I turned 40 a week ago.  A few days later I had an amazing Thanksgiving with my family.  Because of those two events, I took a couple weeks off from the blog.  However, I do want to chat about both of them with you and the more I think about it, the more I think they go hand in hand.

I’m not sure how common it is for people to sit back and reflect on where they’ve come from and where they are trying to go as they are getting closer to starting the 40th time around the sun.  I most certainly did.  Once I got past the, “Well…40…” My thoughts shifted to gratitude.

Every day, I wake up, go to my studio, and I get to create relationships with people and I get to create images that can be life-changing. That sounds like something any photographer can say, and honestly, all of them should.  Think about it.  How often have you pointed a camera at someone and watched that person try to hide behind anything they can find? Think about the times you’ve tried to hide.  So many people have never seen an amazing image of themselves and when they do it is powerful.  I have seen tears of joy in my studio. I’ve had unexpected hugs from out of nowhere. I have watched as people stand and stare at their images, speechless.  There is power in an image.  I am thankful that I get to create them with people.

With my headshots, I get to make a marketing tool for actors and business professionals that help further their careers. As I reflect on that, I think, I am helping that actor chase a dream.  I have a small part in helping people make a living.  I get to help people more easily market themselves so they can do what they love doing. I am elated every time I see an actor that I have photographed on TV or on Stage. I love getting emails from my business clients with links to their websites with their headshots featured, or when they connect with me on social media and their profile image is their headshot.  Thank you all for trusting me to help you.

I have a wall in my studio that I use display printed images from my personal portrait sessions.  After someone’s session, after I have edited the images from the shoot, I invite them back to see their image on the wall. I wish I had the words to describe what the feeling is everytime someone sees their images in print. Seeing them on a screen is nowhere close to the same experience.  I get to create that experience for people. I get to make images that have meaning on an emotional level.  I get to create images that become a part of someone’s legacy.  I am grateful that I get to do this.

I’m honestly just scratching the surface.  I have an amazing family and the best wife.  Without either of them, this journey would have been so much harder.  I have been able to figure out what I love to do and do it twice.  I have been fortunate that I have been surrounded by great friends and mentors and I get to mentor others.

All of this to say, this is not at all where I expected to be at 40, but there is nowhere else I would rather be.