Comfort Zone to Collaboration Zone
A few weeks ago, I was asked if I would like to collaborate with a bunch of local talented guys and gals for a 90's themed photo shoot.
My brain when into autopilot mode and started the "No thank you" bullshit spiel of me hiding in my comfort zone.
I know you're probably thinking imma crazy, like, 90's themed + colourful + r'n'b inspired shoot...
AND I'M LEGIT ABOUT TO PASS IT UP AND SAY NO!?! Who am I even? Am I even 'The Soul Echo', or what?!
I thought about it a little longer, and everything inside of my being was screaming "YASSS", but my head was getting in the way with "You can't do that, you probably can't nail the brief, don't do it because you might fail".
There's been a LOT coming up lately for me, where I'm having to dig deep to push through the confining boundaries my mind places on my creativity, and well, without sounding like a brag - talent. More on this topic in the weeks to come.
So I pushed aside the crap and I went with my heart/gut/soul and said a huge "HELL YEAH".
And f*cking hell I'm so grateful I did!
It was Sunday morning, I was up, showered and ready with my camera in hand.
The nerves kicked in, big time.
I had never met most of gals and guys who I'd be working with, apart from an old high school friend - Kourtni - who had reached out to me, knowing that this vibe would so align to what I'm about. Thanks eternally, girl.
I was sh*tting myself at the thought of not really knowing anyone, let alone the next level apprehension about my abilities. *face palm*
I nab a park out the front of the location, which was adjacent to a side street, where a sleek piece of street art caught my eye.
I knew that would be the spot to make some magic.
I arrive, greeted by the hustle and bustle of a 2 bedroom apartment with I don't even know how many people - everyone was chatting, laughing and doin' their thang. The whole vibe and the atmosphere was fiery, fierce and I just knew what we were all about to create would be EPIC!
I met everyone, and surprise surprise (no surprise really), everyone was so damn welcoming and friendly! If anything, it kinda just felt like I was catching up with old friends. Awww, srs tho.
It wasn't before long and we were rocking out the side alley, cranking r'n'b and shootin' up a colourful storm!
Just like that, I was in my zone, in my creative element and what I like to refer to as my version of heaven.
I felt the electricity in my finger as I continually pressed the shutter release. The inspiration was rising as I shot different looks, poses and angles, with a boost of energy as I boogied my booty in the brief breaks of setting up for a new shot.
After some time had passed (yep, when I'm in that sweet zone, I so easily lose track of time) we'd wrapped look #1.
Oh boy, aren't those Bruno Mars 90's funk vibes just jumping through these images!
We took a break, chilled out and I cooled TF down because I was sweaty AF #photographerslife.
It was a prime chance to check out the action that was happening in the apartment still which was for another shoot happening that afternoon. Watching Kourtni nail the styling, Kimea and Morgan beautifully paint the ladies faces and Karissa work her magic on the hair - it was all coming together.
Next, we headed downstairs to the pool area of the apartment, where both shoots kicked off simultaneously. I was still working dem 90's vibes and Courtney from Black Palm Collective Co was photographing some gorgeous pool beauties. The hype was real as everyone was legit cheering for everyone. I still remember the intensity of the support that was all 'round us, for everyone there.
After some more hours of crazy, insane and successful shooting, we called it a day.
Whoa! And what a damn amazing day it was!
I was physically wrecked but equally energised with the creative fire that surrounded me.
To end up with these images as the finished product is beyond my wildest dreams and far out I feel proud to say that these photos were created by me.
This collaboration was an incredible eye-opener, that creativity doesn't have to be solo and that sometimes when you combine forces with those who align to your vision - you end up with a finished product beyond your wildest dreams!
Firstly, a huge thank you to Kourtni for trusting in me and my abilities to create such imagery. It's all because of your faith and belief that I was gifted this opportunity! To find out more about the incredible humans I worked with on the day, head to the write up below where you can find out more about them and peep their socials.
And to those reading this, who may be experiencing those nasty self-doubting thoughts.
Please know that you ARE capable of wonderful things! You can do and achieve anything and everything you put your mind to.
