What I want to do when I grow up

“What do you want to do when you grow up?” It is sad that no one really ever asked me that question and as a result I never really thought about it.  On the rare occasion when someone did I would think to myself, “how should I know?” But, finally, as I am about to turn 47 I finally know the answer to that questions.

Let me be clear. I have no world changing cause. I have no desperate need. I will likely make this happen without help. With that said if you are still reading let me tell my story. As I mentioned, I am about to be 47 yrs old. I was raised in a fairly unmotiveated environment. With no plan, mentorship, guidance, or push I did what everyone in my hometown did when they did not have a plan, I joined the Army. I spent 20 yrs as an Enlisted Man in the US Army. Since retiring I have spent about 9 yrs in cooperate American. Without a vision I managed to push to where I am by know what did not feel right.  I would do what was expected or next or the obvious choice and I would think, “Nope this isn’t it”. I never knew what it was I just know I was not “there” yet.

But, for the first time my whole life I can answer what I want to do when I grow up. I am going to be a photographer.

About a month ago I quit a good paying job in the medical management world. It was miserable, I was miserable, the people were miserable. And then one day I had enough. There was some money in the bank so I have a cushion while I look for a job I want. The problem is I still didn’t know what job I wanted.

During my search there have been gaps of time as I look for a job and I do not sit still well so I started filling them with photography. I have always dabbled but well long story short, for the first time in my whole life I finally feel a passion for something. Sadly enough I have never felt that before. Just like I never understood how people knew what they wanted to do, I didn’t understand it when people would talk about thier passion. Until now.

And now I do not want to go back. But the cushion will run out. And as good as I think I am I don’t think my photography will pay the bills before the cushion runs out.

So I am here, I figured what the hell. Maybe someone want to help a retired Veteran that wants to pursue the art of photography.

If you are still here, thanks for listening.

Wayne (Tad) Jones


My photography Instagram

My Personal Instagram


Go Fund Me link


Just like that…

I heard someone die today. Just like that.
I was outside getting my stuff ready to go camping. Suddenly there was a loud boom near by. I assumed in the neighborhood across the street. It was loud enough that it actually startled me. Followed a few minutes later by sirens. I thought at the time and even said to someone later that it soundly like something blew up and that I hope no one got hurt.
Someone did. A car crossed the line and went head on into a semi and a lady died today.

Just like that.
I didn’t know her and my world will keep going. Heck, I didn’t even stop packing at the time. But I heard someone die today. Maybe that should mean more or less ,I don’t even really know. People die all the time, very often in fact, and we keep going. Really we have to, we are suppose to. It’s our proximity to the death the determines it’s impact on us. Either by location or connection.
Someone close to her though, their life was shattered today. Just like that she is not coming home. Or keeping an appointment. Or cooking or whatever. Just like that, it all ended.
Me, well I guess I was “close” enough to be struck by the fact, right before I go to bed, that I heard someone die today. With a boom her part in this world was done. And I am reminded that no matter our plans or obligations our part in this world can end…

Just like that.
#love #life #live

Wayne (Tad) Jones


My photography Instagram

My Personal Instagram


Then rest…

Anyone that has anything to do with business, achievement, motivation, etc. has heard about the “grind” and you will absolutely hear it from me as well. The grind, as even the name implies, is hard.  It takes a lot of effort. It takes continues effort. People will tell you that you have to constantly work.  That you have to do things other will not.  Put in the hours that other do not. “If you want results others do not get you will have to do the things other do not.”

What others do not always tell you is when you get really tired and you do not feel like you can keep going.  When you feel like it is all too much, that is when you… well… you have to stop and rest.

Not what you expected, right?  But the truth is we all rest because the other thing you always hear about, burnout. Let me be clear, what I am talking about are brief moments of rest or just slowing down.

I have found if I try to keep the same level of motivation and effort on days when I am not feeling it, my overall effort suffers.  I do not do as good of work, I miss things, I make mistakes, I cut corners, my quality falls off, my brand suffers, etc. So in the end staying with it can cost more than it pays. (Sometimes literally)

Also, if you push too hard on those days you will not enjoy it and you run the risk of falling out of love with what you are doing.  Of course if you are having these “tired” days too often you are probably not in love with what you do and if you are not… well that is likely a another blog entirely.

So during those times or on those days when you are tired or distracted, do something different, take a break, have some fun. Reset. Hell, if nothing else, on days you are dragging perhaps you can write a blog on resting. Just saying that might be a good idea. 🙂 Come back fresh, recharge and in love and get back to it.

Thank you and stay rested.

