Posts Tagged ‘photography’

Believe Tree and Believe Tree Enchanted

Believe Tree - Black's Beach Sunset

“Believe Tree” with motivational/inspirational words on Black’s Beach Sunset background

In December 2014 I came up with the idea of a tree with motivational and  inspirational words written on the branches. The original design was this powerful oak tree with a lake in the background and the words on the branches. The message was delivered by this amazing tree but the background was too busy, I wanted the tree to really stand out. To do this right I knew it was not going to be an easy task. I spent over 10 hours isolating the tree, its branches, and its leaves, creating a clean layer. The resulting image was well worth the tedious task.

The first believe tree I created was on the teal background. I loved how the silvery effect of the tree stood out in contrast against the metallic blue background. Initially I was concerned that the words would be too much. I wanted them to blend in and be part of the tree. Present but still subtle, yet strong enough to read. I wanted them to be part of the tree and flow with the branches.

From there it evolved. From the suggestions I received I made a few changes here and there. A friend suggested that I also make the tree available as a designer piece. I was way ahead of him and had already created those images, which I titled Believe Tree Enchanted. Believe Tree Enchanted is the tree alone with no words. I chose the word enchanted because the tree literally lured me in. It was captivating and beautiful and stood out from all of the other trees around me. Rick further suggested an idea that lead to my unique Paper Series. There are currently two choices in the Paper Series, brown and teal. At this point the brown paper is my favorite. I like the grungy earth tone textures I created for the background.

Another friend suggested sunsets, “Can I get one with a sunset background?” she asked. Hmmm yeah sunsets, why not? So I created the Sunset Series which are derived from San Diego sunset images I captured over the past couple years in. There are currently seven different sunset backgrounds to choose from in the Sunset Series.

There are nine original Believe Tree and Believe Tree Enchanted choices on various colors and black & white. These all look amazing when printed on metal with the silver gloss process. A metal print is the only way to go when displaying these trees.

This is one of those ideas that truly came out of no where. I was helping a friend and I realized there was a correlation. I saw a universal commonality in the ordeals that many of us are confronted with daily. The struggles we face. Many of which are derived from simply our own thoughts. The saying “I am my own worst enemy.” comes to mind. Many of the thoughts, concerns, and questions that we conjure up never cross the minds of other people when they view us or our work. As I wrote down the words that I felt were useful and helpful it began to take on the form of a tree. I then envisioned the words written across the branches of this tree. From there the idea of the Believe Tree was born.

The whole idea of confidence, success, not quitting, and improving stems directly from “believing in yourself”. Against all odds, believing in yourself. No matter what, believing in yourself. Though it may sound too simple. It really isn’t. Especially if you face challenges daily that seem to fight against you getting to that finish line.

Believe Tree Enchanted - Brown Paper

“Believe Tree Enchanted” as a designer piece on brown paper background

Life is intimidating. Taking on a new project is intimidating. Learning something new is intimidating. When I face intimidation I remind myself that I have been here before. Each time that  I faced intimidation in the past I forged ahead. I learned what I needed to learn and practiced what I needed to practice. Eventually without even realizing it, I had become good at what I was doing. So I take that with me to the next challenge. “I have been here before, everything previous to this was an intimidation at some point-in-time, but now it is not. Therefore this situation will be no different.” Again the root of this is believing in yourself. Knowing what you are capable of based on previous experiences. Even if those previous experiences were not incredibly challenging you still mastered them.

Another mindset that I keep in my arsenal is; if other people can do it, then so can I. Seeing other people accomplish something is evidence that it can be done. Or the knowledge that many people preceding you made it through. Running a marathon should be impossible, but obviously it is not. The same concept can be applied, if they can do it, then so can I. The key to this is to not overwhelm yourself with the big picture. The big picture is a goal. Accept the challenge one step at a time. What can I do right now? What can be accomplished today? Anything outside of that is out of your hands for the time being. Occupy your mind and thoughts with accomplishing the doable. Taking care of what can be done now will move you faster than you think. Soon you will see the big picture is not so big after all.

