Christopher John Konecnik
I received my first camera when I was in 8th grade, a Nikon Coolpix P6000. I specifically wanted that camera because that same year I had talked my mom into buying an Apple iMac, whose iPhoto app featured a map with all of your geotagged photos. The P6000 was one of the first cameras to have built-in GPS. What was in reality a simple gimmick turned into a passion that I couldn’t shake.
The next year, now in high school, I took a video production class and was introduced to photo in motion. I was far from skilled at videography at first, but I continued to hone my skills throughout high school. My junior year, I upgraded to a Nikon D5100. While it was nothing special, it allowed me to have full control over the look of the photos and videos I produced.
Senior year, I enrolled in my school’s video journalism program. While producing both journalistic and cinematic content, I managed to take home several awards from the national Student Television Network convention.
The funny part is, video and photo were never my career path. Since I was 11, I’ve been in love with aviation. I attended an aviation summer camp between the 5th and 6th grades and from that moment on never really considered another career path.
I inevitably chose to study to become a professional airline pilot at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. At a Midwestern college there wasn’t as much demand for video skills as there was in suburban Southern California, so I was forced to come full circle and return to photography. While at school I took photos constantly, mainly for Instagram, which for a few years turned into a job working for my University’s Marketing department in between flight instructing.
Throughout college, my dorm room was constantly in a state of disarray. As prepared as I thought I was for collegiate life, nothing prepared me for the incredible amount of free stuff I would be subjected to in my first few weeks. Who was I to say no to these branded pens and tote bags?
At some point during my four year tenure, I read an article about Mark Zuckerberg’s capsule wardrobe and I was inspired to give it a try. I went on Amazon and priced out how much it would cost me to wear the same shirt, pants, and shoes every day of the year. To my surprise and delight, it was a two digit number.
I had no clue what a can of worms I was opening at the time, but I’m extremely glad that I did. I learned that there was a movement of people doing a similar thing, they called it Minimalism. I learned that these people were taking about the same concepts I applied to my wardrobe and were applying them to their entire lifestyle. I learned that we as a society are consuming at an unsustainable rate and have been for decades. I learned that a mind-boggling number of the world’s problems could be solved by simply consuming less.
All of this is to say, my view of stuff has been radically changed.
I now live by essentially one simple rule: Don’t buy more stuff assuming it’ll lead to more happiness. By coupling that with a mindful practice of taking and a generous practice of giving, I’m able to live a life that I can honestly say is both happy and fulfilling.
Today, my three passions fuse effortlessly. As a regional airline pilot on the east coast, I’m constantly on the move, so the limited possessions I carry in my suitcase are not all that different from the possessions I have at home. Additionally, I’m constantly barraged by the ceaseless beauty the Anthropocene has to offer and I’m perfectly positioned to capture it all through the lens.
This site is an infinitely evolving reflection of myself at this point in time. It’s my space on the web to share my creativity, thoughts, and ideas. If you like my site, please feel free to let me know!