Well this week is going to come as a surprise to most of you reading this right now. Photography is a crazy thing, and as unpredictable as it is that’s one of the best parts about it. You never know where photography could lead you. Whether it’s across your city, across your state, across the country, or around the globe it really doesn’t matter as long as you are enjoying the journey. I have been able to meet some amazing people through photography, I have been able to travel more than I ever thought I would have, and needless to say I have been able to make more memories than I can store in my own head along the way. There is a saying that always influenced me in life and that is “the only constant is change.” That means every second that goes by, things are changing right before your eyes. Whether or not you stop to take notice is a whole different story. That’s been my goal from the beginning as a photographer. To always stop and observe my surroundings and document whatever I feel inspired by. Now, the title of this specific TTL might throw you off a little bit, and you may be wondering exactly what the hell the point of all this is. If I have your attention by now, and you have read up until this point, you might as well keep on reading and find out for yourself.
For many of you that have followed this column since day one, I have to first off give you respect for sticking with it and checking in week after week for over 100 weeks in a row. Secondly I have to explain what this is all about. You have seen my work evolve over time especially with TTL. I have never put so much effort into creating original content as I did with the TTL series. I wanted every single one to be better than the last and I wanted every one to be memorable on some level. The amount of feedback that I have received over the years has been amazing. The people that I’ve worked with have been amazing. I have had the chance to interview some of the best riders on the planet and put together a 100% unique feature week after week. In a world of shitty recycled content I feel proud to stand behind each one of my columns and am happy to say that I gave it my all week after week, after week…after week.
As always, all good things come to an end. I didn’t ever really start the column with a set number of weeks, or an end goal whatsoever. I started it purely out of my love for BMX, and it took on a shape all it’s own. Over time, I have become much busier with project after project and have even started my own photography studio/creative space that I share with my beautiful wife, which demands more attention than I can truly give at the moment with everything else I have going on. That is where TTL #105 comes in. This will be my final column (at least in a weekly sense) and whether or not I will ever do another TTL remains to be seen. I have had full creative control since the beginning and with that, I have the option to make decisions on my own, without having to really wonder what other people might think. I don’t like to do things unless I can truly give it my all and with how busy I have been lately I feel like taking the time to create an original column each week that is worth reading is becoming more and more challenging. Trust me, I’m up for a challenge and am into the idea of pushing hard to get what you want but in this case, my direction has changed since TTL #1.
I can’t thank Kurt and BMX Union enough for believing in me and giving me the chance to have an online voice that was heard by thousands over the course of two years. It’s been an amazing journey and one that I can honestly say I’m incredibly proud of. I can remember looking back and telling people that my 52nd column is coming which would mark one full year. Skip ahead to now, and 52 more went by much quicker than I could have anticipated. I hand picked every single rider that I ever featured and interviewed, I wrote my column in so many different places it would make your head spin. Somehow throughout this entire process I managed to maintain an (arguable) sense of sanity. I have been going back and forth for a while now debating on when I was going to end the column, or how long I was going to let it run for. The thing is, if I’m going to be completely honest which you know I will be if you keep up with TTL, I just needed to have a significant change in my life and the time is now. I really wanted to end on a positive note and if anything, I want the entire TTL series to be remembered for what it was. A single person, dedicating an incredible amount of time to create content that was worth reading week after week.
I also want to thank every single rider, artist, and badass that let me interview them, shoot photos of them and simply work with them throughout this entire process. It’s pretty crazy that I’m writing my final column and the fact that I’ve done this so many times makes it feel awkwardly normal. I want to use this space to remind people that there is an archived list of columns #1-#105 that is and will be on the site so please feel free to take a look through, catch up on some you might have missed, or re-read your favorites. I honestly couldn’t be more stoked to watch an idea go from a thought, to a (hopefully) memorable body of work.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without the fans and loyal followers of the TTL series. Every time that I would get a little burnt out, or frustrated while coming up with a new theme each week I would get an email from someone telling me that they really enjoy TTL each week and to keep it going. That has happened more times that I can remember and is definitely the reason that TTL made an appearance for over two years in a row. I didn’t go through all 105 columns for a total word count but I definitely can say that I have written well over 50,000 words and shot hundreds and hundreds of photos specifically for TTL. It’s one of the best things I have ever done. It has been incredibly challenging, rewarding and satisfying the entire time. I want to say thank you to every single person that has ever read a column, shared a column, learned from a column, spread the word about the column or just enjoyed TTL on any level at all.
Why aren’t there any photos in my final TTL column? It’s simple. I didn’t want anything to distract from what I had to say, and not only that but I wanted to encourage every single one of you that is reading this to click the Through The Lens Archives and to look through the archives and check out the ones you may have missed, or share some that you might think would benefit any fellow photographers. There are over 100 to choose from so feel free to take some time and dive in.
What does this mean for the future of TTL? I’m not exactly sure, but as always, and as I have said many times before that I like to just let things play out as they happen. Thank you for being a part of this, and as always keep a watch for the next project!
TTL By the numbers-
2- Years since I wrote the first ever TTL #1.
105- Weeks in a row that I put out a new column on every Wednesday.
1,000- The number of Facebook likes that TTL #69 got which was the most out of any feature.
32- Number of comments that same column got.
7- Total of “WYDK” (What you didn’t know) columns.
29- The number of original interviews that I did.
3- States that I’ve written columns in.
1- Number of laptops used to write every TTL.
3,731- The amount of words written for TTL #61 which was the most I wrote for any single one.
27- The number of instruction-based columns.
On that note, I can’t believe I actually just wrote the final TTL column. I knew that eventually it would come to this but the fact that it’s here and this is actually the last time I am going to sit down on a Tuesday night and write is still tripping me out. Well even though there isn’t going to be one next week you never know what the future holds. As always feel free to leave any questions in the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will hit you back as soon as I can. Feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram @jeremypavia.