Being a leader

I have seen many people recently come out to speak on Gun Control, People calling them leaders of their generation. But sometimes I listen and realize that words can fall silent if you do not educate yourself on a subject, or if you do things like speak on gun control, but where the patch of Cuba a communist led nation on your shoulder. I have seen leaders come and go. I have seen people only taught to speak well but when the words come out of their mouths those words mean almost nothing because they are reading a speech written by someone uneducated about a subject.

If we look at people in books what it took to be a good leader was hard work and dedication to whatever profession they were in. They knew when to speak and when to walk away. They knew how to lead people in general. In order for them to be a great leader, they also needed to know how to be a mentor and teach those below them. They knew how to go about business and take that role and make people like and adore them.

We today need those sort of leaders, yet they are far and few between. We need a person who has the drive and the capabilities to make things happen while people will back those because they became educated on the subject before speaking. Sometimes though a leader can also be a quiet type. The type who takes control only when he or she needs to. I have watched so many times leaders speak and repeat the agenda everyone else is pushing. I have watched the verbatim repeat what the news and newspapers tell them day after day, like not an original thought exists in their heads.The reason their words fall silent is because we have heard those same words over and over again, and those words have been so embedded into our brains, that we repeat them like a computer.

We need to take people under our wings as authority figures, parents, and mentors and teach the younger generations what it takes to be a leader. I always hear my own son talk about what he does because his friends do it. I always try to tell him you be the leader, you set the example, but set a good example. I think we have all heard the go to if those words fall silent. If your friends jumped off a bridge would you? We have to look towards what our parents and grandparents went through and taught us. Choose the teacher you liked best and remember how he taught, because he made an impression as a leader. Take a little time each day to teach something new to someone. Make someone smile and laugh, but also know when it is time to be serious.

Growing up, and even as adults we learn from our mistakes and we try to correct even ourselves. We learn from watching what is going on in the world around us and we try to make this world a better place even if it is through a blog, or a Facebook or twitter post. We try to be positive although at times it can be tough when daily we see war, famine, protests, gun violence. We see all these negative things and we post over and over about them. Take for instance when the Florida School shooting took place, even until today about every other post is on that school shooting. although its over a month old now we are still posting the most negative things, and arguing with one another instead of sitting down and figuring out how to solve it.

Well one way to solve this spike in School shootings is quit giving the shooters  attention 24 hours a day 7 days a week. These people are typically narcissistic looking for attention. It is their way to get attention because someone at home or in school did not pay attention to them and they were outsiders and this is their way to fame. Notice since about 1998-99 after Columbine, the school shootings have increased. There is a simple answer why. Well actually 2 reasons i have. The increase in 24 hour a day news providers such as CNN, MSNBC, FOX NEWS and many more. The other reason being the increase in social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. When Columbine happened it was the dawn of social media with AOL and AIM, YAHOO, and MySpace. So people now had outlets to get and gain national fame by what they did.

The other thing that bothers me is racial tension. It really does not matter if your White, Black , Asian, Hispanic, or Muslim. Whatever race or religious background you may have it is not a reason to hate one another. We need to stop, we need to look at the person next to you and think of them as equal to you. I always hear the media pushing race baiting. It is sickening because every article somehow almost pushes black against white, or Christianity vs the nation of Islam. STOP!!!! We are all one people, one nation, one world and it is time to come together as such. Quit letting the media mold you. Quit letting social media mold you. You are individuals with your own thoughts and emotions. But before you speak make sure you get educated on the subject you are speaking on. Look up statistics, look up history of whatever your subject you are speaking on. Make sure you make valid points and just not spew the same stuff the media spews over and over again. Become a leader, a mentor, and a teacher to a younger generation. Teach them and make sure they are the leaders of tomorrow who will be our change.

Well hopefully this made sense and you were able to follow along a bit and heed some of what I said. You do not have to agree, you can debate me, but part of debating is staying away from the name calling I see everyday on Facebook and other social media outlets. You do not have to name call in order to get a valid point point across. Thank you for listening or reading my rants and raves…

 

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Facebook, A buffet of love or cheaters.

Sometimes I sit and think on social media and how it has taken over our lives. I also do some of my best writing at 1:30 in the morning. Everyday we cannot look left, right, up, or down without seeing someone with their nose buried in their phone, tablet, laptop whatever electronic devices you and I all have. We ignore whats going on around us to entertain ourselves with what is going on in everybody’s lives accept for our own lives.