Believe Tree - Teal

“Believe Tree” with motivational/inspirational words on teal background

I have my days when I wonder if it is all worth it. Am I doing the right thing? Will I be successful? Who am I kidding? Am I a joke? I could go on and on. I am very hard on myself, many of us are. There are days I tell myself, “You should quit, you are wasting your time!!”, but what if I quit one minute before something awesome happens? We never know what awesomeness is lying just around the corner. Ready and waiting for us. There really is no such thing as an overnight success. It may seem as if someone becomes something amazing over night, but it is probably very unlikely. It almost appears that way sometimes but in reality it typically takes years. Trust me, I wish there was an easier way, a faster route. There is a lot of sacrifice, there are a lot of doors slammed, there are a lot a people laughing in your face, there are a lot of doubters, haters, and those who want you to fail. If you truly believe in yourself none of that will matter. Truly believing in yourself gives you the knowledge that all of that is nothing but lies. The truth is inside of you! If someone says “You can’t do that!” you don’t need to say anything. You instead show them that it can be done. Do it for yourself though, not for them. Don’t do it to prove them wrong. Only do it because it is your passion!  Prepare yourself mentally that the road ahead is going to be full of challenges. I have been fueled countless times by people telling me it cannot be done. Guess what? it can be done! It all begins with believing in yourself and pressing on and overcoming. When you do this those people around you will have no choice but to believe in you too whether they want to or not.

Believe Tree and Believe Tree Enchanted are available for viewing and purchasing on my website at Paul W. Koester Photography and at my Etsy shop Paul Koester Photo. Prints purchased from my website are printed at Bay Photo Labs and are high quality however I have no direct input in the production and they are shipped directly to you from the lab. Prints purchased from my Etsy shop are printed by the printers that I have specifically chosen and I have direct control over the production of these images. If you are located in the San Diego area I can deliver and sign the image if you purchase the image through my Etsy shop or by contacting me directly. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

 

Confidence

What is confidence? How do you obtain it? Better yet, how do you teach it? Good questions. All with varying or even elusive answers. We all struggle with it at times. Some more than others and seemingly there are those who have obtained all the confidence in the world.

As an artist I often struggle with confidence. Not so much in my abilities, more in my confidence in surviving in the vast wprld of artists. I am but a speck in a huge sea of talent and creativity. How do I shine? How do I stand out? How do I get noticed? Yet at the same time I do what I can to not dwell on that much. It is a waste of time for my thoughts and energy to waste away on that which really is not realistic. If we all thought, “Well, there are an awful lot of artists out there, I don’t see myself succeeding. So I am not going to be an artist.” That then is an admission of defeat from the beginning.

Opportunity

“Opportunity” By Natasha Myrick

I believe in persistence. I have been persistent for several years. Putting my work out there. Growing, bettering myself, posting, blogging, etc. I could have easily given up based on feedback or the lack thereof on my Facebook posts, Google + posts, etc. If I were to compare myself to others, then I should quit. I should throw in the towel based on the numbers.

Don’t look at the numbers, don’t look at the stats! They mean nothing! What matters? If you are posting something, your art, a photograph, your passions, then that means you believe in that. You enjoy, love, what you do and you post it. What matters is that you feel it is important. It mattered when you shared it with the world and it still matters! What matters to you is truly all that matters, do not forget that!

Had I given up, I would not have my work hanging at the amazing Incredible Artist Gallery  in Cathedral City, CA. Had I given up, I would not have met many amazing artists who today I call friends! Had I given up, I would not be writing this blog and you wouldn’t be reading it.

Had I given up, I would not have had the opportunity to mentor 14 year old Natasha Myrick. Due to my ties with the Incredible Artist Gallery, I was given an awesome experience to meet the Myrick family at the beautiful Colony 29 in Palm Springs, California. The Myricks were brought out here to California to give their 5 year old son Liam the experience of a lifetime. Liam was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma when he was only 3 years old. Needless to say the lives of the Myricks has been hectic, many ups and downs. Their time here in California was meant to create an up that would be part of their memories forever. For me it was a wonderful experience getting to meet all of them! Playing with Liam and his 8 year old sister Natalie. Watching them paint, play, swim, and simply enjoy life without worrying about anything for a few short days.

Look What I Did!

