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It is no secret that I love photography. I enjoy looking for that perfect shot or finding beauty in something that others look past regularly. So often there are frame-worthy images right before our eyes but we are accustomed to looking past them. Capturing those shots and helping others find appreciation in something they previously ignored is a challenge that I like to accept.

Recently, a couple of friends and myself put on an art show down in the Bishop Arts District of south Dallas. I showed nothing but photographs and there was a great turnout of people who came to enjoy the show. There were a handful of my photos that people asked questions about throughout the night. Two of those are aerial photographs taken over New York City. People wanted to know how I got them and the story is actually somewhat entertaining.

It all started in February while I was at a National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, TN. I was in the middle of working on my master’s degree from Regent University and had skipped dinner to get some assignments done back in my hotel room. Later on, around 9, I went to the next scheduled event which was an industry dessert social. I was hungry for dinner and asked a colleague if he wanted to go eat. He put his hand on his stomach, scrunched his forehead and squinted his eyes. He said, “I’d love to but I have put on so much weight this past year. I’m really trying to be better about eating late.” I immediately responded by saying I was not happy with the weight I had put on recently.

I told him that I thought we should do a competition of some kind to force each other to put forth effort to lose weight. He chuckled, made a comment or two about how it would be funny, and then returned to what he was doing at the event. I don’t know how old this friend is but I would guess he is only a few years from my parent’s age and certainly much further along in his career than I. I’m not sure his actual title but he is a partner in a multinational corporation.

The next morning, I saw this friend in the hall and he stopped me to say, “I know what I want if I win our competition.” I didn’t even know we had decided to do the competition nonetheless that there was a wager on it if I lost. Somewhat nervous, I asked what it was he wanted. He indicated he wanted me to produce a video for his company. I told him that would work but I need some time to come up with what I want. Later on that evening, I found him and told him that if I win, I wanted him to cover a helicopter ride over Manhattan so that I could take photos from an aerial perspective.

For the next three months, we exchanged emails with photos of the scale every day. As you might have guessed, I won the competition and he made good on his promise. I lost 20 lbs and got to take the aerial photos over Manhattan that I wanted. I think they turned out pretty good. What do you think?

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