Photo by Frank Rubio

Ready For A Jersey

One of my favorite quotes on this blog is from guest blogger Larry Becker – “Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely believe in luck and good fortune.  But I don’t believe the ‘Law of Attraction’ works in isolation from preparation and work (usually hard work). You have to get off your butt and do something.  You have to be prepared for ‘luck.’”

November 4th was my 22nd birthday, and I believe that I’m an extremely lucky/blessed person. Hence, I’m a guest blogger today on one of the best blogs, if not the best blog on the internet for photographers.  No pressure at all.  There are many topics to blog about here today.  I can blog about workflow in my pre-production, production or post-production; in fact, when I was invited I was told I’m able to talk about whatever I wanted to today.

First things first, I want to make clear that I’m not a “big shot” photographer, and I’m not claiming to be; I’m in the hustle just like many of you. When I say big shot photographer, I’m referring to the well-established ones in this industry.  The ones with photographs and advertising campaigns that are impacting the market and inspiring the industry.  I don’t have a ton of followers, I don’t have a huge fan base of my work, and my photographs are not in advertising campaigns influencing your thoughts.  But, what I do have as fuel for this mission is a hustler’s spirit, a business-mind, and skill with my camera. My goal here today is to share my story with you.  To inspire you to get your hustle on and work towards your dreams (really doing so).

Even though I’ve appeared on this blog a few times before, many of you don’t know me. So before I share with you how I got into photography and close with the current point of my journey, please allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Dwayne D.C. Tucker II and I’m a commercial photographer for lifestyles and sports. I’m from Nassau, Bahamas; now I live in Miami, Florida and I’m in love with photography.  I want to put it out there that nothing would be possible if not for the love and continuous support of my lovely mother and my Godfather.  Mentally and financially they’ve placed me in a better position than most people.

About eight years ago I saved up enough money and bought my first point and shoot camera.  I fell in love with the idea of being able to take a photograph digitally.  A friend got me a copy of Photoshop 7.0 and I used it because it made my images cool.  I photographed my friends at school during lunch breaks at my high school, St Andrews School – The International School of the Bahamas. My senior year I become the president of the yearbook club.  I joined the club because the school banned bringing digital cameras to school; I knew if I joined the club I would be able to photograph.  I took photographs at the school events.

I guess that’s the pre-stage making of my lifestyle and sports title.  After high school I went to the Savannah College of Art and Design for advertising design.  I took a photography class my second year of SCAD with professor Timothy Keating, right before I transferred closer to home, at Miami International University of Art and Design where I continued my advertising degree.  I don’t think he realized how much of an impact his teaching had on me at the time.  His style was different than my other professors. Keep it on the ‘low-low’ but I ‘digged’ his class because he used to let us out really early.  Mainly because it’s hard to truly learn about compositions, f-stops, shutter speeds, ISO etc. If you’re not out and about shooting to train your eye/applying the knowledge.  Even though he used to let us out early, if we wanted to stay and talk to him about our work he would stay and discuss our work with us one on one longer than the session was suppose to be.

From there on I began to make photographs instead of taking pictures.

My father passed away, tragically, when I was 11 years old, on September 28th, 2000.  How fast time passes by.  When my father passed away I told myself that I could either be somebody or nobody at all. Here’s a music video I did, directed by Pam Kozodoy, my first year of college. It’s dedicated to my father and titled 1960-2000 (P.S. Music is my Therapy).

I felt the need to share that because my father still lives through me.  The little time I spent with him taught me to be a gentleman and to give my all to whatever I do.  Maybe being a bit too passionate (if there is such a thing) is the reason why he died on his job.

I’m stuck in this thought that I am on a journey, a journey without a destination, nothing more than milestones of networking and bettering myself.  I’m going to take a second to bring the memory of Zack Arias’ blog post video.  I’m sure many of you remember his post here on this blog because it probably inspired you as it inspired me.  Zack if you’re reading this I wanted to thank you again for sharing the video.  I wanted to tell you at Photoshop World 2010, Orlando, after you made that presentation (which was a killer one as well), but it was too hectic at the time to reach out to you.  It brought comfort for me to know that my passion, my actions and my feelings towards what I love was mutual.  I connected with you because your video made it appear as normal for someone who’s craving constant success.  It also brought comfort for me to finally understand that constant success comes along with constant failure.

