Hobby Jam

What People Do For Fun

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Category: Interview (page 1 of 5)

Thomas Gionis

Thomas Gionis was born on Long Island. He came from a tough home and was raised by his grandparents who he considers to be his role models and rocks. They helped instill strong faith, values, and morals in him and they always taught Tom to respect his fellow man. Today Tom lives in Weston, Ct and still applies everything he learned growing up from his grandparents. His greatest joy in life is helping others in their time of need.

What is your hobby?

My greatest hobby is helping people. I live life paying it forward to others.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?
My grandparents inspired me to do good and help others. I was maybe 18 at the time and I saw this mom and her son who was around 8 years old, he reminded me a lot of myself at that age. They were standing by a soda machine and he was begging her for one but she didn’t have a quarter (that’s how much it was back then) to put in the machine. He was crying and I could tell by the look on her face that she was disappointed but she just didn’t have it. I reached in my pocket, pulled out a quarter and bought the kid a soda. I didn’t realize it at the time but what started as a simple good deed changed my life forever.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love the feeling I get when I help people. It is the best way that I know for anyone to feel good or self-love. It makes one feel like they contributed to something, made a difference in some way.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

No, this is all me. I think that helping out, donating to a cause, dropping food off to a food bank, donating clothes are all wonderful things that people can do. However, for me, this is more personal and I love being able to see how I am helping.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Not for myself, no. I have bought cars for people in need of one, groceries for those who can’t afford it. Some of them don’t even know where these things came from. Keep in mind, I do not need to know these people very well all I need to know is that they are in need.

How has this changed your life?

I can’t really describe how it has changed my life except to say that it has made me feel like there is no better deed that I can do than this. Helping people that need help and that who are so grateful is euphoric. I have had people ask me what I wanted in return and when I tell them nothing I am just there to help, sometimes they don’t believe me. I may never see these people again but knowing that I was there to help in some way no matter how big or small, that’s what it is all about.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

This is something you have to really want to do, not something you do for the sake of saying you did good. If you are looking to do this for a pat on the back you are going about it all wrong. Remember, for me, it started with a soda. It doesn’t have to be big but the feeling you get from it will be.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I love to run.  I have been an avid runner since the age of 18. About 5 years ago I had to stop because of my knee. I am supposed to get a knee replacement which I am fighting against. I now walk about 2 hours a day.

D. Scott Carruthers

D. Scott Carruthers is an artist whose primary medium is photography. He grew up in Anaheim, California, with a natural ability for the visual arts. This aptitude took off in his teenage years, as he began photographing musicians. Rather than attending college, Carruthers chose to travel all over California, taking photographs of musicians and models. His reputation grew steadily, which led to more gigs and more opportunities to persu his passion. He started photographing events in addition to the work he was doing within the entertainment industry. At the age of twenty, Carruthers opened his first photography studio. Because he already had a wide client base, the studio was successful immediately. This gave Carruthers the chance to dive into more aspects of photography that he wanted to explore, including advertising. When he signed on with an agent at the age of twenty one, he was given the opportunity to work on national ad campaigns. He also began photographing top movie stars and athletes. He continues to work in his Anaheim studio, and loves the thrill of being creative every day. His style has progressed over the years to include more abstract elements, as well as edgier subject matter. He is known to push the limits of the art form.

What is your hobby?

Cycling; I do both road cycling and mountain biking.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I got started with this hobby when I first opened my photography studio. I wasn’t used to spending long hours inside, with people. I found that I really needed to get outside on a regular basis, and clear my mind. I always had bikes growing up, but never took it that seriously. Suddenly, though, I was getting more into it and using my time on the bike to stay sane and happy. It was a big shift! That made me really passionate about the sport.

Tell us what you love about your hobby.