“A Proud Moment” Natasha proudly stands before her works at the Gallery 446 in Palm Springs, California. Image created by Paul W. Koester

A good portion of Liam, Natalie, and Natasha’s stay in Palm Springs was spent preparing for their very own art show at Gallery 446 in Palm Springs, California. Natalie and Liam created paintings to sell at the gallery to raise money for Liam’s medical expenses.

Natasha is the oldest of the Myrick siblings. She has not had it easy. With Liam’s numerous hospital visits, being the oldest means having the most responsibilities. She doesn’t live the typical life of a teenager, yet she doesn’t complain. She understands and loves her little brother. Yet through all of that there is a creative side to Natasha that strives to be revealed, it has been suppressed. I discovered that talent as I mentored Natasha and helped guide her in creating some pretty amazing photos.

The Light

“The Light” image created by Natasha Myrick

Grandma's Promise

“Grandma’s Promise” Image created by Natasha Myrick

Natasha's Reflection

“Natasha’s Reflection” Taken while on a photo walk in Palm Springs, California. Image created by Paul W. Koester

Here is where this whole thing comes full circle. How do you teach confidence? The moment Natasha and I picked up our cameras, Natasha began saying to me, “I can’t do this.” “I am not good enough.” Lots of negativity was sensed. It was strong enough that I thought to myself, “I am not going to be able to teach her.” How do you teach something to someone who is this critical of themselves? I knew some of her intimidation was derived from me. So instead of addressing her insecurities I had her shoot away. I lead by example and just started taking pictures of the surrounding area.  She asked questions and I answered. My words were simple to her, “just have fun”. In my opinion that is lesson number one with photography have fun, then learn, always have fun. Setting her mind at ease was important to me. Being overly critical of our inadequacies does very little to help improve ourselves. Recognizing them, yes, that is important, but then move on and work on improving. How do you improve? Well that is simple too. Look back at those things that intimidated you. Are they as intimidating now as they were back when you were first introduced to them? Did you improve? Chances are good you did. Due to that knowledge, now know that you can do that again, and again, and again.

Soon I saw a change in Natasha. I saw her relax. She began to enjoy being behind the camera. I watched her get lost in the moment. That’s the golden moment, getting lost, that is when you truly create. As you can see she created some amazing images that she has every right to be proud of. Together we edited the images and Natasha gave them titles that she felt from her heart. While Natasha was out getting ready for the gallery showing I went and had them printed and framed. The next time she saw her images, they were prominently hanging on the walls of Gallery 446. What a proud moment! I was proud of her as was everyone else, simply amazing!

Natasha's Creations

“Natasha’s Creations” Beautiful images created by Natasha Myrick hanging on the walls of the Gallery 446 in Palm Springs, California. Image created by Paul W. Koester

Paul and Natasha

Paul and Natasha at the Gallery 446 in Palm Springs, California. Image created by Rick Pantele

Believe Tree

“Believe Tree” an amazing and beautiful tree with words of encouragement, inspiration, and motivation written on it’s branches. Image and design created by Paul W. Koester

Believing in yourself is the key to confidence. It starts with us. If we don’t believe then how can others? Never underestimate yourself or doubt yourself! We all go through it and we all need to be reminded of our self worth. Chances are good others will not remind us of our self worth, we have to do it for ourselves. When others are down on themselves I do what I can to encourage them and remind them of how talented they are and how important they are. As an artist I know what it is like to be down and have those dark moments when things just seem like they are not coming together the way I would like. The doubts creep in, we all need reminders that we are better than that! We all need from time to time reminders that we need to BELIEVE IN OURSELVES!! The Believe Tree is a beautiful and amazing tree with words of encouragement, inspiration, and motivation written on its branches. It serves as a visual reminder that we can get through and overcome any challenge. Quite often that biggest challenge is convincing ourselves that we are good enough.

A Novel Idea – Part II

Werewolf

An Animated and automated werewolf sculpture I designed and fabricated.

(Continued from Part I) I started out in A Novel Idea Part I telling part of my story about where I came from. Now I will share with you where I am going.