Sadly, what many people don’t know is that this talent that grew upon me twisted with the skills I’ve developed as a gift and a curse.

I bring this up because many people I know think that being a “photographer” is about making great images, making a ton of money and kicking it with beautiful models in a high-rise condo in Miami every week.  I only wish!

There are lots of sacrifices to make if you want to take it as serious as I do.  Others who don’t take it as serious only take a photograph with their point and shoot for a Facebook profile picture, not for next week’s Ramen noodles.  Because of my job, every day I meet tons of great people but I lose a lot of close ones as well.  I missed my three-year old niece’s birthday party last month in order to shoot the image displayed at the bottom of this post, which my representative (Tom Costanza) booked for me to photograph Johnny Damon as the guest for one of my new client’s celebrity comedy fishing show on TheFishingTube.com.

On top of all of this there a ton of personal things I shouldn’t get into here but the point is that there are a ton a sacrifices to make.  But, it’s cool; I accept my decisions because I love what I do.  At this age of 22 on a Friday night as I write this, society expects me to be out somewhere drinking and partying with friends.  I prioritize my time separating the fun from work and the fun of just chilling. But I’m a boring person because I do believe in “work hard, party hard – work harder.”  I guess the decisions of nights like these are when I prep myself for more lucky breaks.



DT.

Follow Dwayne on Twitter or become a fan of Dwayne on Facebook. You can also keep up with Dwayne on his blog and check out his portfolio.

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50 Comments

  1. Wow what a refreshing story to hear someone whose got a passion for success and mature head on his shoulders. All the best Dwayne, you’re an inspiration keep chasing your dream!!!

  2. Thanks for pouring out your heart Dwayne, live long and prosper.

  3. Dwayne seems to be a very very guy !

  4. Super cool. Thanks for sharing! <3

  5. Excellent work Dwayne!!! I really like your photography!

  6. keep up the good work DT

  7. Photos are looking fantastic Dwayne, love your self portrait and the direction that you took with this post – I think that understanding the motivation and story behind a person can often help more than a simple tutorial or case study of their professional work.

    Keep up the awesome work – I’m sure I’ll see more of it around soon =)

  8. nice work on that post, persistence and will power is a key to success, keep pushing, all the best DD

  9. Dwayne, I have been reading your articles and blog posts on your website and facebook page for a while now, and I just have one advice for you. Stop being so full of yourself, be humble!!!!

  10. Go Dwayne! Always was a fan of your work and am blessed to know you! You’re a great guy and deserve the best! Keep up the great work!!! :)

  11. Dwayne, I don’t know of many 22 year olds who have it as “together” as you seem to. With that attitude you’ve got a fantastic career ahead of you!

  12. Living the dream!!! Keep it up Tucker

  13. Hey Dwayne,

    Absolutely love the enthusiasm you have towards life and the work you do. I definitely agree you on your “work hard, party hard – work harder” quote. Everyone needs to make time for the best of both worlds to enjoy life to it’s fullest.

    Some great shots posted above too.

    Thanks for the post and keep up the good work.

  14. Great read Dwayne, long may you keep the passion you so clearly have, you are exactly half my age and look how far you have come already, plenty more of the attitude you already have and who knows how far it will take you ! Just have fun doing it ;o)

  15. Very inspirational, I enjoyed reading this, great images too.

  16. Hey Dwayne,
    Love your way of thinking, You say you think you are lucky and blessed, you are also very gifted my friend.
    I love the video you done for your father, i’ve watched it a few times, my wife and i lost our daughter and it almost killed us i only wish i had of been able to put out how i felt at the time like you did about your dad.

    From Matthew 5:4

    Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

  17. Bit on the emotional side this post :) Mainly I think he has mentioned a importance of prioritizing your goals and work hard to achieve them.

