Today, I renewed my domain and hosting for Jesse’s Gear, meaning I’ve been at this for 12 months now. It seems very appropriate to look back on the last year both in my personal growth in the industry, and the tech itself.

My concept for this website when I started out was to create a repository for some very specific yet understandable information in the video production and photography industry. My first write-ups included a review of the Livestream Broadcaster and the Diva Ring Light. Looking back on these two products to start, it’s interesting to see the paths they’ve taken, respectively.

The Livestream Broadcaster is still a serviceable piece of gear if you know for certain you’ll be streaming to Livestream, and have no need of other services. In practice though, the offerings and improvements made by Teradek basically render this obsolete, giving you the option to stream to multiple services, do multiple encodes, and point-to-point wireless video transmissions.

Conversely, the Diva Ring Light (or ring lights in general) have only grown in popularity and versatility. New brands have sprung up adding features to this design that have helped it become something of a phenomenon, with immense popularity among Beauty Bloggers, YouTube video producers and more.

I’ve spent the last year learning hands-on various live switching rigs, and posted many of my findings here and in the various forums specific to them, in order to try and help people find one that fits their needs correctly. The tech has changed from the Blackmagic Design Television Studio and Edirol V-8 to the Blackmagic Design ATEM 4K 1 M/E and Roland V-40HD. All for different needs, but we’re entering the age of higher resolutions and quality at lower prices and greater availability. Truly an exciting time for live production!

But it hasn’t all been about tech, either. I enjoyed going back and reading some other posts, such as the one about randomly grabbing our Nikon D800 to walk around at night and take pictures. Again, I’m not the world’s most accomplished photographer in practice, but sometimes we have to remember that we got into this business in the first place due to the love of capturing moments and images, and whether that moment is worthy of Time Magazine or not, the practice and joy of going out to simply try new things or taken photos/video can help keep us grounded in the real reason we are creative professionals.

I was also fortunate enough to attend and work at two high-profile trade shows this year, including NAB 2013 in Las Vegas and Photoplus in New York. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment at such an event, stoked to see all the new shiny gadgets or bright lights around you at night, but often times the experience as a whole can be lost until you look back: Wow, I’d never been to Manhattan, and yet my fortunate position in the industry took me there this year. I’d been to Vegas before for NAB in 2010, but last year I was there for 8 days to set up a booth, enjoy the city, and work NAB 2013. This year I’ll be there for 9 days to do the same, and I speak with many people who get to go for a day or two and are so grateful, yet I normally smile knowingly and possibly even condescendingly at times.

My point is this: Whether you’re a beauty blogger who makes a couple of bucks on ads for your videos, a wedding photographer who gets paid to capture the happiest day in people’s lives, or a video production engineer switching for a web series or the NFL, we all have a pretty awesome gig and community behind us. It’s easy to succumb to the natural tendency to allow such things to become monotonous, but it’s very important to keep your technical and creative edge that you sometimes step back, appreciate what you’ve done, and realizing your future is as bright as you’d like it to be.

Happy 1 year to all of my readers, and thanks very much for your support, questions and views!