Introductions are in order…

I am Pete Collins…”The New Photoshop Guy,” or, as I am called around the office, “Monkey Boy.” I have done a bunch of stuff in the past… from surviving cancer, teaching tennis, competing in Disc Golf tournaments in the U.S. and overseas as well as living in Bangkok, Thailand for over 6 years. I have a Fine Arts degree and I have been a graphic designer for the last eight years. I am a Canon shooter and I have shot just about every type of photography you can imagine. The sole reason why I got this job is because Scott lost a bet and I was the booby prize. Can I use the word booby in this blog? I guess following after Jay Maisel and Moose Peterson, I can get away with it. :D

Ok, so once I was given the privilege of writing this post, I had to decide what I was going to say. This is big stuff! My plan was to write this hilarious post where you would laugh and think what great a guy I am and my name would become synonymous with cool. My picture would be put into dictionaries next to the word cool, and people around the world would talk to their friends and say, “Did you read that super cool blog post by Pete?” Isn’t that the goal? Isn’t that what we all want?

The truth is… we all long for acceptance and will do almost anything to avoid rejection. I will try to become the person that everyone will like, and I will easily compromise my principles if it means that they will think I am cool. And I bet just about every one of you reading this is the same way. Our lives are lived behind masks that we project to the world and we live in fear that someone will see the real us behind the illusion and reject us. Being rejected is one of our most painful experiences, because it says that we are not worthy and there is something inherently wrong with us. Once we feel rejected we just want the hurt to go away, but unfortunately, the heart remembers that pain so we seek out ways to distract ourselves from the pain and do things to ensure we are not rejected again in the future.

However, the very things that we are doing to cover up our hurt and our pain are causing a greater sense of isolation. We have traded our pain for numbness, but the cost is loneliness. We are so alone and we are not truly alive. The crazy thing is that we think we are the only ones who feel this way. I know because I am one of them… I know I am screwed up, but I am pretty sure that you have your act together… and since you have your act together I must pretend I have mine together too so you won’t think I am worthy of your rejection. So we pose and pretend and act like everything is ok, and yet inside both our hearts are dying. So in order to numb the loneliness, I stay busy, I find things to entertain me, I strive to find that perfect niche in society, or that perfect photograph that will validate my life. I put on a fake bravado, I make people laugh so that they won’t see my fear, or I spend countless hours trying to craft my words in a blog so that it will give people the impression of how important and smart I am. But, all that does is strengthen the masks that hide my real heart from you.

Have you ever watched a child get lost in the joy of a moment? They are not burdened with any sense of shame and they are not concerned with what others will think… they are free and full of life.

I want my life to be like that, and I bet you do too… I am trying to regain that joy… I want to be stirred to tears by the beauty that surrounds me, and not be so critical of others. I want to let go of my masks and let you see the real me, and have you accept me despite my warts and my fears. We have this awesome power to come alongside each other and encourage one another yet we don’t do it because of fear. If we will dare to allow those close to us to start getting glimpses behind our masks, I bet they would start to do the same, and before you know it… we might all be living real lives and with real joy. Imagine how much more wonderful our art, or music, our relationships would be if we were really alive and not caught in the self-imposed Matrix. What if I did things because I loved doing them rather than doing things based upon whether or not it would be accepted by the masses? Am I going to live a life of fear or joy…? That is the $64,000 question.

One final question before I go…

How comfortable are you with love? Are your masks keeping you from really being honest and intimate with those around you? I bet someone near you could really use a loving word from you right now… and the crazy thing is when you push past the fear inside and say it to them, it chips away at the masks in your own life and opens your heart to be free a little bit more. At the end of life, do you want people to say? “He was a great photographer, but his life was a mess” or would you rather them say… “He was full of life and look how that showed in his relationships and his work.” Do me a favor, instead of taking time to comment on this post, which will do you no good… since I can’t read; call up someone you love and just let them know they are special to you. Then go take some pictures, or draw or sing or dance and do it with a sense of wonder as if you were a kid again. Give yourself permission to be real and alive!

You can find Pete on Facebook, and keep an eye out for him on Photoshop User TV, Photoshop User Magazine, and other random places he might pop up :)

About The Author

72 Comments

  1. Great guest blog, Pete! Great seeing you on PSU TV today for the first time. You’re a welcome addition. Now go out and get some more cool shirts, because Matt beat you out with that Operation shirt (but you did have nicer shorts on).

