Every day we all roam through life worrying about things we need, or things that need to be done, or things that we can’t do.  Things that we’ve done that were wrong, or things that we have yet to make decisions on, or things that we are doing that we shouldn’t be doing.  Decisions that could be hard, but rewarding, or decisions that could decide the fate of a pet or cherished item.  Really though, the hardest thing of all those things would be to think for a minute as to all the things that we do all have, or have all done to get to where we are right now.  Not in a pessimistic sense, or a look back on the bad run of luck that got any individual to this particular juncture; but   just the things that we do have that make our lives what they are because no matter what happens, everybody needs to remember; the whole world isn’t out to get you, and things could always be a bit worse.  No matter what.

This year has been good to me personally, and for that I am thankful.  My inspirations such as Joe McNally, Dave Black, David Hobby, Bill Frakes, and many more.  People who I can say I’ve really never met in person or more than just in passing, or even care that someone like me exists; but have influenced countless photographers across the world with their style, passion, and skill.

I’m thankful for all the guys and gals over at Robert’s Distributors who have not only managed to make me overspend time and time again, but have always had whatever I’ve needed to complete my assignments on little to no notice.  From the calls that they give me to tell me they have something I’ve been looking for in their used case, or just calls asking me to demo equipment for their blog; I can easily say they have been great to me and I’m thankful that I haven’t let them down.  (At least not to my knowlege).  It’s because of one of them that I was set up with Pocket Wizard’s last year to beta test, and it was one of them that has had me out to lecture at Ivy Tech, the Art Institute, and IUPUI here in Indianapolis.  I am also thankful that they didn’t laugh  me out the door earlier this year when I went to them and asked about sponsoring the Roller Derby by hanging lights for their tournament.  It was then that I am thankful that Manfrotto stepped up, and sponsored the whole project with their Dado units.

I am thankful for the Roller Derby.  That sounds odd, but it’s true as without the Roller Derby I ‘d probably still know very few people here in Indianapolis.  It’s not just the Naptown Roller girls either.  I mean the Derby in general including, NRG, Circle City Derby Girls, AARG, and many many more.  Meeting and getting to know derby photographres like Bob Dunnell, Axle Adams, Phil Peterson and others has been an amazing experience.

I am thankful for the technology that I have in both my Nikon and Canon cameras.  Having the full time experience that I do with both systems has been absolutely invaluable and has most definitely made me a much better photographer; even if it has caused me to wear my hair like a  mad scientist in the hopes that eventually a photo that I take will work out on the first try as opposed to the 48th.  Both Canon and Nikon make amazing pieces of technology, and I”m thankful that I am skilled enough to do enough work that I own an entire Nikon camera kit personally.  Not borrowed or rented from anyone.

I am thankful of all the folks that read this blog.  Different sources say different things as to how many read, but the internet says that people read from all over the world.  I hope that I’m not teaching anybody bad grammar in another country, because I get heckled enough for having bad grammar and spelling here.  I’d hate to have people know my bad grammar over photos that I’ve taken…  I am thankful for family that has supported me in not only this blog, but also in my photography in general.  As well as I am also thankful that even though this is the first thanksgiving without my Grandfather Gabe, he is now in peace.

I am thankful that the Indystar has kept me around as long as they have.  They continue to find assignments to send me on, requesting only that I bring them back the best media that I can.  Time and Time again, I go out into whatever environment they send me with no budget and a deadline that has already past; and I am thankful that I can provide what they need.

I’m thankful that people continue to call me as a photographer.  I don’t always answer, requiring that I call back and sometimes I look like a zombie sleeping at my desk; but people continue to call.  People continue to ask and pay me to do some of these things that in some cases I would pay to be able to do.  Last year I met Neil Gaiman while shooting a book for Toni Carr, and in fact now have a large photo print on canvas hanging in his house.  I’ve traveled almost 50,000 miles this year so far via plane, car, van, or bus for assignments.  I am thankful and honored that people call and ask me to document and experience some of the most important moments of their lives via a wedding, or even the birth of a child.  I’m thankful that I was able to take Shannon on a lot of these adventures because never being around is no way for me to tell her that I love her.

Speaking of Shannon.  I am certainly more than thankful for her.  She puts up with my shenanigans, my crazy hair when I haven’t gotten it cut for 6 months, the fact that I don’t sleep much and every now and then get a craving for a burrito so strong that the term “Body by Qdoba” becomes more of a slogan than just a saying.  She deals with the fact that I’m always adding things to the calendar on nights and weekends, and she deals with the fact that sometimes I’m done later than I expect.  (sometimes by a lot…).  She deals with the fact that in order to do what I do, I have to do these things so that I’m not forgotten and people stop calling.  She deals with my paranoia that nobody will call me ever again because I didn’t get a shot right within the first 100 frames.  She deals with the fact that I killed half the grass in the front yard, and tried to feed tuxedo the cat beer.  She deals with the fact that my computer desktop has 435 Icons on it; none of which are organized in any way.  She deals with the fact that my Desk has 436 pieces of paper on it with once again zero to little organization.  She has dealt with people that I hardly know leaving me crazy Facebook posts out of left field for no reason.  She deals with my website, and the spammers and hackers that assault it from time to time causing it to go down.  She deals with me playing with the cats at PetSmart using the laser pointer’s I find in the store.  I am thankful that our cats are happy, and that she enjoys the three of them as much as I do.  (Even if Tuxedo does in fact like Beer).  I love her, and things wouldn’t be the same without her.

More Soon, but until then.  Count your blessings.  Happy Thanksgiving.