where stories are told
This past Sunday, I had the absolute pleasure of attending the 2019 Clickin' Walk which is a photo walk orchestrated by Clickin' Moms and hosted in cities by local photographers. It's a chance for photographers of all skill levels to get together, take in the sights of your city, meet new people, get some great shots, and have a lot of fun! In our little group of about 10-15 we had every skill level represented from beginner to pro.
Our hosts (shout out to Chelsea and Camille!) chose for us to venture to the Oceanfront to explore the Vibe District of Virginia Beach. Being a local to Hampton Roads and having lived in both Virginia Beach and Chesapeake- plus driving all over and everywhere in between- I feel pretty comfortable with the 7 cities. I'm navigationally challenged (seriously), but I feel like I know our area pretty well. I've driven through the vibe district and I know the local businesses there. However, walking through with my camera in hand and zero other distractions allowed me to really see the district. I could take in the intricate details of the art murals on the walls, I could see the craftsmanship and the unique touches of the shops and cafes we passed. I could stop and admire how even the crosswalks were painted in joyful, bright works of art.
And beyond all that, do you know what's even more awesome? The group of women there were absolutely amazing. They were kind, supportive, funny, beautiful, and inspiring. We were there as a community, not to compete. And the end result was just amazing.
I have to say this though: Do you remember that blog I wrote a few weeks back on things that I wish I did more often? (if not, you can read it here!) I worked on my #1 Thing I Wish I Did More Often really hard at the walk! Spoiler alert: #1 is " I Wish I Took Pictures of Strangers More Often". I mentioned that I had a soul-crushing anxiety of walking up to complete strangers and asking to take their pictures. Well, ya girl did it. Several times in fact. Granted, I didn't get up close and in their face with it (baby steps...) but I still did it and I'm incredibly proud of myself. Growth, this is me- growing. I think a lot of my confidence in this area came from the fact that I was surrounded by a bunch of super sweet and talented women, but still- growth.
I invited two of my friends to come along with me that are hobbyist photographers. One enjoys shooting people, the other enjoys shooting scenes and details. I'm super awkward in front of the camera, but the walk gave me an opportunity to jump in and have my picture taken (for the sake of learning, of course) and you know what? It wasn't so bad. I kind of had fun (barefoot, naturally-what's a hippie like me supposed to do? Wear shoes?). Actually, my daughter was so excited to see pictures of me, she asked me to print them out for her! Excuse me while I go cry over her sweet heart.
Okay, real talk. The first like, 20 pictures of me were awkward and I wanted to crawl into my skin, but after that it wasn't bad at all. And the best part about it is, I'm so glad I did it. Truly.
Below are a few of my favorites from our walk. Comment which is your favorite or feel free to share your thoughts!
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.
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