Wayne (Tad) Jones


My photography Instagram

My Personal Instagram


Show me, show yourself…

I have a lot of good ideas.  Well, at least I think so anyway.  I can tell you about them and I will if you let me.  I have had these ideas, or some form of them, for some time.  I am very good at talking about them. Me telling you about these ideas and plans would begin with, I should, I am going to, I will, Next time, When… These ideas are intelligent, thought out, robust but, very strangely, none of these ideas have spontaneously taking root and produces anything. The talk for all its good intentions and well sounding presentation is basically useless.  It’s the action that matters.

We have all heard something similar, maybe even from ourselves. I can make good grades, I can start a business, my car can do 0 to 60 in six seconds, I can lift that. But until that talk turns into show its nothing but potential. Show me the good grades, start the business, drive the car, pick it up. Ideas are just potential action, until they are not.  Until you show me.

Admittedly this is very close to my “shut up and try” idea, t-shirts, and post and they are similar concepts.  If nothing else this is a more socially acceptable statement.  The shut and try idea for me has more to do with stop complaining, stop hesitating, and giving excuses. This idea has more to do with the fact that all the talk in the world will not amount to anything. It is a waste of everyone’s time.  If it’s a good idea, show me.  If you can do it, show me. If it will help, show me.

There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction. ~ John F. Kennedy

I am sure fear has something to do with the gap between talk and action and let me clear and say that when you go big you will likely fail more often than you succeed.  Personally I refuse to let fear of failure be the reason I do not try.  I would much rather not make it than not try.  As someone once said I fail is ten times better than what if because what if never went to the arena.

I will stop now because lord knows I could go on and on about this and really is not this just more talk I think it best that maybe I talk my own advice and just show you.

Thanks and stay moving.

Wayne (Tad) Jones


My photography IG

My personal IG

Just say something…

Let me admit three things right off the bat. One, the featured image in this post is a stretch of a fit but, as a photographer, I attach images, its the best fit I had.  Two, I promise it’s going somewhere. (Pun intended… path… going somewhere.. 🙂 ) Three, I am so preaching to the choir here.  I suck at what I am going to advise.

I am a bit of an introvert.  Weirdly enough, it is very situational based.  In some parts of my life I am not.  I lead, I talk, I take charge… I am told I am a very big presence.  But, in some parts of my life the thought of talking to someone is so foreign. (I am sure there are mental health providers out there dying to diagnose that.)  More specifically, the idea of talking to a stranger unprompted seems… unheard-of.

A little background here. My “if I ever win the lottery” plan is to move to Savannah and open a coffee shop that sells art or an Art shop that sells coffee.

I live by the mantra, plan, life choice… call it what you will, that everyday you should do one thing to make your life better.  Recently my “thing” was to talk more to strangers, to socialize, network.  The idea alone provokes an overwhelming urge to roll my eyes. But anyway… my one thing… talk… so I did.

My first attempt at this unheard of habit resulted in me talking to a photographer that recently open a coffee shop. In her coffee shop she sells other’s and her art.  And today I made conversation with a photographer that works at a coffee shop and has also figured out how to make her own inspirational t-shirts at home. Wow, universe that is a big heavy handed on the life lesson. But in the universes defense I can be very think headed.

So anyway I think you get the point, just say something.  Who knows it may do something crazy like line you up with individuals that share your life goals. If nothing else it has yet to kill me, as my preconceived notion lead me to believe.

Thanks and stay chatty.

Wayne (Tad) Jones


My photography IG account

My personal IG account

Oh and the image… follow your path, take the journey, take the steps.  See, I told you it was a loose fit.

God sakes pull over…

Oh I should stop.

I think we have all done it. Seen something on the side of the road or during our travels and think “Oh, I should stop” aanndd we do not.  This is an especially bad practice as a photographer.  I cannot tell you the number of times I see a great shot (at least in my head) and I think I should stop and I do not.  Followed immediately by that annoying internal voice of mine questioning and then berated my decision not to stop. And for the life of me I cannot explain why I do not stop.  I have this, “I can’t do that feeling”.  Why can’t I?  Is it because it’s not done? Because no one does? Because I will feel silly if I do?  All insanely flimsy excuses and great fodder for that internal judge of mine.

So I drive over the creek almost every day and I always think… wait for it… “Oh I should stop” And… you guessed it… I do not.  So this morning… driving… creek… thought. But this morning I had a “shut up and try” moment.  And well the spot was like something out of  a movie. The attached photo is from my iPhone.

I have no idea what the pictures in the camera look like yet but the spot was amazing and completely worth the stop  All the time wasted, and almost wasted again, by not stopping.  How many things have we miss as we keep going to someplace we don’t really have to or want to be as we pass a place or something we really want experience.  (There is a heavy metaphor in there but I won’t expand on it now, but you get the point.)

