A Rough Year


So it has been almost a year since I did a blog. It has been a good and horrible year. A few weeks after I last posted I lost my mother to brain cancer and that was the hardest thing to ever go though. Even now as I type this I get tears welling up in my eyes. I have experienced many ups and downs over they ear as I have tried to process the loss and get my head on strait.

One thing that I have been feeling is that I have been missing a purpose  or mission to my life. I mean I have my family to take care of and that is something but I know I need to be doing more. One “mission” that helps me get thought the year was the military and the number of missions that I got to go and be a part of over the last part of 2017 and early 2018. I was able to throw myself into those missions and forget and run form dealing with the death of my mom. I know it isn’t the healthiest thing to do but it is what I did.

Now I will talk about each of the missions that I did in their own posts but I want to say that I have done things and met people that have changed my life forever.

One of the things that i have been struggling with is overcoming my demons. I realized I have been going about it all wrong and it came from one of the strangest places, Dr. Strange, the movie. There is line in there phrased as “We never lose our demons, we only learn how to live above them.” and that is what i have to find out how to do for me. I cant constantly be battling them i need to be able to live my life with them there but not let them dictate my life.  


Unexpected Meaning

Memorial Day seems to be for cook-outs, “summer sales” and just a reason to get drunk with a group of your buddies. I have to say that I love that we can live like this and enjoy the great weather and be around friends and family. I do have to sit back and remember though that this day was set up to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Every year since I have gotten back from Afghanistan I remember Chief Warrant Officer 2 Terry L. Varnadore II, who died on April 23, 2011. Now I didn't really know Terry before his death but I had met him a few times and talked for a second here and there. I got to know Terry thought one of his close friends after his death and thought that I found out that I had taken a photo of Terry just over a month before his death.

The Forward Operating Base (FOB) that I was at had a small landing pad and fueling station for Helicopters and since it was a French-run base there had to be an American pilot there to help coordinate American air assets. These pilots changed out regularly and you would catch them in the chow hall and talk for a few mins here and there but in a week or two they would rotate out and you never really got to know them. If I knew when American helicopters would be coming in and I had time, I would go out and shoot them taking off or landing. I noticed one day while shooting them that they change out of the pilot working with the French and one of them had these big white Oakley glasses on (not really in regulations) and I snapped a few shots of the turnover and went about shooting the Kiowas as they took off. Later I would find out that the Oakley wearing pilot was Terry. I honest couldn't tell you if he had taken any other pictures between the 18th of March and his passing but I know that I had taken a picture of someone that close to their death hit me hard. I know that my photos are enjoyed by the families of the people that I shoot but I hadn’t thought that maybe it could be the last photo of them. Somewhere out there, there is the last photo of everyone who has passed, we normally don't think of them but they are all out there. It is an honor to possibly be the one to have to take it.

I was on leave when Terry and his co-pilot were in the crash of their OH-53 Kiowa and he was killed. I know that it was one of the most helpless feeling to see on the news about this crash and know that there is nothing that you can do. I just kept on thinking “how can I get back over there” even though if I was there I couldn't really do anything to help. I didn't know who was in the crash but I knew that I want to get back there and help that Fallen Angel. Since I wasn't there, and I am just a photographer anyways, others went and to save Terry’s co-pilot and recover his body. During this grueling and dangerous event, 2 other soldiers were wounded and one was killed by enemy gunfire. Staff Sgt. James Justice was killed on the same day during the rescue efforts. I never met James but I am humbled by his sacrifice.

So while others have their BBQs and parties I will sit back in my safe home and remember those who gave everything for us.

I saw the video below as I started to write this post and wanted to include it because it is beautifully done and is perfectly timed. Thank you, Black Rifle Coffee Co. for all that you do.




Beauty Beyond

So I don't want to make it seem that my blog is going to be down and sad all the time and this one could come off that way. I want you to truly realize that it isn't that way. The situation itself sucks but what i am trying to get across is how you can take something so bad and make it beautiful.

The 30 second backstory is that my mom has brain cancer and got pneumonia and was hospitalized for about a week. My dad and I took turns staying at the hospital with her. I had a lot of time where she was asleep and I wanted to show people the way I saw my mom. Not the person that was there lying in the bed.

I hadn't brought my camera to the hospital and only had my phone but I think that was all that the situation really needed. I truly feel that if you are a good or great photographer then all you need is something that captures light and you can create art.

There isn't much to say about the work, most of what was going on with her was that she getting a lot of IV treatments. I hope that my vision for doing this came though.

Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny
— C.S. Lewis

I have to be honest. I have never looked at these on a screen larger than my phone. I think that they still do what i wanted them to do but it does hit me harder seeing them at this size. I hope that you enjoy.

My Domain!!!!

So it took me emailing back and forth with customer support over about 2 day to figure out what was wrong with my domain BrasierStudios.com and why it wasn't showing up when I get logged in. So it turns out I messed up changing my email last spring and when I logged in this time and set up my page and what I thought was restarting my page was actually setting up a new one.

They were so great at getting the "bad" email cleared out and moved to MY email and then they canceled the new account and refunded me the money. I am so happy to have worked with them. 


Getting Going

So I have been working on getting everything going for my business and that includes getting my website up and running. I have used squarespace.com before and was happy with what I was able to do with it. 

Unfortunately I let my account lapse and when I restarted it my domain (brasierstudios.com) wasn't linked to my account but was showing linked on Sqaurespaces side. I have been emailing back and forth to them to try and figure it out. So far it hasn't been fixed. 

So as of now I am only going to have my blog up and going as I try to nail down some design elements and get images sorted. I am going to be starting with more of my "Fine Art" images and as I increase my product portfolio I will update that. 

As people who know me know that I love shooting many things other than products and I will be posting those images and stories here on the blog. I hope that I can keep peoples interest and create a "tribe". I love to share and help out where I can.

“The distance between where you are now and the path you think you should be on is probably smaller than you think it is”
— Chase Jarvis