a blog by Max Trombly

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The joy of life

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

― Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

The piano.

There are very few instruments that can convey the depth of emotion that a piano can convey. I feel like it has a lot to do with two hands being able to separately contribute to the overall piece being played. Two melodies, from the same person. This is what makes a piano special. A great pianist is an incredible linguist in the language of melody. I used to play the piano as a younger boy. I hope to someday return to learning to play on one.

In the meantime, I’ve been really digging Chilly Gonzales recently. Here’s a video of him playing the song Othello from his most recent album, Solo Piano II

Chilly Gonzales – Othello

A thought on tastes

So today I ate a piece of seaweed and thought, “Wow that’s fishy” but then I realized maybe fish just taste Oceany and it’s been the wrong way of describing a particular taste I’ve attributed to fish all these years..



We crave human connection, not just pretty pictures. – Sue Bryce, photographer

I can look at a million photos taken by amateur and professional photographers alike, and when they lack connection, they simply don’t have what I wish they did.

All I ever want to see is real and honest people in the photos that I take. It’s truly that simple.

The man with a friendly smile

Maybe once a year I fly out of the New Orleans airport and have been doing so for around 5 years.  The screener that checks IDs has a wonderful smile and I had remembered him from previous flights. Anyway I mentioned to Jen that I recognized him and she replied with something along the lines of “Really? How often do you fly?” I proceeded forward and handed the man my ticket and ID. He looked at me, then my ID, then back me and and the following exchange occurred:

Him: “You must travel a lot.”
Me: “Why do you say that?”
Him: “You look familiar.”
Me: “About once a year and it’s nice to see you again.”

To this he replied with that wonderful smile and I was on my way. The whole thing made me laugh for some reason and it really makes me appreciate small airports and friendly people.

an honest portrait.

Creating a successful portrait, to me, is to create a portrait of someone during a moment of which they are most honestly portraying a part of themselves. Maybe with confidence, maybe showing vulnerability, sometimes a portrait shows a deeper, more long standing version of a person, but other times it can show a person in a moment of stark contrast to their typical character. Moments such as these, are by no means, incorrect, or dishonest, we are truly diverse people having different sides to our personalities.

If there’s one side to a personality I like to capture more than any other, it’s a passive and content happiness in which a person is visibly relaxed and comfortable. Not with an overly ripe smile, but instead a peaceful state most evident by a release of tension often held in eyes and a persons face.

It’s such a soft place to be, so easily affected by shifts in emotion brought on by any influence.

I’d like to become a master at giving people a place to exist, even for a moment, in this state. At this point, I’d imagine it may take an entire lifetime to get there, but I truly don’t know. I’m only just beginning to understand what it takes to allow people to exist within this place.

It’s amazing. Truly.


A good friend stopped by my studio recently.  I first met Bella right after I moved to New Orleans, in 2007, at a club the night her burlesque troupe performed a show. I handed her a card and mentioned that I was interested in photographing her. I’m fairly certain she was skeptical but took the […]

simple tributes

My camera is the vessel that allows me to explore a world full of wonder.

My photographs are simply tributes to those most wonderful sights that I’ve ever seen, whether they be beautiful people, astounding places, or simple things.

The trailhead

A new blog, a more refined direction, an awakened understanding, a new set of personal goals and a world of opportunity.  It is these things that I imagine will define the writings to come and I’m so wonderfully excited to share them with you.  Short thoughts, long meanderings and no idea what’s to come, but I will begin this new journal with the following:

On Life:

Right here and right now, is where the first 30 years of my life have brought me and I’ve never been more excited about anything in the world.  5 years ago I moved across the country, North to South, and opted to pursue a new direction.  As of today, a few things I can reflect on are a beautiful girlfriend (who is truly my equal and a partner in all parts of my life), an amazing dad, a younger brother who I am so incredibly proud of, two wonderful dogs (one of whom is pushing her nose up against my arm making this difficult to write without mistakes), the greatest friends in the world, and a developing life as a photographer.

On photography;

There’s nothing in life that I find more rewarding than taking an honest, real and without a doubt “true” portrait of someone.  I’m not talking about a posed smile for the camera, I am talking about a photo that captures every nuance of a persons character through their eyes, through their expression and quite simply, through them simply being.  If every single friend of mine gave me the opportunity to photograph them in this way, I’d have very likely captured the most beautiful photographs ever taken.  Truth be told, being my friends, I’d be incredibly biased, but all of their mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers as well as loved ones would likely agree.

Cheers to you, this new blog, and exciting things to come!

Life is can be truly wonderful and I hope to share some of that wonder with you.