I love the solitude that cycling can provide. Usually, I ride on my own so that I can be alone with my thoughts. The physical aspect of it is a plus for me, because mostly I’m using it as a meditative way to be alone out in the fresh air.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

No, I don’t usually cycle with a group or attend events. Once in a while I will join up with a group of guys from my neighborhood, and we’ll all go for a long road ride. But for the most part I am a solo rider.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought

I love my Specialized mountain bike for riding in the woods and on trails. I bought it years ago. I also bought a new road bike recently, as well as an app for my phone that records the distance I travel and tracks my elevation gain.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I try to buy locally, here in Anaheim. If I can’t find exactly what I need, I’ll start to look online.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Yes. I recommend “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” by Haruki Murakami. He is one of my favorite writers, and even though this book is about his experience with learning to run and how that affected his writing, I find that it relates to my experience with cycling and producing photographs. Creative people can get a lot out of steady, meditative physical exercise. Murakami puts it into words so precisely.

How has this changed your life?

My artwork has benefited. While I ride, I have time to process thoughts and emotions, and clear my head. You can only make great art when you have a clear mind. If it wasn’t for cycling, I might have picked up something more destructive as an outlet for my energy and emotions. When I first started cycling, I recognized that I felt more relaxed and calm. Long hours in the studio don’t bother me when I know I’ll get a ride in at the end of the day.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

When you first start cycling, you might feel discouraged because you are not as fit as you want to be. Go for rides that are enjoyable, not rides that push you to the point of spitting blood. If you love and enjoy the activity, you’ll stick with it over the years, and that is what counts. You want to love every moment on your bike. Improvement will come; don’t force it.

Are there any other hobbies that you have?

Besides cycling and photography, I also read constantly. It’s an obsession.

Charles Lubbat

Charles Lubbat is a professional writer who specializes in travel with a focus on destinations. With his career has also come an opportunity to traverse the world and see different destinations, and this has been as a part of his effort to document as many sightseeing places as possible. He has done all this in a bid to offer accurate and reliable information to those who come to him seeking advice on various destinations. Some of the places he has visited include historical destinations that feature monuments, museums, and galleries that speak much about the history and struggle of the past that those born recently can only read or learn about.

He has championed a course to help bring to the world the reality that crowns various cities and towns across the world, and his articles are insightful for the average traveler who would like to hear something about the best hotel or most enjoyable places to visit while in a specific city or country. He has done this with great mastery and accuracy that he has earned himself respect among his peers, and the world of tourism at large. Charles is a charming and passionate explorer whose desire to see the world has also come as an eye opener for others who want to understand the world better.

What is your hobby?

Well, part of my life has been more about interacting with humans and getting to learn more from nature, so in this process, I created a deep connection with traveling to see new destinations. I find exploration interesting and when am not traveling I love spending time at the beach as this allows me to cool off as I give my mind space to reflect.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

What basically triggered me to get into traveling is the desire to see the world beyond where I live. I believe there are many treasures that I am yet to come across and staying at the same place doesn’t give me the chance to explore the world well. It is an interesting pursuit that has helped me to understand different cultures and communities.

Tell us what you love about it

One thing I honestly love about traveling is the fact you are ushered into a new reality and this gives you an opportunity to appreciate the beauty that makes up our world. From the people to the landscapes, it comes as a great opportunity to uncoil and see the world in a different lens than you are used.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Indeed, I have come across various travel clubs that share similar ideas as me, and the theme dominant is ensuring we get to embrace nature with a positive mind. For example, one of such groups has been championing travel and exploration while spreading awareness on the need to preserve the environment.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought

Yes, I have equipment that I use whenever I visit a new place, and these include my cameras and tabs that I use to document the facts I come across while traveling. This data is what is relayed to the audience through my articles while reviewing travel destinations.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

With the online space expanding and offering many places to shop, I search through the internet to see what items I need. Once I find the ones that I need, I just place my order and the same is delivered to me.

Are there any good books for beginners?

For beginners who want to pursue travel journalism, I would recommend reading Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, which highlights all the things you need to understand when you enter into travel journalism.

How has this changed your life?

This has changed my life a lot. I must acknowledge that it came as a great way through which I can channel my feelings and ideas. While traveling, you are given a chance to learn that what you know is not the absolute truth and that there are many others who practice cultures that are different from what you know.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Don’t be discouraged by the challenges you come across while at it. This is a hobby that involves a lot of exploration and you are not likely to get all you expect, so it’s advisable to join with a prepared mind to face any challenges.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

As pointed earlier, I love swimming, particularly around the beach. And I also find reading interesting and quenching to my mind.

Rusty Tweed

Rusty Tweed is the founder and president of Tweed Financial Services, where he has spent the past 25 years providing clients with comprehensive, highly individualized financial advisory and wealth management services. In addition to his lengthy financial services career at the helm of Tweed Financial Services, Rusty is also the owner of Mold Zero and serves as the president and CEO of TFS Properties, Inc. The longtime resident of the Greater Los Angeles Area originally hails from Ontario, Canada, where he earned his degree from the University of Waterloo before relocating to Southern California. In his spare time, Rusty enjoys the beautiful SoCal climate while hiking and biking throughout the city of Los Angeles and beyond.

 

What is your hobby?

I’ve recently become more interested in cycling as well as hiking, particularly since both hobbies allow me to really savor the perfect year-round climate here in Southern California.

 

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I started cycling and hiking more often because I wanted to find more excuses to spend time outside while also staying active. One of my clients is an avid cyclist who spoke so highly of both cycling and hiking that I felt inspired to try both pursuits for myself.

 

Tell us what you love about it.

Cycling is not only a great low-impact activity, but also is a solid option for simply getting around in Los Angeles. As for hiking, it is just such a wonderful way to connect with the natural beauty that surrounds us, and it’s nice to have so many local trails available to explore.

 

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Yes, quite a few actually. There’s a big group ride every weekend, and there are a few early-morning riders I meet up with on weekdays every once in while.

 

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

I only had to buy a pair of boots for hiking, but cycling is a bit heavier on the equipment side. Over the years I’ve bought quite a few parts to upgrade my bike as well as clip-in shoes, riding gloves, and, of course, a helmet.

 

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

There’s a local bike shop that organizes our regular weekend rides, and we all try to support the owners by getting all our supplies there.

 

Are there any good books for beginners?

Inspiration is one of the best ways to spark interest in a beginner, so I’d recommend the following books: For hiking, “A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf,” by John Muir; for cycling, “Great Road Climbs of the Pyrenees,” by Graeme Fife.

 

How has this changed your life?

Even though both hiking and cycling are physically taxing activities, I feel far more energized in every pursuit than I ever did before I began cycling or hiking.

 

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Since cycling and hiking require developing an understanding of quite a few safety precautions, newcomers should try to find someone with experience who’s willing to show them the ropes before attempting to go it alone.

 

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I enjoy writing about economics and often spend time reading books by the Pacific Ocean.

Krishen Iyer

Krishen Iyer is a Fresno, California-based entrepreneur and digital marketing expert with a wealth of experience and expertise in technical development and client relations. The prominent entrepreneur and marketing expert recently founded Managed Benefits Services, a new venture specializing in health and dental insurance marketing and leads.

Krishen’s new company features a highly sophisticated multi-layer marketing platform capable of analyzing user data in order to verify and rate the quality of each lead, all in real-time. Managed Benefits is sure to further benefit from Krishen’s technical development skillset as well as from the knowledge and experience accompanying his status as a certified insurance agent. A graduate of San Diego State University, Krishen is an avid reader who enjoys the work of Stephen King.

What is your hobby?

I love to read and have always been into literature, so I enjoy using any free time I have to get into a really good book.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

Stephen King is my favorite author, and it was after reading one of his short story collections that I first felt inspired to read everything else he wrote.

Tell us what you love about it.

