This past Friday was my 28th birthday. I usually don’t post my age because I don’t ever really think it’s relevant. A lot of things have happened to me since my 27th birthday, both good and bad, so I think it’s been a milestone year for me.
- I both obtained and lost a job that I thought would have changed the course of my career. It didn’t and I was more than happy with the outcome. Photojournalism is where my heart is and always will be. Ever since getting laid off, my financial security has been a series of very high ups and very low lows. I’m more fulfilled than I have been in a long time with my work and this matters to me.
- I got engaged to one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever had the joy of colliding with. Ryan proposed to me at the airport after his very first solo flight to come visit me. He was terrified of flying and now it’s all he wants to do. Some of my family and friends were there and I couldn’t have asked for a better moment with my favorite people in a place that has been a constant in my life since I started traveling at eighteen.
- My dad got sick. It came out of nowhere. I went to take him in for a sinus infection and it turned out to be something that no one ever wants to hear or is prepared for. Life is inevitable, we just always expect to be well prepared for it. The truth is (and the only guarantee) that reality will never allow that. I’ll write more on this later when the time is right. It deserves its own post.
- I covered Preakness for the first time. It wasn’t my first time shooting a horse racing but it was another level of difficult, that’s for sure. I shot it for the Baltimore Business Journal. I’ll have a separate post on that as well because there are a few photography things I want to discuss.
My birthday was a bit different this year, usually Ryan and I go to the beach and drink a lot of rum. I wanted something new and extra distracting this year so we went to the zoo. I’m not a zoo person for the most part but Brevard Zoo wasn’t the same. I fed a giraffe, held a few birds, made friends with a kangaroo and got to photograph the most beautiful creatures.
Photography isn’t only my career and passion but it’s also such an outlet for my depression and a way of therapy for me. It helps me temporarily focus on something that makes me happy and to forget the stresses of my current life. I know so many of my fellow PJs can relate to that. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes this shit is exhausting and I don’t always get to photograph things I like. However, at the end of the day when it’s on my terms and I have creative control nothing else makes me feel better.
I hope my zoo photos brighten your day, I mean who doesn’t love beautiful animals that you can’t see everyday?
These photos were all shot with a Canon 5D Mark III and a 100-400 F/5 lens. Obviously I shot it on 400mm most of the time. I got a lot of “whoa that’s a huge lens” comments, as usual. My favorite way to photograph animals is to showcase the details that make them so unique. Birds are my favorite to photograph but the giraffes make me the happiest. Being tall and freckled myself, we’re almost the same creature give or take a few DNA strands. Ryan had never fed a giraffe before and watching that moment was priceless, it really was something that I’ll cherish forever.
Special thanks to Brevard Zoo in Melbourne for being so wonderful. Thank you to everyone who texted me, called me, left me posts on my socials and send me gifts for my birthday. I don’t know how I ever got so lucky to have such an amazing family, friends and following of my photo work.
Check back in later this week for some more posts.