Whew! Have you ever had a moment that REALLY kicked your ass? Has that moment ever lasted an entire year? 2011 seems to have been that year for a lot of folks I know. I can’t recall a time (including 2008) where every aspect of my life simultaneously became a stress point. If 2011 is the year that tested us, then 2012 promises to be the reward for facing those challenges head on.
The year had its highs & lows, and I wanted to take a moment to recognize some folks who have helped me so that I can be there to help you:
J Schuh – you may know him as The Texas Animator, I know him as my best friend & partner in all things creative. Despite his incredible reputation, he deserves even more recognition for his talent & humanity. Look for me to rock out some cool stuff with J in 2012.
Glyn Dewis – my best mate who I haven’t seen since we met at Photoshop World eons ago. You might say we’re 21st century “pen pals”. He might be across the pond, but he’s been a far truer friend than folks I know right here in town.
TipSquirrel – the only person who has ever promoted everything I do without so much as a poke from me. If I were seeking a manager, he would be my guy. He’s been a constant source of support, asked or not. Coming from someone who spends a lot of time helping other people it’s nice to be on the receiving end.
Kevin Ames – my only regret is we didn’t become friends sooner. Kevin is a great mentor, confidant, and truly an inspiration behind a camera. I’m a better person knowing him.
John Pozadzides – to be successful you need to emulate successful people. I’m sure a lot of people think they can do what John “P” does, but truly they wouldn’t be as successful. A chance meeting in Vegas at Photoshop World led to some good conversations, and a whole lot of education on my part. John’s been a great friend to my family, generously lending his time & resources as I’ve built my podcast.
Darryl Briggs – the man behind the DFW Photography Club knows you can’t have a successful video podcast without a place to host the show. Darryl believed in my YouTube channel before I ever recorded an episode. He helped get the show started and was a huge support this past year keeping the episodes on schedule for you. When I was running on empty Darryl was always there.
Justin Seeley – I wrote it in a comment on Justin’s blog a few weeks ago, and I’ll say it again — Justin is the reason I have a YouTube channel today. Justin’s the same great guy I met at Photoshop World several years ago, minus a few pounds. He understands that building community stems from a commitment to the needs of others more than yourself.
Zig Baird – the man behind this site, Zig is The WP Guy. Sure, I’m technically inclined, but the challenge of growing your business is keeping up with all the growth. Zig has been HUGE part of keeping AJWOOD.COM running, and he’ll continue to roll out improvements in 2012.
Brian Sullivan – I enjoy the fact that Brian believes I’m cooler than I actually am. He’s been a great motivator, a tremendous support and he opened the door to new opportunities this year. The face of Big(D)esign, I’m thankful that he saw things in me I had forgotten about.
Giovanni Gallucci – the first person to say my show sucked when everyone else said it was awesome, and I’ve got a better show because of that.
Dave Curlee – you can’t see the stuff Dave does, but it’s evident every time I upload a new episode of I Create Content. He is my go-to guy for video, podcasting & other AV knowledge. This year he was also my rock of Faith.
John Hays – a former student who has become a good friend & colleague, John is someone who looks to change the world one personal connection at a time. He reminds me of Tom Cruise in Cocktail as his passion for personal development extends beyond his own needs, and he generously gives his time to others. He’s been a sounding board for ideas, and is a class act.
Gene McCullagh – a top Lightroom expert, the leader of the DFWAUG, Gene has been one of my longest supporters in Dallas. Many in his position could have seen me as a threat, but he embraced me as a colleague & friend. He consistently promotes the fact that I do actually get paid to teach, and has helped keep my talents in front of people who needed them.
David Ziser – David’s work inspired me long before we became friends. I admire his business savvy, and the longevity of his wedding photography is as much a testament to that as is his talent. His wife LaDawn is such a gracious lady, and I’ve appreciated her encouragement in my endeavors.
Thanks to Paul Goodman for allowing me the use of his photos from the Photo Pro Network Summer event this past July.
I’m blessed to know so many wonderful people, and I’m thankful to call them friends. I know there are others who are not as fortunate to have a support system, or fail to recognize the one they have.
In 2012 I’ll be spotlighting folks who not only inspire me, but those I think will serve as creative inspiration for you my loyal readers. If I’ve learned anything from this year it’s that you should live every moment possible AND you should have folks to share in those moments.