The Veiled Woman

I don’t know her name, I don’t know who created her or what she was made of.

14359606_599649533549861_2947229326136836096_n

Walking through the famous Louvre, on a hurried three hour tour to see the greats of the museum, one sculpture caught my eye; a veiled woman, standing isolated at the end of a display, solemnly gazing at the crowds inevitably passing her without a second of consideration.

To say art speaks to people is a cliché to be avoided, yet, regardless of reasoning her hollow gaze pierced me, calling me from the crowd to pause a moment at her feet. I took pictures, I lost myself in question and simply stood in her presence, thanking this seemingly avoided woman for reaching out to share this brief moment together.

Paris was beautiful, and the Louvre was more than I could have ever imagined, but in the midst of the Mona Lisa’s fame, and the classic romance of the French capital, she stopped me in my tracks.

Among the Michelangelos, the veiled woman looked into me, and asked me what I saw.

Want to know more about our trip to Paris? Destination: Paris over on The Eddy Folk has a look at how we maximized our short time in the City of Love

The Eddy Folk

What happened to the Freelance Rider?

Life..?

For those of you that have wondered, or been wondering, what happened to the daily posts, why it’s been an eternity since my last post, here it is:

The Eddy Folk

Photo via Paige Hogan | @paigewilhog
Photo via Paige Hogan | @paigewilhog

Together, Paige and I have been chasing dreams of backcountry adventure, mixed with the art of slow living and garnished with a few of the finer things in life. Which doesn’t sound much like raft guide life, but guiding is actually what has launched the pursuit.

So what does that mean for this site?

Two things:

  1. I have a ton of opportunity to draw inspiration from everything that happens in this new outlook on life, AND,

  2.  There are two places to find out what life has in store for us as we make our way through this adventure writing, rafting and photographing every step along the way.

As a part of my resolutions for 2017, I told myself I would turn attention back to my writing, discover the voice that’s been developing in this time off, and bring more to each of you.

If you’ve been with me from the beginning, I thank you. If you’re just discovering the Freelance Rider as we enter this new chapter, welcome, and don’t forget that the adventure continues together over on The Eddy Folk!

Want to see the adventure as it happens? Instagram has everything from recaps real-time Stories available!

Instagram: A Forgotten Friend

ed23e50a4f1611e3962312f43f382231_8
One of the first apps I got after getting my iPhone was Instagram. I thought filters were fun, I thought it was a brilliant way to connect photographers, all was good.

But if you look at my profile, I have a pretty minor 125 photos in the two years that I’ve been on the platform. Maybe it was an attempt to break the habit that everyone else has of violating the Three Fs (Food, Feet, and Flowers), or it was just a matter that I didn’t think my photos were engaging.

Over the weekend though, I realized that avoiding Instagram isn’t the solution to my problem with the platform, rather, creating better content instead of documenting an average life story is what engages the community.

There are also the Instagram elite. I followed them as inspiration, but low and behold, I just got mad at myself for not having the eye that they seem to have.

Who are sitting in my list of elites?

In no particular order:

e0fa2ece424b11e3812422000aeb0bcd_8
kylesteed

16cf1d344e9011e395c40e318e690f28_8
marte_marie_forsberg

bfaaab784c0411e382a11226224b1259_8
cacahuete_sr

ead6c756497411e3a9e312ed7fc8e686_8
thiswildidea

c074a2924a6b11e3a59e127b7c11055b_8
flashesofstyle

And of course PaigeWilhog
29b488dc4f1011e3bc000e7eda5cd7b0_8

As you can see, there’s a lot to live up to; though while we were in Japan I may have channeled a bit of Cacahuete_sr…

4f6bd544500a11e392c8123c34e343ec_8

So with these folks in mind, and a new focus on sharing the beautiful things that I see, I welcome back my old friend Instagram. A friend that’s always been there, but was too quickly abandoned in my struggle to not take boring photos.

Hopefully you like what you see, but even more important, push your own content to be engaging. Don’t use the platform only as a chronicle of your life, but really show off the beautiful things coming in and out of it.