Reading is such an intimate experience, and I love the fact that fiction really heightens your sense of empathy by challenging you to see things from the perspective of all the different characters that play some role in the storytelling. That alone is valuable, but I also enjoy the imagery, the lyrical wordplay, the subtext, and everything else that makes literature so unique.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

There are a few of us in the Fresno area that have similar tastes in literature, so we created an informal book club where we get together once a month to discuss a new book we’ve all read.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Other than bookcases and the books themselves, no, I can’t say that I have. I do, however, intend to invest in an Eames lounge chair one of these days.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

There’s a local bookstore that sells new and used books, so I tend to buy books there. They’ve always been kind enough to order a specific title for me if they didn’t have it in stock, and I just think it’s important to support local businesses.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I’d probably recommend Different Seasons, a collection of novellas and short stories by Stephen King, as a starting point, but it’s probably better for beginners to just head to a local bookstore and ask for a bit of guidance based on their own personal interests.

How has this changed your life?

Reading has been so valuable to me for so many reasons, but I’d say that its role in expanding the boundaries of my imagination has had the greatest impact on my life.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

All it takes is finding an author whose work resonates with you for one reason or another; once you find that author, you’ll almost certainly develop a lifelong passion for literature and will immediately begin to reap a seemingly endless array of rewards.

 Are there any other hobbies you have?

I’m really passionate about outdoor activities and also enjoy supporting the community in any way I can, so I like to volunteer at cleanup projects and other events that allow me to give back to the local community.

Lee Trotman

Lee Trotman is a digital marketing and ecommerce expert, and has clients such as Home Depot, Southern California Edison, Amazon, Costco and other Fortune 100 companies as well as smaller manufacturers.  Lee Trotman was raised in New York, Germany, Japan and Korea before coming to Los Angeles.  Lee Trotman learned many things from each of these environments, and along the way acquired a love of playing live music, sports, traveling and working on cars and motorcycles.

What is your hobby?

Traveling is my primary hobby.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I was eight years old and my family moved from New York City to Hanau, Germany.  My first ride on an airplane scared me, but within minutes became second nature.

Tell us what you love about it

I love traveling to new places and living like a local.  My travel is split into two categories: educational and leisure.  Educational travel involves learning about the local culture, history and people.  For example, when I travel to Europe, it’s always educational.  I love local customs, different environments, etc.  When I travel to tropical places, it’s always leisure, and I try to soak up living life like a local as much as I can.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought?

Luggage, snowboards, electronics for whiling away  the hours on a plane, etc.  The most important equipment are noise-canceling earbuds to enable me to fall asleep.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I like shopping at the destination so I can have souvenirs that actually have a purpose.  Each purchase leads to a better traveling experience on another trip.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Plenty of great books, so I highly recommend a Frommer’s guide from AAA.  And any maps of your destination.

How has this changed your life?

Traveling has broadened my perspective on world events.  It’s one thing to read about a country and its personality, but another when you visit.  Some of my world views come from interacting directly with locals, and I take this interaction to heart.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Use the internet to its fullest potential.  In the old days, you had to rely on travel agents and extensive research, but today you can learn from TripAdvisor and Expedia most of what you will need to know about a travel destination.

Peter Jacoves – CEO of Nationwide Debt Direct

Peter Jacoves is a prominent strategic entrepreneur whose accomplishments span several distinct areas of commerce, including everything from the financial sector to the marketing and restaurant industries. An insightful entrepreneur and accomplished business leader, Peter’s governance as the CEO of Nationwide Debt Direct has been instrumental in the company’s rapid growth within an increasingly competitive industry, particularly as it relates to the front-to-back-end solution utilized by the company in service of consumers seeking assistance with debt-related issues. Over the course of his lengthy and accomplished career as a strategic entrepreneur and executive, Peter developed a passion for the game of golf, although he readily admits he is unable to play as often as he’d like.

What is your hobby?

I enjoy mentoring our youth.