We believe what the internet tells us and what those on the internet make us believe.We take for granted the word “LOVE” especially because of social media. We crave love so bad it does not matter what that person says or does, even if they are lying directly to their faces. Social Media, Facebook prime suspect number one. Does it create a buffet to choose from for love? or does it create a buffet for cheaters?

I’ve seen people after two days use the word “LOVE”. Oh they are so in love after spending a few hours on Facebook chatting and maybe a few hours talking on the phone. That is called Lust, and well desperation for regular human interaction, because you need to believe so bad someone loves you after only a few hours. We never take a step back anymore and ask ourselves, Is this relationship good for me?, what do they have to offer? Are they gonna be there for the good times and the bad?.

These things have made Facebook a buffet for Cheaters, and Lovers alike. Now the people who do not care about others feelings have an easy way in. They see a status how heartbroken someone is over an ex lets say. They come to their rescue sorry for the magic reference ta dah !!! With replies to statuses, like are you alright? do you need someone to talk to? I am so sorry this could happen to you, I am here for you, Usually as I notice its usually the same excuse the term thirsty men doing the same thing and on several women’s statuses. Over and over if the person is just having a bad day they can keep on insisting you talk to them, until finally one day you give in. This is a bad start already.

So finally they convince you to go out on a date, and 2 dates later the next week the man has her convinced shes in love. He will usually be the controlling, obsessed type who will post everyday on her wall if he sees any other guys giving her photos attention to say stuff, again like of there’s my sexy baby, or I love you so much baby. They do not give the lady the room and the space to sit back and think. Then a month later she catches him cheating, but he comes back with every excuse in the book. It has only happened once, I am not in love with her, I am still in love with you, and the all famous I will never, ever do it again “I PROMISE”.

Then a week later they are into your private lives, asking every-time you get on the phone, Who are you on the phone with, or if someone comments on your photos asking who the guy commenting is. They will say well it is not you, but their ex cheated on them so it makes them “INSECURE”. They are going to then probably in a few weeks become very accusatory, tell you that you never went to the store, that you were out cheating. When in all reality you might have been doing what I am doing right now, and that is writing a blog about how Facebook is a buffet for cheaters. Remember the accuser is usually the one cheating well in my experience about 99.9 percent of the time. They feel guilty about what they did so they run it off on you like your the one to blame for them cheating.

I have seen some Facebook or online dating work, but in my experience that seems like a fleeting thing. We want to be lovers by nature so we expect others want the same exact thing even if it means jumping off a bridge with them. We all want someone we can cozy up to and cuddle at night, or watch a good TV show. Someone we can go out with on Friday nights to dinner maybe shopping and a movie. Those are the types of that us as humans and those with actual regular emotions expect and want. Typical human desire makes us crave intimacy even if it means settling for someone less than we all deserve.

Do not Settle from now on. I worked for a company that had a 4 second rule to safety it was take 4 seconds before you do anything in the factory scan your enviroment make an assesment and than proceed with caution still. Maybe Love should have a 4 month rule the rule of no jumping into the I love yous right away, or no moving in with them after only 2 weeks. We will call it the 4 months til I love you rule. That way you can really know if the person is about you or just getting well in your pants for lack of better words. And for God sakes do not propose to the person after a few days… Thats when you really know things are bound to fail.

Anyways those were just a few thoughts before I hit the sack here and sleep. Hopefully you all have a great night if you agree share and follow my blog.

Thank you,

Brian

 

Anxiety and how it takes over.

Years ago after my divorce with my kids mother I discovered that I could not control everything. This bothered me so greatly. I felt as if I was losing part of my life and things were spinning out of control. Control was something I always seemed to have until that point as I was always a very competitive athlete all my life. I was usually able to control the outcome of an at bat or a game. I never took the word lose very lightly. I would kick dirt throw my helmet in the dugout if things started to go wrong and I felt like I was losing control. I would always try to rally the troops. But with divorce I could not do this the courts had control over everything including visitation. It disturbed me not having control for the first time in my life. I was losing being able to see my kids full time to becoming a weekend dad.

Over the years I tried to learn I could not control everything, no matter how hard I wanted to control things, I tried to tell myself over and over again eventually things would be alright. Those thoughts would paralyze me at times lay me up in bed, as I tried to get through the mess of losing control and seeing my kids only on weekends. This drove me nuts still does at times as I want to be the real father I know I can be.

