It was in the late 90’s or early 2000’s when I saw a movie where a tween blogs as a way to introduce some stability to a life where she and her mom constantly moved around. The movie is forgettable… but since watching it, I have loved the idea of blogging.

I loved the idea of sharing and finding connection with others online, the idea that I can connect with people who share my interests, the idea that I can expand my world.

Trouble is, what I romanticize about in my head is far from what my experience in reality has been with blogging. I have difficulty finding my groove for what to blog about. That sweet balance where I am vulnerable enough so my audience can relate to me as another human, and professional enough that those who are coming to the page for my work will find what they’re looking for… and what I ultimately hope for, is that those who come to my page for my work choose to work with me because of the human they get connected to through my posts. This has been challenging for me to attain. Sometimes, I let it stop me from writing altogether and I go months without publishing a post.

What I want is to create and grow a community. Apart from beautiful images, I want to share and dialogue about being a parent, being an artist, being an entrepreneur, being mindful, being human, sharing what I love and what matters to me, and hopefully it all somehow contributes to the community. Having been brought up in an Asian home, “doing things right” is something that has been ingrained in me and sometimes, it gets in the way of me taking action when I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing and figuring it out as I go. I’m giving that up and will be figuring it out as I go with my blog posts.

I know a few people that do this well. One of them is my friend Robert O’Brien, author of Just One More Drive. I admire his discipline in churning out posts weekly. He writes vulnerably, wittily, and with humour… and seemingly effortlessly, it all ties into being an author for a book about a true story of a stuttering homosexual and his race car. I’m dedicating this first post of 2018 to Rob, with the intention to write more consistently this year.

Inspired by the vulnerability of his posts, I want to share about how insecure I can still get about my photography even years into it. Late last year, Rob asked me if I could take photos at his book launch. It was going to be at XY club and although I’ve never been there, I knew clubs are generally dark. I usually shoot outdoors or in a studio. This was going to be something where I’ll be a little out of my element, without the equipment or the crew to properly light and shoot an event in a potentially dark space. I started to panic.

I knew how big of a deal this was for him, this was a dream come true… with a lot of blood, sweat and tears invested into it, his and others’. I had such a resistance to accepting his request. Still, I said yes. This man had been an inspiration to me, it was an honour and a privilege to support him and be a part of what he was creating.

When I took the first few shots and got feedback from the back of my camera that everything was going to be just fine, I relaxed. Then, I realized why I had such a resistance to agreeing to do this… it wasn’t so much about me moving away from doing unpaid work, the real issue was my own conversation of “not being good enough” and I was worried about botching it all up for him on such an important day. And guess what? It was more than ok. The launch went well, I captured the spirit of the event, the images came out great and Rob loved them, despite that I lit them with an iPhone flashlight… a trick I learned from a food blogger who I sat across at a wedding a few years ago. 

To read about the book launch, click here

In sharing this, I hope to inspire even just one person to take a chance on themselves and dare to act in spite of fear.

2 thoughts on “A Tween Movie + Just One More Drive

  1. I just read your post and got a little lost in your blog! So, good job! I think it was wonderfully written and it spoke to me. Like all of us, I suffer from the same fears. I’ve turned down more photography jobs than I’ve taken because of them. I find myself running to the woods to take photos and actualy told someone not too long ago that I preferred nature photos because she won’t judge me! In short, I loved your post, and think that it strikes a good balance between professionalism and vulnerablity.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Apologies for the delayed response.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment on this post. I am grateful for your acknowledgement and it totally puts a smile to my face to hear that you got a little lost in my blog.

      I totally get the gravitation towards a subject by whom we don’t feel judged by. And, there’s something for our growth to step out of our comfort zone and take on something where we put ourselves at risk. I’ve gotten so much out of doing this, I’ve expanded from putting myself at risk. I’ve learned to confront the things that keep me small and in that, I’ve come to experience myself as the big person I really am.

      Feel free to reach out to me if you want to have a conversation and explore this for yourself. =)

      Jenn xoxo

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