Wow—huge, huge apology on the delay of this blog. I warned you guys it may be irregular posing during the 20 day stretch, but I didn’t think it would be this bad!
The issue certainly wasn’t that nothing eventful has happened. Let me attempt to give you a run-down of the last 10 days, although I’m sure I’ll forget quite a few things.
Alt Press followed me on Instagram, I dyed my hair in a green room (shout out to Paul Mitchell for saving me!), and my pants ripped completely up the side. I went to a water park, I went to an amusement park, and I did my work for a day in a bathroom so I could siphon power. I asked Cam to prom, Dakota asked Rocky to prom, and we witnessed an actual proposal during With Confidence. I visited home, I saw my boyfriend, parents, and other friends from home, and I went four days without a shower (ew is right). I went in my first mosh pit, I cracked my phone (yes, those two are related), and I cried into a plate of mashed potatoes (not related). I got caught in a torrential downpour, I had a tweet go viral, and I got a tattoo. I got to shoot in the pretty yellow lights, I saw a really cute bird, and I went to Warped prom in my old homecoming dress. I ruptured an ovarian cyst (again), I lost my phone charger, and I yelled at a security guard for being sexist.
While I’d like to think that’s everything, it isn’t.
I do apologize for being absent for so long! If I haven’t complained enough, finding power and wifi is extremely difficult out here, and truthfully, I’ve been having so much fun that it’s hard for me to take an hour out of my day to write. If you’re really missing my snark in your life, my Twitter is a way better way to keep up with my stream of consciousness.
Speaking of social media, I’ve been receiving an outpouring of support for my work, which is so overwhelmingly kind and helpful as I trudge through my day on the tough ones. It’s put the concept of humility on my mind lately, as it’s something I struggle with.
It’s been difficult to grasp that I actually deserve to be here—my gut reaction is to chalk it up to luck or knowing the right people, which is indeed a huge factor. I’m shooting with people like Ryan Wantanabe, Ellie Mitchell, Chris Blockd, and Jar, and it’s so easy to compare my work to theirs and feel inadequate. I’ve really been grappling with the notion that My Work is Good and People Like It.
It’s certainly getting better, but of course I’m not all the way there yet. I’ve had several people tell me that I’m the reason they picked up photography again or that they want to be just like me, and that’s a hugely gratifying feeling as I was in that exact same position just three years ago. Even saying I inspire people seems so pretentious to me, but I’m so glad I’m able to do that (or something like that) for people because I don’t know where I’d be if someone hadn’t done it for me.
And for those people, I’ll leave you with two pieces of advice. The first is from Anna Lee, who said making it is 50% craft, 50% connections. The second is from me, who says work hard and be kind.
On the topic of kindness, I feel it’s necessary to once again shout out my boys. I was basically the World’s Worst Employee for several days as I visited family and ran a thousand errands, but they not only covered for me but encouraged me to ditch them and/or take time for myself. That’s what a crew does—they cover for each other and pick up the slack when they need to. I’m incredibly lucky that these guys snagged me, or else I’d be sitting at home.
I do try to take a few minutes every day to just feel profoundly grateful that I’m here. I recognize that my presence here means that another creative was excluded, and every time I’m feeling tired because I slept in a van, or upset that I haven’t showered, or miserable because I ruptured a cyst while shooting, I try to put the fact that people would kill to be where I am into perspective. I definitely allow myself to feel tired, upset, and miserable, but it’s important to me that I don’t take this experience for granted.
And with that, I believe it’s time for me to get back to the experience! I’m hoping to crank out two more blogs in the remaining week, but I’ll need you all to hold me to that. Yell at me on Twitter, and stay tuned!