wallflowers and wildflowers

I used to be quite the wallflower. At every social event I would find myself sitting on the sidelines, desperately trying to look like I belonged there... all without looking TOO desperate.  I would clutch my drink and sip it slowly, giving my hands something to do. I would sit silently and observe the interaction happening all around me. Too shy to make a peep, I would sit and sip, sit and sip. Looking around and willing someone to notice me, include me, and save me from the sidelines. But nothing like that ever happened. And then, after far too long,  I finally realized that I had to save myself.

Someone recently gave me the best piece of advice I think I've ever heard: "Do something that scares you. Every day."

Most of us have a fear of the unknown. And it's often that fear that holds us back from doing the most incredible things. Realizing this, I am embracing this quote as a mantra of mine, and using it to work through my fears and get past the things that hold me back from realizing my full potential.

I've been practicing this for a while now, but really got a chance to embrace and overcome my fear during the latest OC PhotogShootout event yesterday while surrounded by 60+ of my photographer peers. Broken into groups, we worked with instructors and models to stretch ourselves, learn and grow, and practice our skills. In the past I would have taken a backseat to the others... but this time around I first took a deep breath, and then took control. And I had such an amazing experience because of it.

Not only did I meet some pretty amazing people, but I was also brave enough to speak up and ask questions of the instructors,  act assertively with the other photographers so I could get my desired shots, and even direct some models' poses.

I was pretty darn proud of myself. A wallflower no more, maybe I'm now a wildflower instead...

And speaking of WILDflowers, here's one of the shots I captured during yesterday's gypsy/bohemian-themed event. More to come soon...