Dave’s birthday cake

Along with being New Year’s Eve, it’s also my friend Dave’s birthday. They’ll be spending the evening with us and I thought I’d take pictures of his birthday cake/present. Yes, he’s slightly over 30. Yes, his birthday cake consists of G.I. Joes. Yes, it is awesome.

On a side note, it’s the first time I’ve ever shot photos of toys. It was kind of fun.

Dave's birthday cake
Dave's birthday cake
Dave's birthday cake
Dave's birthday cake
Dave's birthday cake

Because I really mean it

I probably won’t have a chance to post again before midnight so I thought I’d take a second to say happy new year. I truly do appreciate everyone who stops by here to read my ramblings.

Normally I have a series of posts leading up to the new year about the previous year’s doings and what I hope for in the future. Sadly I’ve been too busy to even get those done. So they will happen, just fashionably late.

I hope all you guys have a great and safe new year.

I put my hope in…Congress?

Roger Ebert wrote a column about the current state of the world. Most of it is probably more correct than we’d like to admit. It’s all about how we, as flawed humans, screw up most of what is put before us.

The sad part is at the end of it when he calls on Congress to come together and find answers to fix it all.

I put my future in the hands of Christ, but I know not everyone does and I don’t hold that against them. But even in the absence of Christ (and I really don’t know how Mr. Ebert believes), isn’t there anyone better than Congress to look to to save the future?

A conversation I didn’t want to have

I crawled out of bed and made my way to the bathroom. My legs and feet ached badly. I stumbled into the bathroom. Tired eyes stared back at me from the mirror.

“Why do my legs hurt so bad?” I thought.

“Because you weigh too much, tubby,” my body answered back.

“Wow, thanks for that,” I said.

“Don’t look at me. You’re the one who always wants ‘one last piece of pizza.’”

“Look, I did good during the summer. All the swimming and getting you back into shape.”

“And what did you do when it was too cold to swim? You aren’t a bear. You don’t need the extra fat to survive the winter.”

“Why do you always bring this up right before January 1st?”

“Why do you insist on eating like a fool during Christmas? You think I want to be on your failed list of resolutions for another year?”

“Jerk.”

Nice job, Congress

It appears after a year of hard work and pleasing, well, no one, Congress has deemed itself worthy of a raise.

Yeah.

What’s wrong with this picture? Several things, actually.

One, who gets to decide on their own pay raises? That just doesn’t seem right.

Two, if your job performance rating ever dips to 14%, I don’t think a raise is in the cards that year.

And three, Congress doesn’t actually have to vote themselves a raise. It just happens automatically. They have to vote to stop the raise. This is why it always makes me laugh to see Congress lecturing businesses on not being wise with money.

I’ve decided I will never vote for an incumbent in a congressional race again. Eventually maybe we’ll get someone in there who has some modicum of common sense. I’m increasingly reminded that all things man made, even our great system of government, are prone to massive errors.

I hit delete

email_zero

After yesterday’s post, I decided today the inbox would hit zero. With much deleting and a little sorting I went from around 2,000 emails last week down to zero.

It was surprisingly easy. You’d be shocked how many of those emails were completely useless. If I can do it in a day, you can too. I have a system set up, so now there is no reason it can’t stay that way. I’ll report back in exactly a month and we’ll see how it goes.

When you get your email box to zero, leave a comment for us.

Just hit delete

My email box usually hovers around the 2,000 email mark. After some extensive cleaning it currently sits at just over 1,300.

Which brings me to the question, why in the world can’t I just hit delete? I’ll get an email that I will never need to read again. A completely useless piece of digital dust cluttering up my life. And yet I don’t delete it. Why? If I would keep up with my email box it would probably be much better for me.

How many useless emails do you keep laying around?

Bigger prayers

If you knew God would answer your prayer, what would you pray for?

Everyone at my house is currently sick. Monday I had to leave for a quick trip. Knowing I couldn’t reschedule it, I prayed, “God, please let me get through this trip without being sick.”

And he answered it. I made it through the trip fine. And immediately started feeling bad on my return home. Had I known he would have answered it, I probably would have prayed that I just didn’t get sick at all.

We need to pray bigger prayers.

The bean dip lid of death

I carelessly knocked over the line of Cobra toys. Once again, G.I. Joe triumphed over the forces of evil and protected my toy box from tyrannical rule. I looked around the room to decide what to do next. He-man? Maybe later.

