Sunday, June 5, 2016

the life of my :: observations of a dadpreneur

Get it? "Life of My"? as in "Life of Pi? Yup. Bad jokes this early in.

Oh how the perceived life of a photographer and/or filmmaker can be so awry. . .

Oft imagined are exotic shoot locations, with only the sexiest actors and models of course. Assistants catering to the artist's every need; from lugging around C-stands to wiping the lens to fetching sushi and fresh herbal teas.

Evenings followed by conversations of brilliance at the most exclusive sidewalk cafes that you would only know of if you were in the know.

Late nights end with fine bottles of Rioja and random sex only to sleep till noon and do it again . . . . and again.

Hate to break your hearts people but that fantasy is just pure bullshit.

Wait, wait. I'm wrong. There is Chase Jarvis of course.

Aside from the king of Creative Live, the rest of us gotta hustle. And you gotta love the hustle. The reality in the business world is if you ain't hustling in today's super duper fast paced 2.0 society, then you are surely gonna get left in the dust.

As a creative, life looks something like ::

Hustle. Hustle. Hustle. Hustle. Create. Hustle Hustle. Hustle. free time. Hustle. Hustle. Hustle. Create.

That's your typical full timer. You know. Possibly single. No kids. Rides a bike and hits the local car share when it's shoot time. Gourmet is eating a veal parm sandwich from the corner pizza shop, which by the way, could very well not even be real veal. Oh, I was in the restaurant business. I know this! Amazing what you can do with a pork cutlet and big ass meat mallet. I digress.

Then you got the creatives that put the kids on the school bus, kiss their spouse goodbye and head off to their escape cave studio. There they hustle and shoot. Could be a shit box with a roof but it's the office, it's the studio, it's magnificent, no matter what others may think. Hey, gotta make that mortgage right? And let's not forget the bill on the two cars in the driveway.

Now, let me introduce to you a new breed that is the me of today . . .


It's a word people! Google it!

Ok, it may not be official . . . yet, but I assure you if selfie made it to the dictionary, then dadpreneur has a better chance than most.

What is it? If you were my shadow or a fly on the wall, here's what you'd see ::

Wake. Kiss wife goodbye as she heads to office. Make breakfast for #H™(our daughter Harper Thomas Murphy). Hustle. Read to Harper. Hustle. Play with Harper. Hustle. Try to hustle. Put #H™ down for a nap. Create. Exercise. Meditate. Shower. Hustle. Lunch for Harper and myself. . . . . . . and so on.

I don't need to breakdown the entirety of the cycle as I'm sure you are all very smart and can easily extrapolate the remainder of the day.
I feel like you're being duped here but let me promise that this is not the case. 
While you just got an entire lead and probably expecting a global explanation of this new breed of XY chromosomes that exists today, as the title to the posts states, I wanted to share an observation. Without the dadpreneur explanation and/or background, I'm afraid you may have been confused about the little slice of life that is the intention of this article. 
So that's me. Well, not entirely. But the meat of the days of this dadpreneur look something like that. The variations? Shoot days of course. Errand days. Meeting days. Pitch days. Family days. Editing days. Blog days.

As our daughter is only approaching the 14 month mark at the time of this writing, the dadpreneur thing is totally new bag to me. Having said that, I just wanted to share a little nugget of the adventures that are "The Life of My".

Today's observation?


I had to clarify this being a supermarket since ACME is not worldwide or even nationwide for that matter. It's just your basic, has everything, grocery store.

Prior to parenthood, sure, we hit the supermarket but more often than not it could have been on a per meal basis, a local, smaller bodega, restaurants or takeout. My wife loves to cook some gangster level shit so trust me, we are no strangers to grocery shopping.


Now that we have the little one, and I'm primarily the shopper, the fact that Harper LOVES the supermarket and this extra time in the aisles of our Fishtown Acme has raise quite the awareness.

It's the science; the psychology, the etiquette, the sociology and the design of this ACME and most big chain grocery stores that is intriguing.

From the point of entry, fruit and veggie aisle first of course, until intelligently ending your journey at the frozen and dairy aisles, where things will spoil most quickly, and each aisle between, unbeknown to most the years of R&D that have gone into these behemoth structures.

