Welcome to the Walk the Life Project. As far back as I can remember I've always had an affinity for other people. Working to make sure they're happy, being the reliable friend, listening to those who needed to be heard and letting them know they're not alone. It is both a blessing and a curse as I've felt the extreme pros and cons associated with this personality many times in my life. 
Something I've always marveled at is the inspiring strength, courage, charisma, wisdom, etc. that everyday people exhibit on a day to day basis yet hardly ever get a platform to share these traits with the world. This project aims to change that.
The Walk the Life project will feature a 365 day format exhibiting different aspects of photojournalism coupled with my own personal reflections on what I learned from each individual.
Participants will be interviewed with three random questions and after having their portraits taken I ask them to take mine as a sign of good faith.
The main theme I aim to share through this project Is that every person you see whether it be a stranger on the streets or someone you've known all your life has their own experiences lived, thoughts to share, and lessons to teach. 
I anticipate it to be incredibly challenging and draining to consistently find new participants and stay creative throughout this process but I have always been someone to challenge myself and say that if something was easy then everyone would do it. But this time let's do it together.
So, lets learn something.
(this is an evolving project so as it continues more will be added to this section)
Gold Text: Levi
 White Text: Participant
Apply to be a part of the project here!
Thank you!
"What is your goal for your career?"
My career goal is, to do something in the field of permaculture. Addressing hunger, environmental restoration and community resilience. not sure how thats gonna manifest yet but im working toward it.
"What is something people wouldn't guess about you?"
That I spend most of my time in the woods picking mushrooms and foraging food to eat!
"What does it mean for you to be kind, in it's simplest form?"
Understanding that everyone is carrying around their own experiences and keeping it in mind with every interaction.
gina is someone who sees the world through a caring and softer lens than most but is always strong when she needs to be. standing at five feet tall it's probably best that way.
"What is advice for yourself 2 years ago?"
Keep pushin, don't get caught in your own head. don't worry about the small things and what seems like a big Stresser now isn't going to matter later. You've got this.
"What is something people wouldn't guess about you?"
Im actually a model, specializing in fashion (more runway stuff) not like magazines. very busy!
"Where do you want to be in 5 years?"
Pursuing modeling full time, new york, france, california. Away for a while to see the world and hopefully enjoy myself young.
Thaydra is 18 years old and really reminded me of myself at her age. It was refreshing to feel the ambition and generally positive outlook she holds. what I took away from this conversation added some more fuel to my fire to complete this project and reminded me that dreaming small is not in my repertoire.
"is there Anyone in your life you are close with now you didn't think you would be?"
My best friend and I actually only met 6 months ago. We had known each other all our lives but since were both shy people never actually tried to talk to each other.
"What is something people wouldn't guess about you?"
I am a vocalist for a local band (despite being a shy person) called no thanks and it consists of all originals!
"What does kindness look like to you?"
Giving to others without expecting anything in return. And showing respect regardless if they reciprocate.
Alex radiates a shy but super unique vibe to her. Chatting before i started to record our conversation came effortlessly for someone who supposedly isn't the most extroverted. by the time i left I felt like i wanted to be her friend and very few people come across that way in my experience.
"What advice would you give to yourself 5 years ago?"
I'd give myself a pep talk on what to do and what not to do...To be better prepared.
"What is something about yourself people wouldn't guess at first?"
I'm a mom of two! Most people never guess that!"
"What does kindness look like/mean to you?"
Kindness is staying positive and looking at other people in a positive light and keeping their feelings in mind.
I interviewed tammy while getting my eyebrows waxed. (I needed it) and what I learned from our 15 minute conversation is that she is one of the most light hearted and kind people I've come across.
"What's the best advice you've ever been given?"
A big lesson I've learned over the culmination of my business and going through college is to never settle on a job that you hate and wish you were somewhere else everyday. You will bring it home with you and these days your job takes up most of your life so spend your life happy and doing what you love.
"Where do you want to be in 5 years?"
I wanna be primarily shooting destination weddings and micro-weddings while being able to have more control and decision on what it is i spend my time doing while seeing new places and doing new things!
"What does kindness look like to you?"
Kindness to me is open-mindedness. Approaching things with the least amount of judgement and taking them at face value and being fair/ treating people how you would want to be treated were the positions flipped.
Haley and I both are photographers and she is one of my favorite people to talk to. (mainly because none of my other friends have the slightest clue about photography) and I always take so much away from our conversations but this one in general really allowed me to view kindness through a different lens and an open mind. Being open minded and not drawing conclusions too early is so important to making the right decision.
"Something people wouldn’t guess about you?"
 I make music under the name Joeboi. I’ve been recording for a little over a year. 
