There are some people in my sphere that have intrigued me.  They are from a wide variety of backgrounds, but I've found myself wanting to follow their stories.  For some, I've disagreed with choices, but when I analyzed why I wanted to continue to learn about their progress, I discovered something.  There was some part of each story that I admired.  Maybe it was hard work, maybe it was a refusal to conform, or maybe it was talent.  This series will focus on those people and will treat them equally, both in photography and with the list of questions I ask.  It will cover the range from the successful and well-known to the drifter.  In many ways it's a personal journey for me, because along with determining criteria for this project, I had to decide for myself what I admired and why each person would be included.  I'm at a place in life where I'm starting to settle in, but in many ways I'm still looking for the next impossible challenge.  These people are on different paths, but seem to be also looking for that challenge.  

  Jeremy Zeller 1. a self-motivated lover of all things creative. Artistically, music is considered to be his first love. “For many people, beauty is found in the perfect cohesiveness of colors in a sunset, the magnificence of a mountain range, the endless motion of the sea. Although those things are an amazing inspiration to me, my perception of the most exceptional beauty is found in the perfect blend of sounds, rhythms, progressions, ebbs and flows of a perfectly composed piece of music. Music is the language that allows me to communicate with God on the most profound level”. In addition to music, Jeremy finds his passion in other creative avenues such as videography, graphic design and woodworking. Besides a heart of creativity, having a heart of compassion is paramount to the direction that Jeremy has taken himself and his family. Being involved in homeless outreach and co-founding an organization called The Forgotten. Jeremy has traveled portions of the country leading worship while also teaching and empowering local communities to reach out and to love the homeless. “Poverty is such an overused word... to me poverty is not a matter of how little money someone has. The issue of poverty comes from a much deeper place than that. It’s a lack of love, grace, understanding, support, inspiration and opportunity. My goal is to try to allow everyone, no matter their social status, to see themselves through the eyes of God. To understand that there is value in every single life that draws breath.” 2. A risk taker by nature, Jeremy has never been one to shy away from a challenge or a dream. From moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting to touring as a professional musician for ten years... striving for excellence and living life to the fullest has been a part of his life from the beginning. It’s clear that diving in head first and pushing himself to the limits is an attitude that Jeremy has had from a very young age. At the age of six, while spending a day with family, the day of celebration was coming to a close. Everyone had made their way inside, and cozy conversations about each family member had started over a hot cup of coffee. Jeremy, sensing something was not right, wandered outside of the apartment complex where they were gathered and made his way to the community swimming pool. As he approached, he saw his two-year-old cousin Michelle slip and fall into the water. Without hesitation, Jeremy jumped in, swam to the bottom of the 8 foot deep end and pulled his cousin to safety. This mentality has sustained and grown throughout his life. To react and to pursue a desired outcome. Some yielding wonderful results, some offering priceless lessons.  3. Jeremy finds his ultimate motivation from his family, “My wife Kristen and my three kids Allie, Emma and Malachi are my greatest source of inspiration and love. They are my biggest fans and most welcome critics. They are my heart.” Additionally, he adds “my parents and in-laws have always offered an incredible amount of encouragement and support. Their wisdom has been extremely valuable in my life”. One thing that has been a constant in Jeremy’s life since 1999 is his relationship with Jesus. “I’ve always said that the three most difficult things in life are to be a Christian, to be married, and to be a father... these are also the most rewarding things in life.” One of his personal motto’s comes from Acts 20:24 in the Bible saying “my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.” 4. Through the many experiences that life has thrown at Jeremy, there are bound to be moments were the cup inevitably seems half empty.  While maintaining a positive attitude is what he strives for, circumstances can seem extremely daunting at times.  Whether it is watching his wife nearly lose her life and the life of his unborn son at the time, financial burdens, the death of both grandparents on the same day or multiple other hardships that could fill an entire journal, the battle to maintain a spirit of confidence and joy has often times been more than should be expected to sanely deal with.  "There are moments that I get so overwhelmed and tired of dealing with the reality and confusion of struggles in life", states Zeller, "I get frustrated, because I've always been one that other people come to for answers, support and encouragement, and, although I know exactly what to say to people that are dealing with these struggles, it's an entirely different mindset when I have to accept that I go through the same set of circumstances that I work to pull others out of.  Call it pride or even self loathing... either way... it's not easy to constantly walk with a smile on my face.  However, at the end of the day, I try to remind myself that I'm still breathing and that ultimately, I get another shot at getting it right the next day."   5. When all is said and done, Jeremy’s view of success may look a little different than the majority. “for me, success is measured by achieving a joy and contentment that you have fought for in spite of what life has thrown at you. By loving others, by doing your best to live in such a way that would make Jesus smile, by making your community a better place and by leaving a legacy that your family can learn from and be proud of.”  

