Mikey Vibe & I F**king Love SA

If you’re a regular visitor to this personal blog of mine or a stalker of mine over on Instagram, you know Mikey Vibe is my best friend. Aside from that, I think he’s some sort of muse of mine too.

Idk. But I’ve probably photographed him more than anyone else in my life and I’m sure I’m the only person who’s photographed him as much as I have. Literally.

He was one of the first people I photographed when I first picked up a camera. And during the same time, he was beginning to venture off to start his own band, Deer Vibes. Aside from him being my best friend, I think the one thing that keeps me photographing him so damn much is that fact that I’m documenting him.

Yesterday, I had the honor of attending his solo performance at Dorcol for the I F**king Love SA Podcast. It was such an intimate show. He played Michael J & Foxes songs, Deer Vibes songs, and some new solo stuff. The night totally had that VH1 Storytellers vibe, but without the storytelling and just cute little banter from Mikey.

Liquor City

This is a quick story about Waco, liquor, people, loneliness, happiness, local businesses, and nostalgia.

We leave Waco and move back to our hometown of San Antonio in just a few days. We’ve been living in Waco for 2 years now, so I’m excited to go back to the city I call home.

Since I knew we’ve be moving back someday, I didn’t want to make friends.

It didn’t make sense to me to invest in creating friendships in Waco. It was already difficult because I was on and off the road a lot for work or visiting family and/or Ethan. That doesn’t mean I didn’t try to though. I tried apps and websites. I even met up with someone from an app who also was temporarily living in Waco. I thought our hangout went well, but then I got ghosted. People are weird. It’s also strange and awkward trying to make friends when you’re 35 years old and living in 2019.

One thing I’m known for is my love of beer and whiskey. And just down the road from our Waco apartment is a local store called Liquor City. Throughout the years I’ve bought a lot of PBR, Lone Star, and various whiskey from this man and his wife. All the whiskey bottles we used at our wedding for flowers came from this place.

I’ve shared a few conversations with him through the years. He’s told me stories about when he lived in India and overall how important family and hard work is to him. I told him our story and he told me that even in bad or difficult times that it will all be worth it. For family, you have to do what you gotta do and make it work.

So I didn’t make any friends in Waco, but for these reasons, I made it a point to photograph him and his wife yesterday. I appreciate kind and hard working people with a small business. I plan on mailing him prints.

Mikey Vibe’s DV B-Day Show

It’s been a long while since I’ve been able take time for myself to snap photos. I talk a lot on Instagram about how I NEED to create for the sake of creating. It’s therapeutic for me.

When I have no end result in mind or any need to deliver anything, it frees my mind. I get to experiment and forget about anything going on in life. It takes me back to when I first picked up a camera. It fuels me.

For me, it’s a reminder of why I continued to use a camera after picking it up in 2010. It’s my expression and voice that I put out into the world. And even at that, it’s not for anyone. It’s for myself.

So far, this blog has a large amount of photos of my best friend, Mikey Vibe. One day, maybe I’ll release a book of all the photos I’ve taken of Deer Vibes. They’re the first band I started photographing after I picked up a camera.

Music was a part of my life before photography. Once I failed and failed trying to keep music going, photographing bands became what healed me. It kept me out of severe depression.

I missed writing and playing music, but I still got to create something for what used to be close to my heart.

Here’s some snapshots from Deer Vibes’ B-Day show for Mikey’s 30th birthday over at VenturaSATX.

For the photographers interested, this was all shot on a Fuji X-Pro 2 with a 23mm lens. That’s it.

Pro Tip: Get as close as possible. Never use a zoom. Get on stage if you can. And in my case as you’ll see, have a whiskey shot with the entire band on stage during the show.

Today I Turn 35 Years Old

If I were to travel back in time and tell my younger teenage self that I’d live to be this old, my younger self would laugh and tell myself to fuck off. Lol. When I was young, I struggled with fitting in and finding my place in this world. I used to think about suicide when I was young, which is why these days it trips me out that I’ve made it this far in life.

I’m no longer suicidal. Those feelings stopped in my teenage years when I started playing in a band. As always, I never really know where I’m going when I’m typing out personal stuff. I just let my thoughts flow and don’t judge them.