In recognition of the person that pushes me to enhance my own Instagram, here she is in the beautiful light that we found this weekend.

dcd805b24f1811e3b2661256bee58567_8

The Weekly Wrap

Since it’s getting closer to the holidays, and your life is getting busy, I figured I would start wrapping our weeks up in one post for your convenience.

Though I’d encourage you to visit every time a story goes out, this should at least help condense it for you in a crunch.

taps-circle-letters
Of all the federal holidays, Veteran’s Day might be the most important. Without the men and women that we show appreciation for, it’s quite possible that none of the other holidays would exist as we know them. Featuring two phenomenal charities, Thank You: A Post For Our Veterans, was an appropriate start to the week.

30fd1fb4f08911e1818e22000a1cdd19_7
Thanks to a TechCrunch story that came through my reader, we learned that a Russian sports network, R-Sports, was threatening that it would revoke credentials for journalists found to be using smart phones and apps like Instagram during the Sochi Olympics. Though it seems focused toward maintaining a level of “classic journalism,” it looks more like the network needs to find it’s way out of the Dark Ages.

IMG_1958
I’m becoming a Certified Personal Trainer, and Chris Powell inspired me to do it. From the Extreme Weight Loss guru, to a very supportive wife, I’m on a journey to get certified, and help others understand that if I lost my weight, then they can too.

BZDD7dgCQAA9sjs
Finally, Affordable Healthcare cracked me. After avoiding the topic for months, the president’s recent apology for the botched job that is the Affordable Care Act caused me to laugh. After finding a CBS story about three 20-year-olds that created a functioning healthcare website overnight, it’s evident that nobody in Washington has any clue what they’re doing.

That was the week for the Freelance Rider, and I can’t wait to see what we get from this weekend.

Journalists Reportedly Banned From Smartphone Photography At Olympics In Russia

Considering our use of Instagram and Tumblr for the 2012 Political Conventions, maybe it’s a good thing we didn’t get the Olympic credentials we applied for.

With the ability to spread such incredible photos, like those referenced in the article, I’m curious as to why Russian officials wouldn’t want to capitalize on the free press of so many international guests potentially awe-struck by the Sochi scenic views.

Maybe R-Sports should just suck it up, get an Instagram account and run a brilliant tagging campaign rather than spitting in the face of the future we’re living in. Do I think the move will hold up? No, but I am curious to hear what you think.

Wedding Photography: Don’t Be Cheap

In the list of expenses that come with a wedding, it’s easy to lose yourself with venues, menus, and more, but one of the items that needs to be at the top of that list is photography.

1424333_2046978779362_851267028_n

The images that are captured that day should emulate the love that everyone attending has for you, and someone that doesn’t know their camera can blow it. Don’t lie to yourself either, you’ve seen it on Facebook, a white wedding dress in a white room that’s been blown out by the built-in flash of a DSLR that someone got for their high school graduation.

That’s not ok!

Paige and I are coming up on a month since the wedding, and we’d been on edge waiting to see the photos since we got a few teasers while we were in Japan. Last night she finally got the email that said the photos were available, and it was the perfect way to welcome us back to our New York apartment.

i-t4JVdpN-M

Our photographers were Ron and Briana Randle of Love Shutter Photography.

We knew that we wanted the day to be documented, not a ton of posed pictures, but to capture the candid moments that mattered and made the day what it was meant to be. What we got was more than I could have ever imagined. The essence of family and friends that all love each other pours from nearly every photo, and they’re moments that won’t be forgotten.

i-x23JTgs-M

Of course, the photos with Paige are tremendous, and they mean a lot, but having two photographers provided so much flexibility that Love Shutter nailed it when documenting my personal moments with my big brothers.

One fraternal, and one biological, to have these guys around me that day meant everything, and that emotion is evident throughout all of the photos we’ve got.

i-MZM9gZh-M

In the end, it’s your wedding, you can do whatever you want. I would encourage you to look for an excellent option when it comes to photographers though, because you don’t want to look back on your special day and see overexposed wedding dress or blur monster reception pics.

Besides, photos like these can’t be replaced!

i-nGtbFCP-M

Believe me when I say they can’t be replaced!

i-VZSJdbC-M

Photos courtesy of the stunning Love Shutter