2015: A Post Mortem (Finally)

2015 has come and gone. It was an insane (in a good way) year, both professionally and personally. It was my first full year of freelancing full-time, I traveled, got engaged, and pushed my work to the next level with some new gear. If 2014 was defined by “transition,” then 2015 could be described as “growth.”

2015 Post Mortem

Last year I was able to work on some amazing projects and really advance to the next level of my career. Early in the year I took a PA job, and about half way through the shoot I realized I shouldn’t be taking non-camera PA work anymore. Since then I’ve pushed myself to more and more work in the camera world and haven’t looked back. I upped my roster of repeat clients and have been able to stay busy, even through the slow months. I’m still figuring out some of the intricacies of freelancing, but for the most part working like this has been the best thing I could’ve done; I don’t foresee myself taking a salaried job anytime soon. I even managed to finish The Jog in between gigs (more about that coming soon).

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With all the work that came in this year I wanted to expand my gear list out to include some new items. Going into NAB this year I wanted to look for a new camera, but nothing on the market really spoke out to me and said “I’m worth this major investment.” Instead, I went more camera agnostic and decided on the Letus Helix, a 3 axis stabilizer (kind of like the Movi and Ronin, but better). It’s been great working with the Helix (full review coming soon) and I’ve shot some awesome projects with it. 2016 will hopefully afford me the opportunity to finish kitting out the Helix with wireless follow focus, video transmitter, second monitor, and remote so that I can offer a second operator mode and pull of even more amazing shots.

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Check out this Star Wars parody music video that we shot with the Helix!

One of the things Loretta and I really wanted to do in 2015 was to start traveling more. So we got our passports and headed out. We didn’t go very far this year, but we managed to fit in four big trips to Vancouver, Las Vegas, Chicago, and New York, on top of lots of camping and hiking. Our most recent trip to New York was over New Year’s Eve (part of why this post is so late) where we met some awesome new friends from Sweden and Canada and actually stayed up until midnight. Getting out and traveling has made Loretta and I even closer and hopefully 2016 will be full of great trips. We’re planning on heading back to Colorado in the spring, and then Ireland for our honeymoon.

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That’s right, honeymoon. Back in July I proposed to Loretta while we were camping with friends. It went perfectly and Loretta immediately went into full planning mode. No, scratch that, she was in full planning mode before I even asked. She knew it was coming and had us lock down the date/location before I even asked. So in September we’re going to get married. I can’t think of a more amazing woman to spend my life with.

2015 Post Mortem

My goals for 2015 were to increase the amount that I was working, pump up the quality of my work, finish The Jog, increase my blog output, and to travel. I hit all but one of these. Actually, I went backwards on my blog output. The last half of the year I completely let my writing disappear. This isn’t something I’m proud of, and being better at getting posts out is always something on my goals list; for 2016 I’m going to focus on better quality blogs (with video) rather than trying to get more out and keep to any sort of schedule. So here are my goals for 2016:

  • Better quality blogs. More gear reviews, tutorials, and guides (less fluff).
  • Get married (and go to Ireland).
  • Work on more narrative projects (hopefully a feature).
  • Spend more time with friends and doing non-work activities (finally play that Zombie Apocalypse pen and paper game).

2015 Post Mortem

Every year I look back at all my past postmortems and over the 5 year’s I’ve been doing them I can see a great trend in my career and life moving in the direction I want them to. 2015 was an absolutely amazing year, and 2016 is looking like it’ll be even better. With everything going the way it is, I can honestly say that I’m happy with my life. Hopefully all of yours are getting you to where you want to be.

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Happy 2016!

2015: A Post Mortem (Finally)

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