Justin DeRosa



“Become Fearless” 7-28-16

Silver Lake Stormclouds

Everyone should watch this.

Regardless of how you feel about Arnold Schwarzenneger as an actor or his personal life, the man has achieved more in his small time on this planet than almost any one in existence.

Wasted potential is a tragedy. If you have a dream, you need to believe in yourself. You aren’t guaranteed another life, another tomorrow, or another chance. You are here NOW on this planet. NOW is when you can make a difference. Look inside your own heart, and listen to it.

Don’t let negative, hateful, or jealous people discourage you, it is your success, your future and your dreams you are fighting for, not theirs. During your journey, never forget those that have helped you, and those that you can help along the way so that they too can follow their dreams and help others themselves. It isn’t always easy and it shouldn’t be. Expect and embrace the difficulties and defeats and overcome them. You are comprised of not just the good you have experienced or the strengths you possess but also the bad you’ve endured and the weakness that you contain. It makes you an individual. Use the lessons you’ve learned from success AND failure to achieve what YOU desire. Fight and work hard for your own future.

Most importantly, when you reach your destination…extend your own hand to pull others up, not push them down.


“Standing As One” 7-20-16

Barnegat at Night

Yesterday, a Japanese photographer emailed me about my photography. I replied and they replied back with this

“Thank you for your reply.
I saw your great portfolio.
Please come to Japan someday!!

Yoshikazu K********”

This really touched me. It always does…but this time it made me feel different. Considering the state of the world lately, the fact that I can make even one person I have never met feel a little brighter about life because of my photography means the world to me. In all honestly it actually made me cry.

The world is a scary and tragic place these days. So many people are fighting because of our differences. We are taught at a young age to ignore our weaknesses and differences and only focus on our strengths and similarities, but that is wrong. Everyone has strengths AND weaknesses. You are more than just your successes, you are also who you are due to your failures and defeats. It is part of what makes you whole.

We need to acknowledge and accept that we are all different. Because we are…but that is OK. It is OK to be different.

It is OK that you may like something someone else doesn’t
It is OK to have your own opinions and beliefs
it is OK you and I may be a different color
it is OK to be proud of how you look and who you are
It is OK to be proud of your heritage, although you are not responsible for your ancestor’s mistakes
It is OK to to ask for help
It is OK to say no
It is OK to make mistakes
Most importantly, it is OK to be you

You should not have to apologize or be shamed for being you. Be you. Be happy. Make yourself happy, make others around you happy. Love and be loved. Don’t be afraid to ask for help concerning your weaknesses and especially don’t be afraid to help someone else with your strengths. Instead of being on one side or the other side be on the same side. Recognize and embrace your differences with others and use your combined unique traits and skills to reach new heights together.

Consider the purpose of a lighthouse. Many parallels can be drawn to humanity. A lighthouse serves to guide our boats to bridge the gaps from one land (whether near or far) to another. It stands on the edge of the sea representing the balance between familiarity and the unknown, illuminating the darkness to protect our journey. A lighthouse does not discriminate against a small boat, a big boat, a colored boat, or a sailboat. This particular lighthouse (Barnegat) is two toned, composed of many different materials – yet it still stands strong as one complete structure. It stands strong to keep us safe, to keep us going.

Be like a lighthouse. Stand strong together in the darkness to guide one another to shore.


February 2016

Snowy Silver Lake

This morning, I was out photographing to try and get some photos of the snow before it melted…744 pictures to be exact. While photographing, I ran into a man who was nice enough in his own right, but felt the need to try and tell me how to take photos and attempt to impress me by his technical knowledge. This happens more often than you’d think. I have no idea how frequently it happens to anyone else, but I wanted to say a few words about it because I know there are some fellow artists that follow my work. Although it may be all over the place, I feel it is important to get this message across.

Unless you are specifically asking for help or suggestions, don’t listen to what some dingdong tells you to do about creating art. It doesn’t matter if it is photography, painting, or what ever else you create – follow your own heart and vision. Just because some stranger comes along and out of nowhere tries to tell you that you are doing something wrong doesn’t make it so. There isn’t a right way or a wrong way to create – only your way. Of course, it is important to learn the basics at some level and there is nothing wrong with learning new techniques and methods because it especially important to grow, but that growth and fire should first come from within. Every time you create you should try improving upon the last time. You do that to improve for yourself, not for others. Make your art your own.

Art is a lot about reflecting what is inside your heart, and mind. You can tell when someone creates from the heart. I have seen people get carried away where they need the latest and the best equipment yet that means nothing when they are just taking empty photographs, or painting empty canvases. These types of people apply their knowledge, but have no vision. That can’t be taught in a book. I never took a single class, or went to school for photography. I am NOT saying it is wrong to learn that way, but what I am saying it is important to learn YOUR way. To express YOUR feelings, or thoughts through art.

Again, Create the way you like, not the way someone else likes. That can’t be stressed enough here. Not everyone has to understand or enjoy what you are creating, and you don’t have to understand or enjoy everyone else’s work either, and that is also OK. If you are creating only to try and impress others, like some of these people I run into then you aren’t really creating in the first place. Recognition is nice of course, and although I am most certainly very grateful for your support – I would still be taking photos and creating even if none of you stood behind me.

Maybe I look like I don’t know what I am doing and I admit, I am not anywhere near a technical person when it comes to equipment or photography, but it is OK not to be. Jimi Hendrix played the guitar backwards, so by the logic of a naysayer – he shouldn’t have been able to create the music that he did. Do not listen to toxic people you encounter in all walks of life who try to bring you down about what you are creating. These types of people just want to bring you down. Don’t let them. Keep creating. I made this post because it worries me how many people could get discouraged from people like this. People like I mentioned touch a nerve with me. Not for my personal work but for what they do to others. This post is especially important for children because so many children get discouraged from art before they are even able to learn how to explore their creative side.

That being said about children, it is actually one of my goals – to teach children photography classes. Not traditional technical classes but just getting them out there photographing. One day.

TL;DR: Don’t listen to people who try to put you down for not doing things their way.