social media

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So it’s been one week since I decided to delete instagram off my phone. To be honest, I never expected all the kind comments and emails. I appreciate it sooo so much. You have no idea. Everyone has been extra supportive but I have decided that Ill download Instagram again for the Cherry Blossoms at the latest. Don’t get me wrong though out of the 7 sunrises that have happened since my instabreak, I’ve gone out to shoot 4 times. So even though I’m not documenting it all on social media, I’m still at it as much as I can.

What have I learned from the break? I spend entirely too much time staring at my phone! I don’t need to catch up with my friends by seeing what they’re doing on the internet. I can simply call them or text them and find out what’s been going on straight from the horse’s mouth and its so much better that way. I’ve also learned to be more present. At times I’ll be walking around and think to myself, what should my next instastory be? or this would be great for an instastory. This past weekend while I was walking around I thought, wow that tree is beautiful, I’m just going to take a picture of it because I like it. No one else has to see it, but me.

Now I’m not sure if this has any correlation or not, but I’m also taking the time to learn more too. I’ve been consuming so many youtube videos, listening to audiobooks and just reading in general. I’ve been learning a lot about mindset, wealth and photoshop tutorials. It’s been great!

Overall, I am so grateful for the break. It was definietly a recharge and I feel more inspired than ever. I do miss instagram and I’ll be honest, I have checked it out once or twice on my desktop computer which I justified by saying, it’s not really the same LOL. So this is just a thank you so much for all your support. I’ll be back soon and probably by the end of the week! As of now, I’m not in a rush. Instagram will always be there 🙂

PS that tree I was talking about was a cherry blossom tree in Alexandria, VA. They’re starting to pop up in different places and I’m so excited!

My camera settings for this image is F8 at 1/8th of a second at ISO 500 with my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle len handheld.

All photos available for print and licensing >

I deleted Instagram off my phone on Tuesday night.

It may not seem like a big deal to some, but for me it was. I’m going to be open and honest here because I just got done talking about this with my friend, Alejandra and I felt inspired to share the story…

I woke up Tuesday morning at 6a. Not an unusual time for me to wake up if I’m not shooting the sunrise. Usually I’d wake up around 4:30-5 if I were. So 6am is kinda like I’m sleeping in. Just like everyone else, one of the first things I do when I’m fully awake is go on my phone and check out what’s been going on social media. One of the first things I see is that there was this amazingly beautiful sunrise, pinks, purples, the whole 9 that morning. I took a look out my bedroom window (which is facing west) and noticed that the sky was so pink. From my experience I know that if the sky facing west is pink then it had to be an amazing sunrise. I immediately felt upset. I missed out on an opportunity to capture one of my favorite things in the whole world, a colorful sky.

So that’s how I started off my day. I spent the rest of the morning thinking about where I would have gone if I went out to take pictures, what my composition what have been like, etc etc etc. Basically just beating myself up about missing the sunrise. But I felt like there had to be underlying reason why I was upset. I was upset because I knew that my most popular images on Instagram are the ones with skies just like the one I had slept through. They are the ones with the most beautiful sunrises with a memorial or something iconic in the foreground and I had missed out. This winter has been so grey and foggy that I couldn’t believe I stayed in bed for this one! I was missing out on the likes. I was missing out on new followers. I was missing out on other people’s confirmations that they like me as an artist and in turn them liking me as a person.

How freaking crazy is that?

So obviously one thought lead to another and I ended up having a really hard mental day. Everything was getting on my nervous. I started getting really antsy and impatient about some projects that I’m working on and why it’s not all complete. Even though nothing had really changed as far as the progression, I just expect things to come sooner, better, and I could not get over it.

I realized at the end of the day I was putting so much pressure on myself to be perfect, to create the type of images I was expected to, and to get as many ‘likes’ as I possibly could. What’s crazy is that I even have this magical number in my head that if I don’t hit it within the first hour of my posting, then it’s not a good image. I just couldn’t deal with it anymore and decided to delete instagram from my phone and take a little “instabreak”. I don’t know how long it’s going to last but I already feel like some pressure has been taken off.

