We had the good fortune of connecting with DJ Cocroft and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi DJ, what role has risk played in your life or career?
The word “risk-taking” translates back to one thing for me. Fear. Fear is an emotional trigger for me, because it is the source of every feeling of regret I’ve ever felt in my life. All of the decisions I should have made, things I should have said, and things I should have done were all missed opportunities due to fear. After years of trying to grow deeper in God and finding myself, I’ve learned that there are very few things in life that really matter. So I’ve become a very purpose-driven person. And I think that when most people truly focus on purpose, they will discover that every decision they face that involves risk, directly involves the fear that is keeping them from their purpose.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I feel like my passion is what sets me apart from others. And this was honestly my biggest struggle, because passion is hard to pitch. There were many times (and still are) where I reached out to people for an opportunity in exchange for little to no money, just because I wanted a chance to prove myself and grow in my craft. As innocent as that sounds, to most people that just comes off like desperation, lack of confidence, and a potential waste of time. And I understand that completely. When it comes to creativity, it’s a sensitive area for all of us. Creativity requires vulnerability and lots of it. One of the hardest emotional blows any of us can receive is stepping out creatively only to be rejected or fail. Which is why most people just follow trends, it’s emotionally safe as long you keep yourself in tune with the world around you. (There’s a deeper message there but I digress.) As a creative, I challenge myself to be a trendsetter. And I don’t always win this challenge, there are some days where it’s really hard to get out of bed, wondering if I am good enough or am I making a difference. But in the end I keep pushing, because if I don’t, everything will become meaningless.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’ve lived in Houston all my life. And it seems like as a photographer/videographer constantly on the look out for good locations to shoot, I am far too often coming out from under the rock I’ve been living under to discover amazing locations that has always been there. So if anyone has any great locations they would like to share with me, I would love to hear about them!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
All credit would honestly go to God, and my pursuit of Him. I know it sounds a little cliche, but I honestly would not be who I am if it weren’t for Him and the people that are in my life who are also in pursuit of Him. They are the ones who gave me an opportunity purely based on their own faith, to help someone like me who is actively chasing miracles. There was a time where I felt absolutely meaningless because I was crippled by fear. I had no idea what I wanted to do in life. I had a job that paid well, but it felt meaningless. My family was living paycheck to paycheck and I felt that same bleak outlook on life was trickling down to them. That’s when I knew it was time for a Hail Mary. I quit my job 2 weeks later to start a career as a photographer/videographer. I literally had no clientele, and no income. I used what little 401k that was saved up over the last 7 years and spent 10% of it on camera gear, and the other 90% on helping us survive long enough for me to start generating income (or at least becoming good enough at it to have some hope in generating income.) The aforementioned faith-based people are the ones who not only kept my family afloat, but allowed me to flourish after what could have very well been the most reckless, irresponsible decision I’ve ever made in my life. And years later, I still verbally remind every single one of them of their crucial role in my success.
No Credits Needed