How to Stay Motivated

Today’s post is about how you shouldn’t look at likes, and comments as a level of status. I can say that I have too fallen in this abyss how social media can swallow you whole. This addiction of checking your phone on constant, when “likes” don’t stack up to other posts, or against other IG users who in comparison, make your accomplishments seem dismal. It is not what it’s all about. You might say, “You get this X amount of likes, comments, and this amount of followers compared to mine - how do you know how it feels like to get three likes, compared to your hundreds, or even thousand plus likes?” The thing is... I do. I started with zero, and I kept working at it, and my audience grew. After some time, it started to pick up.

Moving on, there are a lot of times I’ve noticed people who followed my work for years, and then all of a sudden, unfollowed me. I have said to myself plenty times, and you (the reader) might have too, “What did I do wrong?” These are the same people who I had great conversations with, or had some sort of connection in the art world. It all can be very disheartening. The hours you spend on your free time just getting to know someone is heavily frustrating when they move on without closure is a huge bummer. The human touch isn’t there like years ago. It raises concerns with anxiety, trust, and how to keep these people wanting more, and why the support is no longer there? Also, the walls build higher, and it’s like, “Why should I keep taking time out of my day to talk to everyone who might just not be there later?” Is it worth it? Yes! Move on, and keep going.

They always say all publicity is good publicity, and that’s very true, because an audience will always have good and bad - positive and negative, and why the hell not... let’s throw a neutral in there kind of feedback to stir up the pot. Social media is like the stock market, it will always be up and down, but you have to realize that if you want to share your story with the world, and make a name for yourself, you have to keep going, learn and be able to take critique. It’s how you get better. Never quit. 

5 Tips To Keep In Mind

1. Always be ready to accept failure.

2. Always treat people the way you want to be treated.

3. Get out there and study what your audience wants. Take action and start asking questions, and get creative with it.

4. Take a step back when you feel that you are on your phone/computer way too much.

5. Find motivation, and inspiration from everything, and everyone. Art is everywhere. It can be from working out, exploring, taking walks around your town, studying a favorite artist(s). Talk to your friends, family, and those who support you. It could be a humbling experience.


Just remember, you will fail every day, because it is how you grow, and how to accept your faults. It’s a much more humbling experience when you realize that. Hope you all have a great day and I hope this helped.

Source: How to Stay Motivated in Social Media

Las Vegas (A.K.A. Death Vegas)


With the three-hour trip from Zion behind us, we were pretty tired and stopping in the city was much needed to recharge our batteries. We stayed at the Stratosphere - The tallest building in Las Vegas. We later learned after booking this spot we were far away from the strip, but as we got closer to the hotel, we were like, “Ew” and after looking at so much beauty these past few days, it was an eyesore and Charlotte coined the term Death Vegas.  We saw normal city stuff along the way, and had to go back to our old city ways of ignoring, and not saying hello. Typical Philly attitude. Checking into the stratosphere, the concierge hooked us up with an upgraded room. Not sure why, but we took it. The room was really nice and modern. Super clean, and plenty of room to relax.

After laying down for a few we did not want to get up and explore city, but after a couple hours of procrastination, we finally got up and got dressed. We went up to the top of the hotel to see the city from above with a 360-degree view, which was cool.


The atmosphere was quiet with a couple small young girls being drunk and stumbling taking selfies with each other. We immediately gave each other dirty looks with a drink in hand, and decided to leave. In the elevator making our way down, this crowd of young millennial’s asked me to hit their floor button. I hesitated, and in my head I was like “whatever, here ya go jerk.” Patiently waiting, the door opened and then Charlotte said in a weird creepy voice, “Have a good evening….” Some said thank you, and others were chucking down the hall. We were dying because that was spontaneous, and I didn’t expect that at all.



After some laughs, her friend gave us a recommendation to hit up Fremont Street to see a light show. Catching a cab ride, the taxi driver Jim asked us the normal small talk questions, and we asked for some info. After getting comfortable, he was quite funny playing along with our sarcasm. Gotta love cab rides! He also said the light show was something to see. Exiting the cab, making way to Fremont, little did we know that this light show was the same kind of screens found at baseball stadiums, and was so cheesy. That was a total bummer, and found no interest in looking up, the loud pop/dance music covered up the lame show. The one cool thing you can do is take a zip line ride above which looked fun, but we had more fun people-watching, looking at the dancers on top of tables doing their thing, and a listening to a good cover band rocking out to lots of classics. These dominatrix looking girls were getting their asses slapped for their rent money and Charlotte went up to them and was a little concerned about being slapped and if it really hurt or not. Of course, they were like, “No, nothing bad has happened, and some do hurt, but they’re paying for it so it’s all good.” Soon after, we ordered drinks, and the bartender really, I mean really poured the liquor in our cups doing some cool dance moves while pouring. I said, “Work it man, get those tips!” He laughed and almost messed up. I swear it was four shots in a small vodka cranberry drink. We did not mind that! One drink got me drunk. Wobbly, and giggly while Charlotte screams, whooo death vegas, I hate you!!” She cracked me up. Since I’m a lightweight with drinking, not being my forte anymore, the one vodka cranberry hit me pretty hard. Charlotte got another and then the party began!

