In early 2015, I came upon a post from my favorite blog, Stuck in Customs, announcing a photo walk tour across the US. Trey Ratcliff is my favorite photographer and I draw inspiration from his work, attitude, and lifestyle. He now lives in New Zealand, which made the prospect of getting to meet him or participate in a workshop challenging. Needless to say, when he announced a one day free photo walk in Washington DC, I grabbed the hubby, booked a hotel and drove to DC. Neither of us knew what to expect, but I had several big takeaways.
Find the thing you love - then go all in
Sure, that may sound easier said than done when you have a family to support, but it's possible. Trey's path to professional photography was non-traditional and he followed his heart. Photography was his side hustle until it became his full time life. Trey takes photos and continue to hone his craft. Trey Ratcliff is a shining example of diving into his passion. He researches how the eyes see color and what makes something visually interesting. He explores how the brain processes color and then how the two work together. His fascination with everything related to photography has skyrocketed him to the top landscape photographer in the world. That's my humble opinion, anyway.
This may seem like a dumb point to make, but Trey is an incredibly generous, considerate, and thoughtful person. He truly wants to help develop people into better photographers and help them get better at processing photos. Stuck in Customs offers dozens of courses and ebooks. Trey also frequently hosts photo walks around the world and offers intensive workshops in New Zealand. He helps anyone who asks and takes time to get to know the folks in attendance at his events. Trey doesn't have to be helpful. Frankly, he could be a total wank and he'd still be awesome. It's his desire to give back to his community of followers which makes him so much more enjoyable to follow.
Find time for You
Trey is amazing to follow on social media. He's so busy and so engaged in his communities. He also travels the world taking photos, editing them, and creating beautiful works of art. All of this makes Trey is super fun to follow on Pinterest, Instagram, and on his blog. Yes, he posts photos, but he also shares stories of how he goes running, does yoga, and spends time with his lovely family. From the outside, Trey really seems to have his stuff together and it's inspirational to see this. On top of all this, when you meet him, you realize how authentic he is.
It's easy to feel let down when you meet your hero after building up the moment in your mind. I'm delighted to say I was even more blown away by Trey Ratcliff in person than through the multiple ways I follow him online. I'll continue to strive for my goals because through him, it's easy to see what's possible to do in your life.