Andrew Jei

I had the opportunity to work with Andrew a couple of times, we're in the process of putting a music video together, in the meantime, here are some photos of our latest shoot 

 


Through Local Eyes

Every time I leave the country, or simply step out my front door, I'm fascinated at the variety of faces that I see. Two years later and I'm wishing I spent more time in the moment to go back and get to really know the people that I photographed. Comment below and tell me a story that jumps out at you form these people, I'm truly curious as to what everyone's story is, someday I'll get around to completing my own 

Cheers!

In my spare time

Now generally I like to say that I'm a photographer and in my spare time I'm a barista, but the reality is, I'm not full time at either of these. A good family friend put it best, while my 9-5 might dictate that I'm a barista, photographer, banker, UPS driver, etc. who I am is so much more. So in my spare time I pour a little coffee and take a few pictures. Here's a few from a competition I was in a couple months ago with my co workers up in LA. 

 

 

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And now the Blog post you've all been waiting for...

As we wrap up the year 2014 I can look back on all that happened this year and think to myself but one thing…. ok, many things. I guess a theme you could say came up through this year is “2014, the year nothing went according to my plan, but everything went according to God’s master plan.” Let me explain by rewinding the clock a little bit… ok, maybe a lot

New years Eve 2011

Now you’ve all heard the story about my running goal in 2012, and if you haven’t, the short version is I resolved to run 10 miles every day in 2012 because I felt like I was letting my running slide to the back burner and eventually off the stove. In 2012 I ran 10 miles every day (including running 2 marathons) for a grand total of 3660+ miles (can’t remember the exact milage as I ran serval runs that were longer than the required 10) I will never forget this year as it changed a lot of things in my life. This was the year after I had graduated high school, so with the pressure from my parents to either get a job and start paying rent, or go to school I was very quickly nearing the end of my rope and needed to get my act together. During the time of my running I was trying like everyone else to find work, literally applying to every place I could, getting false hope, then back to pounding the pavement. Eventually I gave up and decided that I was just going to wing it and work little odd jobs to cover my monthly expenses (fairly minimal at the time as I only had a phone bill and gas to pay for) and focus on making it through the year in running. God had a different plan as just a month after I gave up looking for work, I causally walked into Kéan coffee (when I say casually, I made a point to only wear shorts, tshirt, and flip flops) after talking to the manager, buying some job applications from office depot I was a gainfully employed member of society.

Fastforward to 2013 (I know you’re probably thinking BRANDON GET TO THE POINT!! but there’s a reason for all this)

June 2013: At LAX getting ready to go to Vietnam with a team from my church, I was super excited as the last time I was out of the country I was equipped with a nice camera and practically no knowledge of how to take great pictures, this time armed with gear out the wazoo and an eye for a visual story to rival national geographic I was ready. God really changed my heart a lot on that trip, as I’ve seen over the years in Cambodia and the Dominican Republic He is working in ways beyond my comprehension. I came home from that trip with a passion to help share what is being done in the world, the only problem, I was here in the US and the world was out there. I’ll be honest, my social skills and networking abilities are lacking so the only thing I knew to do was just tell people how passionate I was about telling missionary’s stories. Meeting with mission’s board members at my church, missionaries home on furlow, Emailing missionaries, Emailing missions organizations. From the missionaries and friends I kept getting the same message “That’s a great idea! I’ll be praying for you!” every pro has a con, and the flipside of that was I kept getting the message “we really like your idea, but we tried it and it’s just to expensive to keep up” from the organizations.

to compound all this, the little seeds of doubt kept getting planted in my head “How are you going to support a family doing free work for missionaries?” “How are you even going to find a wife?” “How are you going to find a wife that is willing to not necessarily have a home base as you’ll be traveling a lot?” “You won’t have time for relationships if you’re always on the go” these were the little things that kept creeping into my head as I was beginning to think about doing this full time.

