WOW, I feel like its been forever since I’ve posted something. As I mentioned earlier last week the past week and a half have been consumed with various work related projects, mainly charity related with our upcoming Gala event in Chicago this week. Unfortunately with my schedule being the way it is, I haven’t been able to allot my self the time needed to process the photos I’ve been capturing. To give you a behind the scenes glance however I have right around a thousand photos waiting for me to sort and process, so be on the look out for the missed days photos to start showing up slowly but surely. To give everyone a heads up as well, this weekend I will be in Chicago helping run our fundraising event, and will have no access to my computer, however I do plan on capturing the great city of Chicago with my lens and will have plenty to share once I return
Now on to other exciting news!
First of all I hope everyone enjoyed their Easter celebrations! The family took a trip out to my Grandmas for the day, with which I spent most of the day mowing her yard for her haha. But it gave me some great time to think about the direction of the blog and all things related. I can’t stress enough how much I have enjoyed the growth of the community so far, and look forward to the excitement and growth that is to come! Continue reading
As creatives we often find ourselves reaching out in hopes of finding this wonderful word. Personally I love surrounding myself with as much inspiration as possible for every aspect of life. Above my desk I have a bulletin board and a white board filled with all sorts of inspiring pictures, quotes, articles and other randomness to remind myself to keep moving forward.
Just this week one of my absolute best friends, an EXTRAORDINARY photographer/artist/creative, and I shared our inspiration folders with each other. As she pointed out, it was like getting to look into each others minds and see the bits that make our creative section tic. I realized what we are inspired by says a lot about our direction in which we are heading both creatively and in general with the other inspirations we acquire. However, at the same time we often miss the many treasures that are within these powerful inspirations.
If your anything like I have been in the past, and have acquired a folder full of inspiring pictures (over 6,000 in my inspiration folders right now), it either just sits there collecting virtual dust or you look through it from time to time and get a stagnate inspiration more often than not, where your inspired but have no clue where to start to put any of it into action. Often at most we get an idea of a subject to shoot or create, yet our folders hold so much more than just these simple ideas. Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago I was having a conversation with a close friend when the topic of personal creative expression came up. My friend, like many others, had found them self in a bit of a creative rut. A paralyzed state that most creatives, if not all, come across time and time again. I myself have found this to be a repeated pattern throughout my life. I would consider my self to have been a creative from birth in a wide variety of expressive forms. The moment I was allowed to have crayons in hand I was creating personal masterpieces on any “canvas” I could find, many surfaces of which were not to my parents liking. This continued in various forms until around the age of 12 or 13, when I made a mental shift.
It was at this age I started sharing my artwork with class mates and friends. I suddenly had a new status of popularity, with requests coming in for a drawing of this or a sketch that. At first I loved the attention my art was getting, as I had only ever received praise from my parents for my creative endeavors. My amusement quickly perished as requests continued to come in, feeling as if I now had a duty to impress and please my new fan base. It was at this point I became paralyzed within my own craft… I lost my passion and wasn’t finding it anytime soon. In fact it wasn’t for another 3+ years that I picked up sketching and designing again, in which the process seemed to start all over again. Continue reading
This morning I came across a quick design I did for fun last year. Thought I would share for fun being I have yet to give my definition of Live Life :: Love Life as I promised last month.
I apologize for my absence over the last few days. I had been battling a monster of a flu and spent a majority of the weekend in bed. Thanks to all those who sent emails wishing me a speedy recovery!!! I am excited to say I am back to health and have never been more excited about the upcoming adventures I have in store for the blog. To give you a brief update of what I will be working on already this week for you guys Ill let you in on a few emails I sent out today and have many more like them going out later this week as well.
In an attempt to reignite the Guest post section of the blog I’ve been reaching out to some big names of behind the scenes individuals in the photography/creative communities! Im reaching out to managers, coordinators and friends of some extremely inspiring creatives in hopes of having them share their creativity and inspiration with the coolest audience around (Thats you!!!! Now i cant guarantee yes’s from each creative I reach out to, however I can tell you I’ve already received some exciting responses and will continue to reach out until I can get a steady flow of inspiration and knowledge moving through the blog to add some extra value to your personal creative endeavors.