As a successful business owner and entrepreneur, I believe it is my duty to encourage our youth.  The majority of people I meet and coach have a real fear of failure.  I try to convert that into the fear of not even trying versus that sense of fear.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

During her senior year in high school, my niece was taking a business course.  She asked if she could interview me.  The excitement in her eyes as I told her my path to success was the inspiration for me to share my knowledge with kids.

My success was not a product of luck but rather willingness and determination to succeed.

Tell us what you love about it.

I equate talking to young adults about business as watching college football players compared to pros.  The collegiate player is motivated and excited to win and compete to become the best.  I believe that fire wanes once the game becomes about the dollar.  The promise and excitement in the eyes of these students I mentor is what will make them successful.  It is the drive to succeed that created winners.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Yes.  I attend networking groups that invite entrepreneurs as guest speakers.  I have also been asked to speak in classes of students whose career path includes business and corporate management.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

I do not use any props or tools but rather share my experience and knowledge.  I do pass out a copy of my business bio to establish credibility.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

Again, I really do not need or use supplies.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Yes.  My favorite books are those written by Richard Branson.  The book I most frequently recommend is his book “Like a Virgin-Secrets They Won’t Teach You in Business School.” Mr. Branson is a self-made billionaire who has clear cut and realistic guidelines to business.  I have always adhered to his number one rule: “If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it!

How has this changed your life?

Each time I am in front of wide-eyed eager business students, I get reminded of the fire I had when I was young.  Their excitement motivates me to get back to the basics of what has always worked for me.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Remember that the young have not yet been knocked down by rejection or disappointment.  It is my job to encourage them to try and try again despite the obstacles they will face.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I have a workshop where I work on a lot of different projects, including everything from simple woodworking projects to complex metallurgy; basically anything that stimulates my creative side in some way or another.

Jason Vander Griendt

Jason Vander Griendt is the owner of J – CAD Inc., which offers 3D CAD design services, prototyping, and 3D printing. After experiencing much success for several years, he established a branch called Render 3D Quickly. The services they provide include 3D architecture, animations, and virtual reality real estate walkthroughs. His work has established business relationships with clients spanning architects, designers, architects, homeowners, contractors, buildings, and real estate companies looking for real estate VR. His clients are based in all parts of the world such as the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and China. Jason Vander Griendt has become a prominent figure in the industry.

What is your hobby?

My hobby is traveling around the world. I do not have too many other hobbies. I am trying to teach myself how to play the guitar at the moment. It has been hard to find time to practice.

How did you get started?

I did not travel much aside from family vacations during my childhood. Those were always within the United States. It was not until I was working for a company in Boston, Massachusetts where I was offered the opportunity to work at their sister branch in Italy. This is going back 10 years ago. I traveled to Milan, and my perspective of the world immediately expanded.

Tell us what you love about it.

There is so much to love about traveling. I find it to be a very humbling experience for one. Prior to traveling outside the country, I would consider myself quite ethnocentric. It really is an eye opening experience to see cultures different from the one I am so accustomed to. There are certainly aspects I would never be able to acclimate to, but for the most part I find myself able to adjust.

Another part I greatly enjoy is meeting different people. Whether it is reuniting with old friends or making new ones, there is a piece of them that implants itself into me that makes me grow more as a person. Due to the nature of my job, a good chunk of my traveling is also due to work. I like to meet the people I have done business with online. It becomes a very personal interaction that online relationships just can not replicate.

There is one time of the year I try to always attend in Milan. Right around the beginning of December, there is an event called Oh bej! Oh bej!. It is basically a Christmas fair. There are a massive amount of Christmas decorations on display. Food stalls are left and right. A lot of Christmas shopping can be done there while keeping your stomach full. The event runs for a week, so there is plenty of chances to drop in for the fun.

What types of things/equipment have you spent money on for your hobby?