September 2013:

Me: ok mom, I bought my ticket to China, this is really happening

mom: …… ok, this is really happening

Determined to do something big and a bit radical, I bought a ticket to China (originally intended to buy a one way ticket, but that would have opened a whole other can of worms) with the intention of starting a travel blog to inspire people to step outside of their comfort zone every once and a while. The more people I told about the trip the more I had to build it up for them. In reality I just needed a change in scenery, but the list of “reasons” kept growing as people weren’t satisfied with me simply wanting to go to China. There was a legitimate reason for the trip though, I really wanted to prove (mainly to myself) that it wasn’t that expensive to go to another country, this was so I would have some evidence to help in persuading missions organizations to send me out to document their missionaries. I’d say the trip was a success, the blog didn’t exactly reach as far as I wanted it to, but hey, as I said at the beginning of this post, God has a plan. I learned a lot in China, especially when it comes to keeping a budget, total trip cost approx (i really should have tracked expenses better) $1500 for 5 weeks in China, including air fare, visa, food, and transportation while there (mainly cause I walked everywhere)

December 2013: home just in time for Christmas, no job on the horizon and I was set to actually put my everything into getting a photography business going (still not part of God’s plan) come January there was a special car show I was going to be attending and in an attempt to convince my dad I was ready to put my everything into this I sold my camera (sounds counterintuitive, but I was trying to convince him to help me purchase a new camera) with the car show slowly approaching and  me camera less the pressure was on. Thankfully we ordered and it arrived literally the day before the show. Looking back, this is where it all went wrong. Foolishly I thought it was my lack of quality in my work that was keeping me from jobs, the truth was, I was just awful at business and selling my work (not much has changed, I’m just still paying off the camera)

2014, the year Nothing went according to my plan, but all according to God’s Master plan

at the beginning of the year I was headed down the path to trying to make a million dollars and be financially successful so I could travel and support the mission idea I had. Now I know most of you reading this are shaking your heads thinking “BRANDON! YOU”RE DOING IT ALL WRONG!” I hear ya loud and clear, unfortunately, it took me a year to figure it all out. Thankfully God could see my hopelessness and slowly started turning me around. About 6 months ago completely over my head in projects that were more stress and frustration than they were worth I decided that I really needed to be spending more time reading my bible and focusing on God. Getting a little business advice from one of the elders at my church he broke all the numbers down and showed me “Brandon, seriously, if all these numbers are right you’ve planned to work a 120hr work week… there’s not even enough hours in the week for that! Even working a 60 work week (which is stretching it) won’t allow you the time to spend on your soul.” Spinning in circles feeling completely out of control, head clouded with the hovering debt from my camera, business not succeeding, getting discouraged feeling that no one was supporting me, I was a wreck.

Enter Grace (you have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to use this Pun) both Literally (my girlfriend) and figuratively (as in God’s Grace)

I began talking with Grace in July (wow, crazy to think it’s been that long as the time and our relationship has grown so much) mainly picking her brain about stupid photography stuff. Eventually we moved onto other stuff like travel, our love for Cambodia, and other random stuff. Now I had thought in the back of my head “is she the one? she genuinely enjoy talking to me, and we have a lot in common.” A few months later, I was out at Speedway with my family, texting with Grace as usual when I mention I’m kinda focused on doing some photography and video work for missionaries…. “…” is what she replied with. I told her I would call her in the morning so we could talk further about this. Let me just preface the conversation with GOD IS AWESOME!! We talked in the morning, and individually of each other we came to the conclusion that we wanted to do something with missionaries and photography, using our talents to help further God’s kingdom and helping missionaries tell their stories…. WEIRD!! I had been praying for wisdom on pursuing a relationship with her shortly after we had started talking, but had no idea what God had in store for it. I feel like God has been trying to teach me to rely on him more and more over the past year, in the beginning it was simply for work and the small things, then it was for the bigger things. I know I’m not alone in feeling like a complete failure, but thankfully God will makeup for what I lack.

Now: On the road to doing missionary documentary work (more on that later), a compassionate, patient, loving, most importantly God honoring, beautiful Girlfriend, and a future ahead God is working a lot of wonderful things in my life right now, and I seriously want to tell everyone! God is lighting the fire in my heart, there are still a lot of things that I need to work on, but I trust in him that if I stay rooted in his word, preach the gospel to myself daily, focus on him, his plan is infinitely better than mine ever could be. It took me until I got to the end of this post to realize I can’t quite share the real big news just yet as I am in progress of waiting on God’s timing. Soon though, soon ^_^

looking forward to 2015 Focusing on what God has in store Praying for his wisdom in everything.

