Thomas E. Schmuki Photography

Phone: (954)439-1999 Email: tesphoto3@gmail.com

The struggle between honesty, transparency, and marketing

Tom SchmukiComment
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This may be one of the most difficult blogs to compose, and perhaps even more difficult to read.  Family and friends, please do NOT be offended by my brutal honesty in this BLOG.  Hey, it may be my last blog depending on the results.

A previous peer who I have not heard from for maybe 25+ years, fellow co worker and friend who has been silently following my works, my blog and my photography reached out to me yesterday.  Reggie thank you for reaching out to me after all these years.

Reggie was very complimentary of my photography and my commentary, and even my blogs.  Her comment haunts me … “I see a touch of sadness in your words, but thats understandable ….”

I learned a lot from her commentary.  First of all, I just may have followers, silent ones who read my words, appreciate and admire my photography, and perhaps even enjoy some of it.  Based on the lack of clicks, read throughs, and commentary, I always assume no one is seeing, no one is reading, and this whole thing is just a platform for a personal/public journal that only generations in future may see. Perhaps I see it as personally therapeutic.

My next door neighbor yesterday stopped her car while I was washing my motorcycle and told me how much she enjoyed and appreciated my journalistic commentary and photos of my motorcycle trip to North Carolina.   Again, I had never known she was watching, stalking from afar so to speak. It made me happy.

To get better context to my commentary, you may want to read or review the following blogs:

The Shy man with a Camera

https://tesphoto.squarespace.com/blog/2018/8/16/the-shy-man-behind-the-camera\

My Birthday Wish

https://tesphoto.squarespace.com/blog/2018/9/11/my-birthday-wish

Ten things you probably don’t know about me

https://tesphoto.squarespace.com/blog/2018/9/17/ten-things-you-probably-dont-know-about-me

The moment you find out your child is schizophrenic 

https://tesphoto.squarespace.com/blog/2018/9/21/the-moment-you-find-out-your-child-is-schizophrenic

Five things you probably don’t know about me

https://tesphoto.squarespace.com/blog/2018/10/14/5-things-you-probably-dont-know-about-me

Yes Reggie, you are 100% correct, there is a tone of sadness to my prose.

So back to the title: The struggle between honesty, transparency, and marketing 

I have always known from day one that one of my biggest flaws is my transparency.  I tell the truth, my face and expressions tell the truth, sometimes it is brutal and hurtful.  This transparency made me a great manager and boss in almost any arena.  I would be quick to compliment, be thankful and get in the trenches with my staff.  This transparency also comes at a cost in business and in all areas of life both personal and professional.

Here it is: I struggle with sadness and depression, and have for years.  I can hardly remember what it feels like to wake up each day with a smile on my face.  I blame no one or nothing for my struggle nor my feelings.  It is NOT your fault.  This is the one thing I know!  For me depression is loneliness.  It does not matter if I am physically alone or in a crowd of dozens or hundreds of peers, family or friends.  I work very hard every day, every moment to mask this loneliness and depression.  

My motorcycle ride to North Carolina was done alone.  No family member wanted to go with me.  Hey, they are the smart ones.  The ride outside of Florida was miserable, lonely and COLD!

What makes me happy?  It is very simple.  Feeling truly appreciated.  Feeling I have provided something of real value to someone.  Something that lasts more than the “click” or “like”.  Photography makes me happy.  Not the specific click of the camera, but more about the experience of the shoot and most importantly the value of the product I created. I yearn for my work to be valued in a real way.  I ache to leave a legacy of work that will be cherished by generations.  The reality of falling far short of those expectations is part of my daily struggle.   

This commentary is the opposite of marketing.  It is 100% truth.  Those who read this will probably agree with Reggie at even a higher level.  

I ask if you silently read my blogs, or silently view my photos, please once in a while reach out to me and let me know.  It has more meaning than you will ever know.

Tom