Now as i get older I feel like I only have a few real friends who support me and understand that at times my anxiety gets the best of me. Losing friends over the years was another thing I could not control. So when I do have friends who are always there it really makes a world of difference to me. But the thing I fear the most is those friends will someday leave find significant others, and i will be alone in the world to navigate once more. That Scares me alot. This is why I discovered that the one thing I have that is a constant in my life no matter what is my photography, I can capture one moment in time and go back look and relive that moment in my head.

this year with the surgery I had no control, without it I would lose use of my left arm. This made my anxiety act up in the worst way, and the healing process has been long and out of my control. I always hate when I have no control It makes me feel like there must be some way and than my mind goes into overdrive. I think most of the things I think are mostly big what ifs . Like what if I have no more control, what if I cant make the best of myself anymore. What if people think my photography is crap? All scary thoughts and we let thoughts like that get worse and worse til we are almost paralyzed with fear.

Like I said I watched Friends move on and now when I have friends sometimes I think I drive them nuts. I try to be the friend who knows everything, the friend who needs the attention because of friendships Ive lost I think I try to replace those and keep the ones I now have.  The one constant i have had by my side this past year is my one friend and my son. Ive watched my son become the competitive athlete I once was and it makes me very very proud, He has shown me things even I did not know he is a very smart kid, although maybe he lets his ego shine through sometimes, but that was me at his age.

Hopefully this explains a little bit about how I feel when things seem out of control for me so people get a little bit more of an understanding of me.

What would you miss?

 

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So I am reading a book called station eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. About a pandemic called the Georgia Flu that nearly wipes out mankind. Behind is left abandoned places, with no electricity, or running water etc… She poses an interesting question in the book. If this really happened and we had limited resources, and we were forced to use horses, hunt and scrounge for water clothing etc… What would you miss most.

I am really not sure what I would miss most. Today everything is stored in modern forms of media such as computers. People really do not go to the library, or take photographs put them in albums. I think I would miss forms of visual stimulation such as photographs. Photographs tell the stories of where we have been, who we are and were. They tell most of our modern history. I am sure we would eventually lose visual forms of art to vandals and thieves. What would be left are the images in our heads.

We would lose most modern music and have to rely on what instruments we had left to entertain. We would rely on the old fashioned play, no more television, or going on YouTube for entertainment. We would have storytellers again, people who would tell stories of the past we would have to rely on their memories to provide us some of our human history. I am sure some of us would probably lose the skills to read or write to communicate.

I would probably miss being able to travel where you wanted to go on a whim and seeing friends and talking to friends from distances. We would not have cellular phones or Skype. We would not be able to just turn a key and go visit those friends when we want to. We would have to go back to letter writing and delivery services such as the Pony Express again. I would miss everyday conversation quite a bit. Really we do not know how lucky we are to be able to use phones, and social media to keep up with what is going on with our friends.

We would probably miss going shopping for the goods we need. We would have to learn new skills to survive, We would not be able to go to Walmart or the Mall to get clothing, or food or supplies we need for everyday living. We would have to learn to hunt, fish, sew and make items we needed to even travel from place to place. We would have to fabricate parts we needed for wagons etc…

 

Being able to go to a ballgame with my kid, or take them places like amusement parks. We would not be able to do any of that anymore. our entertainment would be limited, and we would again have to rely on old forms of entertainment that would probably be very new to most of the modern generations who have probably never even been to a play for entertainment.

Anyways just a few thoughts as into how life might be had we lost everything we know. What would you miss most?

My Hometown and simpler times

I was remembering my hometown tonight when I sat down at Steak and Shake with my friend Omar. We sat and talked about how things have changed within the past 30 years or so. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago called Bartlett, Illinois. Not much ever seemed to change. Of course over time we made new friends. Some stayed in our lives and some well I never knew what happened to them after I left.

I grew up in Bartlett until I was about 13 years old. I seemed to grow up on a very simple block, everyone knew everyone, and families always seemed to know where we were because they all communicated with one another almost on a daily basis. Our block was nice but most of the boys on my block were all older, and growing up some of them took us under their wings. They taught us how to skateboard, or they would throw the ball around with us normal boy stuff.

I had mainly friends who were girls in my neighborhood because those were all the kids around my age. I had my Friend Dina your typical girl who was kind of the smart ass athlete though. She was more a tomboy growing up with our group. She played baseball, running bases, soccer, sometimes even a football game with us. We would ride our bikes up and down the block, play on each-others swing sets. We really never worried about getting injured when we played.