"What’s important to you in a friend?"
 Loyalty, because I rely a lot on my friends and I feel like it’s super important to have a good foundation. Also, having people to drink beer with is good too. 
"Where do you want to be in 5 years"
 to Be self reliant on my music and at least playing live gigs while being a better version of myself.
Joe and I have been friends going on 15 years now. As someone I've spent 75% of my life with you would think I know just about everything about him but I really did take some things away from our conversation. I realized that the friend group I've had for all this time all share the same morals as me when it comes to what it means to be a friend. Loyalty is so crucial in building and maintaining solid friendships.
"What has rock climbing taught you over the past 20 years?"
Climbing has taught me how to stay young and be able to keep up with all the new climbers.
"What is your best advice you could give someone."
I think you have to push your boundaries a little bit to get the most out of life.
"What does kindness mean to you?"
Kindness is helping out those that you can and being a teacher. Volunteering and sharing your own knowledge as well as being a student yourself is incredibly important.
Bob was incredibly interesting to speak with as I interviewed him after my intro to rock climbing class at the ymca where he is the head instructor. Being able to listen and learn from someone so experienced in a field is a truly inspiring thing. I really left that night hoping that by the time i've been photographing for twenty years I too can have that wealth of knowledge to share with the world and give back.​​​​​​​
"Best piece of advice you've ever gotten?"
 Life is what you make it.
 "What does kindness look like to you?"
 Kindness is caring about others. Even simple gestures such as a soft smile when you walk past someone or holding the door for a stranger go a long way.
 "What's a goal you have for the next 5 years?"
To live each day to the fullest!
Lauren is a close friend of my partner gina. We recently spent the weekend up in new york with them and It is always a pleasure. Something that really stuck out to me about her answers is how efficiently simple they are and it made me realize that sometimes the best points are made in a few sentences.
"What advice would you give to someone starting a business?"
Just meet as many people as you can and expand your network and the more ideas you can get out there the easier it'll be on yourself. Get creative!
"What does it mean to be a friend to someone?"
When you can tell someone genuinely hears what you're saying and wants to help you the way you want to help them.
"What does kindness mean to you?"
To me kindness is similar to what it means to be a friend. Listen to people and let them feel heard, support their general interests and just try to be a friend and show interest. Reciprocity.
Ethan is someone who I always enjoy to speak with and also one of the owners of vibe coffee co. in downtown state college which is my preferred americano in the area. After our conversation I realized how much his answer about being creative in business applies to most things in life. You always have to find new ways to enjoy yourself, better yourself, or even improve your business and that's something that some people neglect from time to time with complacency.
"What is something about yourself people wouldn't guess at first?"
I am currently learning arabic for a minor in college!
"What is the most important trait to you in a friend?"
Being trustworthy for sure.
"What does being kind mean to you?"
Being kind means being outgoing to everyone surrounding you and not judging someone for things that they cannot control.
Mya's answers were unique to me personally as It got me to ask myself what being trustworthy as a friend means and I am reminded that being someone who people can trust/rely on is one of the best attributes you can have not only as a friend but as a person in general.
"Best advice you've ever received?"
You can't change peoples minds about you and that's okay. Not everyone is going to like you and its really important to accept that.
"Where do you want to be in 5 years?"
I want to be a civil engineer so either working at a firm or Hopefully in graduate school for business sustainability!
"What does kindness look like to you?"
I think kindness shows up in the way you do things and why you do them. Complimenting people and helping them out without really expecting anything in return really shows who you are and is kind.
This interview proved to be my hardest not because of victoria (who offered some awesome answers) but due to the fact i REALLY did not feel like interviewing anyone this day. Trying to walk up to strangers and just chat with them is hard enough let alone try and interrupt them to answer a few questions for you. However, victoria was incredibly kind and open making the whole process easier which reminded me why I do this project and that there are people out there who are happy to help.
"What is most important to you in a friend?"
Loyalty, my father passed away recently and it really showed me who my true friends are and who is able to actually tap into those more meaningful conversations. 
"What is something about yourself that most people wouldn't guess?"
I think most people don't realize i do have things going on in my life, I am really good at putting on a smile and being able to still help people and joke around and stuff because I dont want to make anyone else feel awkward, I feel its super important to still be available to people!
"What does it mean to be kind?"
Putting others before yourself, treating everyone with decency and respect is so important because they deserve it. 
Leah was super pleasant to talk with and offered some of my favorite answers yet. You can really tell sometimes when a person is genuinely kind and she embodied that perfectly. One of my favorite takeaways from this project so far is meeting those types of people.
"What do you do?"
I support people with disabilities with more complex behavior concerns and help them to learn to live independently, grocery shopping, helping out their communities etc.!
