Happy mid-January, friends-- honestly, it's still super weird for me to consider the fact that we're even in the month of January (similar sentiments with it actually being 2018 as well), but here we are and we may as well embrace it as best as we can!
About a week ago, I had a chance to meet with Soli, an awesome human being whom I've known through friends for a while, but had never had a chance to sit down and talk to until now! We met at Kuppi Coffee Company in Edgewater, which was a little over an hour's drive from where I was coming from-- the drive itself was a whole other story, but it was definitely a worthwhile trip! A super cute cafe, and definitely a great go-to study space if I lived closer :)
After essentially hovering over a window table for about 20 minutes, we finally earned our coveted spot and talked about all kinds of things: life, photography/videography, and everything in between. She and I also got to talking about future goals and projects that we have for ourselves in this upcoming year. I don't want to give any spoilers, but suffice to say that Soli has some exciting stuff under her belt and I'm really excited for her to gift them to the world! And honestly, to be able to have chats like this, to be able to share in our dreams and pursuits of opening safe spaces and positive outlooks for communities of similar identities to us is such an honor.
And some personal context, if you will:
Growing up, I was never really the type to necessarily open these sorts of deeper issues (i.e. personal identity) for discussion. On the one hand, I was very timid and had social anxiety growing up; on the other hand, I was raised in a way in which many of these topics were rarely discussed. This doesn't necessarily place the blame on any particular person or people-- rather, it's about taking a few steps back and attempting to seek the origin point of these (sometimes problematic) systemic belief systems.
We also talked about more light-hearted subjects, too! And we chatted it up while taking photos of each other! Now I don't necessarily pride myself as a model (by any means HAHA), but I always find it to be a good experience to put yourself out there and try something that you wouldn't normally be comfortable doing :) Positive pushes, if you will! Soli did a pretty decent job, in my opinion:
Nothing like taking some small risks (even including things like shamelessly shooting in the middle of a busy afternoon at Kuppi Coffee Company and running outside to get some classic window shots) to keep growing through our day-to-day! That's how I found myself growing in my love, passion, and craft of photography-- keep finding that inspiration and just go out on a limb and challenge yourself regularly!