On top of that I have an overwhelming stack of books I will be reading and reviewing for you guys as well as continuing my regular photographic inspiration series introducing or reminding you of some of the industries most creative minds!!
The year is still young yet we have a ton of excitement planned going into the next few months!! Im excited to have you all aboard and as always am open to your requests and suggestions of what you would like to see from Nick Exposed! Together we can make this a leading source of inspiration for the photog and creative community
Live Life :: Love Life
I am continued to be impressed by the Kelby Media Group. In my previous experience with winning anything its taken months to get to me and it hardly lives up to what the prize bearer makes it out to be. These on the other hand arrived just 3 short business days after winning! They were accompanied by a personalized thank you/ congratulations letter as well! Now thats customer service!! I cant wait to dive into these plug-ins and see what kind of magic they will create! Stay tuned for updates and reviews on these three as well as other excitement I have for my new friends over at Kelby Media!
So I woke up this morning with an exciting email in my inbox informing me i had WON the weekly drawing on NAPP and Kelby Trainings weekly photoshop show Photoshop User TV with the hosts “The Photoshop Guys”!! So Awesome!! I watch the show every week and even without winning anything I have been a raving fan, not just of this show but of all Scott Kelby’s weekly podcast shows and the Kelby Training program! But before going into all that I should share the excitement of what I won Continue reading
Two simple statements… Live Life.. and Love Life.
I will be divulging my passion for these words in an upcoming post. But first I want to hear what power and emotion you may put behind these words.
Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts however brief or in depth they may be. Im curious and excited to hear what you have to say!!
I was reading through some fun facts the other day, and one caught my eye more then the others. It said the average child laughs about 400 times a day, while the average adult only laughs around 15 times a day. Holy Cats!! So I got curious and looked up similar facts. Turns out Kids smile on average 400+ times a day, adults only 20. On average kids ask about 125 questions a day, adults only 10-15. Thats 27 times more laughs, 20 times more smiles, and 10 times more questions from kids then adults. Since when did we start letting the kids have all the fun!
I think this relates to the fact that most people see a statement like “Easily Amused” as some sore of childish act that us “Adults” shouldn’t partake in. You often hear it used as a sort of tongue-in-cheek insult, as if really implying oh that person is just acting childish for finding amusement in something so small. RIDICULOUS! I feel that far to often we as adults take things too seriously, and should find humor and amazement in not only the really small things but in the really big things. In fact one of my goals in life is to be easily amused, to find humor and amazement constantly throughout the day. I want to live in child like wonder and astonishment, to be young at heart.
I have the pleasure of being surrounded by children in my life, with my 2 year old Niece, and with my Girlfriends 7 year old son that I absolutely love hanging out with. I love experiencing the amazement and humor that they witness every second of every day. My Niece could spend all day flipping the hallway light switch on and off and never grow old of it. Ryan, the 7 year old, will laugh at just about anything. Last night in talking to him on the phone before he went to bed I went through the whole bed bugs goodnight sequence then after saying don’t let the bed bugs bite, I said and don’t let your farts wake you up, and we sat there laughing for at least a minute and a half. Remember back when you would laugh even at someone saying the word FART. But no no no, now were adults so we have to take things seriously, we cant laugh at that. Continue reading
“When you are real in your music, people know it and they feel your authenticity.” -Wynonna Judd
Your different then every other person on the planet, thats the obvious part. The not so obvious part is that’s a great thing! Far to often we look at this like its some sort of flaw, like we need to be exactly like everyone else. Otherwise we wont fit in, or we wont be thought of as cool, smart, talented, sexy. BULLSHIZZA! It is our uniqueness and authenticity that draws people in. It is our bold self expression that makes us cool and trendy. There is no cool in conforming with others, it waters us down and dilutes our true self to a dull photo copied version of someone else, then you wander around trying to fit in then trying to fit in and then trying to fit in. Its a never ending cycle of you molding yourself to fit into someone else’s life.
“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.” -Herman Melville
We get caught up to much in what others think. Honestly it causes un-needed stress in your life trying to live up to other peoples standards for who they think you should be. Here’s a tip… Most of the time they have no clue who they’re suppose to be let alone who you should be. So many people wander around aimlessly not knowing their true selves because they’re to busy trying to be someone else.
