Five years ago I watched a movie that surprisingly changed my perception on life forever. In this movie was one simple, very short statement… but one that left a huge impact. How many times in your life have you told yourself, "I am going to do this someday" or "I will get to that someday" or perhaps said, "someday when I have time." Listen up.... someday is a very dangerous word; it is really just code for NEVER. If you just keep saying someday and don't create a plan of action to reach your goal, then it will always be just a dream and never your reality. Before you know it, life will have passed you by and time will have rendered you unable to achieve your goals. There is no guarantee of a tomorrow or what hardships tomorrow may bring. Stop living for the future and instead, live in the present.
Someday is code for NEVER.
Now I don't mean you should spend all your money and not save for the future. What I mean is, don't wait to live your life when you retire. Don't wait for things to slow down so you can go where you have always wanted to go. If you want to go somewhere, if you really want to do something, begin making plans TODAY! If you want to visit Iceland but don't have the money, start saving NOW. Do what you need to do to make it happen.
So as I said, four years ago that statement hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized I had been saying “someday” about Banff and Jasper in the Canadian Rockies for 7 years. Someday this. Someday that. So right then and there I looked up flights, looked up hotels and called my friend to say “I am DOING this next year, do you want to go!?” Of course she said “YES!" and that one thing has changed my life for the better. Not only did I go to Banff and Jasper in 2014, but I fell in love with the Canadian Rockies. I realized it wasn’t as far out of reach as you would think. I went back again in 2015 and again this past October. It has truly become my one of my favorite places on the planet. I simply cannot get enough of her beauty. To think, I had put off visiting for 8 years! I had been missing out.
The best thing to come out of that decision is how that trip changed my relationship with my friend. Being in those majestic mountains for two weeks made our friendship so much stronger. She has become my rock and support system as I do my best to live out my photography dream. I know we would still be great friends today without that trip - but I now have a photo trip buddy for life who is always willing to lace up her boots and head off on an adventure with me. I think we both would live in Banff if we could! But I would first have to talk my husband into the idea, and being that we just remodeled our house I doubt such an idea would go over well.
Stop living for the future and instead live in the present.
So what does this all mean for you? Think about your “someday,” your bucket list, your dreams… and create an action plan to get it done. Maybe it will take a year, or maybe it will take 5 years. Either way, if you don't take action now you may never reach that dream. For me, that dream is seeing as much of this world as I possibly can. I hope to visit every continent by the time I am 40 years old - meaning I only have 3.5 years left to reach that dream. I will need an action plan if I am going to achieve this goal. I need to begin executing it NOW so I can afford to go soon, and not just “someday.”
Traveling is important to me because it has made me who I am today and has given me a perspective on life to appreciate the things I have. To live in the United States is a blessing, and if you never travel outside of her, you will never have a realistic idea about how the rest of the world really lives.
I had just returned from Zimbabwe in 2008 to people in an uproar over gas prices of $4 a gallon. I did not complain. The simple fact that I could still buy gas was good enough for me, and I gained that perspective in Zimbabwe. When I landed in Zambia and crossed over into Zimbabwe, I saw people crossing the border to get food for their family; food was too scarce in their own country. I stayed in a hotel with no guests - most of the world was too scared to visit. I witnessed a whole town have their power shut off by the government to keep a presidential candidate from speaking to the public. We are blessed to live in the United States. The world is big place, full of beautiful, stunning landscapes… and filled with so many types of lives and cultures. Go experience it for yourself and expand your idea of what your world is TODAY, not someday.
Go live your life!
My friend Russell and I, all dressed up for the awards!
Besides returning home from Australia (blog posts to come) I spent a week in Nashville for the 2018 PPA Imaging U.S.A Conference.
While at Imaging USA I was honored with not only being a Platinum Photographer of the Year for my International Print Competition (IPC) case, but I my image "Year of the Fox" was up for a Grand Imaging Award (GIA) in the landscape/nature category. I did not place but it was a huge honor to up on stage with so many amazing and talented people. It was only my second year entering so I feel quite honored in my accomplishments and cannot wait to see what next year brings!