My novel idea is unique. It should be scary. Few would do it, let alone consider it. For many, their next move is finding that next company to to work for. To me that is equally scary! I on the other hand have had it in my mind for several years to start my own business.  Actually I have been a part time small business owner for a couple years. I have been laid off before and I have run my own business in the past. I know what it like to be my own boss. It is very hard work, but it is also extremely rewarding. I know what I am capable of and I know my limitations.  So over the last several years I have been working hard to brand myself.  I think it has paid off. If you Google me, there I am, right on top of the searches. I have primarily branded myself as a photographer. However I am also a painter, illustrator, and sculptor, and etc. I do wear a lot of hats. I like being versatile. Though the world seems to have a hard time grasping a person with so many hats. Therefore for the moment I am Paul W. Koester the photographer. I do love photography. I always have since I was a young boy and I would expect that I always will. No matter what, it ties in with everything I do.  For me photography is ever evolving. It has taken me to new levels and has helped me conquer many of my fears. Through photography I have met some amazing people and have been part of some amazing events!

Koester Productions is my official business name, it encompasses all the various aspects of what I am capable of offering. Not just Paul W. Koester Photography, but also Paul W. Koester the engineer.  I have also tied Artist Perspective to my name and website. Some feel that I get buried in that name. I totally see their view and at times I feel that I should have done that differently. I guess I wanted something that spoke to me about me being an artist and my perspective on the world.

Caged

The setting sun under the Ocean Beach Pier.

Ultimately my end goal is to create for Hollywood or private entities. To provide them with one of a kind sculptures or props. Due to my background in sculpture, metal work, carpentry, welding, electronics, instrumentation, and programming. I get to combine all of those skill sets with my creations to make them not only one-of-a-kind but also animated and automated. To create and challenge my mind this way is the ultimate fun!!  I would do these things for free, this is my passion. However we live in a world where we must make money to survive and very little is free. My supplies are not free, it can be very expensive being a creative person, but I don’t dwell on that very much.

I feel pretty fortunate to be where I am right now. I know that might come across as sounding a little weird coming from a guy who was recently laid off. What I mean by that though is a lot of really good things have come my way in the last year or so. One very significant event occurred early in 2013. I was discovered by Rick Pantele via my facebook page who ran the Incredible Artist art gallery in Cathedral City, California. He was very interested in a few of my images. We ended up creating a huge 9′ x 4′ diptych of  All The Right Reasons (see photo on right) which is hanging predominantly in Pasadena, California at the Kaiser Permanente corporate office inside their main lunch/conference room. After that job was complete, we created a few more images for the gallery. I sold several pieces through the gallery and via online sales. Rick knows my situation well and as I write this we are working together on several very exciting business opportunities.

Kaiser

All The Right Reasons hanging in the Kaiser Permanente office in Pasadena, California.

Earlier this year I met Matthew Shuey on Google+ and was introduced to the new business he and Theresa Puerto were starting involving stock photography. I had been very interested in doing stock photography and was looking for an entry point. I enjoy dealing with start-up companies. I like being on the ground floor of a company and growing as the company grows.  Matthew and Theresa started Gen StockPhoto as a result of seeing a need in their web design business. They discovered that there is a huge deficit for quality stock images. Then they also took notice to the fact that many stock image agencies do not respect their contributors, primarily the photographers who work very hard and often spend a lot of money in order to create the image. Gen StockPhoto pays out a whopping unheard of 70% of the license fee, additionally they give 100% of the fee for commissioned assignments to the photographer. I am pleased and excited to be a part of this business, which I believe is going to be a very fun adventure! It is already growing quickly and is already home to many talented photographers.

There are many things that I am working on at this time. All of which will evolve and develop and become something very fun and cool. Many of you are looking out for me and sharing ideas and send me links or contacts. Keep them coming!! I am very grateful for all that you do and appreciate the fact you care and want me to succeed!!

As you create your very own personal novel idea. It starts with believing in yourself. You must believe when no one else will. Then just do, don’t look back, continue pushing forward, just create, express yourself, and do not be afraid!