  18. What an inspiration. My favorite interview to date!!
    Passion is a mighty force.

  19. I think the reason why I often come to the defense of Scott, who’s still reeling from the Frequent Flyer Miles Fiasco (I doubt it), and others who post on this blog is because first and foremost they put themselves out there. And I believe they are putting themselves out there first and foremost because they can’t help but share their passion for photography and they believe in the collaborative process because they have experienced it themselves. Sure, lots of us would LOVE the chance to post on this blog, it’s a great opportunity. But when I start Wednesday mornings with a cup of coffee and the Kelby Guest Blog I don’t see photographers trying to capitalize on an opportunity, instead, time and time again, I see photographers sounding their barbaric yawps from the many and varying rooftops of the world. Yes, Dead Poets Society will always remain one of my all-time favorite movies. It’s about the passion. Putting yourself out there even if it leaves you vulnerable.

    So thanks to you Dwayne Tucker for putting yourself out there this morning. I appreciate the passion that obviously went into this post especially considering the inclusion of the music video. I lost my brother in 2002. You never quite return to the same person you were before the loss. But as bizarre as it seems to say, your relationship with that person is as strong as it ever could have been had they been present. I feel that, and it is evident from your post that you feel that as well which is a great compliment to your father. Keep making him proud and thanks for sharing more of your story with us this morning.

    Cheers,
    Greg

  20. A great post. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  21. You have came so far! You cant teach a person passion & dedication, but you have it. Anyone, photographer or not, can see how hard you work. Keep up your hustle… :)

  22. Great post, Dwayne. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    –John

  23. Hi Dwayne

    Keep on Keeping on you no what I mean, Time is not long now
    Keep up the good work .

    Love Mom

  24. Dwayne – I love how you express yourself – You are so honest with revealing your personal life and your passion about doing something you love so much – enjoyed reading your post today –
    Best

  25. I think, that with your talent and work ethic, you’re gonna “make it to the top” in due time. The music video shows me that you put your all into expressing yourself in more than just photography. You’re young, yeah, but that kind of ability to create art in multiple genres and express real human emotion in a compelling way is THE future. Keep at it, and thanks for sharing your story.

  26. Thanks for sharing your story and passion. It’s nice to know there are creatives out there who struggle, overcome and understand that is the cycle of this business and life.

  27. Dwayne- Great job with the post. Not above my expectations because when it comes to you, I already know you’ll hit the moon! I know the long hours you’ve put into your craft, and it really shows. Your passion, enthusiasm, and love for photography are on a different level. I’m glad you’re sharing your story, and proud of you man. See you for Thanksgiving! Patrick.

  28. Your enthusiasm and absolute passion for making amazing images is completely transparent. Your demure and sophisticated approach sets you apart from many and allows people to understand Dwayne the person and not solely Dwayne the photographer! There is no doubt that you’re going to do exceptionally well! xx

  29. Thats tight bro!!!

  30. Your passion can be felt through your article. Keep doing your think Dwayne! You have the world in your hands, and I am going to enjoy coming along for the ride!

  31. Awesome work man. Congratulations on all the hard work. keep it up

  32. Great job on the post and the photos! I have no doubt that you (my most entrepreneurial student) will continue to be successful! JR

  33. This was very inspiring! I had my daughter read it. I thought it was important for her to see that you have to be passionate about what you do, and the money will eventually follow. I have a well paying job that I often dread. I wish more young people would work hard and develop their passion. It makes for a much better career. Keep up your hustle and grind!

  34. Another job well done. I am always so proud of you and your hard work!

  35. This is so much encouragement for people like us, who just recently made the decisions to consider a career in Photography. Thanks

  36. Maybe I’m missing the point but I don’t think a single one of the images shown here was any good.

  37. Well done mate keep going and pushing towards your goals. Im really jealous you got onto Scott’s blog! Speak soon!

  38. Beautiful photos Dwayne! You have an amazing talent, and I loved reading about your story! All the luck in the world.

  39. Kick ass post. Such phenomenal humility for a 22 year old.

  40. Way to go, man. Thoroughly enjoyed your post. More grease & blessings to you, brother.

    Peace.

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