Editor’s Note: If you’ve never heard of Dave Brosha, you should go check out his work, right now. He’s one of those photographers who just makes me wonder how on earth he does it. Hailing from the Great White North – Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada – he has become one of the world’s finest photographers. And he manages to produce this standard of work across multiple genres, including landscape, wedding, and environmental portraiture. I follow Dave Brosha on Facebook, and his posts provide a daily dose of inspiration, with a stream of photos that takes my breath away–every. dang. time. 

As if that weren’t enough, the man can write, too. He recently produced a post that impressed me as one that captures the mindset that has made him such a success. He gives us a peek into the simple, intimate moments of his life, and lets us see that he is full of gratitude and enthusiasm, love for his family and his life’s work, determination to keep going through hard times, and an unstoppable work ethic. It struck me that his attitude here is a simple and striking cause of, tribute to, and reward of a creative life; well and consciously lived. 

I wrote and asked him if he would allow me to reproduce this post on our site, as a gift to our readers, and he graciously agreed. I hope that it inspired you, as it did me, to fill 2014 with accomplishments and joyful moments. This essay truly captures our motto: Spreading Passion for Life Through Photography.

Heartfelt thanks to Dave Brosha, and to our readers. Happy New Year.

-Heather Nilson, 


A Hazy December Morning


5:30AM. I wake about an hour and a half before the alarm goes off. I try for a bit to fall back asleep but it’s fruitless: within five minutes my mind is buzzing with ideas and I know it’s not worth the fight. I get up and attack the coffee. And with the house still dark and the rest of my family sleeping, I plot out my day.

Ideas. Ideas come to me often in the night. And in the shower. I can stay under that steamy haze for what feels like hours, ideas buzzing in my brain. Some days they buzz brighter than others. Today is one of those days.

I crawl back into bed where – sometime during the night – our littlest one, our baby girl, has joined us. Although sometimes the kicks in the ribs while you sleep are annoying, mostly I love it. Or, rather, I love waking up to a little fluffy head snuggled into your arms. Or how she pops her head up in the dark when she hears us rustling and let’s out a squeaky “hiiiiii” before burying her head in for another hug.

I live for the mornings; waking up with your happy kids around you is always the best part of the day. Not that the rest of the day isn’t – I’m a pretty happy dude, generally – but nothing beats the mornings. Especially those weekend mornings when you know you can laze around until not one child, but your second….and then third, all join you in bed. And you laugh and joke until you realize it’s late, and the real world eventually calls.

It was a hazy ice fog morning as I drove in the dark to the studio after dropping my six-year old off at school, the radio blasting some live Pearl Jam song. -41C, I think. It’s winter…it’s cold. I hardly notice most days. Some days all you think about is laying in the grass with a warm summer sun.

Despite getting up so early, I felt wide awake this morning. Buzzing. It’s just about my last day of “work” (I always feel guilty calling it that because it’s so damned fun) here at the studio for the year, and I guess I’ve been thinking about the year that was. The goods and the bads. Almost entirely good, but – of course – there’s always the bads. But I’m the type of person who (for the most part) doesn’t let the bads bring him down. I’ve long since learned that life is way too short to focus on the negatives.

This has been a whirlwind year filled with a lot of amazing experiences, a lot of laughter, good friends, adventures, and some heartbreak. I lost my father this year. For lack of anything poetic, that fucking sucked. But it has lead to positives, too. They’re always there if you want to find them.

Professionally, I don’t know what happened this year. Last year I traveled (what I considered) a lot. This year, it exploded. Cross-country workshops, weddings, and assignments. Being asked to come places to speak. Magazines. Fun.

I get asked sometimes how that stuff feels. Well, yes, it’s kind of cool. Not for the attention it gets you, but mainly because you know you’ve worked your ass off thousands of countless hours – pouring yourself into your craft – even when people thought you were nuts, or deluded, or selfish….but you didn’t care. You just wanted to do it. Regardless if anyone else ever noticed, or cared. And if tomorrow that part of things all went away, and it was back to just you, and your family, and your camera…you would still do it. And love every minute.

I have no clue what 2014 is going to bring. It might bring great things, it might bring the opposite. Such is life. I have goals, always, but I never really ever sit down and totally map things out. I like going with the flow, and feeling things out. Trusting my gut. Living in the moment.

Soon, I’ll post my annual “Year In Review”, a look back, in images, of the year that’s been. This? A long-winded post, without a clear message. Just a few thoughts on a chilly December morning.

Now, looking forward to 10 days of waking up to excited, happy, silly, delightfully annoying fluffyheads.


Photo via DaveBrosha.com

About The Author

Heather Nilson was editor of PhotographyTricks.com from August 2012 until November 2014. She has a background as an academic geek, with a degree in biology and work history in biology research. This was followed in 2010 by a complete career switch from laboratory research to writing, photography, and travel. She specializes in travel and fine art photography, and loves spending her computer time continually learning more about photography and creativity. Heather lives in Denver, Colorado, when she is not traveling. Like her Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/LightAdventurePhotography

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