A Novel Idea – Part I

Life is a novel that is written as we go. We add to the pages each and everyday. Over time, eventually, gradually, it becomes the story of us, who we are, what we’ve done, and what we are yet to do.  We are a piece of history, each of us contribute to the legacy. In a sense a new novel is redundant to say, being that the word novel actually means new. For me as of right now it is applicable being that I am now writing a new novel. I am entering into something that is quite new, a new beginning, a new start. Unlike adding a new chapter to an old book. I am starting a new book with a new title, a novel idea.

PLC Panel

An Instrumentation Panel that I designed and fabricated. In a sense, my art.

My last day at a company I worked at for over 10.5 years came on June 30, 2014. I walked in, was escorted by security, signed a paper, said a couple goodbyes, and that was about it. For me saying goodbye wasn’t the part that mattered to me. The events that occurred from the day I was hired up to my last day are what truly mattered. The people I met and the things I learned along the way are what are valuable to me. Many will be my friends for life, we were a family. We worked together, we set goals together, we struggled, we conquered, and we lost together. We shared our lives with each other. In the end, the company we worked hard to build was sold. All the things we did together to create a business that had meaning and purpose was taken from us and given to someone else who knew nothing about what we did to make it what it was. Sure they read the newspaper articles and had all the documentation, but they did not feel what we felt. At the end of the day, that is what matters. What do you feel? Is it purposeful, does it have meaning? Are you making a difference? Are you happy? The last couple of years the answer to each of those questions was a resounding no!

The Passage

The passageways of my former life.

In the last quarter of 2008 we went through a very large reduction in force. My good friend and boss Dan Cooper was also let go during this lay off. It was a very disappointing and difficult day for many of us. We were reminded how vulnerable we were and how quickly life can change. This became a pivotal moment in time.  After Dan left I had to work for people at the company who really did not know me, they did not know where I came from, they did not watch me grow the way Dan did. Dan and I started our relationship in 1990. We met during Navy Electronics school in Orlando, Florida. So we have a pretty solid history of working together that is very unique and personal. My new bosses did not even know me, at all. They did not know my capabilities. Likewise with my fellow co-workers, who found themselves in a similar situation. The people that hired us were gone. The slate was wiped clean. Our new bosses did not know us, they were forced to take us on, and to no real fault of their own did not have the same appreciation for us as those who hired us. Sure they asked us questions and walked around and looked at what we did, but they knew nothing about us. Our value diminished day-by-day. Within a couple years we learned quickly that we were being prepped for a take-over by a much larger international corporation. Morale was at a all time low and our day-to-day activities were few due to the many changes. Very few projects were taken on. My work in particular revolved around projects, expansion, and growth. As an Instrumentation & Controls Engineer for the company I got to do some really cool stuff! Much of what I did, few understood or cared to understand, they just knew I did it. They let me do what I needed to do as I saw fit as it applied to the needs of the company. Again it was largely in part due to my original boss knowing me and knowing my capabilities. He trusted me and that trust built confidence.  I took on responsibilities that were typically sent to outside vendors and contracted out. I saw a need and I saw that it could be done better. Whenever and wherever possible I applied my creativity to my job, in that environment it was my art. It kept my mind and my hands busy. When all of that began to change, it became very difficult to get up in the morning and go into work. It was torture being there.

Fortunately over the last year or so I was given certain liberties to work on my next career move. Being that my next career move was much different than other’s this meant spending considerable time on social media, networking and branding myself. So what exactly is my next career move? Here is where one book ends and my novel idea begins. (to be continued in Part II)

 

A Moment In Time

From the beautiful shores of  La Jolla, California.

Scarlet Fever

I noticed the skies were cooperating as far as clouds are concerned. So as always I hoped for a great sunset. From October to January we had some amazing sunsets here in San Diego. I missed almost all of them for various reasons. I got to watch several of the photographers I follow post them on social media. Lots of great photos, none of them mine. That’s how it goes sometimes.

In early February I went out to the tide pool covered shores in La Jolla and finally got my opportunity. It was a Tuesday so fortunately no one was down there to get into my shot for my 4+ hour shoot. I used the AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f2.8 ultra wide lens to capture this. So it doesn’t take much for something other than the intended composition to enter into the frame. It’s often a game of patience; a plane, person, bird, something in the frame not intended. Some things can be cloned out in post process. I would rather not, it goes against my original intentions. I’m not against cloning by any means, I would just rather it be right when created.

