Sunday, August 29, 2010

the word of the year is new

Cause they know and so do I
The high road is hard to find
A detour in your new life

The word of the year is new.
There are so many things that are changing. My life has been a tornado of chaos. Just a short sum of what has happened:

I got bored in Denver.
I left for Ten Sleep, Wyoming to climb for a final couple days of summer with one of my best friends.
For the first time all summer, I arrived at a house full of happy people. It was so good. I brought good food, and we laughed and talked and shared stories.
The next day we woke up and climbed until the skin on my fingers was torn and bruised.
We repeated this cycle: eating curry for dinner, eggs and avocados for breakfast, climbing until it gets dark, and then laughing and sharing stories until odd hours of the morning.
We cut each other's hair in the kitchen at 1 AM while listening to this Broken Bells song.
We left Ten Sleep a couple days later, happy about the time we had.

Fast forward 8 hours of driving and lonely highways and I am back in Laramie, getting ready for school.
New house.
New room.
New goals.
I went to class on the first day and loved it.
I went to class on the second day and was ready to quit school.

Now, my time is filled with cooking, taking the puppy for runs and doing homework. Sigh...this is the life I'll be living for the next 9 months until the sun hits this part of the world again. I can already feel it leaving.

My photos haven't been what I would like them to be lately.

And I drink approximately 3-5 cups of tea a day.

The place that holds my belongings for the next year.

The photo wall.

kitchen haircuts in the early morning hours.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The difference between standing still and moving

I keep seeing things that inspire me.
I keep trying to convey that in photographs.
I keep disappointing myself with the outcome.

Today I found a bit of inspiration in the clouds. I ran and ran and hopped the fence and ran some more to chase these clouds and bring some back to you. As I got everything set up, I realized I had forgotten the memory card. So I ran and hopped the fence back and ran and ran and grabbed the memory card, and then did it once all over again.

By the time I got up to the hill that I had the most perfect cloud picture plans for, they had moved on. Frustrated, I sat down and got teary eyed. I feel like this has been happening so much lately. I get a sliver of inspiration and the creativity bursts out and then I can't, for some reason, bring it into any of my photos. A wire is disconnected.

All in all, I've been really frustrated the past couple days. I am learning how to make business decisions to run a business, but my emotions are so, so, soooo attached. If I could, I would give away photos to whomever wanted them. I understand though, that isn't how you run a business.

I've been frustrated with my own selfishness. All this moving around has got me hooked. When I'm away from home, I think about some place consistent. When I'm at home, I can't stop thinking about how ready I am for another adventure. When I'm someplace where I have down time, I feel like my life is stagnant and boring. I am craving movement and something to keep me on my toes.

I used to take pictures because there was so much chaos and change in my life, it was something that kept me still. If I stood in one place, looked around and concentrated on something that no one else noticed, I could make it important.

How did something that kept me standing still suddenly become something where if I'm not moving around , it is insignificant?

I can't remember how it got this way, but this isn't going to work.

I have been lacking motivation to climb. I'm not pushing myself to do it because, well, frankly, I don't want to. Instead, I've switched to running. It makes me feel good, it makes my dog tired and that is a win-win.

For now, I'm off again to satisfy my need to travel. Me and the pup are going to Ten Sleep for the next couple days to reunite with one of my best friends, Nori and hopefully be outside for as much time as I can before school ties me down.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

That time I was afraid of water

Deep in my family roots, there is a fear of water instilled in our brains. So why I took a job as a photo assistant on a river trip is beyond me.

The clothing company, Isis, ( was doing a photo shoot for their spring and summer lines. Besides being SUPER cute clothes, they are functional and technical as well. I love this company and will swear my life on one of their rain jacket's that once kept me dry in 7 hours of consistent downpour. I was hired as a photo assistant to one of the most brilliant photographers in the adventure industry, Chris Noble.

There were a lot of nervous feelings and anxiety before my river trip job. I wasn't sure what to expect and I was waking up really, really nervous every morning prior to departure. The night before I left I really panicked and was trying to figure out how to deal with the immense amount of fear and anxiety that I had about the water we were about to encounter.

