For awhile I’ve been thinking of what I wanted to share with you guys beyond just beautiful imagery. I am going to tell you the stories behind the images: why they were shot, what happened during the creation of the images, etc. To do this, though, I must give a little bit more information of who we are and what we do. This entry, while might be lengthy, is going to explain how I became who I am today.
I am Adrian Murray. I am the creative behind the images and penman of this digital journal. Four years ago I was in dental school to become Dr. Murray DMD. Life clearly had a different plan for me. Days into starting dental school we had just moved across country and the unthinkable had happened. We went in to check our 9 month old‘s crib only to find that he was not responding. At all. His limbs fell from his body as we picked him up, he was laying in a pool of sweat, we were terrified. He was weak, with the shallowest of breaths. We tried to wake him with no avail.
We packed the car and rushed ourselves to the children’s hospital. After awhile they were able to bring some life back to his pale skin and he started to respond a little. They bombarded this nine month old body with tests to try and figure out what happened. Three days in the hospital and we left without any answers. The next couple of weeks were recovery for Emerson. His life would never be the same, and neither would ours. A month after the frightening incident we saw a seizure, one that wouldn’t stop. Neither of us knew what to do. We called doctors and after being on hold they told us to go to the ER. For anyone reading this, if you see someone having a seizure that lasts longer than five minutes, take the person to the ER or call an ambulance. By the time the hospital had gotten him to stop seizing his brain was firing for over an hour. Our 10 month old son was placed on anti-epileptic medication.
We had found ourselves in a new normal. My pregnant wife was to stay with our sick child and we would always be worried, and I was to embark on the most difficult educational journey of my life. Oh, and by the way, the day we moved in for dental school, we found out my wife was pregnant with our second child. Saying life was stressful at the time would be a bit of an understatement of epic proportions. I needed an outlet.
What does one do when they need to balance life with doctorate school, a sick child, and a growing family? Well, I chose photography. I had recently been made aware of how fleeting life could be, I was always interested in the topic, and I was a creative at heart. I bought a “fancy camera” that Christmas and started to learn everything I could. I was able to quickly understand the scientific aspects of the hobby thanks to my background in science. The creativity is something that happened with inspiration from life. That part still rings true today.
That is the origin story and it’s been told many, many times. However, life never got easier. After my second year of dental school I now had two kids and another on the way (yes, my poor wife was a regular at the maternity ward - more on that later). I had passed all of my classes and was still on track to prefix my name with those two beautiful letters, “Dr.” Except there was a part of me that had wondered if there was something else in life. Something other than the status quo of working every day for the rest of my life. I was curious about a life of art. My hobby had become passion, and it was starting to make me question my path. I had decided to ignore those thoughts and press forward with dental school.
Our eldest son was continuing to have seizures and his development was slower than others. We were trying to give him anything that would help him progress. Speech therapy, occupational therapy, the works. Just like all parents, we want him to flourish. Today we now know that he has an extremely rare genetic mutation that affects the development of his brain. He is five years old and struggles with speaking or retention of any information. But man, does he know how to love. He wears his heart on his sleeve like no person you’d ever meet. There is no holding back, there is just... Emerson.
Let’s go back a bit and cover what happened in my third year of dental school. I had wanted to complete my training and keep my artistic endeavors as a hobby. Again, life had a different plan from my own. Emerson started to have clusters of seizures and with a one year old and a new born, I needed to help my wife as much as I could. Thankfully she is the most amazing woman on the world so she juggled the chaos of life beautifully, but as a parent and a partner I always felt like I was abandoning my family in crisis even though I was trying to get trained for their livelihood later on. I was, as you say, stuck between a rock and a hard place.
The entire time I was in dental school I was developing a physiological affinity for anxiety and depression. The stresses were real. They were hard. When I started to see patients I was placed under the supervision of someone who was extremely type A and had no patience for people with extra curricular stressors. That didn’t help the situation at all.
I failed my first class of dental school the first semester of my third year. Then the next semester, I failed two more. These were not easy classes and with the stresses from life had piled on me, my endurance started to buckle. Coupled with what was in the back of my mind concerning art... I struggled. The school told me that I needed to repeat my third year. For those that don’t know, that means I needed to spend another $100,000 dollars on my education. We decided to take a year off from school and evaluate our options. Nothing truly spectacular occurred that year but with having our fourth child due soon, it was definitely nice to be... a parent. With my passion in art and parenting, the decision to forgo my training to focus on a more creative path started to make more sense. Especially because our home operates better with two parents.
My wife’s family was based in Idaho and we wanted our kids to be surrounded with family. So we packed up our things and moved back to Idaho after staying in Kentucky. We are just now starting to buy a home here. There were some major complications with moving; though, I’ll talk about that in another post because, wow. Shortly after moving back to Idaho we discovered something, we enjoyed making advertisements for companies on our social media. It was fun. That has since become a large way for us to fund our lives; and frankly, we aren’t half bad at it.
Today, while I may not be a doctor, I think I am something even better... a stay at home dad of four kids, a husband, a father to a special needs child, an entrepreneur, a photographer, an artist, and many other things. Something I will be sharing regularly on this channel is the stories behind the images you see. They won’t be this long, don’t worry, but they’ll give a little bit more information about our lives as a family, and what the images mean to us.
So this is an invite to the world. Follow us on our little journey. Because we are only able to take this walk thanks to you guys, our fans and our followers. Which means, feel free to share our story with others. This post is just a taste of what is to come in terms of sharing the journal of our lives. If you follow us, not only will you get an idea of our lives as a family, but you’ll also see some pretty pictures along the way. You might laugh, you might cry, you might disapprove. In any case, we will share our family, our art, and our experiences. We look forward to sharing more with you.
Until next the next post, have a wonderful day.