Being able to attend a whole week of classes and mingle with thousands of photographers has given me the motivation I need to make 2018 the best year yet. While I was there I took my CPP (Certified Professional Photographer) test and passed with a 90% on my first try. A huge thanks to Chris Broughton for teaching me my basics at Brooks. I still got it! Also a HUGE thank you goes to Steve Kozak, who's study guide helped refresh my memory. I currently have submitted my image portfolio and have to wait a few more weeks for my results... ::fingers crossed::
Below you will find my print case which earned me my Platinum Photographer of the Year along with my GIA finalist image.
Well the New Year is fast approaching, which means resolutions. Often times my goal always revolves around losing weight or getting in shape. Of course these goals are never met. Two weeks in I loose my motivation and I fall back in to my old unhealthy habits. The sad part is I have been in this vicious cycle for years and every time I fail, I am left with self doubt.
Recently I watched a Ted Talk that brought me much insight into why my goals were never achieved. Check it out right now...
WHO: Just me and my camera
WHAT: Bison at the end of a rainbow
WHEN: OCT 2015
WHERE: Tower Junction, Yellowstone NP
"Good as Gold"
Last month I headed over to Yellowstone National Park for a week to unwind and hopefully capture some great images. I had visited the park at the same time last year and was hoping a similar weather pattern of fog/rain would present itself again. To my dismay, it did not. Instead I was greeted with clear blue skies, no clouds and 60 degrees; a photographer's worst nightmare. So for the most part I spent the week catching up on some sleep, terrible I know. The sunny weather was hindering my creative juices.
Thankfully one of the mornings it was overcast and I thought it the perfect opportunity to head to Lamar for some wildlife. On the way there I passed Blacktail Plateau Drive and to my surprise it was open. I have not been down the road in years and thought "lets do it." Sadly, not much wildlife to see and the cloud cover was just too heavy. As I was nearing the end of the road three bison were blocking my way and being that I drive a Ford Fiesta I was not about to anger them.
WHO: Local artist Erica Harvey, with Erica Lane Photography
WHAT: Majestic Moments, a photographic collection of five Rocky Mountain National Parks
WHEN: February 1 - 29, 2016 • WHERE: Bay Leaf Cafe in Spearfish, SD
1st Place: Work - "Rain or Shine
I am bit late on my posting, but I am happy to announce that I won 1st place in the "Work" category in the South Dakota Public Broadcasting (SD PBS) Photography Contest. This is my second year in a row placing so I am very honored that my images are once again helping to raise money for a good cause. To see all the winners CLICK HERE. To get a copy of your own calendar of winning images I think you just need to donate to SD PBS, so call 1-800-456-0766 today!
Beloware all of the images I submitted to this year's contest. Unlike last year, when photographers only had one day to create their images, this year we were given a whole week and would you believe that entire week was cloudy and rainy in the Black Hills? Go figure. That week I was scheduled to take a few visitors to chase and photograph the 1880 Train, hence why most of my submissions are train related. I also chose to do a leaf study that week due to the crappy weather, which is why I submitted one random leaf image photograph.
Join me Oct. 2nd @ 5-7pm for an artist reception!
Head over to The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology's Apex Gallery in Rapid City, SD where I have a collection of 21 images from my travels through The Rocky Mountains this past year and a half. There will be photographs from my most recent trip to Glacier, Banff and Jasper National Park along with images taken in 2014 of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park. For those that attend the show I will be raffling off a 20 x 30 canvas print of one my winning images from the 2015 Dahl Mountain Photography Contest, but you can only enter to win at the Apex Gallery. I am also offering those that visit the show $75 off metal prints and $25 off an canvas prints. Hope to see you there!
Our 10-day Alaska Cruise on the Norwegian Pearl.
