Ultimately, the people who choose to champion originality are the ones who propel us forward. After spending years studying them and interacting with them, I am struck that their inner experiences are not any different from our own. They feel the same fear, the same doubt, as the rest of us. What sets them apart is that they take action anyway. They know in their hearts that failing would yield less regret than failing to try. - Adam Grant, Originals
Almost every week I have the chance to meet beautiful and talented people who are trying to share their craft with the world. Whether they are engineers or photographers, I love hearing their stories. I am inspired by those who hold onto their dreams even when it takes a little longer to break through, to become known for that thing which they are so very passionate about.
But even more than being inspired by the tenacity and persistence of so many individuals, I am incredibly motivated by how people more and more are joining together to help each other reach their dreams. Because the reality is that while there is much we can do alone, there is much more that we can do together. My favorite artists are those who have been a part of a movement, who surrounded themselves with people who would challenge them even at times compete with them so that their skills were sharpened. Let's not gloss things over -- Hemingway and Fitzgerald were brutal with each other. It's not fun to have your flaws under a magnifying glass, but as Ira Glass says,
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
Honestly, we've gotten a little too comfortable with not speaking the truth to each other. The reality is though we may have great aspirations, some of our work is shitty. Only when we look that truth in the face can we get better. We do each other no service by not encouraging one another to raise the bar of excellence. While the role of the critic is greatly dismissed, the critic does call out that sort of underdog spirit in an artist that determines to overcome, to make their voice known. A great strength is embedded in our core when we have to fight for what we believe in.
Never forget your real identity. You are a luminous cosmic stardust being forged into the crucible of cosmic fire. - Deepak Chopra
It's about being real, true, transparent, and authentically You. Cracks, bumps, flaws, and all. When the light shines through our imperfections, that's when we are truly able to touch other people's hearts and souls. - Rebecca Campbell
Last summer, I had the chance to collaborate with an incredible group of individuals who are each cultivating beauty in their own sphere. They are people who are pushing themselves and raising the bar in the creative community. We shot at the magical venue, The RUINS, located in lower Queen Anne. Everyone reached out to their contacts and favorite people to work with, and out of this came the ultimate dream team.
As we were shooting I could walk into each room and see these creatives like fairy godmothers absolutely transforming the models and surroundings. But more than transformation, it was each of their ability to call out, to usher out the best light of the individuals they were working with. This shoot while it produced amazing images beyond what I could have dreamed of, it revealed to me that together we truly can do anything.
So let's keep doing it. We made mistakes, we had challenges, but we learned so much. Nobody does it perfect the first time, but goodness we sure are off to a damn good start (I mean can you believe these photos?! Yunkin you sir there just aren't even words). And you know what? Even more than that -- I like you guys, and feel so very lucky to be creating in the same city as each of you. Let's do BIG things, bigger than we can IMAGINE in 2017.
To everyone else it looked like a single leap. But in reality it was hundreds of little baby steps.
Together this team made magic possible, let's keep taking each and every one of those baby steps towards our dreams. You all continue to amaze me, and I can't wait to work with them again:
- Collaboration Producer: @uncommoncartography
- Photos: @danieljshapiro @yunkinkeophomma
- Behind The Scenes Photos: @greenteleaf
- Venue: @the_ruins
- Gowns: @belltown_bride @pmndesigner , Justin Zachary Couture
- Event Design/Floral: @kalebnormanjames
- Makeup: @j0rdanr0ss @melissakornmakeupartist
- Hair: @makahmatt
- Wardrobe Stylist: @julietandlou
- Jewelry: @shannonkoszyk / @namikoabloom
- Food/Dessert: @the_ruins
- Champagne/Wine: @preceptwine
- Stationery Suite: @greyandcake
- Models: @annavina10 @noellejohnsun @diana_jean_o @imsuzijane @rodasfeker @_myfriendhanna
Ps: Next week a blog post will feature Daniel Shapiro's photography from this shoot :)