"What have you learned from your job?"
I think I have found more joy in everyday things and being able to see things through a different viewpoint!
"What is the most important trait a person can have?"
Being genuine, I think its super important to feel like someone isn't putting on a show in front of you and it makes for more intimate friendships when you know you can be more of yourself around people.
"What does kindness look like to you?"
My role model for kindness is jesus, and while that may seem like a cop-out answer he spent his time with people who were marginalized and hated by society and treated them with amazing kindness and love. 
Shannon is a really great person and just from the few times i've spoken with her exudes such a calm and kind personality that I knew I had to get her answers to some of these questions. Being able to meet someone in her line of work that is so passionate about other people really helps to inspire people like myself to try and connect with those who normally we would walk past on a daily basis.
"What is your biggest goal right now?"
I'm christian so definitely something that's gonna make a difference in the world. 
"What is something about yourself people wouldn't guess about you?"
I think that because Im more of a STEM minded person people don't guess that I'm actually a creative and artistic person. I love drawing and writing specifically!
"WHat does being kind mean to you?"
I think putting others first and actually listening to people and instead of offering your opinion right away just sit back and listen to what they have to say.
Andrew was extremely pleasant to talk to and really helped me out by allowing me to interview him. The process for this one was a bit different as normally I'll try to talk with people for a little bit before asking them their qestions but I wasn't able to due to time constraints. What I took away  from his answers really helped to remind me that the younger generations do Have the best intentions and that there is good in the future.
"What is most important to you in a friend?"
To me it is consistency and being trustworthy. Having someone you can can count on.
"How would you prefer people to see you?"
To be seen as a successful woman in such a male dominated field.
"What does kindness look like to you?"
The simple things, opening doors for others or going out of your way to help someone regardless of who they are and what they look like.
Kristin is a close friend of mine and agreed to answer my questions after I severely sprained my ankle and couldn't walk so even beyond her inspiring answers I feel that I took away that she's a true friend to me through this.​​​​​​​
"What did you learn most transitioning from a solo operation to having a team?"
I learned that I am able to TEACH other people to do my job just as well as I can. And that the only way to grow was to bring people on to do the more administrative things and now I've learned that i am also an entrepreneur just as much as i am a photographer.
"What is something people wouldn't guess about you at first?"
I dance argentine tango!
"What does kindness look like to you?"
Kindness is truly listening to people. Being able to be a medium for people to talk to and feel heard.
Melody was fantastic to talk to not only because I was able to learn so much from her but her personality as well was so kind and easy-going. My biggest take away was that being a good listener can really be a priceless trait to possess when it comes to being a good friend and something that I aim to work on myself.
"DO you feel the responsibility of how well a shoot performs is on the photographer or the model?"
I think its important for both people to really be excited for the shoot in order for it to work and have fun. Just let it flow and be sure to get comfortable and be professional. 
"What is something about yourself people wouldn't guess?"
I write poems, I am a big poem guy. I've always loved journaling and being able to feel that creativity and make something beautiful.
"What does kindness look like to you?"
i think there's a difference between being kind and being nice. I think being kind is being genuine, no alternative motive and just having good conversations with people and when that's a part of your foundation you will go so far. Don't make people feel like you're selling something.
Elijah was the model for Brian's live shoot at imaging usa and struck me as someone that I needed to interview. He was not only incredibly talented as a model but welcoming and comfortable as a person. I had some awesome conversation with him and really left our chat feeling better about life in general, some people are just fuel and inspire you and eli was one of them. 
"As someone who works with celebrities and gets to have more of a peek into that lifestyle what do you think the  main (or is there any at all) difference is between them and everyday people?"
I think the biggest thing is the pre-conceived notion we have about celebrities is the greatest divider. We need to realize that privacy is none-existent to them for the most part. 
It's very easy to say "oh this person has everything" and believe they owe you something but they don't. Everyone is owed their privacy and respect. 
I don't get photographed taking my trash out or anything and most people don't so maybe try putting that into perspective. As far as connecting with them it's virtually the same I always say "treat normal people like stars and treat stars like normal people."
"What is something about yourself people wouldn't guess?"
I would say i am far luckier than I deserve to be and i am grateful for that.
"What does kindness in photography look like to you?"
I think showing respect to a client and really WANTing to show how much you value their time and them. If we could all show each other respect both photographically and outside the realm of photography we would be far better off.
Brian is a pulitzer prize winner and magazine/celebrity photographer (now that he's taken my photo what's that make me?) and has an incredible sense for providing thoughtful and insightful conversation. We talked for roughly 25 minutes and every second of it flew by as we chatted about art, being famous and how great samuel jackson is. I was not familiar with Brians work before listening to his talk but I immediately knew I had to pick his brain. I took away so much from our conversation together but I think the biggest point I took to heart is to treat every day people like stars. Everyone has something to be appreciated for.
