Breakfast in America
When I decided to create this site in 2012 I had just completed my second full year of daily self-portrait photographs. Somehow, over time I’d managed to accrue a bunch of different websites for my various personal projects, and it was time to look at rationalizing them all… This website is the result. It has turned into more of a collection of my photographs and their associated notes than anything else. I’m slowly going back through my catalog of pictures (over 30,000 and counting) and adding more as the whim takes me. Gathering all this old content together is proving to be a monumental task, and probably one I’ll never finish. As I’m adding the older material I’m writing mainly in the present tense. Where practical I’ve been using emails, comments, and notes to keep it as accurate as I can. However, this is my perspective, my life, and the inaccuracies, memory failings, fibs, exaggerations, and omissions are all mine.
I’m a Brit and I unexpectedly ended up emigrating to the USA in 2008. Unexpectedly, as in, at the beginning of 2007 I had no intention of visiting the US on vacation, let alone living here, and I now here I am in Springfield, Missouri, in the American Midwest with the love of my life, my wife Ginger. I have two grown sons and a couple of grandchildren in the UK, three step-children here in the US, all of whom have fled the nest. I should add that we share our home with our cat.
How I ended up in the American Midwest — In 2006 my kids were away at university and I found myself with some undisturbed time on my hands. I bought my first digital camera for something to do, and re-kindle my interest in photography. I bought an annual subscription to the Flickr photo service to back up all my pictures. Early in 2007, I started my first 365 Days project (a challenge to take a self-portrait every day for a year). The reflection on my life that the pictures I took provided was, in part, the catalyst for a series of life changes and upheavals that culminated in my emigration from the UK to America. You can read a little bit more about all that here.
Photography — My earliest memory of photography is of being a child model for my uncle. He was a graphic designer and took lots of photographs. My interest in taking pictures began while we spent hours poring over his pictures, selecting suitable images for the brochures and corporate annual reports he produced for his clients. Early in my career, while working as a computer programmer, I also worked for a photo studio shooting weddings. Years later I worked in multimedia production where I became involved with video and audio production, graphic design, and scriptwriting.
Over time my work and home responsibilities increased and I transitioned into more senior management roles. My work took me away from multimedia and into general production management, principally in financial services. I spent more time managing and less time producing. I became more business-oriented, and my cameras, once always either in my briefcase or at my side, were left behind only to be brought out for vacations and occasionally photographing weddings and events for friends and family. Today, in my alter ego (should that be altar ego?) role as Communications Director I undertake a fair bit of event — documentary style — photography, and some stock image photography for promotions.
Pictures — I don’t want to accidentally offend anyone; so be warned, a few of my posts and pictures include firearms and others artistic or casual nudity. Some people may find one or both of those topics challenging. If that’s you, you’ll have to get over it. I enjoy shooting and I don’t understand why people get so hung up on nudity; we all have bodies after all.
What you see is pretty much what you get — At one point I found myself changing some of my posts, editing my words and pictures, effectively redacting my life because I was concerned about what people might say or think about me. That’s silly, I am not responsible for what you (or anyone else) thinks. That is your concern, not mine. If you don’t like what you see, what I have done, taken pictures of, or what I think and write about, that is fine. We are allowed to have different opinions and aesthetics. The world would be a very boring place if we didn’t.
The bottom line is, if you don’t like what you see or read here don’t bother telling me; just move on and find a corner of the Internet you are comfortable with.
The reality is that this is just one view on a very normal, albeit sometimes odd, life with all its quirks and idiosyncrasies.
The Small Print (written large)
Just to be clear, this is my personal website and not some money-making venture. However, with the increase in monetization, and criminality of the internet, the cost of maintaining this site has risen exponentially — I now have to use premium security products to prevent the site from being hacked and protect visitors from becoming victims of malware. To put that into context, this website is attacked over 10,000 times a month, and that figure is climbing. Backup software (that works) is not free, and low-cost website hosting no longer offers reasonable response times. The result is that paying for security, backups, and hosting is no longer pocket change (for me anyway).
To offset some of the costs involved in keeping this site up and running I am including affiliate links on some of the products I recommend, and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases (that last bit is Amazon’s appalling use of English that they insist I include). This doesn’t cost you anything, I just get a tiny percentage of any purchase you may make based on my recommendations. I am not given products to review, so my reviews and recommendations are based on items I’ve actually bought and used. In short, when I include product links it’s because I think the item might be worth your further consideration or the link provides additional information for the curious.
To state the obvious: I am not responsible for the content of other websites, and their content may change over time without my knowledge. Visit, read, or purchase from the websites I provide links to at your own discretion.
Unless it is specifically stated otherwise, all text and images are mine. If I’ve made a mistake somewhere and included an image or text from someone else and not acknowledged the source, please contact me and I’ll correct it. For more information see my notes on Copyright and image licensing
Want to contact me? Use the form at this link: Contact Gary Allman