Screech owl calling was just published in a book to be released soon, but it is not enough in the grand scheme.



As I journey through my past, I think I have been blessed in so many ways.  I am definitely blessed more than I deserve.  So, I always feel guilty when I start thinking the way I am tonight.  I see myself as a spoiled and selfish brat, and perhaps that is what makes what I am about to say seem that much worse to me.

Have you ever felt that there are one or two major aspects of your life, that you never seem to get right.  That, no matter how hard you try, you just can't get any traction.   I don't mean those times you were trying to learn to roller-skate or ride a bicycle.  I mean those times where you fail and crash hard.  Then, you try another approach and you fail and crash hard.  Then you try another approach and you fail and crash hard.  But, you just don't stop!  No matter what, you just won't quit or give in and so the cycle continues.  Days turn into weeks, weeks into years and finally decades come and go.

That is my life of as a photographer.  Probably, most people would just give in and say, the heck with it, but not me.  I just keep attacking it.  I refuse to give in, even when I know I probably should.  But, alas, there is no forward momentum in making any decent living or even side hustle with it.  I do so love it though.

I feel like that Marine, in boot camp, who just keeps hitting the wall in an attempt to scale it, but never can do it.  He won't quit, because his passion is to be a Marine. Eventually, one of his fellow Marines holds out his hands for a quick boost over the wall (true story by the way).  

For me, there is no fellow Marine to give me a boost.  God is not blessing my success. My wife won't even let me talk about it in her presence and my kids seem to patronize me, because they love me.  Still, I keep hitting that wall until my knees are bloody and my energy wanes.  Then, the next day, I do it all again. It is a cycle that I can't get out of, because I just can't quit. I can't and I won't because nature photography affects me deep within my soul.  I can't explain or articulate to others how it affects me. They cannot understand.  In my world of nature, there are no angry people.  The neighbors dogs don't bark all day and there are no endless cars passing by.

Just like you probably do, I look at my financial statement on the photography side and see 3K in the hole.  Soon, I will turn 50. I  look at places like Alaska, Wyoming, Galapagos, The Falkland Islands and Costa Rica as almost imaginary places.  Places that my peers go to, but I never will.  What joy to photograph the majestic bald eagle, the Alaskan brown bears, penguins, puffins, sea otters and the mighty whale.

 I am a father, husband and friend and all that must all come first.  It is just mine and so many other's lot in life, and I do wear that as a badge of honor. And for heaven's sake don't get me wrong! I wouldn't trade my family for all the awesome places in the universe!

But, oh, for the quiet places.  The places where the only sounds are birds and the wind blowing through the pines.  The snow falling on the back of a white-tailed deer on a crisp winter morning.  To capture all of that and tell you the story!  To share it with others! That is what I love!  

Photographers, don't forget to check out the latest podcast on your favorite pod catcher.   You can also listen on my website: