I am sitting on a train, listening to the whistle blow, while watching the gorgeous lush green country side rush past me. I am leaving western Massachusetts heading back to Grand Central Station, in NYC. I am feeling so inspired, triumphant and proud of this adventure.
For more than 5 years I have been talking about traveling and working. I have been dreaming of photographing people in their hometowns while I get to see the world. One of the benefits of being a wandering storyographer is that I can truly work anywhere. In December of last year I purchased my very first laptop. It was an investment in my dream. I had a dedicated server installed in my home so I can store and access my photos from anywhere in the world. I was excited to try it out on this trip and ironically I forgot my laptop usb adapter…oops. One step at a time! I bought a travel photo backpack to make traveling with my gear easier. And I keep visualizing myself working while traveling.
In March, my oldest kid, Syd, said they bought tickets for all of us to got to a concert in central park in June. Syd’s two favorite bands Khraugbin and Kikagaku Moyo were playing together in Central Park! Syd said the family had never been to NYC and this was a perfect reason. It felt a bit crazy, as I was going to Soulplay festival the week before. And I also knew this was a perfect opportunity. My son Tristan was going to drive from WI and meet us. The kids both brought their besties. All of the sudden I was going to NYC with 5 21-23 year olds!
As I started thinking about being in NY, I started to fantasize about doing a paid photoshoot while I was on the East Coast. How beautiful the city would be. Then things started really falling into place. I have been in a powerful online business class called Crystalize with Leslie Tagorda. She helps solopreneurs find the soul of their business through their star charted gifts. We’ve been learning about our natal charts and using our strengths in our businesses. We meet weekly on a zoom call. A women in the group reached out and threw out the idea of us working together since I would be close to her. She lives in Stockbridge MA. I was super excited! I rented a car online and was ready for this adventure….then the obstacles started coming. I lost my wallet the day before the trip. Luckily I had my passport and got my cards replaced. No driver’s license though. I had a laminated copy from Burning Man, as well as tons of copies of my insurance and my expired license. When I researched online people in my situation said manager’s could override not having physical driver’s license. I didn’t doubt this would be my route. When we landed at JFK and go to the car rental desk, we waited in line for 2 hours, only to be told there was nothing they could do. I tried every trick in the book, even tried to use the caner card. Still no car. Ugh!!!
The first few days in NY were so busy I didn’t have time to look into other options. Then I met a man on the train who overheard me talking about my dilemma and offered to drive me. That felt promising. Then I asked another friend in the dance community…another possible lead. As we got closer to the date things weren’t falling into place as I had hoped. I looked at the trains and it just seemed so far from NY. So much travel time.
Then my son, Tristan, offered to drive me on his way to upstate NY. He said it was on his way…it was out of his way a bit, but really enforced it wasn’t. The problem was how to get home. Multiple trains and transfers and time. Was it worth it? Then my fears set in and I started thinking I should cancel. Fears came in that maybe I wouldn’t get the shots she wanted and she would not feel it was worth me traveling and worth my price. What were these crazy thoughts??? I have never had a client disappointed in my work. No one has ever expressed they didn’t feel they got a good value. How hard would it be to take a train back to NY?
Thankfully I knew these were unwarranted fears and I needed to move forward. Tristan and I left NY and headed to Massachusetts. He even let me drive his car. As we got further from the city and closer to Massachusetts, I became more and more at peace. The drive was gorgeous. We caught up and had such sweet mother son time. We passed so much greenery, lily ponds and historic houses. It was magical. We arrived at Suzanne’s house and my mouth fell open. It was incredibly peaceful and just what my body was craving! Nature everywhere. No neighbors, no fences, no car horns honking. I felt my body relax immediately.
Tristan said goodbye and continued on his way. Suzanne and I jumped right into the shoot as we only had a few hours of light left. We started in the little main town area. It was beyond sweet and picturesque. She was a natural. The town was so tiny that a man passing by stopped to ask what we were doing. Suzanne looked famous getting her pics taken! We went to her favorite spots, including a beautiful lake, and the lily pond near her home. She was such a natural and such a great sport! She was up for all of my crazy ideas! We got so many great images that she will be use to promote her business. Suzanne helps women get through their divorces with grace and dignity. I wish I had met her years ago when I was going through it! She is such a mama bear!
These Day in the Life shoots are so fun and very important to boost online presence. The idea is we do quarterly sessions so anytime you need images for a blog, a promotion, IG or FB, you have a bucket to pull from. No more trying to do selfies that fall short of professional pics! These shoots are also full of spontaneous adventurous, co creation and connection. We shared our life stories and bonded. At one point while shooting Suzanne said, “Keep telling me about you , it’s making me relax.” That felt so good to hear. I feel it is part of my secret sauce in making people feel confident in our sessions.
We finished up and called it a wrap! It was soon dinner time. I sat at the table with Suzanne, her partner John and her two awesome kids Avery and Robert. We had such fun conversation.The kids were so engaging and open. It felt so sweet to have them let me “in” I felt so at home, like I was family.
They set me up in the guest room (something unheard of in SF). I slept like a baby. I woke up and pulled the blinds to see nothing but green! Trees, grass, foliage. It was misty and so peaceful. We decided to grab a few more photos before Suzanne took me to the train station. We pushed it to the last minute grabbing even a few family pics with the kids!
We pulled into the train station with minutes to spare. They told me I would have to transfer trains and it would be easy. They were right. As I am typing there is a lake and cemetery out my window. The train horn is blowing. Everything is still lush and green. I am an hour from grand central station. I am soaking in this magic, that is my life. I know I am on my path. I am so very grateful to Leslie for creating this amazing business coaching program and helping Suzanne and I find each other. I know this is just the beginning.
P.S. I delivered the images to Suzanne a few days ago. I loved the images and hoped she loved them as much as I did. I woke up to the most uplifting voicemail. Suzanne was looking at her images and gushing about how amazing they were. How beautiful she felt. How she felt like “the real deal” as a “mama bear” for her clients. The images were for promoting her business, and as a side bonus, they helped her see herself as the beautiful women she is, inside and out. She said I was worth every penny and she couldn’t have been happier. She then called me to tell me how a bear had come into her yard that morning while she was looking at the photos!! It was an incredible sign that all is in alignment!
If you are looking to promote your business with authentic heartfelt images, please contact me now to see if we are a good fit. I am open to travel anywhere in the world! I will be in Europe for the month of July! Hit me up.