And whatever you do, do not f*cking doubt your passion or your ability! Passion fuels purpose and purpose opens your eyes to your own freaking amazing talents!
And never, ever say no if you feel the call within your soul, switch off your mind and tune into your heart, because it knows the way.
More about these beautiful humans I was blessed to work with:
CREATIVE DIRECTORS - ladwax and manaia shoot
Along with being an old friend, Kourtni is a blogger, entrepreneur, aspiring writer and director, mama to two sweet angels and all 'round boss bidness babe with a creative vision that is out of this world. Her energy is one that you need to feel in person to understand how vivid and inspiring it is. I don't know how she does what she does, but it's contagious! We collaborated together to shoot new content for two of her brands, LadWax and Manaia.
You can find her on Instagram or over on her website.
Head here for the amazing products LadWax and Manaia have to offer.
Along with all that she already does, Kourtni also makes up one half of the powerhouse duo that is BOSS Society.
BOSS is a modern-day movement that encourages and empowers young adults of today's society, inspiring those connected and annihilating social barriers. You can find out more about their mission over at their Instagram.
I had the privilege of meeting and connecting with Jasmine aka Jazzey, who is the other half off BOSS. And this girl, I have no words. She greeted me with open arms and an open heart like we knew each other from way back. When I arrived on location, she was tucked in the corner, hurriedly working on her laptop - coordinating, supporting and bringing a powerfully calm energy into a room of busy. She was non-stop all day, checking in, guiding, caring and rocking the BTS shots! Keep up with Jazzey via Instagram.
MODELS - Ladwax shoot
My amazing models for the day were; the absolutely radiant Shana, who is such a gentle and beautiful soul, accompanied by Elijah and Issac who are all 'round legends! Not only did these three totally kill it, they were also kind and so much fun to work with!
You can find these guys on IG: Shana, Elijah and Issac.
MUA - Ladwax shoot
The talented Kimea worked her make up magic on Shana, and far out she did an incredible job! Not only is she an epic MUA, she is such a gorgeous soul! After she did her thang for the ladies who were modelling, both Kimea and Melanie were cheering on BTS - even rubbing sugar scrub on the gals for the Manaia shoot, now that's dedication!
You can peep Kimea's skills on Instagram and Facebook.
Along with being pro at sugar scrubbing the girls, Melanie is also a creative writer, storyteller, mama and just a bloody lovely woman! Such a soothing and warm presence, check out her blog over at her website.
Hair - Ladwax and Manaia
Causing waves (and creating waves), with her hair skills was Karissa who is a super talented hairdressing goddess. She also showed us how it's done with modelling for the Manaia shoot. You can check our her styling and works of art over at her Instagram and Facebook.
And if that wasn't enough talent for ya'll, there are a whole heap more beauties who were involved in the day!
photographer - manaia shoot
My photographer babe, Courtney from Black Palm Collective Co was working the lens, capturing stunning imagery for the Manaia shoot, which involved bronze beauties, sugar scrubbed up in the pool. Courtney is not only a talented photographer, seriously, her work is goals AF but she is also super chill and a down to earth biz babe and Mama. Do yo'self a favour and check out her Instagram and Facebook.
MUA - Manaia Shoot
We also had Morgan magically working her brushes and making over the beauties modelling for the day. She also cameoed as a model for the photos and for a promo video! Talk about all 'rounder! A massive babe and absolutely hilarious, she's a gem! Peep her make up artistry over at her Instagram and Facebook.
Models - Manaia Shoot
Steph - vivacious and energetic, her smile legit makes me smile! She's strong and she's on a mission to share her message of body positivity with the world. Follow her journey over on her Instagram.
Amber - Ahhh this gentle green-eyed beauty! So insanely gorgeous both physically and spiritually. She's a go-getter and absolute scream! Do yourself a favour and check out her Instagram.
Videographer - Manaia Shoot
Xanetia worked her magic behind the lens, filming a promo video for Manaia. Xanetia is both talented in front of the camera and behind, a social influencer and total style goals! A beauty inside and out! (Psst, she's also Kourtni's sister)! You can follow her on Instagram or peep her vibe via her website.
All of these humans are bloody incredible and I feel aboslutely honoured to have connected with each of them.