And of course I was struck by the stream (no pun intended) of vehicles I heard driving overhead as I took photographs in this great spot just off the road.  I don’t know maybe its just me.  Maybe know of them have ever thought, or were thinking, “Oh I should stop.”

Wayne (Tad) Jones


My Photography Instagram account

My Personal Instagram account

And just like that…

“We think we see the word as it is, when in fact we see the word as we are.” ~ Steven Covey

And just like that I was a photographer.

It is a sad truth that we are our most limiting factor.  Although I have taken photographs for year, studied photography, and sold photographers whenever someone would ask me what I do, what I was, I was always something else.  More specifically, until recently, I was a Director of Operations that took pictures.  See, the world has never told me that I am not a photographer.  My skill has never held me back from being a photographer.  My education, background, desire, etc. Apparently it was all me. I mean I have all the props, an expensive camera, a website, business cards but still…

And then one day I was talking to someone about design. Talking to them about what they were planning and doing. Somewhere in the conversation it was more me leading than them. There was this look on the guys face, kind of like when a doctor starts talking about someone being hurt and without them saying it, you know they are a doctor.  They guy ask me “what do you do?” And without me thinking (which is often when we get out of our way) I said, “I am a photograph.”

As it does too often, suddenly my insecure internal dialogue kicked in, “no you’re not!”, “why did you say that?”, “what do you think you’re doing?”, etc. And, of course, without a moments pause the guy said… “Oh, cool”. And on we went.

And just like that, I was a photographer.

I appreciate you stopping by.  My motivation ramblings along with my fitness, fun, outdoor, and food life lives on my personal IG page.

My photography live on, my well, photography IG page and, of course, my previously mentioned webpage.

Wayne (Tad) Jones


I don’t want to go back…

About a month ago I quit my job.  Since retiring from the military about nine years ago I have basically been in cooperate America.  I am told I am pretty good at it and admittedly there are some things I do like about it but well obviously not enough to keep me where I was.  To sum it up, well, it sucked.  So one day, with the very oppressive thought that this can’t be how life is suppose to be weighing down on me, I put in my resignation.  I will be honest I did not, do not have a good plan.  It boils down to… can’t stay here… there is some money in the bank… quit… find a new job before money runs out. So I am about a month into the “find a new job” part and well its not working out so well. Nothing to panic about (yet) but I cannot find “the” job.  As I have mentioned on here, I am blessed/burden with a certain amount of passion.  That passion led me to do some great things and some questionable things, like quit my job, but I continue to live by it.  Once I went through the obligatory obligations of job hunting, applying to the expected jobs, going to the expected places, I turn my attention to the things I have a passion for, like… wait for it… photography and t-shirts.  I know, I know you never saw that coming.  Over the last couple of weeks something has shifted.  I spend all my time on the things I love. Those things can easily be summed up on my personal Instagram account.(fitness, kayaking, food, fun…) and now my photography Instagram account. (BTW I am also seeing I have a passion for Social Media.) I find myself getting up early and staying awake late at nights to “work” on those things. I forget what day it is. I spend all my time thinking about how I can make that more a part of my life. Thinking about what the next step can me.  Everything else (to include looking for “real” work) has started to suffer. I started to think maybe I have gotten off track, that if I am not careful I won’t be able to go back to what I was doing.  And then it hit me… I don’t want to go back (said in the pouty voice of a three year old leaving the park). I love this. It’s true what they say, when you are doing something you love it does not feel like work. Of course unless I can find a way to make “this” pay be a high five figure salary pretty quickly, I have to go back (again slightly pouty).  Don’t get me wrong I am not done trying to figure a way to not go back. This morning I toyed with the idea of a go fund me campaign but with that being used for things like saving lives and feeding starving people I doubt my campaign would take off.  Although my plan does include eccentric billionaire, young profitable start up, or an existing go fund me campaign that funds retired veterans looking to make major creative changes to their life, finding my webpage.  Hey! You don’t know… I could happen. Either way I continue to live by my personal mantra, At every opportunity point yourself in the direction of your goals.  You might just end up where you want to be.  Thanks and stay happy.

Wayne (Tad) Jones


My t-shirt problem

It is official I have dipped my toe in the water of putting out t-shirts.  I love graphic tees, I love words, I love designing so really it was just a matter of time.  For now these are all one offs or limited editions but I will drive the cost down as much as I can.  I have another one coming out soon, “Shhhhh… Show me”. I joke but I think words can have a powerful impact on us and those around us.  For instance when I wear this shirt to the gym, well I kind of have to bring it.

I made this particular shirt but I (and I know many others suffer with this) would talk and talk about what I want to do, what I am going to do, blah, blah, blah. And then it just hit me one day, shut up and try.  For better or worse you will never know until you… shut up and try.

Thanks and stay cool

Wayne (Tad) Jones