Since life changes quickly and confusingly, I think it’s best I document for myself and others my goals, ideas, progress, and general status of living.
Where is Hunter Bliss?
I’m currently living in Stuttgart, Germany. Stuttgart is the capital city of southwest Baden-Württemberg, which is one of the 16 states of Germany. As of this post, it has a population of around 600,000 and a density of 2,800+ per square kilometer. I moved here after an excruciating year and half of studying physics in Munich.
What is Hunter Bliss doing?
I am here in Stuttgart continuing my education in a different direction. I am studying German-Chinese Media and Printing Technologies. I know it’s a mouthful, but I’ll explain it: Students learn the practical skills of mass-media printing and our specific group also learns, very intensively, the Chinese language. Over the next 3 semesters, our Chinese courses prepare us for a year-long residence in Xi’an (西安), China, where we will close our studies at the local university and eventually return to write our thesis. This is my current academic pursuit.
As for my financial pursuit, (which will tie into my academic pursuit) I have been working with two main companies that necessitate a short backstory. I worked until recently as a travel photographer at ParkPocket, a big-data startup. ParkPocket is almost wholly responsible for the priceless experience which influenced my decisions that I will soon explain. At the second company, Baimos Technologies, I worked as graphic designer. Baimos provided me with my main source of income in a modern office environment while I waited for the move to Stuttgart. Since the move, my hours have decreased predictably. This is the growing reason for my real current financial pursuit: establishing Hunter Bliss the Photographer.
I have been doing more and more (very diverse) shoots for different clients. Commercially, I have discovered a unique interest in real estate photography. I originally had low expectations from the field, but photography has so far paid a large portion of my living costs. In honesty however, I have only begun to squint my eyes at the real potential of photography. I just put on my shoes to walk a seemingly endless path.
Why is Hunter Bliss doing what he’s doing?
I think I haven’t explained this well enough to most people, and it involves the combination of my academic, professional, and natural pursuits.
Above all, I must continue learning from world cultures. This is more important to me than any job or education (despite its inherent impracticality). My experience in Europe alone has given me invaluable knowledge that one could never learn at a university. And the next place at the top of my list is China- with ~1,4 billion people the most populous country on Earth. There is no doubt, whether the Communist regime fall or not, that this country will show the world in a few decades’ time what an Asian majority looks like. To understand the Chinese culture is to understand over one-seventh of the humans on Earth.
This is why I intentionally went into a subject with unavoidable emphasis on the Chinese language. Despite the incredible difficulty for a Westerner, I know I have the opportunity through this university to learn from this world culture. And studying print alongside the language will satisfy the potential need for a stable income as well as facilitate the next ingredient in this recipe, Hunter Bliss Photography.
My camera is the only person who can tell others about this journey, and print is her offline megaphone. Print will allow me to physically share this profound learning experience with others. In the end, that’s also the ultimate purpose of my professional photography: the documentation and distribution of different worlds on Earth. This won’t just earn me my daily bread, but also give my life meaning. (This is closer to where I believe my misguided altruism from physics originated.)
How does Hunter Bliss’ future look as of now?
Before writing this, I thought that I would ask myself this if I were the reader. And the answer to this question might better represent my intentions and direction of progress.
Firstly, I will forever refrain from predicting my life in a time-period of more than 5 years. After moving from South Carolina to Mannheim, then to Munich, then to Stuttgart I am aware that predictions hold little water over 2 years. But for the next 3 semesters before my departure, I can imagine a few things.
I will have developed my brand to the point of reasonable professionalism. My equipment might not be top of the line, but it delivers what will be published material. My Chinese will be conversational and I will have real, tangible experience with the different branches of printing. I will be ready to take the naive dive into the Chinese culture.
Otherwise I don’t dare claim what might happen. I am slowly learning how unpredictable the future can be.
This concludes my first life update.