For the past year, my husband and I have had our trip to Alaska all planned out. After much research we chose to go in May since it was supposed to be less rainy and colder, so there would be no mosquitoes. I have done two other cruises to the Inside Passage and knew that I would be at the mercy of the cruise ship schedule. Meaning the focus was to be more vacation, less photography. Less photography, meant bring less gear. I opted to bring a smaller camera bag; the Lowpro Photo Sport 200 AW (expect a gear review in the future). This bag allowed me to take my camera and two lens, plus plenty of room for essentials and a small tripod.
Earlier in the year I was given the opportunity to try out Nikon's 28-300mm "travel lens." Overall I was pleased with the results and I decided I would rent one for our trip. Which meant, besides my 105 Micro, that was the "go to" lens for my vacation. I rented it with a discount from Borrowlenses.com a few months before our sail date and all that was left was to wait for our trip to get here and pray for good weather. It was my husband's first time and I wanted it to be perfect.
On April 30th The Dahl announced the image that won The Peg Sagen's People's Choice Award. The image "The Fiery Heavens Above," my photograph, was chosen by the public for this honor. I was deeply humbled by the outcome of the exhibit/contest. All three of my submitted images were excepted and honored by awards.
As many of you may not know, I started my photography business back in 2005. By 2008 it had become profitable and I decided to open a gallery to showcase my work. Unfortunately for me, my timing was off and soon the economy crashed. This event forced me to put my passion to the side as I looked for part-time work, which soon let to full-time work, which subsequently led to me giving up photography all together. At the time I did not notice the emptiness that was building in my heart. I had been taking pictures since I was 8-years old, so to just "quit cold turkey" really took a lot out of me.
Thankfully sometime last year signs were pointing me back to my passion. I had just lost my job and thought it a great oppportunity to revamp my business to have a more educational focus. I have spent the last year rebuilding my portfolio, recreating my website and even changing my company name. It has been hard work; I have often wondered if I made the right choice, the fear of my past putting doubt in my mind. Winning these awards has given me a sign that I am moving in the right direction and provided me the motivation I need to keep moving forward with my dream. Thank you all for coming along with me on this journey.
WHO: My mom and I
WHAT: Oxbow Bend
WHEN: October 2014
WHERE: Grand Teton National Park, WY
WHY: Trying to catch the fall colors (as you can see from the picture we were a bit late)
"Frosted in Pink"
When going to the Tetons for photography, anyone who is anyone has heard of Oxbow Bend where the above image was taken. This past fall I was on a trip with my Mom to catch the fall colors in the Tetons. We started our trip a week before this image was created. Before we had even left I knew from posts on Facebook that I would miss the fall colors for a second year in a row. I tried to not let this knowledge get me down and told myself there would be many other stories to tell. Thankfully fall in Yellowstone National Park was turning into a photographers heaven with lovely moody mornings filled with fog. Well after 6 straight days of mornings filled with fog I was starting to crave a sunrise. I mean all of my images were starting to look the same. Every time I got up early hoping for some warm golden rays, I got fog.
WHO: My friend Antonia and I
WHAT: Upper Falls, Johnston Canyon
WHEN: July 2014
WHERE: Banff National Park, Canada
WHY: Girls Photo Adventure Trip!
"Hang on Tight"
WHERE: Grand Teton National Park near Jackson Lake Damn
Everyone has a passion in life, mine is photography mixed with the great outdoors. Though such should come as no surprise since I grew up playing and getting lost in the woods of The Black Hills of South Dakota. Making it only natural that I feel most at home when I am surrounded by mountain peaks and the voices of the animals. I have always wanted to make a difference in this world, I just did not know how I could. I soon realized by documenting our planet I could share my joy with the rest of the world. It is my hope that with my nature photography I will instill the same passion and love that I have for Mother Nature into others. This world we live on is truly an amazing place, but with our personal lives filled with work and stress we often forget to stop and take in the beauty all around us.