Luggage and bags are definitely an investment. As I travel so frequently, I require spacious bags to fit all my needs. Durability is also an important factor. Going through various airports definitely takes a toll of the luggage. I remember one time, I had one luggage where the backing had a hard plastic sheet for support. I opened it up after returning home from a trip, and the plastic sheet was completely shattered due to being tossed around by handlers.

What are some of your favorite places to shop for your hobby?

I buy most of the basic supplies locally from places like Walgreens. I have also done online shopping for other traveling supplies. Sites like TravelSmith and Amazon are good places to search through.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Admittedly, I have not read any books pertaining to traveling. I am sure there are many out there that may assist beginners.

How has your hobby changed your life?

Traveling has changed my life immensely. As I mentioned earlier, my view of the world was very limited when I was younger. I would hear global news and have trouble understanding why their problems existed when they could just follow how Americans conduct themselves. I find myself very open minded now. I love exploring differences from country to country.


What advice do you have for others just starting out?

I would advise others to make a list of places they want to visit. Most will keep it in their head, but once it is on a list, it becomes much more manageable and something to work through. It is also important to set a budget for each trip and consider to set aside an amount for unexpected emergencies.

Mike Munter

Mike Munter was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. He graduated high school in 1983 and attended University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) for a couple years before attending trade school.

Later, he got his first full-time job as a PC repair technician and in 1988 became a network technician.

After getting laid off in 1992, he chose a new career and worked for 12 years in minor league baseball for the Bowie Baysox.

He moved to Portland in 2004 and after leaving corporate America for good a few years later, he launched an internet marketing business in 2010. In his spare time, he loves to play chess, spend time with friends, hike, and go to the dog park.

Mike writes for his self-help blog when he has something he feels can help others.

What is your hobby?

Well, I have more than one, but gardening is probably the big one. I have a huge space with three 30′ raised beds and four 45′ raised beds.

I built most of it myself and enjoy all of the work that goes into it. I started gardening big time in 2009.

How did you get started?

I had a small bed next to my house and in 2008 I planted some kale and broccoli and they grew great.

I wanted to grow more food, but didn’t have the space. I had a strong urge to expand, so I told my neighbor in passing and he said, “I know just the place.”

There’s an undeveloped lot adjacent to his house that gets full sun. Technically, it’s city property, but my neighbor was the one who had to mow it and maintain it.

He suggested I garden there, so we made a simple deal: He’d supply the water and I’d handle everything else.

In 2009, we tilled up the 15′ x 30′ area which became the first three beds. Then each year after that, I’d dig a little more and by 2012, I’d built 4 more 45′ beds.

We’ve got a compost area a local landscaper tops off with grass. I’ve had people give me starts or swap seeds and most of the neighbors who walk by pause to say, “Nice garden.”

In 2016, I put in an irrigation system. There’s always something to do in the garden.

Tell us what you love about it.

I like digging in the dirt. I love putting a seed in the ground and having faith it will grow. I like weeding because I like getting to the root cause of things. I like the planning and strategy of “What will I plant this year and where?”

I love the cycle of composting all the spent plants, combined with grass clippings, and leaves my neighbor’s kids toss into the pile each Fall.

I love knowing where my food comes from and it feels good to know a seed I planted in March is providing food for me, my neighbors, and friends.

Above all else, I love to can and preserve what I grow. Having fresh tomato sauce or salsa, jellies, sauerkraut, pickles, and pumpkin on hand is special to me. I grow a lot of hot peppers and can hot sauce I eat every day with breakfast. Friends have said my tomatillo salsa could be sold in stores. A few years ago, I toyed with getting certified to sell “Mike’s Pumpkin Butter.”

I feel a deep sense of connectedness to nature through every step in this process.

What types of things/equipment have you spent money on for your hobby?

Compost, wood, irrigation equipment and seeds.

I used to save seed, but it’s just too much work and takes too long – except for fava beans.

What are some of your favorite places to shop for your hobby?

There’s a place called City Farm near my house in Portland. For a small place, they have everything you need.

