Free Agent

A camera has been my constant companion for over a decade. I started my own photography business in 2015. As expected, it was slow at first but it gradually picked up. By the winter of that year, it had slowed down to a trickle. I was desperately seeking work, and quite frankly, income. The only things free in life is the air we breath and light from the glorious sun.

At that time, I started working as an IT Consultant for my families business. I enjoyed working for them. I love my family and was grateful to get out of the corporate environment I had been in for years. I sorted every IT problem that I could and wasn’t really needed on a daily basis, so I wished them well and am now a free agent.

When a person works for someone else, their income is usually consistent. When you work for yourself, it is rarely consistent. It was time to go. I’m a much stronger and better person, when I have to be quick on my feet. I don’t have the option to sit back and pick and choose projects or clients. I am willing to work with anyone. I don’t have the benefit of a large surplus of cash to sit on, and I don’t believe in taking welfare from the government when I’m able to work.  In other words, I better get to work!

What do I do?

I am a landscape, architectural, and portrait photographer. I cover several areas of photography. You have to today in order to survive. I sell landscape photographs on several stock photo sites, but I also do local portrait sessions, weddings, and events.

I also do photo retouching that usually consist of removing blemishes and color correction. I have been a constant user of Photoshop since the days of MS-DOS.

With the help of friends, I produce a weekly podcast about life, liberty, and the unending pursuit of happiness. That consist of setting up mics, setting up and managing the software and settings, audio editing in Adobe Audition, and publishing on the site as well as producing a video version for youtube in Premiere Pro CC. The podcast taught me about time management and logistics. At one time, we had co-hosts from the East Coast of the US, Ireland, and Australia. As you can imagine, managing the time table and getting everyone to show up at the same time in three different time zones can be a nightmare.

In addition, I have also written and published five travel photo books. Four of these are about Ireland, a project that took years to complete. I am still working on the last piece of the puzzle, a book of my adventures across the Emerald Isle and the misadventures I managed to get myself into over a decade.

My academic background is varied. I started out majoring in IT Security. I love all forms of tech, so it was right up my alley. After a few years, however, I started to hate the idea of spending the rest of my life in a dark room staring at monitors. I love the outdoors too much to dedicate the majority of my remaining days in a cubicle or server room. That may sound vain to some, but it is a matter of choice. I passed every class and certs with an “A”, so it wasn’t a matter of failing. I was minoring in Art at the same time.

At that time, my family was having some problems, so I did somewhat of a 180 and changed my major to Criminal Justice. I minored in Forensics, so there was still technology involved. I graduated with honors in less than two years. It was a great decision. I had some of the best professors you could ask for. Though we had heated debates, most of them always welcomed debate on the Constitution.

Convoluted English

Linguistics is a fascinating study of how our ears decipher syllables and audible cues and transform them into imagery our minds can retain.  As a Southern American boy, I regularly butcher the English language.  Quite frankly, it’s a wonder any of us can understand each other.  If you can understand me on the podcast, you’re an amazing specimen of human engineering.  🙂

What I lack in verbal skill, I make up for in the written word.  As a photographer, I talk to other photographers, writers, and editors all over the world.  Over a decade ago, I started expanding my own knowledge base by reading hundreds of old books from Irish, Scottish, and English authors.  Because of this and learning the structure of old English, I know words that I can’t utter because no one else uses them.

I tend to adapt my spelling and writing style depending on who I’m writing.  I don’t do this to deceive people.  I’m very proud to be an American.  I love our Country!  But, for the odd person that doesn’t watch much American TV, they may not understand some of the terms I may use.  I do this to make it easier on the other person.  It can backfire, however.  When I was in college, I wasn’t thinking and wrote an entire five page paper in what we would consider British English.  I received a fat “F” on that sucker.  The professor was under the impression that I couldn’t spell, but after explaining my mishap, I was able to make it up.

The other day, I was talking to a guy(Would use ‘chap’ here, but I’d get yelled at for that.) and used the word, “Row”, instead of argument, fight, or kerfuffle.  He was clueless, so I had to back peddle and explain what I meant.  Some may perceive using another form of English as unAmerican, but it isn’t in my case.  I have little use for the modern shortened version of American English.

Noah Webster set out to standardize American English, but in doing so, we lost the parts of English that make it adaptable.  If you look back to Anglo-Saxon English, for example, the letters, vowels, and their organization within a word may tell you of the original linguistic background and sometimes geographical origin.

Knowing the original spelling of words and the history behind them also helped me understand other languages.  “Auld”, for instance, is a Gaelic surname.  It means old, but it is also a surname.  Interesting stuff, aye?  There is a story behind every word in every language..