As an artist, I shouldn’t be so concerned with what other people think of my work. I should be concerned if I like the work. I should worry about if the image I created is a true representation of who I am as an artist and if it conveys the thoughts or emotions that I want said.

I don’t know. Those are just my quick thoughts about being an artist on social media now. Please let me know if I’m not the only crazy and if you feel the same way as well. I’ll be back on instagram eventually. Probably within the next week because I still love it for artistic inspiration and I’ve made some amazing friends from the app. I just need to take a little bit of time for myself. I’ll still be out there taking pics even if I’m not posting on instagram… I’ll be posting them on twitter now instead. LOL. FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER!!! I took this one this morning at the Iwo Jima Memorial 🙂 JK I love taking pictures and sharing them with everyone. I just felt like I was putting too much pressure on myself and don’t feel the same pressure from facebook, twitter, etc…

Other thoughts that passed through my head yesterday were not being my true self on the internet vs. real life and the need for everything to be perfect in my images before posting them. If you’re interested, let me know and I can write another long ass blog post about those topics and hopefully start a discussion.

And for those who are only here for my camera settings they are F10 at 20 seconds ISO 160 on my Sony A7II and 16-35mm wide angle lens.

All photos available for print and licensing >

Every morning I have a routine. After I have settled into my desk and take care of the little things that need to be done, I will begin my day with processing an image. It relaxes me, it makes me happy and I feel accomplished once it’s done. I’m one of those photographers who enjoys the process of editing an image and I really believe that it’s at that time in front of the computer that your image really comes to life. Your emotions and vision become whole.

After I’m done, I’ll save it to a folder on my desktop called “haven’t blogged yet” and then uploaded the image to instagram. I usually come up with some little phrase or caption that suites the image but as soon as it’s up, I’ll mostly likely forget about the image. It’s kinda of those one and done things and then I’m on to working on the main focus for the day. However it doesn’t always make it on to instagram. I sort of have a love/hate relationship with the social media network. Most of the time, I love it. But there have been a few instances where the image just doesn’t look good. Whether it’s the instagram cropping, the resolution quality or even if it doesn’t fit well with the ‘grid’ view of my other images, there will be images that won’t even make it to my instagram. Is that being called being too picky?

On the flip side, people who follow me on instagram are the ones who are the first to see most of my images.

I have quite a few images in the “haven’t blogged yet” folder that have not seen the light of day on any social media. I still really enjoy them but sometimes, it just doesn’t fit well. They would only look good on my blog, facebook, and other social medias where you can see the whole entire piece. This is one of those images.

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I’d like to visit the tidal basin as much as I can this week. Cherry blossoms are no where near what they were like in previous years but regardless they’re still beautiful. With the cold weather, only about 50% have survived and will be peaking. As of right now, the flowers are almost there. Some trees are really beautiful and have some great blooms on them. Some are just completely dead. The others are half and half and it’s hard to tell which direction they’re going. I’d say if you were planning on a trip to go, I’d go towards the end of the week or even the weekend.  That is if you want to battle the craziness of the crowds and the actual cherry blossom festival.

This was taken yesterday morning around sunrise. The sunrise itself wasn’t too impressive since it was too cloudy but it made for the perfect backdrop for a moody cherry blossom shoot. I ran into my friend, Jarrett again. We always seem to run into each other during sunrise but especially during cherry blossom season. It’s sort of become a running joke with us. Regardless, he’s great company to walk around the basin with. We’ll talk about anything from photography to social media to creepin’ on other people’s engagement photoshoots. You’ll have to watch his instagram stories to understand. LOL.

My settings on this image was F8 at 1/80th of a second ISO 500 with my 28-70mm. I intentionally set my aperture around f/8 so I can get most things in focus. I definietly wanted the flowers to be seen and the Washington Monument. Another grey day means another high ISO image to make sure the wind wouldn’t make this image blurry.

But there will be more of these updates throughout this week and maybe even next week. Please let me know if you like them because I like posting them 🙂