I have a confession. I’m not really an outdoorsy girl. And yet, you’re looking at photos I made last weekend- made while I waded neck-deep into the Chattahoochee River, dodging fish and snakes and maybe a flesh-eating bacterium or two. Huh. How do you like that?
My photography pushes me like nothing else I’ve ever known. Clearly, because under normal circumstances, I’d be much more content back on shore, book in one hand and something fruity and frozen and topped with a little umbrella in the other. But Sunday was the River Shoot. It was like Christmas for me. (Which, ahem, is saying a lot, because I also happen to be head-over-heels in love with Christmas. Just so you know.) Also, in case you were wondering how best to pull off your OWN model-in-the-river look and where to buy some of the jewelry that one of my lovely models are wearing, check out Dazzle Me Designs. You’re welcome.
There’s something about going outside your comfort zone, not only as an artist but as a human being, that’s just really good for your soul. I donned raggedy yoga pants, hoisted my camera above my head, and just walked into a frigging river like I owned the joint.
Leaving your comfort zone is scary. And it’s scary no matter where your comfort zone is. The day of this shoot, mine was obviously on dry land, but beyond that, it’s staying behind. It takes a lot to take a deep breath and leave what you know, diving into the unknown with fear or trepidation or butterflies or anything or everything.
You can stay where it’s comfortable. A lot of us do. But you’re not really living. You’re just existing. But then the day or hour or moment will come along where you’ll read something or hear something or do something that wakes you up from this cozy little hibernation that you hadn’t even realized you’d fallen into. Something jolts you- maybe it’s a something, maybe it’s a someone- and suddenly you’re awake and the restlessness is gone. And you know what you have to do to stay alive. You live.
And you will get scared. If you’re lucky, it’s just a fish that gets a little too friendly in the Chattahoochee. But worse can- and will- happen. The trick is actually really easy: so ridiculously simple, in fact, that most of us forget it altogether. Live. Don’t just exist. Live.