Fear is a funny thing. If you don't know how to handle it, it can be crippling. I haven't had to really face something this scary to me for a long time and I kind of forgot how to deal. I kept taking deep breaths and promising myself that it was going to be ok and no matter what, I was still going to learn something. If I didn't deal with my fear now, it would be easier and easier to
back out on some opportunity that could really be beneficial to me. And even though I was feeling regret for signing up for this the night before we left, I am so glad I decided to venture out of my comfort level.

The word 'comfortable' was never in my vocabulary for this trip. But I never felt like I couldn't handle what was going on. I put my trust and my faith in our kick ass guides that were with us. (Really, these women were some of the most beautiful and good-hearted adventuresses I've ever met) They made sure I felt secure and happy always and were really focused on making sure I enjoyed myself. This was just a part of what made the trip so good, but it was a big part.

The models I worked with were fantastic and interesting people, and our entire trip was 10 girls and Chris, the photographer. The conversations were filled with laughter and good stories about mis-happenings on adventures and funny things that have happened in our lives. I swam in the river (by choice), got a lot of sun and really, truly, enjoyed myself and my use of my time.

I slept out under the stars on the beach and during the first night, I knew I was doing something good for my mind and my body. I slipped into sleep, happy and my brain full of positive thoughts.

Leaving a trip that was so good is hard. There is no subtle way to join the veins of the real world again. You feel like you just experienced something so monumental and good, and no one gets it. Sitting here in this rad coffee shop, I'm just looking around at everyone here like,

Don't you understand that I just did something terribly scary for me?
Can't you see in my grin that I just experienced something that you might not ever see in your life?
Did you see those blue herons flying around the canyon walls, and those sparrows diving and coasting like kites?
All of a sudden, the world seems small again. The outdoor world seems far away and unreachable. Despite it only being 2 days, I feel a lot better about dealing with fear.

Bottom line: It's good for you to do something that really challenges you to face
your own mind.

I'm now finishing my coffee and getting ready to skirt around Salt Lake City to do some shooting before I'm off to Colorado again for a final couple days before heading back to my home base in Laramie.

Things are good.

Friday, August 6, 2010

photos that have been taken in the past 3 days.
another cup of coffee in the system.
another paycheck in the bank.
off on another adventure.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Outdoor Retailer Show

In the past month, I have driven over 1000 miles by myself. 12 hours to Bozeman, 12 hours back. 8 hours to Salt Lake City, and then 8 more back next week. I have stacks of cd's and the back of the car is my closet. I've gone through 3 books. I brush my teeth on the side of the between appointments, meetings and jobs. I have watched more lightning storms than I can count and had to pull over during intense rainstorms due to a conveniently broken windshield wiper on my driver's side. Ok. I'm exhausted.

The best thing about all this traveling is meeting new people. Being able to get a glimpse in the life of someone who is passionate about their job and the world is special and I get to experience that often.

Now I'm at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, Utah. The words that I would choose to describe this? It is a chaotic, opportunity filled, networking pool for outdoor enthusiasts.

I've been networking and being social for not even a full day and I'm overwhelmed.
Things I have accomplished:

- I have exchanged multiple conversations with athletes, photographers, artists, and friends that I really look up to.
- I've seen more passion and excitement about outdoor adventure and exploration than I have ever experienced. It's inspiring.
- I have attempted to hail a taxi and have had my first taxi ride. It was a little anti-climatic but still a first.
- I have been asked for business cards (which will soon be ordered as soon as I return)
- I batted my eyelashes and said I was a student to get free parking. I don't even know what the student parking was for, but it saved me a 20 minute walk.
- I fell asleep, exhausted and happy with my life and where it is going.

The more I talk about what I'm doing with my life, my pursuit in photography and my career goals, the more confident I am about the choices I am making to get there. There are so many people that have helped me get to this point and have been so encouraging in the process.

I really am grateful for all these opportunities and encouraging words. Pictures are coming soon, check back in the next couple days.