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Daily Inspiration: Meet Jabari Bellamy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jabari Bellamy.

Hi Jabari, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
So my story is very interesting. I have always been interested in nature and animals. I have been photographing nature and animals since I was 12 years old. I have picked up my first camera which was a camcorder when I was 12 and the first subject that I have ever photographed was a Cooper’s Hawk. I’ve had a strong connection and passion for birds of prey at an early age. I have been studying nature and animals since I was a little baby. My mom was the first one who introduced me to nature and wildlife photography when I was younger. She helped buy my first camera when I was 12 years old for my Christmas gift. The day after Christmas when I received my camcorder as my Christmas gift, I was very fortunate enough to spot a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk perching in a pine tree feeding on a bird that it had recently caught. I was filming and photographing the whole scene with my new camcorder. This was such an exhilarating experience for me and I have never thought that the first animal that I would ever photograph would be a hawk. From that day on, I have started to take my nature and wildlife photography more seriously by perfecting my craft and learning and studying the behavior pattern of the animals that I was photographing. As I have gotten older when I have turned 16 years old, I have brought my first dslr Canon EOS Rebel t2i that came with a 18-55mm lens, and I have also brought a 75-300mm lens with my allowance money of $800 and my mom has helped me buy the rest of my camera equipment.

Over the years, I have invested in new lenses such as my Canon macro 100mm lens and my most recent Sigma 150-600mm telephoto lens. I photograph many subjects such as birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, mammals, flowers, rocks and anything else that interests me. I have taught myself everything that I know about nature and wildlife photography. I never had any mentors to look up to, I just figured everything out on my own. Of course, as you probably tell, my story is humbling and interesting. My life path is not easy and I am still learning new things to this day. Recently in my life, I was fortunate enough to photograph a beautiful Red Fox up close and personal in the wild. The Red Fox actually walked up to me and it has allowed me to tag along with it so that I could snap a few photos of the wild canid. I have filmed myself stalking the Red Fox from behind and at the same time, I was also photographing the fox with my camera and I have my Red Fox video on my Youtube Page. I am starting to see pieces of my dreams starting to manifest right in front of me and I am just in awe.

Another dream of mine has happened to me. Just the beginning of last year, I was able to spot a beautiful Barred Owl right in the wild. Guess what happened next? I have photographed it and filmed it and I was filming myself with my phone all at the same time. I have always wanted to see a Barred Owl in the wild and I have never thought that I would film one. You just never know what you might get out of life unless you stay positive-minded and persistent in pursuing your goals because the rewards for your hard-earned work is limitless.

A few years back, I decided to write two books that focus on my nature and wildlife photography and inspirational quotes. My first book is called “Nature’s Inspiration”, and my second book is called “Nature’s Inspiration Plants”. I sell them both on Amazon and from my website. I also sell my nature and wildlife photography prints from my website as well. I am so blessed that I am able to work on my craft at my own leisure and my craft helps center my energy. The tools that I use to manifest opportunities to photograph my animal subjects are yoga and meditation. Before I even go out into the field to photograph nature, I practice my yoga and meditation to clear my mind of anything that no longer serves my purpose so that I can focus on the hunt which is to stalk and look for my animal subjects to photograph. These are the keys to my success in terms of manifesting great opportunities to photograph nature and animals.

By trade, I do IT Support and I work for Amazon in Baltimore, MD. My path to IT is humbling as well and it wasn’t easy to get into the field but surprisingly, I have figured out a way to make it happen for myself. That’s definitely something I can say, “You don’t need to worry about how you want something to happen for yourself, you just have to believe that what you want will happen and manifest for you.” Time alone teaches you everything that you need to learn about yourself and the Universe. Become one with the Universe and you shall become omniscient.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I definitely didn’t have a smooth road and I’ve had plenty of challenges and obstacles to overcome and more specifically through my current career in the IT field. My first biggest challenge was trying to figure out a way to get my foot in the door into the IT field without any experience to back me up whenever I have applied for different IT positions. I received my first IT certificate which was the Google IT Support Professional certificate a few years ago while I was working part-time at Michaels, the Arts and Craft store. Even after a few months of receiving my first IT certification, I could not get any interview calls from employers about interviewing me. If I did get any calls back, the employers would interview me but they have always told me that I was not the perfect fit for their position. This was around the time that I was living in Silver Spring, Maryland. Sometimes you have to view your life from a higher perspective and question yourself why certain things and events in your life aren’t happening the way you want them to happen. If you’re not getting what you want in one place, go somewhere else and try there and see what happens. That’s exactly what I did. I have recently moved to Baltimore two years ago which is 30 something miles north of Silver Spring in Maryland and I have applied to one of Amazon’s warehouses to start my new job. The Universe always has bigger plans for you, you just have to believe in the process.

Since I have moved up to Baltimore, things have been looking better for me. Now of course, after starting working at Amazon, I just didn’t get into the IT field. I had to work for it. So I have started out as a regular warehouse associate. I was like everybody else, doing the same work and getting the same pay. Amazon is really corporate and you wouldn’t have guessed that from working at a warehouse but Amazon is corporate. It’s easy for managers to lose sight of you if you don’t stand out from everyone else. That’s what I had to do. Working at Amazon has taught me how to think and become like a fox. Literally. The way you can advance in Amazon is by aligning with your manager. You can’t make it at Amazon without having a manager on your side and you need multiple managers on your side to help you get to where you want to go within the company. That’s how it works at Amazon. Align with the authoritative figures near you and you shall succeed.

So after a few months of working at Amazon, I have applied for an IT position within the warehouse that I was working at. A month later, I received a virtual interview for the position. So I did the interview and if the employer wants to move you forward to the next steps, then they would send you an email about the next steps. A week later, I received a rejection letter from the IT Manager, saying that they have found someone else for the position. That didn’t stop me. I’ve had to wait three months until I could reapply for another tech position so after the three months have passed, I have applied for another tech spot and then I was able to pass all the interviews and I was finally able to get my foot in the door into the IT field. I have officially received the job title “IT Support Technician.” I have worked under that job title for almost two years and then just two months ago, I got promoted to IT Support Associate II (Level 3) which is a higher tech position and I am currently still working at the same warehouse. The IT field is so vast and so many areas to study but working as an IT Support Associate is a good entry-level position to get into the IT field. I am thankful for all of the challenges that I have endured and overcome in order to get where I am today.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I do nature and wildlife photography and I specialize in mainly photographing birds but I also photograph other animals that I find interesting.

I am really known for photographing birds of prey and other large birds in flight. This is my favorite form of photography. Whenever I see a beautiful hawk circling above, I feel powerful and connected to the bird and the Universe.

I am most proud of my recent Barred Owl in the wild encounter and my most recent close up Red Fox encounter. I will never forget these encounters because I have gotten my dream images. I am also most proud of my Ospreys in flight images with their fish prey in their talons. I am so blessed to photograph the animals that I see on my nature walks.

What sets me apart from others is my skin color. I am one of the few black nature and wildlife photographers. This is one of the main reasons why I haven’t had any mentors in my life growing up because I couldn’t find anyone who looked like me that was outside photographing nature and animals. I couldn’t barely find any people of color just walking outside in nature parks. I am who I am today because I have shaped who I am based off of my environment and circumstances in my life. That’s how to adapt in life and I have taught myself everything that I know about nature and wildlife photography.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
What makes me happy is being outside in nature and seeing my animal friends on my nature walks. I am so connected with nature and Earth and it feels like home to me and this is why it makes me happy.


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