We would go to the park right down the road. The parks back then were not these plastic parks you see now. We had the cage rocket ship slide made of metal, swing sets and monkey bars also made of metal. If we got hurt we went home got bandaged up and were right back at the park in 5 minutes. Like most kids we were a bit reckless and our parents knew where we were, and knew atleast one of us if not all of us were coming home with bumps, scrapes, and cuts. We understood doing stupid tricks might cause injury but we were kids. We did not want to sue the world because the playground was metal, or because we got injured just being kids.

The park was divided by a creek with woods on one side where many spring and summer days we spent playing war in the woods trying to build forts, and finding wood to build bridges to cross the creek. My first kiss was by that creek and it was with a girl named Melanie. Across that creek was a field with hills we also used to play tag and war and hide and seek. At the back of the field was an old rusted out propane tank apparently once meant for a house of some sort. but it was long abandoned and we used it to sit inside of and have juvenile conversations, Probably conversations to those similar to the conversations in the movie Stand By Me.

Another few girls I grew up with were Scooter, Sissy and Robin all sisters. We all kind of had our own cliche and knew almost what one another were thinking at times. I once climbed a tree in Scooters backyard and they had and old jeep body leaning against the back of their garage the branch snapped and i fell onto the jeep body. I am sure I probably cried but in 5 minutes we were back to playing.

Many summer nights were taken up by us playing baseball in the street, many times we played until we could no longer see where the ball was. Many times we would hit the ball into the “Old Geezers” yard. He was an mean old fool of a man who rented the house across the street with him and his wife. We would run quickly into his yard trying to avoid being seen so we did not experience his wrath and he would tell us how we should not hit the ball into his precious yard and yell and scream and throw a fit. Of course like the movie Wayne’s World, we had to move every time a car would come down the road. Most of the times those cars were neighbors returning home from shopping or work and would always wave to us kids. About half way through the baseball games in the evening the ice cream man would come down the road where each of us had a dollar for ice cream, My ice cream of choice was almost always the screwball with the gumball at the bottom.

After it got nearly dark our parents were usually by this point yelling for us to come in for dinner. We had no cell phones no pagers just good old fashioned loud parents who made their voices heard. We seemed to always rush through dinner on a summer night when we did not have school the next day. We tried to get back outside because it was time for the fireflies to come out. then afer that we would usually play a few rounds of ghost in the graveyard.

Some summer days we spent riding our bikes to Lizzie’s which was the local ice cream parlor and gag gift store, I bought my first can of fart spray there and I sprayed it on Dina’s bicycle seat, Her father Wayne did not find it so funny. Wayne could be a smart ass but we as children respected him because he had a very authoritative voice . He actually made me clean her bike… Funny thing years later I went to my Junior Prom with Dina.

Alot of days we also took our bikes to the Baseball Card shop on almost a daily basis. We collected baseball cards for a very long time and well trading cards with the other kids on the front stoop of the shop kinda became a staple of everyday life. The people who owned the shop always welcomed us in and never said a cross word to any of us. After the baseball card shop we would sometimes go to the drug store get candy and garbage pail kids. The hot dog joint Annie’s was right next door and we always went there for fries or a drink. Tcby was in the same complex for those who do not know what Tcby is it means the countries best yogurt it was a frozen yogurt shop and sometimes we would go there to, I stil know of one in chicago if your ever into finding frozen yogurt shops.

Sometimes we would go to the railroad station and we would of course be kids watch the trains pass count the cars, but the real motive was putting pennies on the tracks and having them flattened, Sometimes it would take us a few minutes to find the pennies in the rocks after. But we had fun social media, the internet did not exist. So we actually had to physically make contact with people, go outside and play and get exercise and fresh air. I loved growing up in that era because now we hide behind keyboards and we find love online. We do not date the old fashioned way anymore and everyone wants to move to the next level in a few weeks. Kids are now trying to grow up acting like thugs on the internet, and we as parents act like well they are just being kids. We should ban them all from the internet their phones for a month I guarantee they would be different at the end and see the importance of actual human interaction.

Anyways getting tired as I am sitting here typing this and I am sure I have plenty more memories to share but these were just a few thoughts that crossed my mind… hope you all read and enjoy.

 

 

 

Dont Sit Back!!

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I just watched a Live feed on Facebook by Stel Bailey. She was talking about being a GO GETTER!!!. I do believe that gigs and clothing etc… Is not going to be just handed to you in the photography and modeling industry. Yes you will be able to land designers and yes they will want you to shoot their stuff, but not with a ton of footwork and talking so they get to know you and what you can do for them.

