April 27, '17 2:45am
This is my first time reflecting since I've been in Jamaica. Words can't really describe how I'm feeling in this very moment…... I'm consumed with love, humbleness, peace, and eagerness. My days have been filled with shadowing and capturing the life of one the biggest body builders in the world in his home country, Jamaica. So far I captured some of the best shots I believe I've ever created, and feel myself progressing into a better story teller, videographer, and photographer. I noticed how different the excitement is traveling for work in comparison to traveling for pleasure. The time I have to myself has been little to none since my primary reason for being here is for work. I’ve had to simultaneously juggle a camera and tons of other equipment while also looking for inspiration personally and for the main job I was doing. That's been my only drawback. But what i often face in certain circumstances where I'm traveling and or working is having to pick and choose whether to embrace a moment or capture a moment. In capturing the moment those few seconds or minutes can nullify a beautiful experience that you could potentially never get back. Sure photographs are a way to keep special memories "forever" but the essence of what you're feeling and seeing can't always be displayed in an image. Great photographs do have the power to showcase beauty and serenity or evoke emotion but there's a thin line between that and living in the present. I try to keep in my mind that as long as im alive and in good health there will always be more moments to photograph or record on camera. Having a balance between creating the art and living essentially coincide. If you're not adoring and absorbing your surroundings what will inspire the art? The living part is key. So that's exactly what I did. Some parts of the trip I captured perfectly, like driving right outside of Kingston through Saint Thomas, Trinity Ville, and other rural areas. The opposite occurred during the latter half of my trip. We remained stationed at an all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay for 3 days or so. Free alcohol and food sound like a steal right? Especially when it's all paid for....but there was still a part of me itching to get out and see more of the city. I was in unchartered territory so by nature my only real desire was to see people, culture, landscapes and wander places i had never visited before. Instead of exploring i was left eating hotel resort grilled Jerk chicken and festival, lounge chair hopping at the pool, late night strolling along the coast, and capturing more footage of Shawn and his beautiful family bonding. My main goals were to obtain a balance between self exploration, creating and completing my main job, which was to finish capturing the remaining missing pieces for a documentary we're doing on Shawn. The last task I completed without hesitation, since after all, I was getting paid for it. The remaining objectives I got bits and pieces of. Nonetheless, I was able to shoot some amazing images that I've shared above. I highly recommend visiting all parts of Jamaica should you go, including the not so safe parts. We were blessed to have escorts who where natives from there, drive us to different parts of the island where the roads aren't the easiest to travel on, particularly if you're from America because the cars in Jamaica feature steering wheels on the right side. It's a bit intimidating at first but it's nothing you can't handle.
BTW: If you're ever out of the country and you're not sure if some places are safe or not to visit, be weary that some people will tell you not to go to areas you may be interested in. Don't let that discourage you! If you feel compelled to see certain places, GO!!! Don't let anyone's opinions hold you back from doing something you desire. In the same breath, try to get someone to show you around that knows the ropes, and if you can't, proceed with caution. No one ever grew by staying in their comfort zone.
...One more thing, if you're on your mobile device there's a short promo video we shot of Shawn Rhoden below.