Thoughts and Keeping It Real


I have gotten into watching vlogs that a few different photographers are making, and recently I watched a video about how vlogging can potentially be harmful, in the way that it only shows the good, the fun, the exciting. I thought that was interesting, because I can see photo blogging being the same way. I want to make sure that I am not only showing the best of times, but also talking about problems, and daily happenings that might be not fun. I want to stay real. You’re going to get the good, the fun, the exciting, but you’re also going to get the sad, the bad, and the unfortunate. So…

Today was my day off. I got home from work at about 6AM, and I really wanted to get a queue started on my Tumblr for the most recent shots from my blog posts. I uploaded about 3 days worth of posts and then I got some sleep. I woke up early today because my girlfriend and I broke up last night, and she stopped by to pick up some of her things. This was something that had been coming for a bit, as we had a talk a few weeks ago about how each of us view our relationship, and the different directions that we are heading. I have my mind set on getting that truck, going on the road, and just seeing where life takes me. I have felt very tied down here, not because of her, but just with life in general. I need to do something different and I feel that is what I need. I want to explore living more simple and free. That isn’t her thing. She is just more safe. She’s also younger, and not ready to just pack up and leave her family behind, and there is nothing wrong with that at all.

I haven’t told anyone about this yet, because people think that breaking up is the worst thing ever, but sometimes there isn’t anything wrong, and it’s not bad. Sometimes it’s just that you are two different people, and you have two different lives to live. Sometimes it is what needs to be done, because one of you cares so much, and the feelings aren’t developing the same way for the other. This time, it was kind of a mix. That’s not to say I don’t care, because I definitely do, but I just wasn’t as emotionally invested as she was.

Do I feel happy about breaking up? Well, no. I have honestly been thinking about it all day. I’m a bit sad, and I am going to miss spending as much time together as we did. I feel that we split on good terms though, which is totally new for me, but I am so glad about it. We are going to keep a little distance for now, but I truly hope that her and I can still be good friends in the future.

Sometimes you have to do certain things that don’t make you feel good in the moment, but you need to do these things because they are steps in the direction you want to go. That’s just how it is. You make a call, deal with consequences, move on, and keep trying to achieve your goal. It’s not that what happened up until that decision is meaningless. It just means that there is room for the new that is on the way. Embrace that.

After she left, I got ready and drove to Dubuque because I needed some ND filters for my shoot tomorrow, and car show next weekend. These were the only one’s that the camera store had. I have never tried any products from Pro Master, and I don’t have any experience with ND filters, so I don’t know if they are good or not, but I will give them a try.


I watched some Youtube videos, ate leftover soup, and relaxed since tomorrow will be a longer day. This next photo is from a few days ago, but it didn’t make sense to include it in the last two posts. I make some killer (lol) vegan wild rice soup. I get told pretty often that my cooking is really good, so I have had this thought about putting together a small vegan cook book, but I haven’t started on that yet. Maybe some day…. I will probably share food on here, since it’s just as much a part of my life as anything else here, so if any readers see something I have made that you’d like to try, let me know and I will get a recipe for you!


And, I brought my camera in to work the other night to take a couple photos of what it is that I do for my “real job”. My job title is Design Specialist, which is kind of a graphic artist, but also kind of not, and includes operating laser engraving machines, and a large format printer. When I first started this job about 3.5 years ago, it was awesome. I had the freedom to experiment and create a ton of different things. I learned a lot about the lasers and materials, and had so much fun doing it. Then…


YETI started to gain popularity about two years ago, I would estimate, and these cups are just out of control. I honestly can’t believe that not everyone in the entire world has one or two of these things by now, judging from how many I have seen go through our door, and that’s just the customized ones we do. I think they have a solid build quality, but are incredibly overpriced. I really don’t buy into the hype but hey, if you want one, go get one.

The YETI cups came in to play, and pretty much all of the creativity was done away with. We have so much volume that we are straight production oriented now. We are almost exclusively laser operators at this point, and we get 90-ish percent of our artwork from GAs at corporate HQ. This, among some other issues with staff, have made me incredibly unhappy in my work situation (see post #1). But, that isn’t the point here, I guess.

Let’s get back on track. Below are a couple photos that show pretty much what I do every day at work. The first is a blank YETI being engraved with a fiber laser, and the second show what the cup looked like with the customers logo applied. I put blank ones in, and take the done ones out. I mean, there is more to it than that, but that’s the simplified version.



Tomorrow I’ll be shooting that Scion FR-S, so in the next few days that content will be posted here. I’m stoked!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

– Dustin

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