"You have been a photographer for 15 years, now that you are in a position to teach others what has that taught you?"
Well, the best way to learn is to teach (and before photography I was a teacher) and the main thing I've learned is that most challenges we face the solutions aren't that complex. I really like to base the classes I teach on things that I don't know as well because then i have to experiment and really up my game in that specific area.
"What is something people wouldn't guess about you?"
Well, to most people on the outside my family and I like to display lots of confidence, artisanship, etc.  while maintaining our brand etc. etc. And honestly I am just fine relaxing and enjoying time with my family. I am very content just hanging out with my three little munchkins.
"What do you want people to think of you?"
I think what I would want people to think of me is that I am real and genuine.  At one point in my life I wanted everyone to think I was the man, I wanted to be that achiever level dude but after years of self exploration and doing some reflecting I realize now that I just want people to view me as a teacher and someone who helped them be a better person.
Phillip Runs a successful photography business as well as tons of other ventures through social media and his newly launched company photoflix. I really enjoyed my time speaking with him and found myself leaving the conversation a bit more zen, his ability to convey his thoughts and help you understand what he's saying really proved to me he is indeed a teacher at heart and I walked away feeling a bit more motivated and focused on what I want out of photography in general.
"What makes someone a good person?"
to me, a good person ultimately lives for themselves, but stays mindful and respectful of others. a good person also has the power to elicit the good in others.
"What has college taught you about yourself?"
i’ve learned to be resilient. failure is never easy, especially when it’s something you work hard for. i’ll never accept failure, but i’ll always learn from it so i can succeed
"What does kindness look like to you?"
kindness to me is more an attitude and a mindset than it is a deed. acting from the good in your heart rather than acting with the idea that you want repaid for what you do.
Sara Is a close friend of mine and i've always knew she was a special and smart person, her answers only solidify that and I think both you and I can take away from her first answer especially is that being good is a choice we have to make actively and it really is that easy. Being a good person is contagious and if you want to see more of it in the world then you need to be an ambassador for it. 
"What’s your favorite aspect of your job? (Zapdog Travel)"
I love being in the music industry because almost everyone listens to music and it’s a really cool thing to be a part of something that so many people get to enjoy. 
"What advice would you give people in regard to career development?"
The advice I would give in regards to career development would be to try new things and try them often. Figure out what you love and find a way to make money doing it.. but know that what you love could and likely will change, and that’s ok too. Take all the risks! Life is short. 
"What does being kind mean to you?"
Being kind leads to success. I didn’t get to where I am by being a you know what. What’s the saying? “You attract more flies with honey than you do with vinegar”
Tyler is a great guy to talk to because you really get this sense of ambition, fun, and professionalism that is so perfectly mixed together and that's really rare in a person. Very seldom is someone all 3 equally. What I really took away from our conversations and session was that life really is too short to not do what you want in life.
"As someone who travels a lot and gets to see a lot what is your best piece of travel advice for people?"
I feel you should have less of a plan than you would think. In my experience when you try and plan some sort of itinerary you get there and there's a 100 other things you would rather do. We actually got to "hike the wave" because we just entered the lottery for it and ended up having to cancel our whole day but it was the coolest thing.
"What is something about yourself people wouldn't guess at first?"
I think people would be surprised to know that I am more of an introvert than an extrovert due to my presence on social media and such but i definitely prefer my alone time. 
"What advice would you give yourself pre-pandemic?"
Honestly,  live in the moment more. As i graduate and pack for my new job in dallas it makes me so sad and I realize now that sometimes i move a bit too quickly with things in my life and I wish I had been a little bit more in the moment.
Maddie is one of those people that you meet and leave the conversation with a more positive outlook on the rest of the day. Her ability to bring people together will definitely take her far. She is a previous client of mine and I wish her nothing but the best moving forward. I think something I really took away from our conversation was a refreshed outlook on people in general.
"As a nursing major what have you learned from pursuing a career in helping people?"
I think it has made me more empathetic and vigilant in general toward people. Being able to pick up on certain things and also my ability to feel for people and understand them has increased.
"What is the best thing you've learned so far in college?"
On a more joking note literally how the body works in general and being able to workout more efficiently has been super useful. On a more serious note however I think I have learned a lot about about advocacy on behalf of ourselves and for other people. I have learned a lot about selflessness and being able lend a helping hand in general and the value of that.
"What does kindness look like to you?"
I think that kindness and love go hand in hand. We don't need the ten commandments if we just love each other and by that I mean an all encompassing love, tough love, etc. So it looks a lot like spreading love and doing things selflessly. 
