A couple weeks ago, I was hiking in Yosemite when my friend amelia called and invited me to meet up with her and some amazing creatives in Joshua tree, and to be candid, my first thought was "oh shit." I felt a little heavy and was tempted to decline, which is a part of my personality I don't fully understand, but maybe you've been there. Like, it's not that I didn't want to I really really wanted to, I just felt so small and unworthy and was so scared to embarrass myself, but I didn't want to show it so I said yes. You're probably reading this thinking that I was taking things way too seriously which I totally WAS but I couldn't help feeling like I didn't deserve to be there with these people who I had looked up to for a long time.
As the date got a little closer I was feeling a little panicky about my lack of outfits/skills/equipment/etc which started to wear on me a little. If I don't correct myself, I can be pretty self destructive, and it definitely spirals. Amelia assured me that it was gonna be super chill and I was smiling like "yeah for sure, for sure" and then going straight back to stressed. Again, maybe you can relate.
When we finally arrived, I felt a little better. First of all, the AirBnb was absolutely incredible. Down to every last detail, it was so amazing, so my geeking out from that definitely took some of the edge off. Secondly, as the girls rolled in, everyone was so nice and I felt stupid for ever being freaked out.
It was obvious that I wasn't the most experienced photographer there, and at moments I had a hard time feeling confident in my talent, but these girls really surprised me in their humility. Meeting someone you've already followed on Instagram is always served with a side of awkwardness and a dash of intimidation, but this was different. Everyone was totally lifting each other up with encouragement and tips and good vibes and I genuinely felt really lucky. Each and every girl there added so much to the dynamic, and it was inspiring to hear so many totally different perspectives from some of the most talented people I've ever met, but also to feel like someone "got" the same struggles and doubts I have faced as a creative.
So here's to facing fears when you don't want to, leaping into embarrassment, and ending up with some good memories, pretty photos, and a heart full of light. I highly recommend it.
enjoy this little desert playlist collab with Jason Munninghoff for all the magic:
A huge thank you to @allegraroseb, @courtneysteeves, @paytonhartsell, @amelia.edmondson, @jessicaspohr, and @gabriellacullynephotography for being a part of this, and an especially huge thanks to @allegraroseb for organizing the beautiful #happyhomesteadhouse AirBnb and to @amelia.edmondson for inviting me. you guys are absolute gems.