"You've got to find a way to break the routine, or time will FLY by."
The advice of Instagram photographer, Eric Rubens, reminded me that I should get on a Boosted Board and go photograph the sunset instead of checking for Sarah Kohan's new Instagram post every afternoon.
"Even if it just means starting off doing something you enjoy 30 minutes a day," 30 minutes? The time it takes to order a pizza? That's all you need? "When I started off my engineering job, I’d go to work, then go home, hang out, and go to bed."
"The work weeks would fly by, and that’s when I realized I needed to make a conscious effort to do ONE thing enjoyable every single day."
"I started going to the gym in the morning before work, or going on a beach run at sunset after work. That way, I knew I was doing something fun besides just going to work each day. Even something as simple as trying to catch the sunset on a summer night after work. Little things like that make a huge difference in your attitude and happiness."
So what separates this guy from every other Chris Burkard wannabe on Instagram?
Photo by Eric Rubens
"I’d describe my style as vivid and electric," and if you've seen his photos, this is spot on. "I’ve always been a fan of neon and eye catching color and have tried to push my edits that direction. I try to push color and light to the point of being almost too bright or oversaturated but right under the threshold. It may be too much for some people, but I love dancing on that line. I’m also a big believer that there’s no right or wrong way to edit a photo. I really think it’s a reflection of what you saw or want to convey from a scene. That’s why I love photography so much. Two people can be in the same spot side by side, and after editing their work, publish completely different images. That’s the beauty of it."
I think he's right. Eric and I could take a photo of the same sunset, and his would look like a DaVinci painting while mine would look like I shot it with a toaster.
"There’s been times where I invested in large trips and have been disappointed with weather and circumstances out of my control," Eric talks about some challenges with his photography.
"That’s actually one of the bigger lessons I’ve learned through this creative journey. Not letting things I can’t control bother me."
Photo by Eric Rubens
"You can apply this to a lot of people’s frustration with the algorithm behind Instagram’s content circulation," lean in kids, this is the part where you take notes. "Many people get extremely annoyed, vent about it constantly, and try to find ways to beat the system. I’ve always taken the approach that if you continue to put out quality work, things will work out for you in the end."
So I shouldn't pay attention to the "how to get 10K followers in one day" YouTube videos? I should focus on the art I'm creating instead? Well, that doesn't make any sense. Tell me more, neon yellow artist man.
"It’s easier said than done, but learning to not get caught up in what other people think of your work is a huge thing I’ve practiced over the years," sorry, h8ters - back off. "I don’t get a lot of negative comments, but occasionally they come through, and it’s always a fun test to try to not let them bother you. For the most part, everyone is super supportive on Instagram which really pushes me to create media more often!"
If you already follow Eric, you're probably aware of his newest project: Explorest.
Photo by Eric Rubens
"We’ve worked so hard to try to highlight all the best locations in California," Eric's app is basically a location finder for good photography spots. There will be new locations in addition to California coming soon. "Each location has exact GPS coordinates, insider information, current weather, sunrise/sunset times, and much more. I always spend so much time researching spots and things to do prior to going on vacation. I’m also often in a pinch in new destinations, with 30 minutes to go until sunset, and not being sure if there’s anything interesting to shoot in the area. This app should make everyone’s travel experiences way better!"
I told him to cut the sales pitch and tell me like a friend why I need this app more than my Starbucks card.
"It saves you from having to bounce around to Instagram to find a cool spot, then try to go on Google and research more about that location. It’s gonna be huge as we expand and really help people experience so many spots they never even knew existed. I was in San Francisco when it launched, and never realized there were so many incredible spots to shoot within a three miles radius of where I was staying!"
Alright, I can relate to this. There's a crashed airplane in Provo, Utah, that I spent like an hour trying to find with only a "Provo" geotag on Instagram. Explorest, take the wheel.
But even though this app should help you plan a little better, even Eric knows the one thing we care about.
"Being unpredictable means living each and every day in the moment," this is as vivid as your photos, Eric. "The less you plan your life, the less you’ll be discouraged when things don’t work out exactly how you envisioned them. Life throws us all curveballs and unexpected challenges, but the more relaxed and free spirited you are, the more you’ll be ready for them."
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