Looking at the different beautiful pictures has left me speechless many times because it helps me see how God’s creation is full of awestruck and masterpiece! Since the beginning of January 2014, I have revived my old flame in the world of photography where I had buried deep for many years. At the same time, it gave me a new look at the world of photography when I was toying with my Canon EOS Rebel T3i, I was awestruck by a feature of DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) camera has to offer, it helped me get new fresh direction to start. My first time as revived photographer is at 2014 National Bowl Championship Football Game at Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California between Auburn Tigers vs. Florida State (FSU) University on January 6, 2014.
After Auburn’s loss to FSU, I have no idea where my photography adventure took me, God has different plans for me after the game. I grew up being a hiker, outdoor person, and camper so all of those past experiences has become great extra bonus to my photography adventure. I began to travel roam and do everything to capture whatever I have seen and it touched me on how God created everything on earth. I admit I have wasted many hundred dollars on gas in my car but all my deeds I am doing as a photographer are not wasted in God’s eyes. Whenever I have planned to visit friends, any special events, or conference & meeting outside the state I would always take it as a big advantage for me as a photographer when being on a road trip. I frequently take detour turns to find many beautiful hidden spots where it has not always been known to public. The Spike Gonzo Photography was born!
Spike Gonzo is my personal nickname, Spike was given to me by my family members because of my body size as I am slim and stand up like a long nail with wide shoulders. Gonzo was a nickname given to me by my football members at York Suburban High School (it was before I transferred to the Model Secondary School for the Deaf), which derived from The Muppet Show character name The Great Gonzo. It is because my character perfectly fits as The Great Gonzo when I am on the football team. So in my adult year, I began to put my nicknames together so it became Spike Gonzo!
Even in period of living in heartbroken where there are non-stop of tears until my eyes got worn out, I learned to use photography adventure as part of my inner healing progress in the presence of God. It helped me look at beautiful places where God has created than to look past where I had many regrets in my life.
He has made me chew on gravel. He has rolled me in the dust. Peace has been stripped away, and I have forgotten what prosperity is. I cry out, “My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!” The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. ~ Lamentations 3:16-25 (New Living Translation)
I had read those verses above frequently, but until I became a photographer, it has given myself new understanding. I finally understand where God brought me into a new dimension as part of my inner healing journey. All things happened in the past where I regret many things due to my error pattern of living landed me in many unthinkable actions which I saw it as no chance for a new life but God proved me wrong and gave me new identity and new direction. I found myself as being photographer and creative writer. Several people who been dearly to me keep telling me all of those pictures I took are signs of the beautiful healing journey which also brought the new hope to those withering souls even I was told by my longtime childhood friend’s mother said “you brought all pictures on Facebook where I never am able to see it where there are much hideous in my eyes and you opened the treasure of God’s creation!” Another comments from people said all those pictures help them relive their old and good memories where they went there before in their early year.
This quote beautifully described my gift as being photographer from God. I realized all months of traveling around has helped me re-discover a new identity in myself where it connects me to new people and even some people from the past has returned in my life. One close friends of mine said to me, “you are able to break the barrier where you were stuck in a cycle of alcoholism and troubled life, and you travel anywhere you are able to capture the beautiful pictures and reveal the God’s masterpiece.” I realized that all my photography adventure was God’s gift to me in true intention to bring all the beautiful and masterpiece creation of God’s to those people’s eyes where they are frequently engaged in their life matter filled with worrywart, negative and distress. Irving Penn, late American photographer known for his work in fashion, portrait and still life made beautiful and impact quote as it perfectly described the God’s given gift to me as photographer as quote said:
A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart, and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it.
More I immersed myself in the world of photography, I was urged by people to sell my pictures where it can be crafted into being framed or canvas, I kindly took their suggestion. However, I do not want to rush myself and jump into the pool of competing with other Deaf photographers. It is because I wanted to continue to practice and utilize my talent as a photographer which require time. I learned one big lesson about being photographer, never compare yourself with another photographer in thinking you are better or less good than another photographer. I learned that each photographer has their own unique gift of how they handles with their picture where it given us the grasp of how the picture was taken beautifully.
People keep asking me about how I get all information and where the best spot to take pictures, I would credit to Road Trippers at http://www.roadtrippers.com, Roadside America at http://www.roadsideamerica.com. Also, there are three helpful traveling books which greatly contributed to my traveling planing are: Your Guide to the National Parks: The Complete Guide to all 58 National Parks, National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways & Byways – The 300 BEST Drives in the United States, and 1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die, updated edition.
If you are interested in seeing my photography adventure go to http://www.spikegonzophotography.com and also if you are interested in purchasing picture to be crafted to be framed or into canvas feel free to go to my Pixoto page at: http://www.pixoto.com/spike.mgonzalez and you can click which picture your likes and make a purchase then they will customize according to your desire at different size. Also, if you want to talk about my photography work by providing with suggestion, ideas, or feedback feel free to contact me at SpikeGonzoPhotography@gmail.com.
Have a blessing Thanksgiving week!