Giving Thanks for Being a Master in The Arcanum
Today being Thanksgiving, it seemed appropriate to share this story.
First, those of you who follow this blog know that I’m one of the 6 original Inception Masters in the Arcanum.
Back when it all first started, I wrote a two-part blog post about what it all meant to me: The Arcanum, Magical Academy of Artistic Mastery.
Now, 8 months later, I’m highlighting my Level 20 grads on my blog. I’m doing it because each of them has been on an incredible journey of spirit, soul and creativity. Their stories need to be shared. I’m doing it because they were the first bunch to take the leap when the Arcanum was still a baby in beta. I think each one’s story is incredibly inspiring, each in their own unique way. And I want you to meet them, because through them, you might just find that much-needed bit of inspiration or encouragement you were seeking, at just this moment in time. As they say, it takes a village!
Meet Dave Garber
So today, I’d like to introduce you to Dave Garber.
We got to meet in real life for the first time this week at the San Diego Zoo. So awesome! This was a photo we took right before the video we made for our cohort back home. It follows…
Theology & Photography
Dave Garber is a Theological professor in the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University in Atlanta, GA. He and his fabulous wife Michelle, who also has a degree in ministry, were out west for a conference. They stayed a bit longer to visit the Zoo and meet up with me and my fellow Arcanum Master & pal Laurie Rubin..
When Dave started in The Arcanum, he was looking for focus. Nice double entendre, right? In his words: “I was looking for excuses to take my camera everywhere, and searching online resources to learn photography. I did not have much of a direction or focus. I tried sports photography, landscape photography, wildlife photography, some portrait photography, etc. I also had no direction in terms of what I wanted to share. I was sharing material in bulk on Facebook and Flickr, and a few choice images on 500px. I didn’t have much of an understanding of what to share and was simply fishing for “likes” or “faves.””
In the course of the Foundation Levels (Levels 0-9, where folks get comfy in a cohort, get to know their fellow Apprentices, are given exercises and assignments aimed at giving them new ways to approach their view through the lens)… Dave began to find his voice.
He travels quite a bit in his work. In fact, in just the past 8 months we’ve worked together, he ventured to India, Alaska, Jerusalem and of course, California. Turns out he has a knack for not just documenting – but visually expressing his experiences. He’s able to uniquely capture the people, the moments, the journey, experience of every place he visits. He’s technically a minister too, so his point of view has deep connections to spirit and soul – and it showed in his photography. I encouraged him to go deeper and pretty soon, his photographs began to tell stories. It was a thrill that never gets old, watching that happen!
The Project, The Mission
Overall, my Apprentices evolved quickly during the Foundation Levels. By the time they got to Sphere 1 (Levels 10-20), they needed more of a challenge. So I gave them one: they had to come up with a project that reflected where they wanted to go with their photography, in alignment with their dreams.
Dave was mission-oriented with his; he wanted learn about and develop ways of making his work more visible. It wasn’t so much about creating a business; he’s got a full-time job he loves. But he craved a direction with his photography. He wanted to build up his blog , (which he and Michelle do together), develop their brand, their social media world. Pretty soon, he entered and won awards in local juried photo contests, learning about printing, mounting, and framing along the way. Next, several of his images were featured in the promotional magazine of the McAfee School of Theology. Go Dave!
It’s amazing how easily people can see and honor you when you can finally do the same for yourself. 😉
I wanted all of my Apprentices to experience focus, movement and milestones in their journey so the they could experience that… and boy, did they ever rise to the occasion!
As often happens when we focus and take action on what we love to do… the Universe brings opportunities. In Dave’s case, that meant 4 paid photography gigs, which came to him, not the other way around. He was (and is) still approaching photography and his fun thing to do.
And now… Dave and Michelle have sold one of their cars to save up for a travel trailer. They’re making plans to take their photo show on the road – and are even considering taking some of the requests for photo shoots that continue to come in for paid photo shoots, in order to fund their travels. Not bad for side avocation and passion!
The Final Presentation
The final thing I ask each of my Level 20 grads to do is a Presentation. The spirit of it is to allow us to share their journey, celebrate – and have a proper completion to our work together. I’m stepping back from leading a cohort to pursue some of my plans ‘n dreams in the new year… and even if I weren’t doing that, each cohort moves on to another Master for new vistas every 20 levels. So this is a big moment all the way around! I didn’t want us all to just wander away, fading into the sunset… I wanted us to have a Moment. To connect… to give thanks… to complete this fantastic circle we all began together.
What follows is Dave Garber’s presentation. It’s not a public share on YouTube, it’s Unlisted. A very informal gathering of some of our group who came to share the moment. But I wanted to share it with you here… since we’re all on a journey of one sort or another. It’s heartening to experience success, no matter what form it takes. For those of you on that journey… welcome to Dave’s final presentation.
And Happy Thanksgiving, from the KHutt Cohort of Awesomeness in The Arcanum!