The last two people I've met from Instagram have told me that I'm taller in person than they expected me to be. This makes me happy, but also causes me to wonder if everyone who knows of me via the internet thinks I'm 5'1". I know I shouldn't complain. I'm 5'7", which is taller than average, but this does mean that I need to start taking my photos from lower angles. After a couple months of doing that I'll probably have people from Instagram say I'm so much shorter than they thought I would be. You can never win.
In the Summer and Fall of 2015, I took a semester off of school to focus on my well-being and spend time doing things I had never allowed myself to do. Without any academic responsibilities, I was free to spend a period of about 10 months doing whatever I wanted. I've always liked working, so I got a part-time job, but for the most part my days were spent exploring the city, eating good food, enjoying quality time with family, and meeting people off of the internet. I had always been somewhat introverted — I never had many friends and I tended to keep to myself rather than engage in social activities. But meeting people off of Instagram was an opportunity to make friends with similar interests and learn more about the industry that I had always been interested in, but never given myself the chance to delve into.
When I returned to school the following Spring of 2016, I took on a full schedule of classes, work, and content creation, leaving little time to meet up with people as I had during my semester off. Fast forward a year to Spring 2017, and I've met only a few new people in the past 12 months. I'm so busy every single day, going nonstop from sunup to sundown, that my own creative career has taken somewhat of a backseat. Thinking about what I want to accomplish this year, and where I want to be in the next 5, 10, 15 years, I decided that I need to be more proactive about my creative goals. I want to meet more talented people, collaborate with more incredible brands, and learn more about the industry. I was so happy when I got to meet Mire, an extremely gifted photographer based in Downtown Los Angeles, for coffee and a quick photo session. Even though our aesthetics are a bit different we were able to work together to produce some amazing content.
After getting to know each other and discussing our creative goals we set off to shoot some photos around the Arts District. Instead of sticking to the usual white wall backgrounds I tend toward, we found a cool grid wall, as well as a multicolor steel fence. My outfits may stay the same (Blue jeans, black shirt, black boots. Same old, same old), but I'm committed to learning, growing, and improving my work. I don't want to get stuck in a minimalist rut where I'm scared to post anything without a plain background. I want to try new things, be inspired, experiment without fear of failure.