Brandon Goodyear

So there's this wall in China, it's kinda a big deal

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Having only been in Beijing for not even a day I was set to go to the great wall  with no idea of how to get there or what to expect. Enter Ruth and Codie, two English girls that were in my room at the hostel. I didn't get to meet them the first night as I was asleep when they got back to the room. As I was getting ready in the morning I asked if they had any plans for breakfast, and if I could tag along. On our way down to the cafe downstairs I got a message from Mike with the plans for the day. He was still waking up and getting ready so  we were set to meet in about an hour and a half from then. Perfect, I had plenty of time to eat breakfast and meet Mike at the subway stop. while waiting for breakfast I found out that the English girls were going to the Great wall as well, and they actually had a plan, at this point I figured we could meet up with Mike and all head up there together. This is when Mike messaged me again and said he was heading out to the subway. I immediately tried to respond and tell him that I wasn't able to make it right now, I was still waiting for my food!! (I wasn't even gonna consider hiking the wall on an empty stomach) Before I could respond (basically right after he sent the message) he left so I had no way of communicating with him. Breakfast was expensive so I wasn't going to just leave it (or the English girls who actually knew how to get to the great wall) Risking not being able to find Mike I waited for breakfast and headed out with the girls at the time we had originally agreed on. When we got to the subway stop that the buses were at I quickly looked around, Mike was nowhere to be found. I realized that this totally messed up the plans for the day, but I couldn't do anything about the communication issue. sidenote: it turned out that Mike actually got to the subway station 20 mins after I got there, thus leaving late even for our original meeting time... oh well, thankfully everything worked out. Looking for the bus we were supposed to take to the wall we were told that we were going to take the slow bus and to take this other bus that a nice looking lady told us to take (keyword "looking") mistake #2 actually taking that bus... turns out that this is one of the biggest scams in China, ended up taking the wrong bus to a city that was about 15-20 miles from the city we needed to go to. This was when the English girls lost it, they had been scammed so many times on their trip and this one just pushed them over the edge. So we're in a city that we have no idea where we are, about 45 mins from the great wall, they were walking in circles muttering to themselves about how they didn't like getting scammed. Seeing as we had to play with the hand we were dealt, I opened my map so I could figure out where we needed to go and start negotiating for a taxi. Turns out, we were closer to almost and hour away from the great wall, but because there were 3 of us, we were able to split a taxi for $5 each (kinda outrageous, considering the bus was only $2 for twice the distance) but we had to get to the wall regardless of cost. Finally on our way to the wall, things were finally going good. To add icing to the cake, as soon as we got to the wall and were walking up to purchase our tickets to enter, who would show up, but Mike! he took the right bus (got off a couple stops early, but still got there quicker than we did) After buying tickets we headed to the lift to ride to the top of the wall. This was a funny sight to see because we thought we bought tickets for the enclosed gondola when we actually got tickets for the lift ticket which was like a ski lift to the top (lets be honest, it was a pretty sketchy lift too). Once again the girls flipped when they saw what we were going to be taking to the top of the wall. It took them two lifts before the actually got on one. I had to laugh just a little, only to keep my mind off of the fact I was dangling 200 feet above the ground with only a sketchy lift carrying me up towards the wall. I'm deathly afraid of heights... yeah, it took every ounce of strength (and a lot of prayer) to keep calm on my way up. Safely back on solid ground we started walking to hike the small portion of the wall we were at. I had no idea that the wall was as steep. At some sections it was just like climbing the stairs at Angkor Wat, just like the temple, there weren't very good hand rails. After an exhausting hike to the end of the wall (end of the portion we could see, the wall was only partially rebuilt as a result hiking the rest of the wall requires climbing gear and preparation for several days on the wall. After taking in the scenery for a few mins we started walking back to take the bobsled back down to the entrance. It was quite a fun way to return to the enterance gate at the bottom of the wall. About half way down Mike flipped his sled over, as well as losing his hat in the wind. The hat got recovered and returned by someone riding behind him. We got to take pics with the dressed up "soldiers" grabbed some food (I hate to admit we got subway because it was the only restaurant there). To end the day we caught our taxi to the right bus, and got safely back in town. At this point the English girls decided to head back tot he hostel to get dressed for a night out on the town. Mike and I headed to a coffee shop where John was hanging out. After a decent subway ride and walking around the area for a while (it was quite a challenge to find the shop) we eventually landed at the bookworm coffee shop. From there we went to a fancy restaurant so Mike could try duck. Successful day seeing the Great wall, eating some duck, and enjoying Beijing.

keep posted, things have been really busy around here so posting will be limited, but I'm writing as much as I can until next time Brandon Goodyear image