We went down to another rock performance on Fremont and this dancing goat man was doing his thing being dirty dancing with girls

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After that, we noticed the time and it was around two in the morning. Making the effort to find a cab, the man we originally asked said he was off, but then noticed us unsuccessful a few moments later, so he called us to the car, and we got in. We were thankful, and he was nice. Good conservationist, although I can’t remember his name, or what we talked about, but I do remember when I had to pay the man, I had the cash-in-hand, Charlotte took my cash, and not noticing how much there was, grabbed it out of my hand and paid him with it! Laying the dirty looks, that’s was a 5 dollar cab ride! I was like there was 25 bucks in my hand. Oh well, he helped us out so a Twenty dollar tip well spent. Back to the Stratosphere, Stumbling into the casino to the elevators, Charlotte decided to sit down and say “Death Vegas…Wooo hoo and very curious roaming around wobbly and talking to strangers about how they shouldn’t play these slots. So funny, I was getting a little embarrassed. So we made it to the elevator, the door opened we get in and she decided to lay down. I had to sit her up as she giggled. The door opened and she didn’t want to leave. She ended up crawling out. I said, okay train wreck let’s go. A guy comes by the elevator and we looked at each other while noticing Charlotte on all fours, he then says, “Having a good time?” I replied with a sarcastic, “oh yeah!” He snickered waking into the elevator, and then says, Have a good night guys!” Stumbling into the room, the night was over and passed the hell out right after.

That concludes our time at Vegas. We didn’t like it very much, but to be fair we didn’t have the chance to really walk around and experience it the way most people do. A part of me was like, I already lived that glitz and glamour super fancy eating great food and exploring the town, kinda thing, so I didn’t really miss anything. This trip was about exploring beautiful places. City life is something we do every day, and having Atlantic City so close, it wasn’t a big deal. Did that, done that. Next time, I’ll try to explore more of it.

Up next: Day 5 Death Valley National Park

West Coast Road Trip Day 4 - Zion National Park

With a full day at Zion ahead of us to explore was exciting, because this was the first real hike that we were going to take on our trip. Driving from Hurricane, Utah with views you cannot witness anywhere on earth. The first two shots here were from the car, but an these views are wildly awesome!

With the rain starting to pour down on this day, it didn’t dampen our spirits, because that reminded us of the time we hiked at the Great Smoky Mountains. Similar weather of fog and rain with lush greens and big mountains to look up and admire.

We parked our car close by, gathering only the necessities for the hike. Camera gear in hand, ponchos, whistles, water, protein bars, and determination we got some cover from the rain and entered the very busy visitor center. Stamped our passport books, making this now official. We then asked a park ranger at the information booth which trails to try out. I really wanted to do The Narrows Trail to get those epic shots and experience it first hand, but with the amount of rain, the trail was closed off this day from being flooded. We then decided to do the Angels Landing Trail. The starting point was at the number 6 shuttle stop called The Grotto. We hopped on the bus and made our way up the mountain with a packed bus. 

Once arriving, you can find the markers right across the street, and over the small bridge accessing the Angel Landing Trail

Once arriving, you can find the markers right across the street, and over the small bridge accessing the Angel Landing Trail

Prior to heading up on the Angels landing Trail in Zion National Park, the weather was perfect for hiking this steep trail with the average temperature around 65-70F. Along with the high humidity, sweating was a slight problem. Too much sweating and going up in elevation is no good. You can go through water much more quickly. Also, the higher elevation makes your lungs work harder. all in all we were able to manage this by dressing accordingly. Before heading up the mountain I took this shot. (shown below). I enjoyed the sounds of the river, the birds chirping, a mist floating in the air, and watching the fog slowly pass the mountains above.

Procrastinating on the beach, we finally headed on the trail. I noticed this poor cactus flower sitting on the ground. It must have been freshly picked by someone, and left there, so I picked it up. I couldn't find a picture of the flower I found, but here (right) is the same cactus flower. I tried my best to keep it alive, and protected it in my pocket for days that followed.

This shot (above) was taken on the top of the mountain. With it being a little sketchy and narrow on some parts I was a little scared, but luckily my nerves calmed down. After making it to the top, there was a lot of chipmunks! I couldn't believe it! 😍 They were so cute but they were begging for food. Their cuteness did not win the battle with me. Please do not feed the animals, because it ruins their ability to hunt and makes them more aggressive towards humans. Before reading this sign and making the decision to not go the extra step, or fall I stayed here and took some more photos.

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Since 2004, six people have died from falling off this cliff and with the sleek conditions, we were not taking the chance.

Since 2004, six people have died from falling off this cliff and with the sleek conditions, we were not taking the chance.

Charlotte, my partner-in-crime.

Charlotte, my partner-in-crime.

Going down the mountain was fairly easy and nerves completely gone, we didn’t have enough time to spend. Las Vegas being the next stop on this trip, and having to check-in later that day, we had to get going. After we left the park, the weather moved out and the blue skies appeared. 

