Camera and Flask
The Photography of Steven Gray


Camera and Flask // Steven Gray: Photographer. Storyteller. Artistic journalism and storytelling around the globe. Based in Pensacola, Florida.

It's about the work.

I heard something good the other day.

"If you want to succeed at something, be obsessed by it."

I take comfort in that statement.

My work--photography, videography, content creation--is an obsession for me.

For the past four years, I have worked 40-60 hour work weeks, while also shooting weddings, friends' small businesses and personal creative projects after hours.

In short, I've followed the Gary Vaynerchuk approach of paying the bills with a 9-5, and building something for yourself 6-2.

Cool thing: it works.

I get up at 4:30am most mornings. I exercise. I work. I stay up late. I shoot. I edit. I follow up. I deliver.

I consume medically inadvisable amounts of caffeine and live a life booked edge to edge with work opportunities that create more work.

Alternatively, I could work a polite 40 hours a week, drink cocktails on Friday nights and laze around on Saturdays and Sundays, but that’s not really my style. To put it quite bluntly, it bores me.

This kind of lifestyle, that yields raised eyebrows and consistent remarks of “I don’t know how you do everything you do” and “you should take some time for yourself” is exactly the kind of life that gives me the most satisfaction.

Big breaks don't happen. Maybe it's a purely American sentiment, that classic trope of "waiting for your big break" or "waiting for things to change." It dovetails with more recent, social media-friendly ideas of "reaching out to the universe" or “sending out good vibes" to effect change.


The universe is an ordered system of gas and carbon. It has no personality and trends a little more toward disorder every nanosecond.

Those expressions are a handy psychological trick to change your own attitude or mindset, and a positive mindset is integral to the process, but change comes from your work. And lots of it.

Good work creates opportunities for more good work. If you tell me that you want to effect a change in your life, and yet you’re always on Snapchat advising that you’re bored or drunk, I’m going to stop listening. You’re wasting your time.

If you have time to be at a dedicated “networking event” at 5:02pm on a Thursday, you’re probably not working hard enough.

There is an ownership deficit in culture right now. Your life is your life. What you make of it is on you.

What will define 2017 for myself and Annie?

This is the year we took ownership and pumped the brakes. After four years of employment with intense commitments of time and energy, first to fund our wedding and later to simply explore opportunities, we have decided to stop moving with the crowd, and we are building.

With the full support of the marketing team at Innisfree, I am stepping away from full-time, salaried employment and myself and Annie are launching our company.

Move Media is about to emerge from dormancy and experience a rebrand as a content production studio and marketing resource. Annie and I are making ourselves available and the response so far has been unanimously positive, and, frankly, overwhelming.

Camera and Flask will continue and will see some changes inside the coming month.

Annie is working on a number of exciting projects that are hers to tell when the time is right.

The Dark Horses Podcast returns this coming week and I’m lining up guests as we speak. It’s going to be awesome.

We’ve accomplished an incredible amount and made a lot of stuff look good as a sideline to salaried employment.

You’re about to see what kind of fireworks happen when we give it our full attention.

Wear shades.

Quit talking and do something. Balance is boredom. Status quo is the fast lane to a slow death. Get obsessed.