Anna was incredibly kind throughout our whole conversation and really opened my eyes to different avenues in which I think about spirituality and religion in general. But beyond that, what I really took away from our chat was that selflessness can be hard but it is something that pays dividends when done genuinely.
(Also, photo was taken on a laptop due to being quarantined for exposure to covid)
"what makes someone a good friend?"
 to me, a good friend is someone who celebrates you in your wins and is there for you during your losses. through the years i’ve had many friends come and go, but my real, good friends are people that i know i can turn to and they will listen to me and help me free of judgement. a good friend will show their weakness and be vulnerable with you. being imperfect with one another can strengthen any deep connection. finding good friends can be hard, but once we find that person they should never be taken for granted. my good friends in my life have given me a better understanding of myself and encouraged me to be more authentic.
"What does love look like to you?"
 love can look like a lot of different things. love can look like a stranger that goes out of their way to help you when you’re in need. love can look like a friend that stays up all night talking to you when you’re upset to make sure you’re okay. love can look like your dog waiting for you all day and greeting you the second you walk in the door. or love can look like your significant other cooking dinner for you after a long day. for me, the first people i loved in my life were my parents. my parents showed me true unconditional love. not only did they show me the meaning of love, but they taught me how to love others. my parents have given every single part of themselves to me for the past 19 years to ensure that i have a good life. the kind of unwavering love they have showed me is something i hope that i am able to give to my family some day. love looks like accepting someone for who they are and loving them extra hard through all the challenging parts. love looks like understanding one another, sacrifice, respect, and honesty. love is definitely a powerful and indescribable feeling, but love is also a choice we make everyday.
"what is something about yourself that people wouldn’t guess at first?"
 Something about myself that people wouldn’t guess about me at first is how much i different i am then how my social media might portray me to be. At the end of the day, I am still a stressed out college student dealing with all my own troubles. I’m also very much a homebody and love spending time at home cooking, reading, and being with my dogs. but many people wouldn’t guess this from my social media. because social media isn’t real and is simply just the highlight reels of our lives. they’re many people i have met and instantly connected with and later these people have told me that based off my instagram, my personality was completely different than what they expected. I’ve been doing more to be more real and open on my social media and me more genuinely myself. instead of only highlighting the good parts of my life. being real and raw online is important because we often forget that everything that glitters isn’t gold.
Laurens answers while longer than most are certainly worth reading. Especially the third question where she focuses on how sometimes we portray a different persona on social media and are quick to forget that most people have daily troubles and stressors that bog them down too despite that cheerful post. It really helped to emphasize the importance of this project to myself because It is real and showing people at a more intimate level than say a vacation instagram post.
"What is something you have learned in mixology you can apply to your every day life?"
To never accept mediocrity; whether that be something as simple as ingredients used in a recipe ranging to more complex topics like your personal quality of life, there's always something better as long as you're willing to look for it.
"What trait do you value most in a friend?"
Understanding, the ability to disagree but accept each other's differences holds a lot of value for me.
"Where do you want to be 5 years from now?"
Experiencing new things wherever life takes me and still having a beer with my best friends whenever the opportunity arises.
Alex Is a lifetime friend of mine and to be able to actually have real answers from him is awesome. Specifically the second answer. I really think that the ability to disagree is something more people should recognize and adopt themselves. We live in a world that people assume you're either wrong or right and when it comes to most situations that's just not the case.
"What has college taught you that you can apply to everyday life."
I would say that college has taught me a lot about accountability and task management. It is definitely useful in the "real" world and really helped to ease the transition to college from high school.
"What is the best advice you've ever received?"
Honestly, stay away from drugs. I've seen way too many people lose their way to drugs and it's honestly just not worth it.
"What does kindness look like to you?"
Kindness is more of an emotional  gratitude toward people. How you present yourself to people and what you do for them without expecting anything in return.
Anthony is relatively new to state college and I walked up to him after finishing my workout which makes me really appreciate just how willing to talk some people are. Tony was super cool to talk to and I left our conversation feeling better about this project in general because as hard as it is sometimes to just walk up to strangers every once in a while you get someone as easy going as anthony.
"What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given."
Honestly, it would be expect nothing and to appreciate everything. If i were to elaborate I think my job as a server is a great example because I don't necessarily expect any tips or anything but appreciate every cent.
"What do you think the most important trait in a friend is?"
I would say humor because everyone needs a good laugh but realistically integrity and honesty is the best thing you can have. Honesty is realism and no one can be on the same page if we don't know the same things.
"What does love look like to you?"
Personally I see love as understanding and being able to look past your own personal beliefs and thoughts because everyone has different beliefs.
