Monthly Archives // October 2011

Lauren and A.R.

post written on 07 Oct 11 in Weddings

It’s great when you feel like part of the family. I’ve known Lauren and A.R. since I photographed his sister Paige’s wedding 3 years ago. Having the bride and groom’s son Trip be a part of the wedding made it even more special for all. It was a celebration ALL night long.
I am looking forward to more events with the family for years to come. Of course, the bride’s beautiful dress is from Camille Thiry Russler at Ever After Miami.

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Life Challenges, Cycling, and France

post written on 03 Oct 11 in Family, Learning, personal, Videos

Exactly a year ago, my family and I went on a 16 day vacation to France. Paris for 3 days, then Provence for the rest. In Provence, there is a little mountain known as Mont Ventoux. It’s famous for many reasons, but mostly from Tour de France epic races, where legends have been made in professional cycling.

Since I turned 45 in October 2009, I started struggling with things everyone else goes through in life. What are the right choices, is money that important, fame, what’s best for my kids, my family, ME, etc.? I thought I had to please everyone. It took lots of conversations, lots of miles, lots of soul searching to realize that I was trying to please the wrong people, and forgetting what mattered most, right in front of my nose; my wife and kids. I walked away from this pseudo “rock-star photographer” tag people were wanting me to be. I never asked for it. I just want happy clients that are thrilled with great pictures. Period.

So I refocused. I got back to another passion of mine, cycling. Cycling was a big part of my life in my teens and early 20’s, I raced, was state champion a few times, competed at nationals, was sponsored. I trained until I was burnt out. Cycling was put on the back burner when photography took over and I started traveling and living abroad following my fashion photography dreams. Fast forward 25 years, and I noticed something was missing, cycling. So I got back on the bike, literally. Short rides, to build up endurance. I met new people who have become great friends. Others searching too. But what I love most about cycling, as fast as you think you are going on a bike, it  slows you down to see more of what you miss as you speed by things in your car. The beauty of life.

So for our trip to France, I thought to myself, while we are there, what challenge can I give myself? I’ve always watched the Tour de France on TV for 30 years, so why not pick the hardest climb in cycling, well, up there in the top 5. Mont Ventoux is a 22 kilometer, 13 mile climb, with inclines up to 12%, it’s unforgiving, and very lonely if done by yourself, I did, ugh. I trained specifically for this climb for 2 months. In Miami, where it’s flat, it’s hard. Most was done on a stationary trainer, a bike in my garage. Did I say I was a short distance specialist in my racing days, a sprinter. Sprinters don’t like climbs.

Yes, I had Alison, Carson, and Cameron, stopping on the side of the road every few kilometers, to cheer me on. It helped, but the physical and mental struggles of a climb like this, trust me, until you do it, your training can only prepare you so much. I thought of everything while I was riding, EVERYTHING! The start was easy, the end was epic, but the struggle in between was  close to torture, I think.

The biggest part of all this, is at the end of my video. All the really matters to me. Family.

So please enjoy, through my struggles and triumph, and see if this can help you contemplate, re-light a passion of yours, for yourself, your family, for life.

My Climb of Mt. Ventoux September 30, 2010 from CARLOS BAEZ on Vimeo.

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