The Big Leap

20131128-_Z0A0535 untitled shoot I'm just going to blurt it out up front: I'm quitting my job and traveling the world to build my photography portfolio and hopefully, business. Why?

I believe whole-heartedly in social enterprise. Using the power of the economy to provide help for someone is simply brilliant. Because it's sustainable. Spending time in Pakistan last year made me realize just how powerful it can be. So what I'm planning, is to use photography to tell stories to investors and donors for social enterprises. I want to create marketing materials for companies that are changing peoples lives on the ground around the world. To do that, I need time to build a portfolio and gain experience.

That's my long term goal. How am I going to do this? I saved up some money, sold the house, my two week notice is in, and I've bought a one way plane ticket to India. I'm going to spend a year building a portfolio of imagery that has soul and see where it takes me. Specifically, I'm going to build a portfolio of stories, of places, and cultures that intrigue me, that I can finally take the time to document. Places and cultures that I have always wanted to visit and explore, not for any other reason than to be there and experience it. And hopefully, I'll have the opportunity to work with some really cool companies and organizations that are doing some amazing things.

Something that is really important to me is having you, my family and friends, partner with me. The beauty of photography is that it can transport us to a place we are not. Good photographs give us a window into another world or moment.  And the amazing thing about the digital age is that I can share what I am up to over the internet from anywhere in the world. I want this blog to be a record of several things: my personal journey and the lessons that I'm learning, the people I meet and experiences I have, and practical advice on travel and photography. So with that in mind, Here's how you can journey with me:

  • Follow the blog: See the box on the right where it says "Want to have my latest post delivered directly to your inbox?" Put your email address there, and you're signed up! You'll get the latest posts and updates right in your inbox. I won't spam you, and I won't post everyday (that's time I should be exploring!)
  • Comment on posts: Tell me what you think (constructive criticism as well as attaboys). Ask questions about the places I've been, things your curious about, whatever. I want this blog to be a source of useful information for travel and photography as well as a record of what I am up to.
  • Share contacts abroad: If you feel comfortable, and you know people living in Asia (central Asia, east Asia, and the South Pacific), please send them my name and my email address (and vice versa). I'm looking for local contacts to get in deep with the culture and build relationships. Locals or expats.
  • Pass my name along to people you think would be interested: If you know someone working with a non profit, social enterprises, etc., or someone you think would be interested in just seeing my work and reading about my travel experiences, send them my name and website!

Whew! That's all out on the table finally. I've been working on these plans for a full year. It's exciting to finally be here, ready to make the leap. My flight leaves on the 8th of January, so I'm not leaving for several weeks. I will be posting a couple more times before I'm up and away, but for now, I'll leave you with this quote for inspiration from Daniel Burnham that has gotten me inspired to embark on this journey:

Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency. Remember that our sons and grandsons are going to do things that would stagger us. Let your watchword be order and your beacon beauty. Think big.

Daniel Burnham, Chicago architect. (1846-1912)