Now, Im not saying all imitation is a bad thing. Were often told to stand on the shoulders of Giants. Some of the best ideas were built off the ideas of others, but they were only improved upon by adding an extra dash the special ingredient… originality. To imitate something and improve upon the idea in your own way is no longer imitation, but authenticity and originality. Continue reading
What an amazing word! At a glance this small word may appear to be an insignificant combination of the second and fifth letter in our english alphabet, but combined these letters bare a world of meaningfulness, an intense source of significance even. Believe it or not, but this word has kept me up at night. This word excites me and gives me strength moving forward. Imagine that… out of all the letter combinations running through my mind throughout the day, these two simple letters can at times hold more weight then any other word in my mind. Coupled with other words, these two letters can move mountains.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” ~Mahatma Gandhi
According to thefreedictionary.com the dominant definition of the word be is:
- To exist in actuality; have life or reality.
Put simply to be is to live! This is how writers like William Shakespeare are able to put such weight on this simple word, like in the famous line from his playHamlet:
“To be, or not to be” ~William Shakespeare’s Hamlet Act3 Scene1
So why am I putting so much emphasis on this one word you may ask. Well to know me, you must know that I choose the words that I focus on very carefully. I choose words and thoughts that will move me forward to my current goals and ultimately towards the best version of myself, and this word in my mind give me ownership over my abilities, actions and my direction. The constant use of this word means to set the solid foundation and expectations of what my life consists of, and to settle for anything less would be unacceptable. To be is to not just be alive; but to live life to its fullest, and to love the life we’ve been blessed with. To accept anything less than this best version of myself, is to fall short of Being me!
Live Life :: Love Life
I always get so excited around this time of year. I am filled with such gratitude as I reflect on the year that has just passed! Its like looking at a beautiful painting with such awe inspiring contrast. Every year has its deep deep shadows and its nearly exploding highlights. Each year has its own blistering vibrance and tack sharp detail that can evoke such a wide gammit of emotions! With running a business of my own its almost like being able to observe the beauty of two perfectly imperfect masterpieces that I have created in the most recent of 365 days.
With that being said, this time of year is also the time to reflect and take note of the years “failures” and successes. And over the last few months I have been doing just that, addressing the highs and lows of my personal business and life, and tweeking my plans and strategies going into 2012. With my planning I have come across 10 keys that I will be using to ensure the New Year will be raising the bar in a big way, not only in my business but in the businesses in which I assist as well.
If your an Entreprenuer or Business owner of sorts I think these tips and strategies will help you make a big bang in 2012 as well.
- Set Goals!
Alright I know this one is a bit obvious, but you would be suprised at how many people fail to set Real Measurable Goals that actually have a chance at being obtained. Most everyone sets goals going into the New Year, but most are so vague that they are often lost by the end of January.
- Make sure you Goal has a specific deadline and details so that you can evaluate progress as you move into the year.
- Find ways to hold yourself accountable to your goals, or if your not that great at keeping yourself in check yet seek out a friend to take on the task.
- Be flexible. At times there are going to be things that may take priority over your goal (ex. Health bills come up when your working on building your savings). Don’t beat yourself up over things you cant change. Simply re-evaluate your goal and current situation and go from there
- Reward yourself when youve made large strides toward the completion of your goal. Recognition feels good, even when its from yourself.
- If you run or own a business I hope you are utilizing the wonderful social media tools we have at our disposal these days. We are blessed with so much FREE marketing its a wonder why everyone hasn’t jumped in to take full advantage of it yet.
- Don’t forget to socialize with others in your same field/industry. Of course its important to connect and communicate with your current and potential clients, but when connecting with a wider peer group in your industry it opens an array of new doors you may have never thought possible.
- Here’s a brief list of the most popular Social Media platforms that I would suggest going into 2012
- Where as my last tip was more focused on online socializing, this is more so on in person networking. having an online presence is extremely important these days, but nothing beats a warm smile and a friendly handshake to build a solid professional relationship.
- Get out there and build powerful relationships in your field with peers and potential clients.