Over the past several months I have worked with an awesome friend/model Jessie Ann and I have done a ton of footwork to get where we are at as a team. Not only have I done promoting her Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram etc.. But she has also promoted herself to get where she is at. I went to the companies with her original photos she had from another photographer and said here is a model I would like to shoot your stuff with. 3 companies and 1 designer have jumped at the opportunity.

The point is I did not sit back and let those companies come to me and expect they just are going to send stuff. I worked my butt off to get them to want us and me to shoot for them. Just to mention a few names, Swimrags Swimwear, Rock God Eyewear and even now Husk Apparel. This was not easy!!! People it takes hard work and alot of determination.

Many hours were spent planning the shoot for me to go from Illinois to Pennsylvania. Spent alot of time discussing locations, getting lodging for the weekend, food , and transportation from here to there and then to the locations once I get there. It is not easy to do all that and then you have to battle weather elements in the middle of April. We shot on a beach for the swimsuit part of our shoot, on Lake Erie again in the middle of April. Be prepared for elements if you are doing this in April, and make sure you have the proper attire for in between wardrobe changes, so your model stays comfortable. I would rather I freeze than my model. So in between shots she was in my jacket, In a Pink Victorias Secret Hoodie covered in towels just so she was warm and could be ready to go brave the elements for the next suit.

Like I said sometimes in order to get results though you must produce the results. It is not just about things being easy. I have invested alot of time and effort to get where I am at and It has been very rewarding at times. Make sure when you approach companies you have a good body of work or a great portfolio. that is absolutely necessary. They want to see what you can do who you have shot with, where you are published, etc….

Getting published is a whole different ballgame and again that I will discuss in another blog because there is alot more to write on that!!!

Thank you for reading again,

Brian Andrews

Memorial Day, May we Remember

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On this Memorial Day we recognize those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to this country. We sit here and not only mourn the loss of those who gave their lives but remember those who did. I took this a few years ago In Woodstock, Illinois. As the soldiers you see changing out the old flag with the new salute as the change is made, the Rifle was with the pair of boots, and the helmet and dog tags adorned it. This is a way to honor a fallen soldier in the battle field.This is called the Battlefield Cross this practice goes back to the Civil War possibly earlier. It was a way to mark the dead or fallen before they were removed from the battle field.

This one was raised on a memorial day vigil for a fallen soldier from the surrounding area. I never did read the dog tags on the rifle. I often wondered who it was. I wish I knew the man who gave his life for this country. My way of showing he was remembered was from this photo. It was later published on Vogue.It Photovogue.

We often forget those who watched their brothers fall on the battlefield and do not think what they watched, what they witnessed or how they felt at that very moment. They watched their brother in arms fall before them. They were possibly a friend or even family member at times. Soldiers looked out for each other as they even lay dying. Some would try to comfort them in their last moments as they drew their final breath.

I am sure I cannot imagine the pure horror as soldiers came off a troop transport and stormed a beach as German soldiers following their orders to open fire opened up their full arsenal on our soldiers.the pure horror as their friends fell and they had to move over them as they lay there dead. Bombs dropping, the beach being shelled from a distance by battleships to try to compromise enemy positions and destroy them. Bullets flying through the air, and grenades, and mortars exploding all around them. I really cannot imagine the sights the sounds or the screams. To me it was the ultimate sacrifice. these soldiers were out to stop a ruthless dictator who had his sights set on taking over the world.

Soldiers who have died during battle knew the ultimate price they had to possibly pay, and yet they enlisted to defend you and I. They had families to lets also not forget them, moms, Dads, Brothers, Sisters, Cousins, Uncles, and Aunts. Those people have had to deal everyday with the loss of their loved ones. They watched their family members leave for war knowing they may never see them again.

Memorial Day is not just about your backyard Barbecue, or that beer you hold in your hand. It is not about going out to the lake, or seeing how drunk you can get. Memorial Day is about recognizing those who have served and  gave their lives for our country defending our freedom. It is also about honoring the families of the fallen those who have had to watch as their loved ones casket was carried that last 15 feet, with an American Flag Draped over it. It is about the Mother, or the son daughter or father who stand and lay their head on the casket as they weep because their family gave their life. They gave their lives for their families, friends, and for us the strangers they never knew so that we could have our Freedom.

Today as you watch the parades, or the wreath being laid on the tomb of the unknown soldier on television. Please take a moment of silence and say a prayer no matter your religion. people of all different races and religions and sexual orientations gave their life to defend you. They defended you so that you could be with your family, and be there to honor them today.

Thank you to those who gave their lives,

Brian Andrews