    –John

  2. Pete, does the guest blog mean you got fired today after Photoshopusertv? 8-)

  3. Pete, like mama always says, I can’t wait to see what’s next! Hey fish boy, ease up, it’s his first day.

    ~Forest

  4. Really nice read.
    Welcome to the crazy world of NAPP / KMG I hope it is a long and enjoyable ride.

  5. I love him already, can we keep him? :) Great job on the blog Pete you’ll fit in nicely!

  6. Since you can’t read, I will keep it short! :)
    Very nice blog Pete, I will be enjoying your contributions to us all.
    Regards from Switzerland – Mark

  7. Nice blogpost. Can’t wait to see you on PSUTV!

  8. Hi, Pete! Thank you for having the courage to be real and for encouraging authenticity. Taking off masks is freeing but it’s not always safe. But without taking risks, we can never become all we’re meant to be and that includes rising to our creative potential. Loved your post. Very thought provoking.

  9. Woo hoo Pete!

    Many thanks for exposing yourself!!! Welcome to the team and good luck for the future.

    Richard

  10. Hi Pete, what a refreshing read. If you’re the booby prize then Scott and the team won;-)

  11. Only in Christ will you find true joy Pete. Only in Him will you experience an honest release of the mask; over time granted, but a realease none the less.

  12. Pete, your expertise and most importantly your HEART, will be a valuable addition to the team.
    J. Paul

  13. Wonderful post Pete. I liked what you said. And you shoot Canon?!?!! YES!!! One more for the good guys (did Scott know your equipment of choice before he lost his bet???).

    ~AJ

  14. Wow. You just put into words what I’ve been thinking for years. Is this a photoshop blog???? Where am I?

  15. Great blog, Pete! Glad to have you with us.

  16. Sorry Pete, but the ‘Jury’ is still out. Like the photographs and will have to see how things go.

  17. Are you insane? You started really high. But hey, thats is a privilege of Masters. Thank you for deep and inspirational post.

  18. Pete, thank you for your wonderful post and reminder! Welcome! Hope you and your family are doing well with the transition. Looking forward to get to know you more.

  19. ..and this exactly how it is. F-stops, shutter speed it doesn’t matter. What is important? How loud you can go with photography,music, dance etc. to reduce this fear.

  20. Pete,

    I’m going to kill two birds with one stone here…

    I’m commenting on this post to tell YOU how much I love you! :)

    Love,
    Cecil

  21. Thanks, Pete. Thanks for being real and giving us an introduction to the non-jokey side.

    See ya on the web!

  22. “What a load of crap!” he said, wiping away the tears. (c:

  23. I hope in the future you will lighten up and not be so stuffy… ;-)

  24. I was deeply moved by this. Seriously. Thank you.

  25. Wow, what a great post!

  26. Pete, that was really good. Best wishes and blessings to you and the family as you get settled in down there. And…I love you, dude!

  27. Nice Blog!

    It’s good to hear someone speak from the heart about what they really know. Life is a wonderful teacher.

    It’s only by letting go of our “baggage” that we have room for more love, more creativity and compassion. Loving one’s self ( and not in an egotistical way) is often a very difficult thing to learn. Without that it’s very hard to really love anything outside yourself. This kind of wisdom is only something you learn from experience and perfect in the way you live your life. Teachers, books, and all the rest can point the way, but it is in the actual experience where the real learning occurs.

    Doing what you love to do, is one of the best techniques for happiness and growth that you will find anywhere. It’s there where we loose ourselves into our art and it becomes the essence of who we are.

    When you live each moment in gratitude, the greatest challenges become your greatest gifts.

    Keep up the good work and keep loving all you do and doing all you love!

    Dennis

  28. Pete,

    Great post. Very moving.
    Thanks for being so open.

    Kevin

  29. KMG did right by selecting you. It certainly helps them recalibrate their bell curve to ensure they have people who fit in the lower region. :)

    All jokes aside, it was awesome spending all that time with you in Tampa and I’m looking forward to the slivers of information I may be able to gleam from you every other blue moon or so.

    Knock it outta the park, amigo!

    B

    PS – Just remember – we’ll always have a shirley temple waiting for you

  30. Wait a minute. What’s with the mysteriously propped up iPad in the top photo?
    I bet you thought we’d be distracted by the papyrus font use!

    • that is just the top of an old Mac Book… sorry to disappoint you… I don’t even have an Ipad… Yet. :D

      • Hey, maybe after 9 or 10 paychecks from Scott you’ll have enough for that iPad!

        Welcome aboard, great blog! So, what other languages can you say Jesus in? Bilingual photoshop guys rock! Can we ask about those years in Thailand? Where were you, what’d you do there?

