Many people don't believe me when I say I am a completely different person than I was just eight years ago. Not that I bounce in and am the life of the party now, but there was a time I was too fearful to even introduce myself to someone new, much less photograph them, carry on a conversation with them... and hope and pray I captured something special worth paying me for. Few have ever seen me without a camera slung around my neck. My comfort zone was photographing babies and children. They just did their own thing and it was my job to capture it. The thought of photographing an adult was something that made my heart race. Not in a good way. In a way that I couldn't think straight. In a way that I would be so nervous that I would get red splotches that would break out on my neck. I was terrified and locked in fear. I didn't like it and wanted to overcome it. It was debilitating and keeping me from my God-given destiny. Something that no person could fix for me. I had to make the choice to overcome this obstacle in my life. This was just one of many fears in my life at the time. Sean and I were at the Wizard Academy, a 21st century business school in Austin TX (it really is much more than that, you can follow the link to learn more about it) We were there for the dedication of a new building on the campus. All of the campus has been designed by an extremely talented and famous architect named Marley Porter. This was our first time meeting him and he was the celebrity of the weekend. Hundreds of people gathered for the celebration. As wine flowed and greetings exchanged I knew he was the one. He was the one that I was supposed to photograph sometime over the weekend, and begin to overcome this fear. Ack. I started to panic, even at the thought of it. I knew there was no way I was to leave Texas without making this happen. Now when I say I was to photograph him, I am not talking about putting on my biggest zoom lens and grabbing a few shots from across the room. I knew I was supposed to approach him and arrange a time during the weekend to actually spend a few minutes with him, taking his portrait. When the appointed time had arrived, I literally looked down at my camera, and forgot what all of the buttons and dials did. I took take a deep breath in, walked to my gear bag and whispered a quick prayer. Once I remembered how to turn my camera on again, I was as ready as I was going to be. Marley is not a threatening person, easy for anyone to talk to, but don't forget, I was not a conversationalist at all. We spent about 20 minutes together as I pushed through my self imposed assignment. Finally a sigh of relief as I felt a few of the bricks from my walls starting to crack. I was happy with the results at the time, given the circumstances. (this image is one of them, but not the main one...that one is archived in storage in VIrginia) Over the next several years when I would see Marley, he would let me know that he was still using the portrait I made as his main professional profile image. I still don't think he has any idea, what those 20 minutes did for my life. By the end of that year, I had started my portrait business and expanded to specialize in portraits of teenagers and adults, not just children and babies doing their thing.