Hello! Thank you so much for clicking the link to come here! I hope you took a second to look around my new website. I pretty much taught myself how to build it while doing so, and it has been really fun. Being that this is my very first blog post, be prepared for a super long read as I introduce myself to you!
First off, a little bit about myself. I was born on October 9th, 1988 in Sayreville, NJ. I went to school to become a automotive technician, but never pursued it after graduation. I love learning about cars and truly enjoy working on them, but I feel there is more to me than being inside a garage turning wrenches all day. I love the outdoors too much to do that. I currently work as a photographer for an online clothing store. There I shoot fashion designer clothing and manage the website. It's a fun job and super easy so that makes my day extremely easy. Again, it's not my passion. Photography dragged me in about four years now. I started out photographing cars and quickly became bored of it, as I learned there wasn't much photography involved with cars. I saw it as digital art, where majority of the image outcome was produced on photoshop. Where's the photography in that? I currently live at home with my Mother, Grace, and my twenty-nine year old sister, Meaghan.
In June of 2014, I took a trip to the great state of Alaska. I took the trip with my best friend, who was my girlfriend at the time, and we truly had the most amazing time. I've always been a huge outdoors guy and loved photographing animals, however, going to Alaska was all Emily's idea. We were just planning a vacation together and we wanted to be different and extreme! Majority of our friends travel down south to some exotic islands. To me, that's super boring. I'd rather be busy and adventurous on a vacation. Our vacation debate went as followed
“Eric, where do you want to go on vacation?”
“I don't know.”
Her favorite band is Phish and they have a song called Alaska, which is where the idea came from. I always never cared for Phish, as I never truly opened my mind to realize how different and unique they are. After listening to sets from 1996 for 2 hours on a recent camping trip with Jim, Jean and Bryan, I can now see why people are into this funkadelic band. Of course I haven't gone to a show and I hear that's what makes the experience so sick. Well until I go to a show, thank you Phish for bringing me to Alaska!
What better way to travel Alaska than in a 29ft Mobile Home? I had made reservations for a little 19ft'er for the two of us, however, the pervious rental guy didn't return it in time so we were upgraded. We traveled from Anchorage to Fairbanks to Denali to Seward to Homer. The 22 hours of sunlight a day kept us super motivated, well me at least. For the first 4 days, I was so focused and anxious to reach our next destination, that I actually forgot to change my shirt. So, for the first 4 days worth of photographs that Emily took, I am wearing the same Nike “Just do it” shirt. The trip consisted of camping outside in the valleys of Denali in the snow to sitting within 20 feet of a family of Grizzly bears digging for clams. The tomatoes in Alaska destroy Jersey's tomatoes and I can guarantee that there's isn't a better fish on the market than Homer's fresh halibut.
I told my mother prior to our Alaska trip that it would start my photography career. In New Jersey, I shoot (photograph) a ton of birds and red fox's, but I needed more extreme wildlife. Alaska is the capital of grizzly bears and bald eagles- I was in heaven. After the Alaska trip, I decided to take a gamble and participate in a few art shows, see if people were actually interested in my photographs. After printing out a handful, seeing them in person rather than on a computer screen really blew me away. I'm never really impressed with my work, however, I was really really blown away by the quality and overall look of my images. I was interested in the art shows to mostly receive feedback. I wanted to know what people thought, I wasn't in it to make money. If I made two sales, I would have been ecstatic! It was all about the experience. Well, within the two shows, I sold 39 images! It was absolutely awesome and so inspirational. This only meant one thing to me, I needed more content and variety.
I have become so hooked and addicted to Alaska that everything is telling me to get up and go. I see signs everywhere. I believe everything happens for a reason and this is truly my calling. I want to live in Alaska and pursue dreams. I want to live my dream and I will.
Well, if you're still with me at this point, thank you so much! You reading my post, clicking that link, started following me on Instagram or Twitter, and/or commenting on my work- it truly means the world to me. Battling the complications of being color deficient really messes with your head. When I first started photographing cars, editors were always commenting that I was turning black cars into purple cars. I would make minor adjustments in the skies, but at the same time I was altering the reflections from the sky on the black car. I had no idea! My mother used to assist me and over look my colors for me. It was extremely discouraging and always broke my confidence. I wanted to get away from shooting cars for people or magazines and never have to get paid for shooting something for someone. There was too much pressure to produce the correct colors. I love weddings and everything behind them. I would love to capture those special moments for people- but the pressure of being color deficient forced me not to get into it. So, I started to shoot for fun. My weekends always consisted of searching for new hiking spots and I always took my camera everywhere. I also really loved shooting sunsets. I then decided that I was just going to take photos for myself and just have fun with it. No pressure to produce the perfect image or worry about if the colors were incorrect. I edited it the way I wanted to, and if it came out cool- then awesome!
Why move to Alaska?
Why would I leave my good paying job, friends and family, and my whole life here in New Jersey? Destiny. I figured I have 3 ways to pursue my dreams. One, find a job that will allow me to lots of time off work to go photograph amazing landscapes and wildlife. Two, find a job that will send me on assignments to produce those images. Or three, move to one of the most amazing places on the planet and see where it goes. I choose number three. Why wouldn't I pick the second option and search for a paid photography gig? Well, that requires a really sick portfolio and I'm having difficulties building that up here in New Jersey. New Jersey is beautiful and full of amazing beach scene photo opportunities, however, I want to focus on shooting what I enjoy most- jaw dropping landscapes, dangerous challenging wildlife and astronomy. I've been dying to get out to the mid-west to photograph the jaw dropping Milky Way galaxy.
I realize that this blog post is extremely long, however, I found it necessary to introduce myself. I hope you enjoyed yourself and please excuse my poor writing skills. In my next blog post, I will start from the very beginning of moving to Alaska. I think I will start brainstorming which jobs I would like to shoot for and then go from there. Who knows? That's what will make this journey fun, stressful, and exciting.