Today was unique for me: I got lost in the countryside of Baraboo, WI; climbed through brush in a dress; and emanated my inner Black Swan, all while hanging out in a rustic horse stable.

That sounds pretty random, right?

To be honest, I was a bit nervous when I walked into the Wild Rose Ranch, not knowing what to expect of my first “official photo shoot”. First, I was running 15 minutes late due to Google map difficulties and lack of reception. Second, I felt somewhat like a pack mule lugging half of my wardrobe in random tote bags and my beat-up suitcase across the gravel sidewalk (not a very elegant moment for me). And third, I’m pretty sure every other model there had their mom or dad with them and were at least 5-10 years younger than me. (Made me wish my mom was there too!)

There were many moments throughout the day that I doubted myself. “Am I too old for this?” “I wish I had started doing this earlier…” “Oh gosh, I hope I don’t look like a deer in the headlights” “Please don’t let me trip on this log, please please please!!”

But there were a handful of moments that I felt something fantastic. The photographer would say a couple of encouraging words and it would help to crack more of my shell open - slide away the protective film in front of my eyes. You hear photographers say “Strong eyes”, or something, that seem very trivial. But in fact there’s a change that goes on inside you - actually feeling something different moves that feeling through your eyes and changes the shot.

At the beginning of the shoot I wasn’t sure how the photos were going to turn out, but after getting a sneak peek at a few of the shots, I am SO excited to see how the photographer captured those brief moments of expression: anger, timidness, wistfulness, hope, and love. I just hope I can keep growing!