As I prepare for my very first national speaking engagement at WPPI this month, I am spending a lot of time thinking about where I’ve been, how I got to where I am today, and how much farther I still want to go. I’ve always said that photography isn’t just my job, it’s my passion. And I know a lot of photographers say that. But I really mean it. Like for real. Like for really reals. And come hellorhighwater or anything in-between, it will always be what I do and a huge part of what makes me who I am. This is my journey. I know this to be the truer truth than anything else I’ve ever known. And while a large part of my early growth was trial and error, with a good dose of fear of the unknown, in retrospect I never, ever had a fear of failure. I never thought I couldn’t do it, or shouldn’t do it. I never understood the words can’t, musn’t, don’t…and I never thought twice about those who publicly (and privately) wondered how someone with a master’s degree in Public Health could “ditch” all the education to go into business for herself. In a creative field. In the middle of a recession. And I realize, foolhardy or not, it’s because I operate under the weight of the words that if you want something enough, if you put enough time and effort and energy and heart and everything into it, it will succeed. It may not look at all like you envisioned. It may twist and turn and change and morph into something you never thought it would be, but I’d bet it will be better than anything you could have dreamed up on your own. And it’ll be a hell of a ride. But that’s just how I am. That’s just who I am. I understand limits. But I often recognize them and opt to move past them. At full speed. I cannot imagine being here today – right here at this computer reviewing the 200 posts I’ve made on this blog, in under two years – if I hadn’t taken chances, pushed past the impossible and jumped off cliffs while building my wings on the way down.
And part of what helps build me, helps stretch me beyond the boundaries of the same old same old, is working with people who allow me to exercise creative vision by bringing their own. Whether it’s a client, a model, a friend or a fellow photographer, it’s an absolute high to work with and among people who come to the table with just a little bit…more. Pure collaboration is like a dream that becomes a concept that becomes a vision and then arises, like a Phoenix, from the ashes. So this blog post is a huge thanks to those fabulous people who have dreamed with me. Who have taken chances with me. Who have helped me on the journey. And who, most importantly, have allowed me to help them on theirs. Because I know I grow as much from showing as I do from doing. Possibly more.
And so, in the true spirit of creative vision, I share with you Lashina – who was a treat to work with (and oh by the way, she looks a little bit like Tyra, right?) and who totally brought what I was looking for with her own style. I can’t ask for anything better than to work with fabulous and beautiful people who share my dreams. Who share my journey.