My life's mission: "Pursuing an adventurous life, fully alive!"
To begin, I spent a decent portion of my life in my 20's and early 30's overworked and burned out. It's not that I didn't enjoy many parts of my life, I just lost my perspective. I was pursuing "stuff" and spent so much time living a life not meant for me... I have a saying in my office that says "masquerading around as a normal person day after day is exhausting." Please tell me who is normal on this planet and by who's definition? God got my attention in 2004 (perhaps I'll blog about this in the future) and since that moment my life goals changed. This website captures just a sliver of my mission, the part that recognizes the overwhelming beauty all around us - the people, the places, the wildlife - it is truly a gift for all of us. I had once enjoyed the great outdoors and photography in HS and College, having been given a camera from my grandparents and working in Yellowstone and Denali during my summers. That desire in me, though lost for many years, has resurrected and continues to this day.
Life is about the journey, not the destination... In 2010, I was trying to find more time in the great outdoors with my camera and realized that my awesome day job (and night, at times) takes me all over the beautiful State of Arizona. I may have a council meeting in Kingman one night and a board meeting in Tucson the next. I find myself driving through some of the most amazing places that many people pay money to come and visit, like Sedona and the Grand Canyon. Other destinations are rich in historic value. So, I started taking my camera, tripod, etc. on my road trips. Unlike paid professional photographers who may spend an entire day trying to capture the right moment, I am typically on the run and looking for beauty in the very moment I show up! The 'Arizona Excursions' portion of the site includes photos from journeys made all over my beautiful State (yes, I am a native) and also includes other adventures in Arizona like hiking and camping trips.
The 'Adventure Archives' section features some of the adventures taken outside of Arizona. 'Kindred Chronicles' covers some excursions or interesting events with my family. Not to be a data dump of family photos, rather creative photos or scenes involving something adventurous or noteworthy. This is my website... there's no shame in using my beautiful family in action shots... enjoy!
So, while I have an excellent day job that helps fund my photography and travel pursuits, it is also a securities firm. I am involved in primary offerings of securities and thus regulated by 15 different governmental agencies (it seems) and internal compliance is unbelievable. In addition, these photos are available to the entire world and my decision to include pictures of family weighs heavily on my mind (I wouldn't really be 'fully alive' if I left on adventures every time without my family, right?) Thus, I maintain my anonymity on this website for now and have deemed this site a Hobby! Even though personal investment advice is not what I do regularly , I want to make it clear you will get absolutely NO investment advice from me! Besides, the NSA is watching and would alert the SEC anyway :-)
I want to thank all of you for visiting Blaze-A-Trail.com. It's amazing and humbling at the same time to know that these photos have been viewed hundreds of thousands (I'm close to saying millions) of times since 2011 - and from all over the world (Russia, Australia, China, Israel, Europe, the list goes on...!) I hope you find something that richly blesses your day! Remember, there is not a single person like you on this planet - you've been made for a mighty purpose - go out and Blaze A Trail!
ps - just because this is a hobby doesn't mean you can't buy my photos! If you are interested, click on the "Buy" tab located near each photo. I appreciate all of you who have purchased in the past as it helps to defray the cost of my hobby. This site uses very professional and high quality photo labs that guarantee their work. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions in advance of your purchase. Thanks! Mike