Sunday, November 17, 2013

Royal Robbins Outdoor Clothing Fall/Winter 2014 Campaign was a blast - almost spiritual, and definitely NOT work!

     Most who know me, know that 'modeling' isn't work for me.  Seriously - who in their right mind could call modeling work anyway?...No one that has worked a real job, that is for sure.  Modeling is a creative outlet for me, extra incentive to keep fit and take good care of myself, some bonus income, and lately a way to force myself to travel to new locations, experience new adventures, and meet new and interesting people.  Maybe that is why I get invited back by most of my clients - I'm having so much fun on set or on location, that I forget that I'm 'working' and I would never dream of whining about anything.  (This is the kind of perception serving 10 years in the military will give you:)  Don't take this to mean I'm not a professional at my craft.  I am.  I set the standard on shoots!...claiming it!

     I say force myself to travel and go on new adventures, because even though I travel for my day-job as an airline Captain for JetBlue Airways, I find family life, age, and career, has got me embedded into a rut and routine that I actually enjoy so much, that I don't want to ever venture outside of it.  This annoys many of my family and friends, this box I tend to keep myself in, and it also can stunt personal growth, lead to closed-mindedness and even cause you to lose touch with your inner self.  The past few years, I've literally stopped taking 'guys-trips' and rarely stray from my family and home when not at work, and though this is appropriate for the phase of life I'm in right now and I wouldn't trade any of it, it is critical to growth to have somebody move your cheese (pardon the cliche) and push you out of your small world.  Flying the JetBlue jet does this for me, but I've been a pilot with them for 11 years now, traveling to mostly the same city pairings, so even that can lead to life-complacency and growth-stunting routine.  That's where modeling often comes to my rescue.
     I've realized that I'm also addicted to being productive, which makes purely vacation-type trips hard for me to commit to and rare.  Professional modeling trips however, come with compensation, and therefore since I'm being paid to go, I feel productive and my mind is then truly at ease to actually enjoy myself guilt free!  Such was the case with a recent location shoot I did for Royal Robbins Outdoor Clothing.  All the pieces fell into place, including a remote, beautiful location, interesting and gorgeous co-talents, a very laid back yet, cutting edge client, and an amazing young photographer who never had to force a single shot and was never moody.  Every lifestyle shot just seemed to happen on its own, because we had all the right ingredients in stunning settings with a photographer who would set us all in motion and then snap the shutter at the perfect moment.  Chemistry was inherent and inevitable among us, it felt like I went into a time warp for five days, or at least another dimension.  Bland daily distractions were gone, normal routine responsibilities were no longer a burden.  We were all left with no choice but to be in the present moment and acknowledge the beauty around us, as the epic locations had been scouted prior to our arrival by keen eyes with local knowledge.  For five days I was forced to step outside my type-A, responsibility filled life and indulge in my creative, stress-free side.  For once I wasn't rushing.

     At some point during day three a change within me was happening.  Don't ask me to explain it, but it was a positive, welcome change and a shift filled with self-reflection and spiritual awakening of some sort, and am I'm not talking about religious dogma here.  Perhaps it was because I had stepped away from my normal routine long enough, or maybe it was the beautiful scenes of nature we were surrounded by, or perhaps it was the people I was with and the good food shared.  It could have been the young photographer, Forest Woodward, who seemed like an old-soul despite his youthful looks, so grounded and wise beyond his years, yet so humble.  It got to the point where we didn't even know exactly when he was shooting, or that we didn't want that shot to end.  It might have been the locally brewed, Anderson Valley IPA beer, that we drank during the last shot each day.  It might have been experiencing the organic, pure way of life on a real apple farm.  It could have been shooting under a 100 year old Oak tree with a sun setting on one side of me and a Harvest moon rising on the opposite hillside.  Maybe it was the sound sleep I was getting.  Most likely it was all these elements happening to me during a moment in my life when I was open to feeling a spiritual and emotional connection.  No, I was not under the influence of the locally grown weed either!

     And to think I was getting paid for this.  My co-talents were Sierra Quitiquit, Ben Woodley and Drisana Carey and I would like to thank them for being such awesome humans.  The producer who took such good care of us was Elizabeth Nicole.  The Creative Director at Royal Robbins on location with us, who also styled us, was Monica Smith.

All photos shot by Forest Woodward for Royal Robbins Outdoor Clothing.

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