Then I heard it. That sound of thin metal being ripped from it’s base. I ran as fast as I could down the short hallway, bouncing off the adjoining wall as I took the corner hard. Entering the long kitchen I combined the power of my eight-year-old legs, socks and cheap linoleum to slide me to the counter.

I came to a stop neatly beside my mother who was fixing lunch. And there it was. The can of Frito Lay bean dip. Freshly opened, the metal inner-lid rested beside the can. Small clumps of bean dip clung to the surface of the metal, staring up at the ceiling.

I stealthily stretched my hand out toward the lid. I froze as my mom stared at me out of the corner of her eye. We locked eyes, an invisible battle of wills taking place. Like a snake striking, my hand grabbed the lid and disappeared into my sleeve.

“You’re going to cut your tongue on that,” mom said.

“No I’m not.” I answered in a matter-of-fact tone. This struck me as being too similar to the “you’ll shoot your eye out with a bb gun” argument I’d heard all too often. Surely it couldn’t be true too.

I sat down on the cold floor and leaned my back against the refrigerator. I happily began to lick the remaining bean dip off the inside of the metal. “You’d have to be an idiot to cut your tongue on this,” I thought, “Just don’t lick the edges.”

Fast forward 20 years to today

The glow of the refrigerator lights up my face as I open it. “Hey, bean dip,” I exclaim. I quickly pull off the plastic lid and cast it aside. I work my finger under the pull of the metal lid and tug. The metal around the edges gives way with a satisfying rip.

Thinking of all the things I have left to do in the day I begin to lick the bean dip off the inside of the lid. My mom’s voice comes back to my head. “You’ll cut your tongue on that,” she intones.

I smile. “Yeah right, I’m not tha……..OWWWW!”

The sharpened edge of the metal neatly slices through the soft flesh of my tongue.

“Crap! I cut myself on that. What an idiot!” I say to myself.

As my tongue begins to burn from the slice I scribble a quick note.

Note to self: call Mom.

Also, don’t shoot a bb gun today. Just to be on the safe side.

Holiday Shoot Special

is120-holiday-2008-promo

The Deal
We’re offering discounts on our family and couple sessions through December 24th. You don’t have to shoot the session before Christmas (but we can) to qualify, just book it.

Couple/Individual Session :: $175 (Normally $225)
Family Session :: $200 (Normally $295)

Each session is up to an hour and a half at a location of your choice (around the greater-Austin area). You’ll receive a CD with all edited images in full resolution along with personal reprint rights. We’ll even email you a gift certificate you can print out if you’d like to give it as a gift.

Who’s This For?
Anyone, but for a second I want to address the men. Dudes, you can never have enough photos of your girlfriend/wife/family. Ever. This is the perfect Christmas gift for her. Not only does she get new pictures, she knows you are committing the time for the shoot, which trust me, means a lot.

How We Work
We shoot in a very casual photojournalistic style. Part of our job is to make sure you have fun during the shoot. We’ll meet your family at the location of your choice and photograph you guys having a good time. These make for some of the best memories. We love working with couples, families, kids and even pets. And guys, we promise to make it as painless as possible. You can view samples of our work at ImageStudios.tv.

Sold! Now What?
Just email me at chadwright [at] mac.com to set it all up or if you have any questions.

The new brand

If you haven’t watched the news lately things aren’t great. Large companies the world over are reporting losses and slashing jobs. This economic recession means a lot of very smart people are out of work.

Many of them are going to seek new jobs with corporations in the same field they were just fired from. We’ve been taught over the years that’s what you do. You move to the next big company that can provide a nice paycheck and benefits.

But a few are going to see this as a good thing. They are going to go it alone. Freelancing or starting your own small business is certainly nothing new. But I think people will do it in greater numbers. They’ll realize that in economic turmoil like this working for yourself gives you much more flexibility. Suddenly your future isn’t in the hands of a faceless corporation.

In ten years I think we’ll be talking about personal brands right along side big business. Bright, hard-working individuals will outlast some of the brands we’ve considered invincible. I think we’ve proven lately that being big doesn’t mean you last forever.

More than logos and more than corporations, people are the new brands. People that know how to leverage the internet. People that know how to lead tribes. People that have something to say. You.

What are you doing to build your brand?