Premier brands placed at eye levels. And take a stroll down the cereal aisle. All of those diabetic-in-the-making, sweet and sugary varieties? The Fruity Pebbles and such? Not up high for you to see. Nope. They are down low to lure in the children who flock to this section.

I notice things like pricing. A good for instance is, let's say, the Chobani quarts are listed as 2 for $5.00. Holy shit! Sounds awesome to me, right? Grab two of those fuckers. Why not four? That's the genius. They compel you to buy more which in turn you will eat more of it. That's besides the fact. The big one is that, as did I, most think that you MUST buy 2 to get the deal. Nope. You certainly can buy one for the same discounted price. I just discovered this one like a month ago. Who knew?!

While we're on price.

Don't laugh at me, again, this awareness is a new-ism for me. I never knew that milk cost changed depending on percent fat you bought.

Makes some sense right? Wrong. Stew over this enigma. Why does whole milk cost more than the two, one percenters and skim? Doesn't make any sense. Sure it's more calorie rich but the production of whole milk would logically seem a shit load less labor intensive than the bottling of the leaner versions. #JustSaying

Now, this observation, or self-observation, may or may not apply to either a majority or minority of readers. Further investigation is certainly required.

Undoubtedly, through intelligent design, we all typically, sheepen-like, all flow from veggie systematically to the frozen and dairy aisles. I get it. Makes sense for those time sensitive items. With that in mind, think about how you traverse the corridors of fine fare. Do you figure 8 your way to the end? Think hard. Me? I notice a propensity to bisect the avenues at the back of the supermarket. Do you spend more time in the back or the front? Hmmm.

Checkout time. Maybe it's innate or maybe being in the grocery store with our parents subconsciously taught us the proper checkout etiquette. Either way, I decided to recently break the rules.

The mannerisms? How'd I break it?

Next time your in line to pay for a shopping cart of things you probably don't really need, be aware of your posture. This is only if you're in line to pay an actual human being, not the self checkout line. Different rules apply there.

Typically, you stand facing the conveyor belt. Parallel to your goods, perpendicular to the customer in front of you, sidestepping until you make your way to the cashier.

For shits and giggles, I decided to face the customer in front of me. The best part was I only had a few items, no cart to put a spacial distance between us. I was a total space invader, staring directly at the poor person's face. The awkwardness was there for sure. It's a sixth sense of sorts. I watched as the customer, trying not to look at me while looking at the register as the dollars add up and always do, more quickly than expected.

And then the card comes out. The moment of truth. Like it or not, we all, even if just for a split second, wonder, hope and pray that for whatever reason that, on this day, that card will not decline. How embarrassing, right? And worse, this douchebag (me) is observing your every emotion just inches from your skull.

I'm such a dick. LOL.

Hey, if you're like me, right brained, then you totally get it. As artists, we observe and experiment. The customer may have been calling me a fuck wad in their mind. I call it research.

Frequent readers know I always discuss the photography towards the end of each post. Let me just share a couple mini nugs before proceeding with the imagery.

-I DO let my child ride in the grocery, 'no children', section of the cart. Don't like it? That's awesome. Guess what. Your friends and family all lied to you. . . Your baby is neither gorgeous nor a genius.

-Recently, while in line, I caught myself reading the tabloid covers. After about 45 seconds, I snapped out of it asking myself "Michael Anthony Murphy, what in the fuck are you doing!?"

On to the photographs.

Short and sweet. Promise.

Both photographs were taken at the Fishtown Acme on Girard Ave. in Philadelphia. For a city supermarket, it's pretty good. It ain't no beauty like the grandiose suburban stores but it is more than sufficient.

Notice the one point perspective? Yup, love that shit. I'm down with OPP, yeah you know me!

For these, I wanted zero human interaction. What a pain in the balls. It was like a Tuesday, early afternoon, and for Christ sake, I could not get an aisle without either a customer, employee or delivery. I shuffled aimlessly back and forth, across the back of the store of course, peeking down lane by lane. Had to shoot fast because you have no idea what's around the corner in this scenario.

Gear? Simply the iPhone 6s Plus.

Post production? Color grading for taste, crop (16:9), and a touch of Unsharp Mask.


In hindsight, I over sharpened. I never sharpen. Now I know why.

That's about it.

Any questions about photography education, keynote speeches, film, parenting or being a dadpreneur, feel free to shoot me an email at

Until next time . . .