We’re Back!

Skier Parker Cook rallies some classic Alta powder.

Skier Parker Cook rallies some classic Alta powder.

Or maybe, I should say…I’M back. Funny how so many of us photographer/entrepreneurial types throw that plural form around like it’s half-cooked noodle–just waiting to see if it sticks. “We” like to make you think that there’s a huge entourage of bustling interns working themselves to the bone each and every day while this well-oiled machine of a photography brand is in cruise control, taking the world by storm while I field calls from clients that want to overpay me for work that is far easier than it looks.

The truth is, the “we” that I throw around so often is basically me, my wife and my three boys. There. I said it. SURPRISE!!! The other truths?

1. I could never work this hard for anyone else but myself.

2. I’m not rich.

3. But I make a fine and decent living.

4. I have a quality of life that far exceeds anything I could have ever imagined in my wildest dreams.

5. I have a creative appetite that must be fed whether it’s being paid for or not.

6. This means I love what I do, and I do what I love.

7. I drink way too much Coke.

8. I abhor mediocrity.

Every day I wake up and think that I must be one of the most fortunate people on this planet. I wonder, for a moment, what my life would be like were I not to have taken that enormous leap of faith and chosen to follow my heart and pursue a career that would make me happy for the rest of my life.

I have been pushed to the brink of sanity and then welcomed back with a nugget of success. I have progressed at alarming rates, only to then face the same simple challenges I did as a rookie. I have achieved and I have failed. I have been buoyed up and I have been incredibly let down. And through it all, I continue to believe that the path of photography as a career is viable, noble, engaging, feasible, crazy and super cool.

So why the introspective diary entry of a blog post??? Why the hell not? As in so many other cases, I do it because I can. And on this Tuesday morning, it felt right. I have many, many of you to thank. You really do know who you are. I have many that have inspired me, and in turn, I hope to have been a source of inspiration and aspiration to many of you at some point in time.

Whatever pursuit it is in which you are engaged at this moment. If it is worthy, don’t ever stop. Go till you can’t manage another labored breath, and then pick yourself up, and go some more. It is all worth it.

Tech Tip: Why I Use Time Machine…(and why you should too)

Powder skiing image of Parker Cook at Solitude Mountain Resort, UT

Alright. I’ll admit it. I’ve long been both a consumer and yay-sayer of all things Apple. As much as despise the cult-like following (of which I’m admittedly a part) and the near idol-worship of anything with a clean-cut apple logo on it…they do, in fact, make stellar products, especially for those of us in the creative field.

One of the most sensible and useful products from Apple is one that you don’t even have to pay for if you’ve purchased a Mac in recent years. For those Apple-filiacs out there, or for those less-informed, here’s the nutshell: Time Machine is an integrated backup system that (when configured) automatically backs up your hard drive (and other external drives if you so choose) every hour. Cool? Sure–cool enough. The best part, however, is that you can actually then enter “Time Machine” and travel back to the state of your HD at the given time of backup. Why does this matter? Because we all screw up, and if we back up BEFORE we screw up, all is not lost!

I’m in the thick of submissions for all the ski mags for 2012/13. Upon relentless inspection of my library from this winter, I found one file to be (gasp) absent. How could this be??? There’s no way I would have knowingly tossed this file (shown above). With palms sweaty and heart rate rising, I dialed up Time Machine and toggled back to the date just after it was shot, but BEFORE the shoot day was edited. Annnnd….VOILA! File found. (Visualize: triumphant music filling my office, fists raised, tears of joy, victory speech…etc.) Apparently, I had edited and processed the file and somehow stripped it of its ranking. At the end of every edit, I delete every image that hasn’t received a (self-imposed) rating of at least one star or higher.

Is this the next Powder/Skiing/Freeskier cover??? Probably not. But it’s sure as hell worthy of finding its place in a submission (especially in a year lean with powder days).

Bottom line? Back up. Often. Better bottom line? Use Time Machine. It’s ridiculously easy, and, most importantly, if you do it right, it will cure you of sweaty palms and a racing heart the next time you realize you blew it. Now don’t blow it, and go back up.

Sneak Peek: Through the Eyes

We’ve been busy creating the first of many episodes of AdamBarkerPhotography: Through the Eyes. Check out the teaser for the first below. Special thanks to Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort for the sick location! Huge shout out to Hammers Inc Photography and Nate Balli for the mad film/edit skills.

Through the Eyes Teaser EP1 from HIP VISUAL ARTS on Vimeo.