- Attend Networking Groups, Fundraisers, and other meetups in your area (Or out of your area if your looking to expand) and share your gift with others.
4. Plan Ahead
- This is huge, often times we get so busy with the hectic schedule coming up over the next few weeks or months that we forget to work on the big picture. Then what happens is we work our way through the busy months and when we lift our head its a empty calendar that we have to create from scratch all over again.
- With my position I’m a man of MANY hats, I run all aspects of my Studio as well as consult and assist with a Charity and a Coaching/Speaking business of a great friend of mine Jon Vroman. Just the other day Jon and I were laughing at the fact that a decent amount of the work we are doing right now, wont even yield a return until 2013 or beyond. That’s one of the many things I love about Jon is he see’s things at an aerial view and sees the full picture, and because of that he has the comfort of not having to worry if the business is going to be running next year.
- Plan ahead, because as they say “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”.
5. Bring value to those around you
- Its amazing how many businesses are all about take take take. This is the kind of mentality that will loose clients and followers in a heart beat.
- Part of my job is to work on developing a following for particular brands. To come up with strategies to gain raving fans and build a loyal following. The easiest way to do this is add an insane amount of value to peoples lives. And here’s the magic words… do it for free!
- I’ll illustrate this idea with an example from earlier this year. With my design and creative position I invest in training programs for the year so that I can keep up with latest trends and technology, as well as of course continue to learn in new and exciting areas. For the last couple years I have been using an excellent training program that I was very pleased with and have renewed each year, until around September when I found a new training group that not only offers similar training for a yearly rate like the previous but also has 4 or 5 weekly FREE podcast and training sessions on various topics that relate to what I do. Needless to say I’ve switched over to the new training program, and here’s the kicker… It costs a considerable amount more then the last training. However I am extremely happy with not only the content that I pay for, but also the content that I have access to for free!
6. Embrace New Ideas and Trends
- One of the wonders of today is how fast everything is changing. Think about the internet, which has only been around for about 20 years! Just a few years ago we were using dial up (makes me cringe to say those words haha). Now days were surfing the web at lightning speeds, just about everyone nowadays has the internet in there CELL PHONE!!
- Far to often we find ourselves avoiding change, where as instead we should be embracing new ideas and trends. This is something I did in 2011 with facebook fan pages. Who knew that you could make money by designing a page for facebook and then post related content on the page! I would have missed out on this extraordinary opportunity if I hadn’t been open to new ideas.
7. Stay on top of your Health
- This is a big one that I am attacking going into 2012. Just 5 months ago I was living in Virginia Beach eating delicious organic foods and being aware of what I was putting into my body. Unfortunately Ive let that slip a bit moving back to Michigan. Just today I had Taco Bell for lunch and if you’ve ever been on a detox diet and went back to eating fast food or anything like that then you know the effects improper food has on your body.
- Its very difficult to reach your goals if your energy and health goes out the window.
- Eat Healthy, Exercise, and get enough sleep to restore your levels to run on all cylinders the next day.
8. Create your success
- Be Proactive in your approach to the New Year. You cant sit there and expect success to fall in your lap. A topic that Ive spoke on before is “The Law of Attraction”, and how the idea that if you just want something hard enough it will magically happen or appear. Bull Sh*t! You can practice your wishful thinking all you want, but your still going to have to go out and create the success your looking for. My point is dont sit around waiting for your success to bump into you at the market, go out there and grab that success by the balls and make it your… I digress.
9. Challenge yourself
- This is at the top of my list of things that keep me up at night when thinking about 2012! I am so excited about the challenges that I have already put in place going into 2012 as well as those that will come up along the way.
- Take time to push yourself out of your comfort zone this year. Take that big leap in your business that you have been afraid of. Go get that client you have been telling everyone you will talk to one day. Learn that new skill. Whatever it may be just push yourself past your comfort level and watch yourself grow.
10. Live Life and Love Life
- Live life to it absolute fullest!
- We were built to be able to experience all that this world has to offer, take advantage of it! Live your life at full volume!
- Love the life you were blessed with!
- No matter what your situation, understand that you live an extraordinary life. Embrace the adversity that comes into your life and just know that its making your story unique to you!
I hope this helps as you move into the New Year.
Happy New Year