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My Creative Mentors: (those who have helped shape my life)

(Creative Wedding Photography, Greenville, SC)

I have set out with purpose to become a better person, businessman, photographer and friend. I have a burning desire to be a better lover of life, look for inspiration in more places, and to become a positive light in the world in general. 

When I first started thinking of blogging, one of my best friends told me to write about whatever I'm most passionate about; what turns me on… In essence, he was saying if I honor myself and be authentic, then it will come through as that, and people will at least respect it whether they agree with it or not.

There are natural forces that seem to hold us back from living extraordinary lives. These usually come in some form of fear, discouragement, or circumstantial obstacle that try and inhibit exploration and growth. But we can overcome all of this…

Within the last five years, I have met people who have become my mentors, who have encouraged me along my path toward a better life and photographic journey.

The more I learn from them, the more I see a common thread throughout their messages. And sometimes I'm not sure which one of them said what, as I see them as a collective whole saying the same thing: "Live, Create, Inspire!"

I wanted to publicly thanks them today for their encouragement, love, personal time, and wisdom that they have passed and continue to pass onto me. They influence much of my writing and thinking that you see me post on my blog and Facebook. My desire is that if you're a kindred spirit seeking similar things, you might find some resources here that can help you even better than I could help you; going to the source as they say. :)

Jerry Ghionis
Jerry's workshop is highly regarded in my mind as a great place to "see" light and how you can use your camera to capture more amazing images. Jerry's "Ordinary to Extraordinary" Picpockets dispelled one of my greatest myths, that he got all the cool clients with the great locations. What Jerry taught me, is you can create an extraordinary moment from any location, you just have to practice "seeing the possibilities". You can find his pickpocket series here http://www.picpockets.info/artist/jerry-ghionis/  But better yet, I encourage to go and see this man's workshop live! It is worth the investment and time. He can help move you to your next level in photography.

Jerry has several other resources to help you on your journey, and one of my favorite is his I.C.E. Society online classroom. You can check out a free chapter on his site, and for a dollar a day, add a valuable resource to your teaching without every leaving your house.   http://icesociety.com/


The What If Conference—Hosted by Jenn & Steve Bebb
Another mind shift began when I attended the first ever What If conference in Cabo, Mexico. This was not a conference to show you the latest shooting techniques, how-to editing classes and get-rich quick seminar. This was a conference about mindset. As the old saying goes, "rather than giving me a fish, to feed me once, they instead taught me how to fish, feeding me for a lifetime."

This is a business conference for artist-preneurs; not just photographers. The teachings I've gleaned from the speakers there, have provided a shift that can impact me every day of my life. If you're looking how to become a better businessman, this is a concentrated workshop full of mind-shifting gems.  You can find more info about their latest workshop and read their blog here: http://whatifconference.com/

Each What If conference has different speakers, even though the desire and mission of the What If network remains the same. The speakers that impacted me on my journey so far are as follows:

Jenn & Steve Bebb
Dan 'O Day
Justin Lyons
Jessie & Whitney from Our Labour of Love
Jesh De Rox
Chris & Sarah from We are the Rhodes

Each one of these deserve recognition for their influence in my life, my writings and how I am pursing life and business more fully.

Jesh De Rox
There is a saying "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear". For me, Jesh was one of these teachers. He calls himself a tour guide, and I believe that's what all of my mentors would call themselves. They can show you around, bring awareness to areas that will help build you up, but it's up to you, to do the work and make the progress.

Jesh is excellent at showing you around and cultivating an environment that encourages greater awareness. I believe his Life-As-An-Art-Form workshop can help anyone, but like anything, you need to be ready and willing to receive what he has to offer. So much in life is about attitude, and mindset. These two staples of life affect how much perseverance, dedication, and creativity you will have in your life's journey. Life is about so much more than work, but there's no denying work will take up a large part of our life. If this is the case, then living inside of this, with the right mindset, can make all the difference. When you're ready, I highly recommend any of Jesh's workshop, starting with his Life-As-An-Art-Form. You can find more information about what he has to offer here: http://enlighten.jeshderox.com/

This is just the beginning of my journey, but already it has been filled with beautiful personalities, rich on life, making extraordinary moments. I want to continue to perpetuate their message to those my life comes into contact with. Not everything I say will be my own. Much of what I say is a blend of influences. And I'm thankful for each one. I hope as you get to know them as I did, your life will be richer for it as well.

Learning to live more fully,

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Reader Comments (1)

beautiful thoughts, tj...so glad i know you : )

July 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie O'Farrell

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