During my conversation with Gianna somewhere in the middle of it she said "I know I'm someone who gives a lot of love" and I couldn't help but sense that before she even said it. It was really refreshing to meet someone who just radiates a pleasant energy and gave some incredible answers as well. I think her excerpt on the second question about how honesty puts everyone on the same page is something we all could think more about when it comes to problem solving even the hard situations.
"What is most important to you in a relationship?" 
When I think about my current relationship there’s a lot that I love about it in general, but what has become the most important thing to me, is making each other a priority. We met in college when we were both so busy with classes and activities, but the small moments we got with one another meant so much. He always came to my dance team performances and I would bring him coffee before class. After graduation and even now we always try to make sure we get quality time whether it’s a full weekend together or just a few hours when we meet halfway to get dinner. We still talk on the phone everyday and even after 3 years together he still brings me flowers. Despite us both being busy people, it means the most to me that we can take time out of our day and make the effort to show how much we care!
"What is your favorite piece of advice?" 
“You are capable of more than you think”. I was recently looking back at some pictures and memories from the past couple years and I remembered being in high school when we would get asked “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” I really would’ve never guessed I’d be where I am now and I mean that in the best way possible. While I was never a bad student, I always felt like I was just average. I remember at times being so anxious about my future and thinking “You can barely pass a math class and basic chemistry, how do you think you’re going to make it through college?” I would compare myself to all of my friends and I doubted myself all the time. Even though my younger self probably wouldn’t believe it, I wish I could tell her how much she was capable of. I would tell anyone who is unsure and not confident in themselves and their future that, once you find your passion and see yourself succeed it will start a fire in you and you will believe that you’re capable of.
"What do you think the world needs more of?"
Honest conversations. I think it’s so important that people share their true opinions and speak their mind on the things that genuinely matter to them. It’s so interesting, and really opens your mind to hear what people think and why they think it.  I feel like people often talk just to argue and hear their own voice, but if we actually listened and tried to have a better understanding the world would be so much better.
Hilari is friend and client of mine (personally they're synonymous to me) and radiates such a kind and personable energy. Her answers really shed light on what I believe to be very important points that more people should realize about themselves especially in her second answer. I am a firm believer that a determined person is the most unstoppable thing in the universe.
"What is your favorite piece of advice you've been given?"
"Never stop learning".
"What does it mean to you to be successful?"
To be successful to me, is just being able to take care of myself and my family without worrying too much.
"What do you think the world needs more of?"
 I think the world needs more perspective. Everyone tends to get locked in their own worldview, but if you can take time to see, read about or talk to people who are vastly different than yourself than you come out the other side with a greater understanding and respect for humankind itself.
Kendall was my date to the 7th grade dance so i reached out when I was stuck at home and couldn't get out to interview anyone so I sent her over these questions and I have to say she really got me thinking with her answer to the second question. So many people I know would argue that success is measured in abundance but to hear it in the sense of being able to provide for those close to you really brings things into perspective for me.
"What is The best piece of advice you've been given?"
I’ve always been a person who is afraid of change, and the best advice I’ve been given is to “broadened my horizons and to not be afraid of the unknown”. This advice helped me better myself not only career wise, but to go and see what’s out there in the world.
"What has Working in the medical field taught you about people?" 
about people - I’ve learned to look past whatever my patients may be dealing with in their personal lives no matter how terrible it is and it treat them with the same compassion and love that I would want my own family to be treated we. We are all vulnerable, no matter who we are or what we’ve gone through.
"What does love mean to you?"
 Love is vulnerability. It’s to open up to another person fully and completely showing all of your flaws and imperfections, which makes it beautiful.
Taylor is a client of mine who has a wedding coming up this year and I interviewed her following a session in single digit degree weather and I couldn't feel my toes after. But, her answers were worth it and I really think that her response to the third question about vulnerability stuck with me specifically. Beauty really does show itself truly when we can be open and genuine.
"What do you think the world needs more of?"
 Understanding of each other and patience!
"Who is your biggest inspiration?"
My mom!
"What does love look like to you?"
Love is when you look at someone and know you can’t live without them.
Jess answers while short are very meaningful. The last answer specifically really surprised me in how easily it conveyed such a complicated question. 
"What has college taught you that transfer over into your day to day life?"
Honestly time management, being out on your own and holding yourself accountable is really the big thing I've learned.
"What is the best trait you can have in a friend?"
Loyalty and honesty to me is the most important trait someone can have. It's a pretty important thing to me in all of my relationships.
"What does being kind look like to you?"
Honestly I feel like it's something you can feel from someone off the bat if they're genuine or not.
