A few years ago, I flew to Fiji for a once-in-a-lifetime, magical experience type of photoshoot.
One where we scouted private islands by boat, where we sat with the locals and sang songs as the host played music on his guitar with only 3 strings, where we toured local villages and children pushed us down the river on fishing rafts, where our guide took us hiking barefoot through the jungle as he picked local fruit off the trail and told us the perfect spot to jump safely off the waterfall, where I drank my morning coffee with a coconut while paddle boarding.
All while I was on a WORK trip, to take PHOTOS for my JOB (what is life)
The shoots went perfect, so perfect we even had an extra day to tour the island and take it all in one last time. Then, on the way home — you know that feeling when you’re just blissed out? That was me — salty, sunburnt and full of gratitude as the crew and I started to pile into our tiny, tiny propeller plane. This plane was to take us from Savusavu, the island we shot on to Nadi, where you get on the actual big 747.
I remember hopping on the plane, noticing that the island livin’ pilot wasn’t even wearing any shoes, and I laughed as I reminisced on the week of photography magic, got comfy and looked out the window.
One of my favorite parts of flying home from a successful work trip is looking out the window as we take off and seeing the island get smaller in the distance. It’s a moment I sit with gratitude for the job I’m so blessed to have.
I remember sitting there watching the turquoise ocean turn a deep blue and I noticed something was not right…
… I felt wind… blowing… on my legs..
And I don’t mean A/C on the plane — I mean, WIND. From OUTSIDE.
I scanned the plane trying to figure out where it was coming from, I looked down and noticed I could see the ocean shimmer underneath us, that’s beautiful I thought, it’s almost like my brain couldn’t process what I was looking at and it took me a minute to realize.
I WAS LOOKING AT THE OCEAN through a bunch of BIG HOLES, CRACKS AND GAPS IN THE PLANE.
It looked like the doors hadn’t closed all the way, because they didn’t. They were just held together with a few pins and buckles while they moved loosely back and forth. While we were suspended above the Pacific Ocean. (with an hour left to go!)
I of course started panicking, as anyone would. I was thinking, “oh no… if I lean too hard on this door, is it going to fall off?! Is the plane going to make it? What if I drop my phone… it’s legit going to fall into the ocean. What have I gotten myself into.”
But then as my mind raced I looked around and saw that the crew I’d been with all week was still blissed out — eyes closed, sunsoaked skin, perma smiles on their face, not a care in the world as the water glittered underneath us.
And I was reminded, in that instant, that nothing beautiful comes without a little risk…
It takes a heck of a lot of courage to get to the beautiful things life has coming for us all.
No risk, no reward right?
So I sat there, looked at the two girls next to me and said “Look, the ocean!” And pointed to the holes, we all nervously laughed and enjoyed the rest of the flight.
(P.S., the flight went without a hitch — and it was a peaceful landing and honestly I enjoyed the extra breeze.)
Over the years, I’ve come back to that plane ride and that trip over and over again as a reminder that dreams and goals and fears all exist together in this beautiful, magical little medley.
Even when I’ve been scared I was going to fall through the proverbial plane floor.
Enter: something that’s felt a lot like that plane ride to me over the years — growing this photography business of mine, building a beautiful photography community, and learning to put myself out there and step into life with joy and confidence and love for what I do.
Doing what I love.
Chasing my dreams.
Bringing you with me.
I’ve been toying with the idea of hopping on another one of those tiny, holey propeller planes for a few years now — AKA, podcasting.
But, I’ll be honest… I’ve been SCARED. I’ve worried about trying something new, I’ve worried about putting myself more out there, and I’ve felt the little girl who was teased and bullied show her face in the back of my mind again and again making me question if I really wanted to do this.
I’m coming back to that plane ride, though.
I’m reminding myself that it takes courage to get where you want to go…
Whether it’s courage to hop on a tiny propeller plane to find that private island so you can get the perfect shot or courage to put yourself out there and risk judgment if it means helping another photographer grow…
As Brene Brown says “You can choose courage or you can choose comfort, you cannot choose both.” I hope I spend my entire life choosing courage, and I hope you do too.
So, my beautiful friends, mark your calendars…
The Photographer’s Podcast launches a week from today on July 13th
And I’ve got a trailer waiting for you to listen to NOW! I can’t wait to hear what you think.
If you’re looking for a space to learn, to grow as a photographer, and get inspired to seek out a kind of life where courage is your right of passage, this is the podcast for you.
Make sure to give us a follow so that you can be notified the second we launch next week!!!
I’m excited, terrified and ready to step into courage and connect with you on an even deeper level.
*to chasing dreams that are always worth the risk*