Category Archives: Inspiration

Advocating “Bully Breed” Dog Rescue Through My New Portrait Series

My article in the December 2012 issue of the Washingtonian Magazine

In the December 2012 issue of Washingtonian Magazine, my first printed professional writing piece. I’m becoming a bully breed advocate by doing a portrait series on people that have rescued bully breeds (not just Pit Bulls). I intend to have the series widely published. Spread the word and get involved. This is something near and dear to my heart. I hope to not only promote dog/pet adoption, but also help negate the negative stigmas that society has for these inherently gentle dogs. Blame the human that teaches a dog to fight, and not the dog. My Pit Bull mix Emma, is probably one of the most gentle loving creatures you will ever meet, and she is the inspiration for this photo series.

If you have rescued a bully breed dog and want to help out or be a portrait subject in the series, please message me. The series is growing and evolving every day! I’m very excited by the possibilities.

Photo of Emma and me by Bobby Bruderle.

Check out my photography here: SondersPhotography.com

Click the photo to read the article.

 

Photographers – Take Better Care Of Yourselves – Part 1 Travel Edition

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of us photographer and filmmakers taking better care of our bodies and our minds as well as my personal journey. We push ourselves entirely too hard, especially those of us that travel for shoots. Therefore, I’ve started asking friends that are REAL fitness experts, unlike myself, to share tips about how we can easily take better care of ourselves.

Believe me, I will be doing many more health posts like this geared towards photographers and filmmakers that work on our feet for long hours with simple tips on how we live longer with healthier necks and backs, heavy gear be damned.

Say hello to Adam Foote

My buddy Adam Foote (check out his inspiring fitness blog) took the time to share 4 tips on how we can take better care of ourselves when we travel. I add my 2 cents as well in the bracketed portions :

1. Take 20 minutes to plan ahead. Once you know where you are staying, search for the local Whole Foods or grocery store and hit it up as soon as you land. Stock up on water, your favorite health bars, and some unsalted almonds or cashews. Having your food ready not only saves you time but also saves you from making poor choices when on the road. [It doesn’t hurt to pack some healthy snacks before you start your trip to avoid the stuff that is so bad for you on the road – DS]

2. There is nothing wrong with grabbing lunch at a Wendy’s or Chik-Fil-A every now and then. Simply order a grilled chicken sandwich or two and hold the fries and diet soda, you DO NOT need those useless added calories. [Avoiding fried foods in general is a good rule to follow. It’s bad for your heart and drags you down during a long day – DS]

3. Stay hydrated while traveling or on set. It is so easy to forget to drink water throughout our busy days but it is ESSENTIAL for optimal health. As a guideline, try to consume a minimum of HALF of your body weight in ounces of water during the day. For example, I weight 200lbs so I try to get 100oz in from the time I wake up to when I get to bed, that is simply 5 20oz bottles throughout the day. [I used to love soda with caffeine, but I replaced that with just water and you’d be surprised how your stamina lasts longer on water than it does trying to fill yourself with sugary sodas and fruit juices. Soda is so bad for you and water is truly essential to keep yourself going. I always carry a refillable water bottle or canteen with me everywhere I go, even on the airplane – DS]

4. And last but most definitely not least, make time for some exercise. It does not matter how busy you “think” you are. Everyone has time for a 10-20 minute hotel room workout, simply make it a priority. It is a great way to help raise natural energy levels in the morning as well as help to “blow off” some steam and get your mind right after a long day. [Don’t have a gym nearby? You can always go for a jog. I always bring runnings shoes just in case. Can’t run that for whatever reason, here is an app or two that have some cool workout suggestions you can do right in your hotel room in just a few minutes!]

Need more inspiration?! highly suggest you read his blog post on Transforming “Your Life and Body”

Remember (as I mentioned in my previous blog post on fitness):

  • It’s not a diet, it is about a healthy lifestyle. If you are on a crash diet to try and lose weight to hit a certain goal, you may make that goal but it will most likely not stay there long. Starving yourself is bad for you (portion control is an entirely different story) in most situations. Feeding your body with the right healthy food can actually do wonders.
  • Do at least one thing a day that points you in the right direction of a healthy lifestyle, as little as it may be. As long as you are being proactive, you are in a better place than you were yesterday.
  • Strong body equals strong mind. It also works the other way around. Taking care of yourself can improve your productivity and creativity.

I’ve received fantastic response about photographers wanting to learn and be more dedicated to bettering their health since my first fitness post. I love. Please continue to comment with your input, tips, suggestions, or what you would like to see me blog about more. Thanks again to Adam for his input!

Here are other suggestions that have come in:

Jeremy Witteveen

  1. Monitor alcohol consumption. I have to do this in general, but on the road, it’s damn important.
  2. Stretch out before and after work. Maybe sometime in between.
  3. Take small breaks.
  4. Use monopods or tripods when possible. It’s not negative to use the tools in your bag to alleviate the stress.
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I Propose A Toast…

To the ones that said we couldn’t or wouldn’t… that we would fail
To the heartbreaks and heartaches that took the air from our lungs and the ground beneath our feet
To the odds against us
To the days we didn’t want to get out of bed

You fuel us to prove you wrong. To want more. To demand better. Without the scars, pain, and fear there wouldn’t be the ferocious tenacity that drive us forward.

Dedicated to a couple of friends going through their own battles and growth and to all of those out there trying to do their thing when everything seems to be stacked up against them.

 

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Key To Developing A Successful Freelance Photography Career – Keep Busy

I’m not going to pretend I am the richest photographer, or most successful, but I do pay my bills, get published regularly, and rather enjoy my career in photography and filmmaking. People often ask what is my big piece of advice for launching a career in professional photography that can sustain you full time. Well, I could go on for days about my personal philosophies, but here is one crucial element that all of you can do: keep busy.

When I am not shooting, I am editing, or planning out scheduled marketing, or searching for new clients, or shooting personal portfolio projects. Make lists of goals. Without goals, you dont know where you are heading and why or what you should do. Make short term goals and long term goals. Make to-do lists that include completing current projects on time (obviously) and if/when youre done, planning out ways to expand your portfolio and ways to reach out to new clientele.

When reaching out for new clients, think of a specific niche for yourself. If you fancy yourself a wedding photographer, or band photographer, or car photographer, reach out to clients that specifically would be interested in that specialty. Also, build a portfolio (web, ipad, or print) that reflects your specific niche so you may show them. As I have said before, few clients respond to promises of “I’ll do a good job, just trust me” on projects where you show no prior experience. Don’t be afraid to cold-call (or cold-email). Be persistent with clients you really want to work with. Trust me, I am sure I have been annoying from time to time with my persistence, but much like trying to convince an out-of-your-league girl to go out with you, they cave… eventually. I’m kidding folks, I’m kidding.

Make goals (short and long), keep to do lists, when you aren’t shooting a job you should be either shooting for your portfolio and developing a specific niche for yourself and marketing yourself to specific clientele that reflects your niche rather than the shotgun marketing approach.

If you have any other advice, feel free to comment below! You can see me speaking more about becoming a profitable full-time photographer at Photoshop World DC this weekend (March 2012). Some inspiration below.


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