INSPIRATION 02 | JUSTIN HOWELL Fictional Politicians, Mountains, and Some Really Creative Friends

Cold temperatures and gloomy skies can wreak havoc on the creative process.  Here at Serif, we find it is very important to continually be finding inspiration from anywhere you possibly can.  It can be found anywhere; in nature, on a video shoot, using Stumbleupon, or on social media (just to name a few).  Here are some things that have given me inspiration while I am huddled up under a blanket, sitting next to a warm, crackling fire (okay, so I don’t have a working fireplace in my apartment but you get the point: it’s cold).

1. House of Cards Season 3 Trailer

This may be more exciting than it is inspiring.  House of Cards is far and away one of the best TV shows currently in production.  Netflix has really been able to push the limits (without going too far) of television production.  Consistently amazing cinematography, incredible writing, and award winning acting easily puts this series up among my favorite shows.  While watching House of Cards, I am constantly getting inspiration for shots for our own video shoots. House of Cards, Season 3 premiers on Netflix on February 27th.  You should probably put that on your calendar as the day the internet will shut down from everyone trying to stream it at the same time.

2. The Appalachian Mountains

Mountains

While I was born and raised in Ohio, most of my family was originally from Western Pennsylvania. I spent many weeks and holidays visiting them while I was young.  In the past couple of years I have rediscovered my love for these mountains.  In the spring, summer, and fall you can frequently find me camping here with my family on the weekends.  Its beauty never ceases to amaze me and I already have a trip planned to head that way in early March (despite the forecast being only in the low 30’s…).  I love being out in nature as it can be one of the greatest sources of professional and personal inspiration.

3. Death to the Stock Photo – www.deathtothestockphoto.com

Death to the Stock Photo

If you don’t know who these guys are yet…you don’t know what you’re missing.  Over the past year, I have had the privilege of getting to know Allie Lehman (not pictured, sorry Allie!) and David Sherry (pictured above) of Death to the Stock Photo.  These two rock. They are in constant hustle mode.  For those of you who do not know what Death to the Stock Photo is, it’s a free (yes, FREE) service that sends out stock photos every month that you can then use in nearly anyway you want (read the fine print first though..!).  Did I mention it’s free? They also have a premium version that provides twice as many photos a month and access to their entire catalog.  For $10 a month, you get access to hundreds of incredible photos.  And here’s the most inspiring thing: that $10 a month that you pay gets reinvested into the photography community.  They actually pay people to complete the trip of their dreams and take photos along the way to be used for a future photo pack.  Every blogger, designer, and internet user should be subscribed to their emails. These two are truly inspiring and I am unbelievably glad I have had the chance to get to know them.  If you want more info, here is a story film we produced for them a couple months back:

4. Columbus, OH

Columbus

Sure it may be cold and Ohio weather can be schizophrenic but, Columbus is an awesome place to be developing a professional career.  I moved up this way last Spring from a little farm town in Southeastern Ohio and have never regretted my decision.  Columbus is a warm (not talking about temperatures here) and inviting place that encourages growth.  There are no intense rivalries and bitter competitors.  We are all in this together.  In Columbus, people are always willing to lend out a helping hand or even simply provide some advice.  That is something that should not be taken for granted as it can be hard to find in other cities.  Keep doing you, Columbus.  I know I’m glad to be part of the climb to the top that this city is taking.

That’s it for now! Stay warm out there; warm temperatures are right around the corner! “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi

-jh

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