We decided after a long morning and exercise, we got something to eat at this awesome southwestern restaurant. Even with ponchos we needed some time to get situated with clean dry clothes. Trying to warm up, the food we ordered was So good! Never ending tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa, burgers with sautéed mushrooms with a side of sweet potato fries were off the chain. (sorry no photo) We then made our way with the three hour drive to the Las Vegas. The drive wasn’t so memorable because the land flattened out, but we saw a tumble weed pass by on the highway. That was so exciting! Not something seen here on the east coast so that was cool!

To conclude, we instantly fell in love with Zion National Park ❤️  The mountains are so epic, and hiking here was an experience I will never forget. The emerald color of the North Fork Virgin River graciously passing by as the fog above slid passed the mountain tops were a sight to see. Some might not love the conditions of stormy weather, but as a photographer, it was perfect. Next up, Las Vegas. Stay tuned.

West Coast Road Trip Day 3 Part II - Zion National Park Adventure

Right before leaving Bryce National Park, I saw this huge raven walking around, and jumping up and down this pedestal at the Ponderosa Point overlook. While other people were taking photos of him, I noticed that he seemed relaxed around people, and was strutting his stuff as if he were a movie star.

I got out of the car and began taking photos of him with the canon super telephoto lens. He was probably the best model I have ever worked with in my career! This raven had manners and did not make a fuss - which was a surprise because they are loud. Ravens are my favorite birds and one of the smartest animals on planet Earth so this was a pleasure and a cool memory to share here.

Afterwards, we jumped back in the car, headed down the mountain, and drove out of the park to go to Zion national park. It was only a two and a half hour drive over there and luckily, it was calm and not very hot that day. In addition, there was some lush green scenery on the roads ahead in some residential areas. With fifty-five minutes left on the drive, I was beginning to feel a little tired with the sun taking it out of me, and the elevation probably was a contributor as well. So I out threw some heavy metal on to wake me up. Charlotte didn’t mind so I rocked out to All That Remains with my devil horns up high.





With the excitement of us like coffee dancing in bubbling hot water, we made it to the east entrance, and making it a tradition of taking a picture of the sign, it was a must!

A few hundred feet later at the east entrance, a flood of cars created a parking lot for about 30 minutes. Little did we know, there was a very scary, but cool tunnel ahead that you have to drive really slow around and through the mountains. Speed limits were about ten to fifteen miles per hour, so that explained the traffic jam. The GoPro video camera died right before heading into the tunnel, so that was a bummer. First, let me tell you about this tunnel – it is a two-lane road cut right into the mountains with no lights, or reflectors on the road for safety. You have to have sharp eyes, and try your hardest to not get blinded by the headlights on the opposite direction passing in front of you. I felt that some people had their high beams on, and that did not help the situation. Alas, we made it through and sighs of relief later; I was able to grab a couple shots here on the first overlook. 

Moving on, we decided to go to the visitor center to grab an insight what to do, but it was too late (as usual) and we noticed some shuttle buses that run throughout the park. We then hopped on the bus, and the bus driver was really nice, and gave us a lot of information about the park with how often the shuttles ran at the park.  Since the sun was going down, we did not have much time to explore so we took some photos of the area.


After it got dark around 9:30 P.M. we decided that another day was a must, and to start looking for a hotel around the area. After the forty-five minute shuttle ride down to the visitor center parking lot, quite a few campers were around, and the smell of campfires in the air, the bugs came out to play. Charlotte, being a person who cannot stand bugs, ran to the car. I took my time soaking in the whole experience. Why the rush?

Hopping back in the car, searching like madmen, there was one vacancy left! Hoping that the weak cell phone signal cooperated, we were able to book something, and ended up finding a cheap hotel for the night at the Days Inn in Hurricane ,Utah. Once we arrived, the concierge told us that we were really lucky, because a man was booking a room at the same time we were, and we snagged it first! Phew! Our eyes lit up, because we would have been shit out of luck! He was very nice about it while setting us up with our room. With key-in-hand, and walking toward the room, this Days Inn had a real southwestern vibe. Used to modern accommodations, this was definitely a cool change. The room was clean and everything we needed with two full size beds, a fridge (hallelujah) and a very clean bathroom. A+ in my book.

View from the Days Inn. Hurricane, Utah

View from the Days Inn. Hurricane, Utah

Going through our food supply, we needed to replenish a few things, and we hit up a grocery not too far down the road. Pretty basic, and business as usually, I did notice they had a lot of fresh fruit and dried chilies! I was ecstatic for those, because you can’t really find those chilies here in the northeast so I bought two bags of ancho, and Chile de Arbol. The ancho’s are moderate, while de arbol is on the same level as cayenne chilies. Also picked up bananas, pepper jack cheese for sandwiches, fruit, water, and not sure where we found all this energy but we were there just browsing for about an hour. Typical shopper syndrome.

This concludes the third day on this two-week road trip. Day four will be up soon! Stay on the lookout for a complete day at Zion National Park.