Joe was super easy to chat with and really hammered home the importance of loyalty to me personally because that has been such a consistent answer for people.
"What major skill has college taught you?"
How to be stronger mentally, it's very easy to get discouraged sometimes but when you keep going it makes you all the more stronger. Being able to get myself through the hard days too has taught my i'm physically stronger than I thought to be able to power through the fatigue and really keep pushing.
"What makes someone successful in your eyes?"
I think success is when someone personally achieves everything they wanted to personally. I don't think that someone is successful just because they fit the stereotype of someone who would traditionally be "successful" (big car, big house, etc.) It's more up to each person specifically.
"What does love look like to you?"
I think it looks like trust, respecting someone, valuing someone who has different views than you, acts of kindness without being asked and passion for someone/something. 
Elise is a truly kind person and I think that her second answer really hit home with me in terms of reevaluating success. Sometimes I feel like my work may not register as successful because it isn't received well on social media but in reality all that matters is how I feel about the process that went into making it.
"What does photography mean to you?"
Photography is essentially another language to me. It is the most true way that I can communicate the way that I experience the world. It is the way that I can craft how I see beauty and it is the most satisfying thing that I have ever encountered.

"How do you feel is the best way to make someone feel comfortable"
I have learned that I really enjoy making others feel safe. The ability to curate that kind of environment is really rare and I find that pretty unfortunate. I was once asked what feeling I want to give to other people when I’m around them and I told them that I wanted to make people feel safe. When people feel safe they can do anything!
"What does kindness look like to you?"
I think kindness can look like effort. I would say that it feels pretty good to have someone try to do something for you. Even if they don’t succeed the effort means a lot. I adore small kindnesses and when people take the time to try just a little bit for you, that can often mean the world.
Darya and I met to discuss photography in general and swap ideas but after talking for an hour or so I realized she is not only an incredibly talented artist but an incredibly kind person as well. Something that is glaringly obvious throughout all of her answers.
"How does photographing the most important days of peoples lives effect the significance of your own personal monumental moments?"
I was married after already becoming a wedding photographer and it was one of the best days of my life all the same even knowing what to expect. Having my own wedding actually improved my ability to capture weddings and be able to curate better storytelling into my work with my brides. I realized how much the little things can matter to a bride.
"What do you think is the most important trait a person can have?"
There are many things, and it is different for every person but something I believe we all need now is compassion and empathy for everything in our lives including ourselves. I know it's really hard to not be a critic sometimes but it's very important to be nice to not only yourself but others as well.
"What does love look like to you as a wedding photographer?"
I feel like its really important as a photographer to keep love in mind. As wedding photographers we have it engrained in our minds that love looks like the movies portrayal. Something as simple as kissing each other but the reality is love shows up so many ways on a wedding day. Sometimes it could be the way the parents watch their kids walk down the aisle and their teeth clench as they try not to cry, or it could be the simple touch of a shoulder, or the words people use. Sometimes love is not a touchy/physical interaction and it's very important to be able to identify how people love each other as a wedding photographer.
Citlalli Is a phenomenal, internationally recognized wedding photographer and one of my personal favorite artists. Her ability to storytell specifically is my favorite aspect of her work and I see where it comes from after being able to chat with her for a while. She is so incredibly kind and someone that really had so much to offer in terms of advice for capturing love between couples specifically which can be seen in the third answer!
"What does success look like to you?"
To most people success probably looks like a man standing on a yacht in a suit but I think it runs deeper than simply having money. I think success is in the eye of the beholder. I think it can look like something as small as brushing your teeth or hair on a bad day, or something as grand as popping a bottle of champagne in your new executive office.
"What trait is most important for a successful relationship?"
More than anything else in a relationship you need to have patience. Being able to work through problems together and be understanding is key to a happy and healthy relationship. 
"What does kindness look like to you?"
Kindness looks like spreading warmth in an otherwise cold world; smiling at a stranger, feeding a stray cat, doing what you can to make the world a better place.
hanna is a fantastic person and her answer for success is one I encourage everyone to think about. Her excerpt about how some days success can be brushing your teeth is incredibly important and something I feel that more people should recognize.
"What makes someone successful?"
Success can be measured in a lot of ways, but to me it’s measured by reaching personal goals and happiness. If someone has accomplished what they set out to accomplish and are happy with where they are I’d say they’re successful.
 "Who’s my role model?"
I don’t think I have one specific role model I set out to be like. Instead I like to think of the people I choose to surround myself with like my friends and my family as my role models, and I can learn from and see things in all of them that I hope I can instill into myself .
 "What’s does the world need more of?"
The worlds needs more love and positivity. I think we all need to be nicer to one another and always be looking to lend an ear or a hand to those who need it.

