So where do I begin? I guess I begin where my life left off.
Over the past year, I’ve gone through a lot of personal strife and growth after losing my husband and business partner, Jeff. Well, I guess that those do kind of go hand-in-hand.
A few months back, I decided that it was time for me to depart from my every day routine and rituals. How do you actually make that happen though?
Over the holidays, I drew a hard line in the sand, determining it was the right time to take a break from weddings to regroup. Weddings had become emotionally overwhelming for me to commit to doing weekend after weekend without my life partner by my side (although I have had some amazing couples this year and a great shooting and moral support partner in Annie!). I needed a break.
I had to invent a new way to continue what I love—photography—but with a new direction. In one of my run-away-to-the-circus moments, I applied to a program aimed at entrepreneurs and remote workers called We Roam, just for fun. They interview and select a small group to work, travel, and live together for a varying number of months, but most people commit to a year. I wasn’t sure I was able or ready to make that level of commitment, but I knew that this program spoke to me and even though it seemed crazy, it oddly seemed like the only thing that made sense in my life right now as far as possible paths.
I spent a few weeks contemplating how this could all come together. I decided I could use this amazing travel opportunity to not only develop an editorial and commercial portfolio highlighting small businesses and unique people’s stories abroad, but I could also concentrate on shooting constantly to recreate my individual voice as an artist while creating fine art travel photography during my journey for myself and for others. I love doing street photography while traveling—it’s one of my favorite things to capture the spirit and every day life of different neighborhoods and cities! I will be continuing with my documentary vida portraits (family, couple, and senior dog storytelling sessions) when I return in addition to the new commercial, editorial, and stock work.
I have to remove myself from my everyday world to disconnect from the things that have defined the me I’ve always known. I will be journaling and blogging my journey, not only of my new portfolio work, but my path as a young widow and traveling to get to know myself again and move forward (not on…).
I’m excited and terrified all at the same time, but I know that this is going to be an important part of working through my grief and finding the joy in life and learning to love myself and honoring my unique voice.
In the words of Andrew McMahon (Thank you, Mary, for creating that obsession!):
We cross a country
In an airplane with the wings on fire
Hanging from the seatbelt sign
That’s the one thing
There’s no safety in desire
Preserving life is as good as dying
I definitely feel like I’m hanging onto the seatbelt sign and swinging from it!
I hope you follow my journey. I’m excited to share it. I have an incredible community of people who have encouraged creating a kickstarter to share imagery from my destinations. The official launch of that is coming next week and I can’t wait to share it!
Our group will be moving cities once a month, which is so rad because I get to experience each city as much more than a tourist. And hey, if you know someone in one of my destinations, feel free to connect us! I’d love to do some portrait work while I’m abroad.
July: Prague, Czech Republic
August: Berlin, Germany
September: Split, Croatia
October: Belgrade, Serbia
November: Lisbon, Portugal
December: Rabbat, Morocco
I want to thank you all for the support, love, and encouragement you’ve given me this past year. It’s because of you that I’m still standing and able to launch forward with this adventure.
Live in the moment.
La Vita é bella.
And carpe fucking diem
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