 

Jeremy Zeller

1. a self-motivated lover of all things creative. Artistically, music is considered to be his first love. “For many people, beauty is found in the perfect cohesiveness of colors in a sunset, the magnificence of a mountain range, the endless motion of the sea. Although those things are an amazing inspiration to me, my perception of the most exceptional beauty is found in the perfect blend of sounds, rhythms, progressions, ebbs and flows of a perfectly composed piece of music. Music is the language that allows me to communicate with God on the most profound level”. In addition to music, Jeremy finds his passion in other creative avenues such as videography, graphic design and woodworking. Besides a heart of creativity, having a heart of compassion is paramount to the direction that Jeremy has taken himself and his family. Being involved in homeless outreach and co-founding an organization called The Forgotten. Jeremy has traveled portions of the country leading worship while also teaching and empowering local communities to reach out and to love the homeless. “Poverty is such an overused word... to me poverty is not a matter of how little money someone has. The issue of poverty comes from a much deeper place than that. It’s a lack of love, grace, understanding, support, inspiration and opportunity. My goal is to try to allow everyone, no matter their social status, to see themselves through the eyes of God. To understand that there is value in every single life that draws breath.

2. A risk taker by nature, Jeremy has never been one to shy away from a challenge or a dream. From moving to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting to touring as a professional musician for ten years... striving for excellence and living life to the fullest has been a part of his life from the beginning. It’s clear that diving in head first and pushing himself to the limits is an attitude that Jeremy has had from a very young age. At the age of six, while spending a day with family, the day of celebration was coming to a close. Everyone had made their way inside, and cozy conversations about each family member had started over a hot cup of coffee. Jeremy, sensing something was not right, wandered outside of the apartment complex where they were gathered and made his way to the community swimming pool. As he approached, he saw his two-year-old cousin Michelle slip and fall into the water. Without hesitation, Jeremy jumped in, swam to the bottom of the 8 foot deep end and pulled his cousin to safety. This mentality has sustained and grown throughout his life. To react and to pursue a desired outcome. Some yielding wonderful results, some offering priceless lessons. 

3. Jeremy finds his ultimate motivation from his family, “My wife Kristen and my three kids Allie, Emma and Malachi are my greatest source of inspiration and love. They are my biggest fans and most welcome critics. They are my heart.” Additionally, he adds “my parents and in-laws have always offered an incredible amount of encouragement and support. Their wisdom has been extremely valuable in my life”. One thing that has been a constant in Jeremy’s life since 1999 is his relationship with Jesus. “I’ve always said that the three most difficult things in life are to be a Christian, to be married, and to be a father... these are also the most rewarding things in life.” One of his personal motto’s comes from Acts 20:24 in the Bible saying “my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”

4. Through the many experiences that life has thrown at Jeremy, there are bound to be moments were the cup inevitably seems half empty.  While maintaining a positive attitude is what he strives for, circumstances can seem extremely daunting at times.  Whether it is watching his wife nearly lose her life and the life of his unborn son at the time, financial burdens, the death of both grandparents on the same day or multiple other hardships that could fill an entire journal, the battle to maintain a spirit of confidence and joy has often times been more than should be expected to sanely deal with.  "There are moments that I get so overwhelmed and tired of dealing with the reality and confusion of struggles in life", states Zeller, "I get frustrated, because I've always been one that other people come to for answers, support and encouragement, and, although I know exactly what to say to people that are dealing with these struggles, it's an entirely different mindset when I have to accept that I go through the same set of circumstances that I work to pull others out of.  Call it pride or even self loathing... either way... it's not easy to constantly walk with a smile on my face.  However, at the end of the day, I try to remind myself that I'm still breathing and that ultimately, I get another shot at getting it right the next day."  

5. When all is said and done, Jeremy’s view of success may look a little different than the majority. “for me, success is measured by achieving a joy and contentment that you have fought for in spite of what life has thrown at you. By loving others, by doing your best to live in such a way that would make Jesus smile, by making your community a better place and by leaving a legacy that your family can learn from and be proud of.”

 

 Walter West  1. I'm a ghostwriter/aspiring firefighter. 2. I read a disturbing book by Dean Koontz that gave me nightmares. 3. I'm tired of being surrounded by adults who aren't comfortable being themselves. 4. I am loving the fact that my dreams are actually coming to fruition. 5. A successful ending for me entails a financially stable family, well educated & respectable offspring, and a vast group of people intrigued or inspired by my work. I'll die happy.

 Walter West 

1. I'm a ghostwriter/aspiring firefighter.

2. I read a disturbing book by Dean Koontz that gave me nightmares.

3. I'm tired of being surrounded by adults who aren't comfortable being themselves.

4. I am loving the fact that my dreams are actually coming to fruition.

5. A successful ending for me entails a financially stable family, well educated & respectable offspring, and a vast group of people intrigued or inspired by my work. I'll die happy.