The first email I got from Claudia was one of the most excited emails that I've probably ever gotten. It's a photographer's dream to have clients like her: Already totally in love with my work, me being the ONLY photographer for them and could they please please get my schedule and try to work a photo session into their trip to Paris?
Hello. Freaking. Dream. Client.
I try to be pretty real about my life- yes, I do a lot of awesome traveling, I live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and my current running locations are around Parisian gardens, the Eiffel Tower and the occasional jaunt into the gardens of the Louvre (The Tuileries). But at the same time, I'm also very vocal about the loneliness and uncertainty of moving to a new country, the hard work and dedication that it takes to build a successful business (hello #girlboss!) and the fact that even in Paris, I still clean my own toilets.
Claudia made me feel like the superstar photographer I dream to be, inspiring and at the top of my game. It felt SO far from the truth (but who doesn't love the confidence boost right?!). My truth is that most afternoon's I'm home with my lion of a cat, trying my best not to procrastinate editing the backlog of photo sessions that always seems to be there. Sometimes my procrastination wins and I head out for a run to get my mind straight, sometimes I'm sucked down the instagram rabbit hole wondering how the heck to get shoots in amazing natural places like the Cliffs of Moher, Big Sur and Lake Como.. Then I go back to editing. To her, I was living her dream life, in France, with the love of my life.
I have to kick myself because the places I normally shoot in, Paris and NYC, are locations that other photographers DREAM about... and all this girl craves is fresh air and a great landscape.
Talk about the grass being greener, right?
Sidenote: You can see my affinity for greenery in my photos almost instantly, I encourage my clients to shoot in gardens and bring flowers any chance I get. It's what inspires me. Even in these photos, at the base of the Eiffel Tower, what did I do? Put them next to the prettiest rose bush. HA!
What I'm getting to is, whether it's in your photography, in your clothing choices (Claudia wore a gorgeous lace dress, and Jay wore a polo and a baseball cap.. staying true to THEIR individual personalities while still rocking it in front of the camera!!), or in your wildest, deepest, soul-centric aspirations, you need to stay true to who you are. Yeah, I'm talking to you, Ms. Adventurer-at-heart but hesitant to leave the warmth of your family for bigger dreams and Ms. Afraid to stray from the traditional path, afraid because everyone tells you "oh that's a nice dream" when you know it could be your reality.
Being your true self is hard work. Being honest and saying, hey, my life isn't perfect, or I'm sweating my butt off in my tiny Parisian apartment that's 19,000 degrees in the summer, saying this is my dream and I'm doing everything in my power to make it my reality. All of that is hard.
But what makes it all worth it?
Just when you need it, just when you feel like you simply CANNOT do any more, the universe sends someone like Claudia to make you remember that even though you don't think you've really "made it" yet, someone else does.