"There are some people in life who make you laugh a little louder,
smile a little bigger and live just a little bit better.
It's Sunday morning, and I'm not as off-track as usual for Sunday Morning Reflections. Let's set the stage. Sheila is down in Naples for a "girl's weekend" with a good friend, and I'm hanging out with "Vanelli," who drove over on Friday from Melbourne, FL. We've easily covered a few hundred stories about our parents, life, families, friends, and practical jokes, just to name a few of the topics. Well, after this weekend I feel like I'm one of the only guys in the industry who didn't know Vanelli's background.
While he goes by Vanelli, he's Robert Vanelli also known over the years as "V." His first career was in Karate, and he's best known for being a three-time Triple Crown Karate champion in '84 - '86. Luckily for all of us, he stepped out of the ring and became one incredibly talented artist, writer, and educator.
While I know I've hit it so many times before, the best part of this industry is about the friendships that come out of everyone's love for the craft. Well, Vanelli and I have known each other for a long time, but never got in any quality time. This weekend has been terrific, and I managed to even weasel a couple of favorite shots of Molly and me. Sorry everybody, after just being featured in a Throwback Thursday post this past week, she's back again.
But here's my real point this morning. I've heard people talk about how if you're a tennis player and play with somebody better than you, your game gets better. I've experienced that myself scuba-diving with friends who were more accomplished than me.
Well, the same applies to photography and in part to life. Vanelli is a wealth of information, great stories, practical jokes and while understanding the craft is an incredible asset, it's the way he sees his subjects, puts them at ease and then turns his mind's eye visions into reality. As an author for Photofocus.com and having depth in so many different aspects of life, my "game" just got better on so many levels.
Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote in Ulysses, "I am a part of all that I have met." Well, when Vanelli comes into your life, he isn't just passing through but is committed to the friendship. In the same way, all the people who have come through Vanelli's life have made him who he is today, he in turn has become a part of so many of our lives.
This weekend has been a kick, and a new, guaranteed to be crazy; funny friendship has just kicked off!
As I do every Sunday, wishing all of you a perfect day and time with family and friends - those people most important in your life. Go for those eleven-second therapeutic hugs with at least one person who's special in your life.
Happy Sunday everybody...or Monday if you're on the other side of the world. Regardless, thanks for being part of the SCU family.
PS Check out more of what Vanelli is up to with a click on either image.
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.