        Ps. 96:3

      • – ah –
        no ipad for me either

        great blog entry! a nice and thoughtful way to start the day

      • My years in Thailand are in closed file held by the CIA… something about National Security and my being a weapon of mass distraction. :D

      • mmmm, closed file. Well, my file is probably wide open (live and serve in Russia)…I would imagine now my friends at the fsb are wondering why I am posting on this blog about a new photoshop guy who got hired because someone lost a bet.

  31. Nice blog Pete. Welcome. You never go wrong keeping it real. Maybe you can help those who are tourists in their own life. Browsing around, taking pictures, living within their own self-imposed borders. Beauty doesn’t change them, they cant take it in, let alone open up to it. They are perpetual spectators. They just take pictures. Scotty-boy brought you on to be the evangelist to this group. Good start kiddo.

  32. Very cool blog Pete. This one really hit home. It is always refreshing to see someone being so transparent and open. We can all learn from this. I look forward to seeing more from ya.

  33. Hey Pete,
    Are you sure they didn’t hire you so they would have a cheap shrink for the office or do the guys have a secret admiration for us Canon Shooters? ;)
    Can’t wait to meet you & shake your hand at Photoshop World in September.
    Mike

  34. Ehhhhh…. what was that about the $64,000?

    Is that the “booby” prize?

  35. Pretty deep for a photo blog but nonetheless, timely and appreciated. Good luck at Kelby Training.

  36. I’m forwarding this post to my therapist because you said exactly what I’ve been trying to tell her…but without crying :-) Excellent post and congratulations on your job. With that kind of insight you will reach a lot of people (and not just through your work).

  37. Pete- You are a dork, not a booby and are not qualified in any way, shape, or form to write this blog. Okay… I’m just jealous, really.

    Great job on the blog, Pete; looking forward to your tutorials! Congrats to Kelby Media Group for recognizing a talented guy, with character and integrity who just happens to be perfect for the job. Good decision, Mr. Kelby; you won’t regret bringing Pete on board. I’m sure you’re already finding him to be a valuable asset.

  38. Pete,

    Great words of wisdom today.

  39. This post shouts two things about you.
    You mentioned that you are a cancer survivor in the first paragraph of your post. So cancer has defined your life and you probably had some time to think about these things and about the important things in life. Unfortunately, most people do not think about these things until thin veneer of life has been pulled away and face of eternity is breaking through. Don’t forget…

    2nd…. You “can say His name”….

  40. Perfect! I was worried you were gonna bring someone on board to balance the equation… instead you went with equivalent snark and sarcasm. Nice fit to the team!!

  41. Wonderful blog Pete, I’m looking forward to hearing more from you!

  42. Great post Pete, you’ll get the hang of that having fun and getting paid for it life pretty quick.
    Good Luck and you know your ole buds from North Alabama are cheering you on.

  43. Great post Pete. Looks like you’ll fit right into the madhouse from the ‘sneak peak’ in that PSUTV episode ;-)
    Seeing a you’re a Canon shooter can we get you guest starring in D-Town too, in order to (somewhat) redress the balance of camera brands used by the presenters ;-)

  44. this post confirms that you’re actually the younger brother of Phil Collins.

    great post pete. thanks for being honest and real.

    (but please, please, don’t use Papyrus or Comic Sans again. ever. it hurts my retinas.)

  45. Great blog entry, Pete. However, you failed to manage a shout out to your NAPG buddies. How soon they forget…. I do love the picture of you at the top though. I now have it set as my desktop wallpaper. It’s just like you’re still here, only without the constant stream of song snippets.

    Have a great and fun time at your new job. I am wondering how long it’s going to take Scott to come to his senses. Perhaps that will be your NEXT guest blog entry! Best of wishes to you and yours.

    So, when can we come and visit?

  46. Pete!! Congrats on the new job and on the great post! Please don’t take your masks off — they know you’re from B’ham!

    We miss you!!

  47. Wow! Not what I was expecting, but just what I needed to hear this morning. When the student is ready, the teacher appears! Wishing you all the best in this new job. There are no coincidences, you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now and I am glad I will have the opportunity to learn from you.

  48. Pete, you are awesome and you rock like no other designer in the world!
    *Did I get that right? The connection was a little fuzzy.*
    Oh the heckling of old… but in a bigger cage. This is going to be fun.

    In all seriousness, I’m glad you made it here. I know the Kelby Group/NAPP and everyone who reads or watches or listens to you will be happy to have met you and learn with you. Congratulations!!!

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