The Law of Attraction.
As my fingers leap across the keyboard, I'm projecting my unrelenting and insatiable belief in the Law of Attraction, out into the universe. In recent years I've kept it to myself. In the last 6 months I've put it on my fridge in the form of a magnetic vision board - which in all honesty probably provoked the unusual series of events that I'll allude to below.
Not many people know this but seven weeks ago I suddenly lost my seemingly safe and secure full-time job (as computer programmer for a Government Agency, of all places) with 2 just hours notice to hand in my security pass, and not even a chance to say goodbye to colleagues. It was actually quite surreal and didn't make sense at the time. To be clear, this isn't the commentary of a disgruntled employee; it's simply an interesting fact.
I've experienced a lot of things in my life; I've never experienced that. 'Getting fired. Tick'.
Looking back, it feels kind of bad-ass getting let go from an office job, which those who know me can tell you that I'm far from bad-ass. The story sounds as though I did something wrong or grossly negligent, but the truth is that I was simply in a place where I didn't belong, and on an employment contract with no protection clauses.
As a side note, and on a meta level, (most, but not all) organisations where I have worked over the past 10 years during an arguably very successful career in IT, can sometimes accumulate people that, as nice as they are, often operate on autopilot in a negative state of consciousness - eg. fear, pride and desire to name but a few. If you've ever read Power vs Force by Dr. David R. Hawkins or follow any of the Buddhist philosophies on life you'll know exactly what I mean. It can be an unsettling place, but I digress.
The funny and interesting thing is, I actually had a dream the night before, that I had actually been let go, but for a different reason to the one that actually given. Go figure.
My take-away is that my subconscious had decided that I should stop wasting my life doing something that isn't congruent with what I should be doing, and do something that I should have been doing all along - break out of the shackles of 'stay safe' conditioning and become the photographer I was actually meant to be.
I was born to do this.
I should have realised it earlier, but sometimes you just don't know any better. Looking back I have always loved to inspire through my art and images. As a child I took photos and produced hilarious videos with my little sister. My beautiful girlfriends (well I think so) have always been my photographic muses and I certainly wouldn't have realised my talents without them.
They say you should photograph what you love; if I had to define what I love shooting, it's making people feel comfortable enough to capture a connection that makes you feel something more than just looking at a face or body. Some people 'let you in' on a subconscious and micro-expressional level. To me, that's what you'll find in the DNA of a Dave Blake photograph; connection.
Commercial photography success.
The trigger for authoring this post is that I recently watched a Creative Live workshop on 'Commercial Photography Success' by Erik Almas, and it really resonated with me that it's possible to make a successful living doing anything that you love (particularly photography), with a bit of vision, hard work & tenacity.
Of course you need some talent; which my Mother tells me that I have. Although it is reassuring to hear it from a complete stranger that doesn't have a vested interest in having me look after them in their old age. Don't worry Mum and Dad; I got this.
In Erik's workshop he coaches, among other things, that you should imagine what your perfect life would be like in three years time, which helps you work backwards to where you are right now.
Right now, I'm not going to sugar coat it, I'm a guy with passion, a solid portfolio and a few pennies left to my name. So here it is.
In three years.
I am the guy that major international swim labels call when they're in the mood for a connective memorable campaign, that's about the lifestyle and emotional feel of their brands.
Someone that's able to bring out what I'm going to call the playful or soulful 'unfiltered kid' inside of the models, and sharing that with the world through images.
Specifically I am regularly flown around the world shooting for the likes of Victoria's Secret, Seafolly, Sports Illustrated and other fashion icons that resonate with 'live the lifestyle'.
In terms of mentors, I've met, worked with and become friends with photographer Russell James, who I admire for his background story and work with indigenous people as well as his amazing photography work in fashion and beauty.
In terms of relationships, I'm inviting selfless and generous people that I care about into my world, and sharing the adventures that I'm sure that I will be having.
And, oh it would be cool to meet a girl to share all of this with too, just saying.
* drop the mike *