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I went into this photoshoot with the lowest of expectations. 1. Because I am scared shitless of being in front of cameras. I get shy, embarrased and awkward as fuck. 2. I’ve never been a fan of looking at myself. 3. I’ve only ever really done 2 photoshoots before and they were fitness related, so those -to me- don’t really count because I can’t change the way my face or body looks while i’m snatching or doing a pull up. You either get the ugly lifting faces or the RBF focus face. If ya know.. ya know and well, mine are pretty horrifying/hilarious to see! Haha

The only thing I expected to get out of this was to come out a better and more confident person than I was before. To be proud that I actually stood in front of a camera, with a dude I had only met briefly one other time before. To gain a little experience in something outside of my normal life routine.

Little background leading up to the shoot:
I asked Renato (@furyphotography on the gram) if he’d be interested in doing a shoot. He focuses mainly on fitness shots, but I was thinking maybe he would want to broaden his portfolio so I figured why not ask, the worst that can happen is that he will say no. And if he says yes, well it would be a win-win if I could help him out as well. I got an immediate yes. My heart immediately started pounding, it’s actually happening. – step 1 ✓

He asked me what ‘theme’ or type of shoot I wanted. — My immediate thought “I don’t fucking know.” Creativity is something I severely lack. However, I am trying to get as far out of my comfort zone as possible, so lingerie came to mind. But I also don’t want to have a photoshoot that everyone does. In my mind – a typical ‘sexy’ shoot is this: lingerie, on a balcony, high heels, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit (Name that movie). Anyways, some ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking needed to happen. I definitely wanted the shoot to be ‘me’ and me is – short shorts, t-shirts and vans. So I tried to make it a sexy, uncomfortable twist on just that. So basically the only thing I could think of was well….shorter shorts, shirts that aren’t considered shirts anymore and of course vans. Ha! Almost more grunge sexy was the thought process. I ran this by him and he loved the idea and he said he had the perfect spot for this shoot. He said it was an abandoned hospital. Mini heart-attack – Balls, it’s really happening. – step 2 ✓

Now a time-frame. When is this thing goin down? I get a text from him on a Thursday night at 8pm saying – “what are you doing at 6:30am Saturday morning?” Bitccchhh i’m gettin’ my beauty sleep! Kidding, I obviously immediately said I was game! Full heart-attack, freakin’ the fuck out! – step 3 ✓

Next – finding outfits in the next day. Oh boy, what a pain in the ass process for someone that despises shopping and going into malls and wears the same thing day in and day out. I ordered a few things off of Amazon first about a week earlier and meh. So, I had to man up and walk my ass into the mall. Honestly, I had to ask my sister what store to go into for what I was trying to find haha luckily, she is a fashionista of some sort and knew exactly what store. So, Forever 21 it is. Not even 30 seconds of walking through the mall, my anxiety levels were through the roof. “Why the fuck are there so many people in here? Do this many people really need clothes at 1 pm on a Friday?” It took me over 10 minutes to just find the damn store. I had to ask someone because the kiosk made zero sense to me ha! (directions are also not a forte of mine) When I walked into this store, I literally paused and almost walked out. TOO MUCH SHIT EVERYWHERE. I picked up so many weird articles of clothing that I stared at trying to figure out where you even begin putting them on. I tried one absolutely ridiculous looking thing on and decided that if I try things on, I’m walking out with nothing. At this point, my anxiety was above and beyond. I had already spent too much time trying to find things to just try on that I said screw it, grabbed most of the things and just bought them hoping something would work out. No heart-attacks, just get me the fuck outta heres. – step 4  ✓-ish. (I guess we wingin’ it!)

Day of the shoot:
I set my alarm for 5. It didn’t go off. Luckily, I somehow woke up at 5:15. My coffee maker decided to take a shit on me. Solid start to an already nerve racking day. Whatever… I do my make-up and hair the most sub-par way I know how and head out the door! My heart is bouncing out of my chest. I was so nervous, scared, excited, tired as balls, the anticipation of just getting it over with, my emotions were runnin’ high in every direction. 

We get to the location and it took a little bit to figure out how to actually get in. All of the used-to-be doors were now cement blocked shut. Move forward 30 minutes, we break in and i’m slightly terrified that 1. We are going to get a disease from just breathing in this place and 2. There has to be bugs and spiders and shit that crawls everywhere in here. And I do NOT do things that crawl. Also, let me just mention, like a newbie to a photoshoot, I packed WAY too much. I was hauling a not carry-on size suitcase around this place. Some of my thoughts walking up the 8 plus floors go like this: ‘There’s something crawling on me.’ ‘There has to be a dead body in here somewhere.’’I’m about to take my clothes off in front of a dude i’ve met once.’ ‘It’s not too late to turn around.’ ‘Fuck, it’s too late to turn around.’ ‘Seriously, something is fuckin crawling on me.’ 

We figure out which ‘outfit’ to put on first and i’m thinkin’ to myself – ‘where do I go to change?’ There are no rooms or places to go, so the awkward feeling kicks in right here. Oh well, I guess it’s normal? So scared to stand in front of this camera. My worst case scenario starting to kick in (basically turning around and saying nevermind). Instead, I take a breath and realize WHY I am doing this and how big the accomplishment will be when it’s over. I strip down, put this onesie thing on, basically ask ‘now what?’ and give it my all! At this point, I am 100% completely out of my comfort zone. Mission fully accomplished. I would have been completely satisfied with him just taking a few photos and being done at this point.

However, there is definitely something to say about the guy behind the camera. At zero point during this shoot did I feel uncomfortable. Awkward – maybe, but that’s only because I don’t know what to do with my hands, how to pose, or how to make facial expressions. Luckily, I can laugh at awkwardness and we managed to go on for a couple hours with some epic shots. Shots that exceeded what I had ever thought were possible. Seriously fucking amazing. @furyphotography

Here’s what made this ENTIRE shoot though:
Not only did I get over most of my fears of being in front of a camera and get to a certain level of uncomfortability that I was aiming for, I loved every minute of it and would do it again in a heartbeat.

One thing to keep in mind though – You are not going to love every single out-of-comfort-zone moment, but if you can just find the confidence to get there, you will -without a doubt- learn, grow and be a more accomplished, positive and proud-of-yourself human-being. The first step of happiness is being able to be proud of your own damn self.  #dontbeabitch

So here’s my challenge for you and I will help you out along the way! 

  1. Just jot down a few random things you have wanted to do or try, but were too scared or something in your head told you no. It could be super simple or completely crazy! Just get 5-7 ideas written down.
  2. Think about which one is truly feasible in the next 2-3 months. Cross off the ones that are not (for this time frame, but save for later!)
  3. Start planning and ask me for help! 
  4. FUCKING DO IT! 
  5. Be so damn proud of yourself!

CHECK OUT SOME MORE PHOTOS FROM THE SHOOT BELOW! (Crushin’ things I didn’t think I could do ♥)