Colby's answer for the second question is a really unique way to look at role models and really one I had never thought of but really really like and appreciate. I'm a firm believer in you are who you surround yourself with and that thought process really aligns with that statement.
"What do you think the world needs more of?"
I personally believe that kindness is something all of us can always improve on.
"What makes someone successful?"
I think success is defined by your drive!
"The best piece of advice you've ever been given?"
A personal favorite of mine is "you can not pour from an empty cup!"
Becca was a previous client of mine and i really enjoyed our time we spent together so once I started this project I knew at some point I would reach out to her to get her thoughts on some of the questions I like to ask. I personally love the simplicity of her first answer because I too believe kindness is the absolute most important trait we can adopt more of in this day and age.
"What do you think the world needs more of?"
i think the world needs a lot more compassion. So much good can come from people coming together and opening their hearts to others. 
"What does love look like to you?"
Love can look different to every person, but to me, love looks like someone who can appreciate every version of yourselves and grow with you.
"What makes someone a good friend?"
 Someone who is able to respect and create boundaries a good friend is someone you can do absolutely nothing with and still have a good time. you can not see them for weeks or months and still have that strong bond. they defend your name and same again with boundaries, those are really important in any relationship.
Natalie offered some really good perspective on the third question when it comes to boundaries. I really agree that defending someone when they're not around is pretty much a top 3 thing you can do to consider yourself a proper friend.
"what makes someone a good friend?"
In my opinion, what makes someone a good friend is loyalty. You know that no matter what happens in life, or what path you may choose to take throughout life, they’re still there for you. You can count on your friend to have your back no matter what the circumstances may be. That’s a true friend.
"what is the Best advice you have ever received?"
 Best advice I’ve ever received is… pray. Haha sounds a little cheesy, but you can never argue or doubt the big man upstairs!
"What does kindness look like to you?"
 Kindness to me looks like a smile and a helping hand. Helping a friend or stranger can brighten anyones day!

"What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?"
best piece of advice would probably have to be to never remain somewhere you feel unappreciated.
"What is a favorite quote of yours?"
 favorite quote would probably have to be “you still haven’t met all the people you are going to love”
"Who is your role model?"
it would have to be either my grandma corle or liz stevens.
"What's the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?"
Don’t chase people who don’t respect you. This is a piece of advice that I have really kept in mind over these last few years, and I think it has served me well. I have come to learn that people respect someone who values themselves and can set and keep their boundaries.
"What traits matter most to you in a friend?"
Two questions I ask myself about friends are: Can I have fun with you? And will you have my back when I need it? The first one is pretty obvious because there are a lot of sticks in the mud out there that don’t know how to have a good time, and when I hang out with people, I like to have fun, laugh, and enjoy myself, and if I can’t do that around you then we’re probably not going to be very close. As for having my back, there are a lot of people that I can have a good time with, but that’s where it ends. There are only so many people that I can count on that would drop everything and help me out with anything at a moment’s notice, and I think that’s what separates the real friends from the rest of the people I just enjoy being around.
"Who is your role model?"
As cliché as it sounds, I would have to say my biggest role models are both of my parents. As I’ve grown older, I’ve begun to realize just how lucky I really am to have 2 amazing people that support me every step of the way. We’ve certainly had our fair share of arguments over the years, and I haven’t always been the best son, but I’ve never had to question their love for me and that’s not something everybody can say. If I can grow up and become half as good of a person as both of them, are I’ll be doing just fine in life.
"What does success look like to you?"
success is freedom. freedom to peruse your passions and interests. to be able to do what you love everyday. it has nothing to do with wealth, fame, or status. everyone has different loves and passions. 
"Who is your role model?"
my role model in life is my grammy, candy mcmullen. her effortless joy, and giant heart is inspiration. she is hilarious, has a giant heart, and marches to the beat of her own drum. 
"What's the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?"
the best advice came from my step dad, eric. “it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know.” he’s said this to all us kids since we were young. being personable and making vital connections in life are the key to very cool opportunities and memories to be made. it helps that i think i know some pretty amazing people.
"What does success look like to you?"
Successful, to me, means being proud of what your doing, whether that be career, family, or self focused. If you are doing what you want and being the best person you can be, I consider that successful.
 "What's the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?"
The best advice I’ve ever been given is to be patient and live in the moment. Today we are all so focused on the next best thing and we are hardly making the best out of the moments we are living through every day.
"What do you think the world needs more of?"
The world needs more compassion. Understand that not everyone has been through the same experiences as you, been taught the same values, or has been giving the same opportunities. We need to have compassion, especially when we don’t relate.
Please consider donating to the American foundation for suicide prevention here.
We're all in this together.

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