I had the honor and pleasure of speaking at the 70th Annual Conference for CTPPA, the Connecticut chapter of PPA. My session was storytelling and roadblocks in life. This vlog will share some clips from my talk.
Transcription was done by Rev.com’s automated transcription service which means it’s an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain spelling, grammar
I’m at the Heritage Hotel and conference center in Southbury, Connecticut and I’m in my hotel room. I’m actually speaking at the Connecticut Professional Photographers of America, their 70th annual conference, their big to print competition and um, bunch of keynote speakers and I’m one of those speakers. So I just got settled in my room. I’m just, I just changed, I’m a repairing my sessions tonight. I wanted to come last night cause Jonathan Rosenbaum was actually speaking and I really wanted to see her session, but unfortunately, if there was a, a potential emergency placement for our adoption that I had to sort of stay put and, um, we could have had a, uh, our adoption basically moving forward last night, but it didn’t happen. So, um, I grew up super early this morning and, uh, now I’m just prepping. So I got my laptop up with everything prepared for my keynote. I’ve got a, I’m going to hopefully be filming this, so we’ll see how my wireless laughs. So, uh, yeah, so anyway, I’m about to go down to the conference and see what’s going on. Um, and um, that’s it. So,
so I decided to take it into my own hands and I made a mistake and it was the first of a lot of mistakes. During lunch. One day I was minding my own business, eating whatever my parents made me for lunch that day, and the kids at the table sitting next to me decided to throw their ketchup soaked French fries at me and then the ring leader came over and he put his French fries on my head along with his ketchup and the school tries. They didn’t, they didn’t look this pretty, you know, their school fries. Maybe if it looked better than it would have been. Okay. But this made my blood boil. I felt this rage, this urge to fight back for all the abuse I received before then and for all the abuse to come. I knew it wasn’t going to end there. You see, I was a skinny kid, not a lot of visible muscle, but I got up, I walked over.
to the kid who came over to me and he was probably two or three times my size at the time. I pushed them. I put them in a headlock and I started punching him in the head as hard as I could until he couldn’t take it anymore. And when he couldn’t take it anymore, I somehow had the strength to pick him up and throw them on the table. But it was then that the vice principal came over and pulled me away. When I got suspended, it was my first and only suspension. I became the abuser and I got the punishment. Not only did he not get anything, but none of the kids at that table got anything. They all got away with it. So of course that made me feel even worse. Right? I knew I did not start the fight. I knew that I was the real victim and that nothing at all was being done. Hell, I even went to the principal telling them about this problem I had at the time. So I realized I needed an outlet. I went to music hockey, eventually photography. I began writing music for the bands that I was playing in. I recorded records and eventually one band became a hardcore scream style band. And guess who took his anger and frustrations out in screams this guy. So I’m strong and it’s due in part to a bunch of things.
Being bullied makes you grow thick skin. It has to, otherwise it eats you alive. Touring with a band, I was shocked how much of an impact that had on my life. Traveling for photography is one of my favorite things to do. Having incredible friends who accept you for who you are and basically just walking away from the people who don’t accept you for who you are. So I love this quote from Batman begins and I think it relates well to my story. I fallen a lot. Some were not because I was clumsy. Right? Ever since I was little, I have fallen. I’ve taken abuse from so many people that have not been listening to by the people I was told would always listen.
The people who would always be there for me, the people who are the safe place. I was ignored by these people. So if you can take anything away from this, you are who you are. If you struggle with something, ask for help.
Find workflows to make it easier. Find tools to make things easier. Find your people, not the people that you don’t need in your life. Find the people that you do want in your life and find your passion. Use The passion deep within your soul to defy the odds you could accomplish everything you want in photography, in your photography business, and in life in general. Use what makes you unique in your photography. Show it in the work that you create and in your business.