Rise of Headshot Photography in Albuquerque
I moved here with a little of a plan. I wanted to be a full time photographer, with no other jobs on the side. I wanted to fully engulf myself in all things photography and really watch my career blossom into something to be proud of. And it did, when I found my love for Headshot Photography.
Certainly, I was doing headshot work in Michigan, but it was always a side gig that never really made enough to support my living. When moving to Albuquerque, I had to claw my way to the top of the ranks as quickly as possible, as I didn’t want a side job to help support my true love. I met with agents, casting directors and actors to see what Albuquerque needed, and poured my heart into it. I’m now the most active and successful headhsot photographer in all of New Mexico, and have gotten some national recognition of my work here in town.
I also got offered a job at Fstoppers. I had always thought of Fstoppers as my go to source for inspiration, training and news, but never thought I’d be apart of such an amazing and growing community. About a year and a half ago, I join the team of writers, and now I work as an editor for them, and handle many of the press opportunities that they have offered to me.
And this gave me connections. Before then, I was just another photographer who had found some success in social media, but was largely unknown in the photography world. Now I have connection at Canon, Adobe, PhaseOne, Profoto, CreativeLive and others – all wanting me to succeed in my craft and grow into an even better photographer.
And then, a few months ago, I was approached by RGG EDU to produce a DVD tutorial series on my work and skill sets. I’ve always admired photographers like Joey L, Erik Almas, and Lara Jade; discovering them largely for their tutorial series. Never did I think I’d be put in the ranks of them and be able to teach a whole new generation of photographers.
So today marks another day in my life. Today we begin production on this tutorial series to be sold at the end of summer. A tutorial series that I had dreamed of, but never thought would come to fruition. A tutorial series I’ve spent dozens of hours planning, setting up and getting ready for. A tutorial series that is my baby, and the most important project I’ve done in my entire life, let alone my career.
So thank you, everyone. Thank you to all those who have inspired me. Thank you to those who have harshly critiqued my work only because they expect better, and thank you to all those who have met me, promoted me and watched my career grow, specifically here in Albuquerque. As for now, my big project is waiting for me…so I’ll be back to business here in a week or so.