It was a perfect evening from pre-sunset all the way to post. Every stage was unique and different and had its own color and detail scheme. It was multiple special moments in time. At one point the clouds looked like feathers as if a young bird was first taking flight and lost it’s first feathers and scattered them across the sky. As the sun dropped low beyond the horizon the sky turned to crimson. Then ultimately finished out in a deep purple. Collectively a moment that will never reoccur.

While I was standing there, as time stood still, completely lost in the peace and beauty of it all. The world around me continued to change and all that life throws at us the amazing, the crazy, the good, the bad, and all the crap we don’t want to talk about still happened right behind me. For me, the contents of this photo, this is reality. The rest of  it we create, it is our doing, so we need to create good stuff every moment we can.

Art In The Eye

The age old adage is “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” which has been modified by some to be “Art is in the eye of the beholder.” Which I suppose is partially accurate. More on the true side of things if a piece is for sale and the artist truly wants to make a sale. Less true if it is solely art.

Art for me is, “An expression of that which is within us! It is a release of energy from the soul that expresses itself and manifests itself into what we call art.”

This Is Art!!!

This Is Art!!!

What that means is,  it doesn’t need to be pretty, acceptable, perfect, correct, easy on the eyes, within the guidelines, categorized, likable, or desirable. It can be all those things, but it will unlikely be all those things or any of those things for everyone. So if only two people like a piece of art, how different is it
if two million people like a piece of art? Is it any less art? Maybe it is more of an art form because it has more critics than those that like it.

The saying should really read, “Art is art in the eye of the artist and not the beholder.”  It is the artist who made it art because it is an expression of themselves and the manifestation of that which is within them.

We will always have the critics which means we will always have art, they go hand-in-hand.  There will always be those who enjoy pointing out the obvious. Maybe the photograph I posted somewhere was out-of-focus, or under exposed, or over exposed, or whatever. As if it were a complete blunder on my part to publicly display something so horrendous. In the end it just makes me laugh, maybe not totally out loud, but at least I smile. The reason I can do that is because it is an expression of myself and nobody else. Yes, I intended it to be that way. Why? Because, the rules and boundaries do not need to always apply. They can and will be bent and broken.

Socially Speaking About Social Media

Sun Dog

A sun dog and the setting sun in La Jolla, California.

Over the past several years I have spent a great deal of time on the various social media platforms marketing my work and promoting myself. Up to the beginning of this year my main focus and strategy was to reach my audience through Facebook. I spent a great deal of time posting and advertising there. Up until about a year ago it was a good experience for me. The interaction was decent, not great, but I really did not have anything to compare it too. I did begin to realize that my following and interaction were not very well matched. Those that saw my posts averaged around 10-12% of my page Likes, which is called reach. Then only 10% of my reach interacted in some manner with the post.  I also paid to reach a specific audience, in particular the San Diego metro area. I made the assumption that people who related to my work would be more likely to interact with my posts. Some actually did, but I do not believe that most of my followers even saw my posts in their feed. I even tried promoting a few of my posts from time to time to increase the exposure with little to no results. I also noticed that many of my new Likes were not coming from my targeted market but were coming from areas out of the country.

A little over a year ago I joined Google +  as a result of following Trey Ratcliff at Stuck In Customs a really great photographer who has created quite a few video hangouts on Google +. As I watched the hangouts, Trey and the other photographers would talk about circles, tagging, and etc. I paid little attention at first then eventually bit-the-bullet and I set up an account. At first I really didn’t get it and I thought it was just another social media site with its own unique spin on the same ol’ thing. Never-the-less I did post to Google + regularly as I posted to Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter at the same time.

Over the course of this past year time frame I became more and more frustrated with the results of Facebook. I also saw other people posting and blogging similar frustrations and I could totally relate to their experiences. In the latter part of 2013 I began to shift my focus from Facebook to Google +. As my focus changed so did my results. I began to get noticed on Google + and the people there were far more engaging than my previous social media experiences. I began to create relationships with other artists and businesses. Some of which I truly believe will develop into life long friendships. I know it sounds to good to be true, but it is reality.

