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.

14 thoughts on “We’re Back!

  1. Adam – It’s incredibly inspiring to watch your work and read the stories behind the images you share. I hope you know that the impact you have on other photographers is as impressive as the photos themselves.

  2. Read this hours after making a huge career move – to pursue a blooming freelance career instead of staying in a staff newspaper job. This hit the spot in more ways than you can know, Adam.
    Thanks for a great piece of writing. Keep on!

  3. Inspirer higher…can’t hide a talent or a great thinker, you seem to rise like helium! You really know the whys and whatnots at a remarkably young age. Intellectually curious, fits you as well as being blessed to have your best friend let you flourish. Go Adam..

    • Hey Lacy–
      I knew when it occupied my thoughts day and night. Everywhere I went, I thought about shooting photos. I would look at magazines, go into galleries and study ad campaigns and I would fall into this dreamworld of pursuing that career myself. Perhaps the most important part, is that I BELIEVED I could make it all work. I studied the business side of things for quite a while before jumping off for myself. It really broke down into a simple formula to me, which was passion + talent + knowledge + work ethic HAD to equal success…

      While it wasn’t a high-paying job, I had an AWESOME job before quitting to pursue full-time photography. I was doing PR in the ski industry, and essentially getting paid to ski with and schmooze ski media. So the fact that I was even considering pursuing another career was a bit of a jolt (other than the typical red flags of earning ceilings, etc.). I think the biggest motivator was a job I’d had previous to that, which I hated. I place huge priority on quality of life, and it was then that I promised myself I would never work in a career path that made me miserable. Good luck to you and your hubby!

      • Thanks, Adam. I am really amazed at the images you produce. They are unreal to me. Great job! Also, you must have a very patient wife to happily put up with you out of town so much! Great job on that one, too.

  4. Adam, you’re one of very few people in this world who truly practices what he preaches…Between that and your work, which speaks for itself, you’ve be a huge inspiration to me and my work.

    Thank you.

  5. Adam,

    This hits home more than you know for me. Your work bleeds your passion and serves as a model for so many! Talent and a nice camera can get you pretty far but the passion, love and drive is what makes you. Keep showing the world whats up and know that you’ve inspired me to no end. EE

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