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The blog writing process has been a lot of fun, but it’s time for me to move on and add new items to my portfolio. There is little that is as fulfilling to me as freestyle writing; but everything comes to an end or it evolves into a greater experience and that is what writing always does for me. I’ve decided to give my last blog of this year a twist. Although my own thoughts are obviously what I convey, I’ve decided to go back to the topic of passion. I recently interviewed two young men that are very passionate about what they do and why they do it. They both are perfect examples of why none of us should stay in careers that aren’t fulfilling. If you’re not enjoying your life’s passion through your everyday gig, then truly you are only working to survive…and simply put, “you are not living”!
Jermaine Alexander resides in Ontario Ca. I came across this young man’s work on Facebook. He’s extremely talented, and need I say, “Passionate” about his craft. J. Alex is just one of many, whom I believe will reach the pinnacle of stardom and wealth at what he does, he is pursuant of excellence. Here’s our interview:
Me: Describe your job…
J. Alex: It’s actually kinda funny. I sometimes don't even consider this a job. Photography is pretty easy if you know what you’re doing and have the right equipment. And it’s really fun.
Me: Why do you believe this job is for you?
J. Alex: Well I guess the reason it’s a job is because I get paid to do it, lol. But really the hard work comes in with editing and anyone can take a photo…but not everyone can edit and make it look believable. Sometimes I’m at it for hours upon hours.
Me: Do you believe you exude passion for photography?
J. Alex: Yeah I believe I do. Anyone who knows me will tell you that over the past year. I have pretty much been consumed by my work. Sometimes I’m up all night editing with no sleep. Then I’ll hop right up and get back to doing shoots. But I don’t complain because I choose to do this.
Me: Can anyone do this job?
J. Alex: Honestly I think anyone can. But that's not saying they would be good at it. The more you study your craft the better you become. Just by looking at the work, you can tell a photographer from someone that just takes pictures. Anyone can take one or two good pics of someone. To be a photographer you have to do it consistently. You have to be able to capture the right angle and get the best lighting to make it work.
Me: How does this job affect your family?
J. Alex: -Well I'm single and I have no kids. So for the most part I'm self-reliant. Plus it’s not like I'm doing something negative that my family would be ashamed of. I don’t sell crack or do pornos hahahaha; so it doesn’t affect them too much.
Me: If there is anything you can change about this job, what would it be?
J. Alex: I would only change the fact that others don't take it as serious as I do. The one thing I hate is setting up a shoot, and being flaked on. Other than that I can deal with all the other stuff.
Please take notice every photo displayed here in this blog has been taken by J. Alex. When you get a chance, please go to his “LIKE” page on Facebook and give him your support at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/J-Alex-Photography/127517277352823
My next interview was with Jamaal Mosely. I started reading some of this young man’s posts and became very interested in what he does. I believe many people have the intellect and strength to handle his job. However Jamaal has nothing but pure passion for this; his career is not for the weak of heart. Here’s his interview:
Me: Describe what you do on your job...
Jamaal: My current job title is MWR (Morale Welfare Recreation) Coordinator. My job duties include creating activity programs for military soldiers and civilian contractors deployed in the Middle East.
Me: Tell me why you believe this job is for you
Jamaal: I'm not certain if I believe that. I believe that God has placed me here to be of service to others by sharing my wisdom and passion. If I can manage to get a few smiles out of folks in the process, He will be pleased with me. My job provides me with plenty of opportunity to do both.
Me: Do you believe you exude passion in doing this job?
Jamaal: Yes. Out here with the troops you undergo some bad experiences, and you get to hear a lot of the things that take place in their personal lives. I am naturally a very passionate person, whether I'm with you or against you... there is no lukewarm area, I go all in. A big part of my job is programming activities for deployed veterans and civilians; I observed repetitious programs by other employees and wanted to do things that had not been done before. So, I tend to build my programs around things that I either have knowledge or interest in. I also look to give these folks exciting things to share with their families that they can be proud of.
Me: Do you believe this job changes lives?
Jamaal: My job provides me the opportunity to work with all sorts of people from all over the world. The main life changes that I see taking place as a result of my actions shows in the folks that have come to me with random questions who walk away with a wealth of knowledge of a certain topic. I don't mind sharing certain wisdom with others. Through random conversations I've discovered that African-American history, especially slavery, is relatively unknown in other parts of the world (outside of the African continent). I've shared this history with Indians, Nepalese, Sri Lankans, and have heard stories of their histories as well. There are a lot of perceptions about contractors here, especially us young black men... that we are here clocking millions of dollars... that we basically get paid to ride the clock, etc. I work hard, in general, to exceed the expectations of those who THINK they know me, and I build alliances everywhere I go. I'm not much into the business of making enemies, because I'd rather keep to myself than affiliate myself with undesirables.
Me: Do you believe anyone can do this job?
Jamaal: I believe that anyone can do any job... but their success rate will only be determined by how much of themselves they put into the equation, and what they look to get out of it.
Me: If there is anything you would change about this job, what would it be?
Jamaal: I'm held to pretty high standards in my current position, part of that has to do with my supervisor's system of work ethics. I'd like to see others on the team work as hard as I do to at least live up to those standards. There is a lot of corner cutting and cutthroat office politics that take place out here. We all came here to do a job be it for personal reasons, or financial obligations... but we are not ALL out here working.
Me: Does it help to speak with others about your job; for instance do you need to vent?
Jamaal: My normal outlets include good music, spoken word poetry, and blogging. Work sometimes comes up in the blog.
Jamaal inspired me because he seems to really understand who he is and why he’s doing this job. He does make note that he would like to eventually come back to the states and work independently with artists in music. Both of these men are inspirational for other young men; and this is what we need in our communities whether it’s here in the U.S. or over thousands of miles away. They are only two examples of what our passionate people can accomplish.
Enjoy your holiday seasons, with passion!