I’m not writing this to promote one brand over the other. I just know what is working well for me at this point in time. This is about my personal experience and journey from one place to another. So if you were sitting there wondering, “Where has Paul been lately?” well now you know where to find me. If you would like to see more of my work please come find me at Paul Koester On Google + or at my business page at Paul W. Koester Photography.

All The Right Reasons

This is the story about how my photo “All The Right Reasons” made it’s way to Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena, CA.

Rick_Call_Me

It all began when earlier in the year this guy by the name of Citizen Rick messages me on Facebook. By nature I am a skeptic so I sit on it for awhile. Of course I am curious. I checked out the websites and they seemed to be very legit. I took the liberty of perusing Facebook for Citizen Rick. Very involved guy; charities, art, artists, etc. etc. etc. and etc.!! So I figured he is as safe as anyone.

After a few attempts we finally connect. Right out of the gate Rick was as animated as they get, we talked for a long time, well he talked mostly. He went on to talk about some of the photos of mine he had found on Facebook and had shown some of his clients for a Kaiser Permanente project that he was working on in Pasadena, CA. He was telling me things like “These people are going crazy over these photos!” maybe not in those exact words but he was clear that they liked them a lot.

Never-the-less my good ol’ doubts and suspicions kick in. Sure it all sounded really good but we’ll just have to see won’t we? Yes, I have been burned in the past. Burned bad…so now I am very cautious. I am a firm believer of getting it all in writing! Actually this should be a must for everyone, no matter who the person is you are doing business with, this is muy importante! I wanted to be a believer from the beginning, but my mind said no. I shared the information with my wife, her eyes got big and the excitement was hard for her to hide. I wanted to be excited with her but I couldn’t…not yet anyhow.

pantry2 mockup (1)

Weeks passed, more phone calls. Then one day this mock up shows up in my email. WOW! Maybe just maybe this is really going to happen! My trust factor in Rick increased substantially. However I still did not want to get my hopes up too much. Decisions at the corporate level still had to be made. Something tells me Rick has a way with getting things done!

After a bit of paperwork in March 2013 it finally became official. The printer received the purchase order and I sent over the image file. We met on March 22 and I got to watch my print roll off the press.

Hot_Off_The_Printer

Yes, it really does roll off HOT! This is one GINORMOUS image in two pieces called a diptych. A gicleé print on canvas The overall dimensions are 9′ L x 3.5′ W… very big! and it came out perfect. WHEWY!!! This is the first time I had printed something this big. I was worried about the image quality, grain, noise etc. The truth is I was worried about EVERYTHING! I mean here we are at the moment of truth, we are really doing this. Now it just comes down to me and how well my photo is going to look when printed. It is one thing to print something as big as 4′ long, but at 9′ and beyond everything is magnified significantly and the minutest details show up. I am happy to say doing this project gives me considerable confidence when it comes to doing future projects.

Signing

A couple days later the image was stretched and ready for signing.I met Rick for the first time at the printer. My first photo stretched and ready to hang, too cool! Something I will never forget. I signed it with a golden Sharpie and for a moment I felt like someone important, it felt good. “Don’t mess it up Paul! Don’t mess it up” I thought to myself. Signed…no problem. Then like a whirl wind it was whisked away and Rick rode off to Palm Springs into the darkness (the sun was already down and besides he went east).

Signature

Later in the week Rick and a couple other artists went to Pasadena and hung my photo and other art pieces throughout the building. This is a very cool moment…reality…but will they like it??!!!

Meet_The_Artist

Seen in this photo are two photographers, myself and Terry Hastings. The other awesome peoples in the photo are the architect and executives at Kaiser. So happy they enjoyed my work! Thanks to everyone who helped to make this happen, especially to Rick Pantele for everything!!

From an idea, to a mock up, to reality… this is evidence that if you believe in yourself and trust your instincts about your abilities everything else will fall into place. It seldom occurs over night. Over night success stories often take place over the course of years. Lots of behind the scenes work, countless hours, dedication, desire and patience takes place before any signs of  fruit begin to appear. When it does happen it will happen for All The Right Reasons!!!

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