My Story is quite literally a roller coaster.
I learned early on throughout my youth that I was supposed to take a different path. People told me time and time again that I was called to do something different. After highschool I did what our culture told me was best for me: I enrolled in college at Thaddeus Stevens College and went on to earn an associates degree in architectural technology.
This diploma coupled with my insane drive and desire to compete and achieve landed my my first internship with a structural steel and misc. metals fabrication company. I was so excited to kick off a legitimate career. I progressed and learned quickly. I learned to be extremely organized and detailed. I learned the value of paying attention to the minor details. I switched positions to another company and experienced an immense amount of growth the following two years. I became a very skilled draftsman in my field. There was absolutely nothing I was scared to design or produce fabrication drawings for. I was a valuable part of the team. I had a skill set which proved to be valuable to the company. People relied upon me.
And I was miserable. I hated what I was doing. Each month went by and I felt the weight of that original message: "you were called to do more." I felt overwhelmed. I felt defeated.
At this point we had already begun building my first company, Tactical AR500 Targets, INC. (We are better known by TA Targets). I felt trapped and I remember telling my boss that I needed to quit my position. I was conflicted with my path, I didn't know the right answer but I knew that I was no longer called to be a draftsman. My boss, Kirby gave me a once in a lifetime chance and we transitioned myself to full time at TA Targets where in the next two years, I began to see the image of what I was called to do. At that time it seemed like a great idea to start a second business (yeah it was crazy, no idea how it made sense) and KeystoneCarry was born as a liberty minded brand. I decided to apply for a federal firearms license and my business partner Tyler and I started doing gunsmithing in the evenings in our "free time".
I was called to create. I was called to build. I was called to innovate and to pursue whatever is exactly opposite of mundane. I wasn't built for the 9-5.
Along with going full time with my business came so many other trials. We had nobody who knew marketing, no digital communications majors, no graphics designer, no social media manager, no photography or videographer. Voids were presented which I now see clearly as doors which brought me to where I am today. Somebody had to fill the voids and that somebody was me.
I began to use our Canon 6D and I studied for hours how to use manual settings. I shot so many terrible photos at the beginning, it is funny to look back on. I watched youtube videos. I studied adobe products, learned lightroom, photoshop, premiere pro, audition and a host of other programs that I continue to learn about daily! We upgraded the camera and equipment, I began to post photos daily and my company and personal following exploded. I can now reach over 65,000 people just on my accounts! It is nuts!
Behind a lens I found passion. I found drive. I found happiness and ultimately found a piece of my calling.
I share this story not to puff myself up. We all are called to different paths. I simply hope it helps paint the picture of my life and calling and hopefully my style now resonates with you through my story. I've poured all I have into the journey and I am blessed beyond measure.
Life is a crazy journey. We only get one shot at this. As corny as it sometimes sounds I have learned that I need to take advantage of every single day I am given.
Hopefully my work and story can be an encouragement to you as well.