But if I had to sum things up, it would be that I never imagined I’d make it to be 35, married with a stepson, still pursuing something creative, and not working for “the man”. I’m living a great life and I’m so grateful for all the things that happened in my life from when I was a child up until today. It’s shaped me to be who I am and to be honest, I’m proud of myself. Is that weird?

But if I had to be even more honest, it would be that even though I’m now 35, I still don’t have life figured out. I feel that no one ever really figures it out. You just figure out the small things along the way and correct course along the way. The important thing is to live your best life, be grateful, do great things, and remember that it’s okay to not have everything figured out.

Even In My Dark Times, I Still Find Light

I got into photography by accident in 2010. And I’m glad it happened. I feel it saved my life.

After I picked up a camera I became obsessed. I’m someone who likes learning new things. But most importantly, I’m someone who enjoys creating for the hell of it. It’s all I’m good at.

Photography pulled me out of a really bad depression.

That’s a story for another time. But the point I wanted to make in this post is that photography deep down still keeps me out of depression.

It numbs me in a good way. It forces me to think about moments. I feel things much deeper when I’m in the moment and taking a picture. And ultimately, that’s why I take pictures. It’s because in the moment, I’m feeling something and I want to document it and keep it to remember.

About 90% of the time, the photos I take are because I want to remember good things. For me, it’s this ongoing reminder of what to live for.

So when I find myself not taking as many pictures, I know something is wrong.

This has been something I’ve never really talked about publicly. This is also something that I feel people who are close to me also don’t understand.

I haven’t been picking up the camera lately.

However, I have noticed that when I’m out and about, the times where I do pick up the camera and take pictures is when I’m with my best friend and typically at his place of business, Ventura SATX. And this makes a whole lot of sense since it’s mygetawayy when I’m in San Antonio. Mikey is my best friend and even in my dark times, I still find light to photograph and want to remember. And his girl, Dani, is pretty awesome as well.

My New Years Eve On 2018

This year, we ventured off of our normal traditions. Life has been weird this year for me. Lots of new transitions and things to go through. I had a really busy wedding season this past fall and I was in literal constant work-mode and travel-mode.

We didn’t have our little one this year. We also never really get drunk on new years eve since we have to drive. And I also wanted to be closer to my dad and also give him the peace of mind that we were going to be safe by just walking to my best friend’s bar from his place.

Oh yeah, I guess I should’ve mentioned that when we’re in San Antonio, we stay with my dad. So we were able to get drunk (me more so than Amanda Lol) and walk back to my dads. We stayed safe and had fun. We’ll see what next year holds since we’ll have our little next time.

I made short quick cut video throughout the night that you can check out below. Along with some photos taken that night. Some with my Fuji X Pro 2, some with my iPhone X, and one with my wife’s iPhone 8.

The video was made with Spark camera. The Fuji photos were edited in Lightroom Classic CC with my own presets, and the iPhone photos were edited on Lightroom Mobile with my own presets.

Daydreaming About The Possibilities Keeps Me Happy

A few days ago we fell asleep with the window open. I woke up feeling cold and a little congested. I had felt like I might be getting sick. By the evening yesterday, I was beginning to feel better. This morning though, I woke up feeling sick. Maybe it was a bad idea to have that beer during my meeting with a new couple last night. I was just having a lot of fun talking with them.

Anyhow, this weekend we get Ethan. We were supposed to meet halfway in Austin to pick him up, but he too sounded like he was getting sick. Plus, we recently found out he’s allergic to cats and we didn’t want to make things worse for him with Nermal. I’ve also been in and out of bed all day and didn’t feel up to being in a car for a long drive.

So, Amanda is staying the weekend with Ethan in San Antonio and I’m here in Waco sick in bed. I won’t lie. I’m sad I won’t see Ethan this weekend, but I’m doing my best to not focus on that. It is what it is.

Waco isn’t fun. The traveling isn’t fun, but we (fingers crossed) move back to San Antonio mid 2020. We’ve even been looking around online at houses to start daydreaming/getting an idea of possibilities when we move back to San Antonio. And that makes me happy. The thought of all of us being back together at the same time without miles between us. And in a city where all our family and friends are. That. That makes me happy.