We had the good fortune of connecting with Rob Wessels and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rob, how do you think about risk?
Risk: a situation involving exposure to danger.
I believe risk is very subjective. To some extent my entire life is based upon risk or assessing risk and acting accordingly. The activities I enjoy and do on a regular basis all under the worst case scenario could end in death. Death can be another subjective concept. Not following your passion or exploring your purpose I believe leads to death in the context of loss of soul or identity. Decisions I make in life and business are all weighed against the possible outcome of death. I also feel that calculation when navigating risk is very important. Operating in risky situations without calculation makes you reckless. Calculation does not remove the potential negative outcomes. But can statistically make them less likely. I would rather do and fail continually than never try.. Ultimately, facing risk, failing and overcoming has helped me fearlessly experience more of what this life has in store for me.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a photographer 1st and videographer / guy that knows some stuff about marketing 2nd. In this creative realm I feel there are 2 categories: The art is what I deem interesting to myself and with that I’m not sure if anyone actually cares about what I think is cool. I have a concept of something that I have wanted to do for several years now that I plan on starting in 2022. This will be my first “body of work” where I can express what I believe is art. The other is being a hired photographer, in that role I’m trying to realize someone else’s vision or align imagery to a brand or concept. This still can be art, it just has a varying level of personal expression in it.
Trying to be a full time photographer has been one of the most difficult things I’ve attempted. Having no college degree and being completely self taught makes getting your foot in the door with a company extremely hard. When I first quit my full time job to pursue this I was a hobbyist photographer. The first thing I learned in my pursuit of this dream was that I wasn’t good enough. This wasn’t told to me by anyone, this was through self examination of my own work. While I could produce a great result in one setting I would struggle in others. Just imagine quitting your job to pursue something you love and the first thing you learn is that you aren’t good enough at it.. Ego deflating and emotionally draining. Nonetheless I was committed. So I learned more, more about my equipment, more about photogrocessing techniques. From that point I became so hungry to learn and be a better photographer. That hunger is still a motivating force to me today. While I am happy where I am, I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied. I think that is one of the cool things about art or anything creative. It’s never ending, there will always be something to pursue.
Truth be told I am a terrible self promoter. My brand, my business is me and I hope you enjoy the view of the world I present to you.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I spend most of my time from South Carlsbad to Cardiff. Seaside Market, Goodonya, Iron Smith, Birds Eye Kitchen, Haggos and Carlsbad Brew Co. are a few of my favorite spots. If we are hanging out at the beach it will probably be Ponto or Pipes. If not at the beach out to Anza Borrego or up to Idyllwild. And maybe something less expected from me, I’ve always liked going to the San Diego Botanic Gardens in Encinitas.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to Shoutout my Mom for being a constant example of compassion and strength.
John for asking questions. When I started answering these questions to myself that’s what led to a career change to something more aligned with passion and purpose.
Matt is a good friend that I can chat with about anything. I appreciate having someone that takes the time to listen and doesn’t just agree with everything I say. I think a real friend will call you out on your shit when it needs to happen.