I’ve also bought wood, supplies, and seeds at Fred Meyer, Lowe’s, and Home Depot.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Believe it or not, most of what I’ve done has been trial and error. Most things grow with little effort in the Northwest.

One book I still own is Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades, by Steve Solomon.

How has your hobby changed your life?

Every vegetable I hated as a kid, I now love. I’m healthier in both mind and body thanks to gardening.

In the summer, my almost every morning ritual is to walk the garden with my first cup of coffee. I love when friends ask for a tour. I’ve met neighbors I never would’ve known.

It makes me feel good.

What advice do you have for others just starting out?

A lot of people say, “I’d love to have a garden, but I don’t have the space or I don’t have a green thumb.”

Just figure it out. I’ve literally thrown seeds down in early spring and let them go. They grow fine. You can grow in pots if you don’t have room and you can grow plenty of herbs inside your kitchen with little sun.

I encourage people to dismiss the belief, “I don’t have a green thumb,” because I think anyone can grow. It just takes faith – and some fertile soil 🙂

Matthew David Parker

Matthew David Parker is a talented photographer who operates his business from Las Vegas, Nevada. He’s the co-founder of Matthew David Parker Photography. The company offers on-site and studio photography services. Mr. Parker was once the chief executive officer of Krystal Perkins Media Group, which is based in Chicago, Illinois. While serving at Krystal Perkins, he gained experience that enabled him to establish his photography company.

 

In 2016, Matthew took more than 250,000 pictures. He’s widely recognized for his photography prowess as well as his eye for capturing excellent shots. David Parker grew up in New York and attended San Diego State University.

What is your hobby?

I love taking pictures. As a matter of fact, I can take pictures all day without getting bored. To me photography is everything, and I think I was born to do it.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I started taking pictures when I was eight years old. However, I took my first professional pictures in my early 20s. I helped one of my friends to take headshots for her modeling portfolio. She got a modeling gig and referred her friends to me. That’s when I began charging for my services. Now, I charge more due to the increase in demand, but I still love photography.

Tell us what you love about it.

Well, there are lots of things I love about photography. It’s my primary source of inspiration and enthusiasm. The thing I love most about taking pictures is the freedom to create new things. Photography also takes me to places I’ve never been. Additionally, it gives me an opportunity to work with different kinds of people and capture emotions and moments.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I’m not a member of any photography group yet. However, I often attend events held by photographers in New York and Las Vegas. On May 1st, I hosted an event dubbed “DIY Photography.” The main aim of the event was to bring together passionate photographers from different areas so that they can share ideas. I’m glad the event was a success. I intend to join some photography groups soon.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Yes, I have. Photography is just like any other business. You need to invest in good equipment to create high-quality products. I have bought different types of lights for our studio, and this has improved the quality of our pictures. Recently I purchased a wide angle lens from Nikon. The lens will allow my team and I to take pictures of groups and maintain crisp images.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I get my cameras and equipment from Nikon. They have some of the best cameras out there. I also get some of the equipment from Canon. Both companies offer me value for my money, which is important for every business.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I’d recommend Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now.” It’s a great eye-opener. I love how Eckhart talks about self-discovery and self-healing. Another book I’d recommend is “Principle Centered Leadership” by Steven Covey. This book is ideal for those who intend to turn their hobby into a successful business. It will help them understand the different leadership styles and the best qualities of leadership.

How has this changed your life?

Photography has actually changed a lot of things in my life. It has enabled me to look at things from different perspective. Consequently, I can make better decisions than before. My hobby has given me the chance to meet new people and share ideas. Also, it’s made me appreciate the creative process. I feel good when my clients are happy with their pictures. This gives me a sense of fulfillment.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

It’s not easy to start something. But with perseverance and focus, they can make it. They need to understand that it takes some time to perfect the art if taking pictures. So, it’s important to exercise patience and learn from mistakes. What’s more, they shouldn’t think so much about the money they can make from their new found hobby. One needs to create value first.