My Version of Fearless

DA* 16-50 Giveaway Entry #11

By Heie in It's Good to Be Fearless on Apr 20, 2013

First off, I would like to say that I think this is a wonderful contest and completely generous of you to do this. I do not have a large post history here on the Pentax Forums, however I spend a lot of time here reading and have found this site extremely invaluable to me. So thank you!

In the fall of 2012 I decided to make a big change in my life. I resigned from a position that was going nowhere and decided to take a journey that has changed me in many ways. As an introvert, a creature of habit and comfort, someone who is used to shying away from the unknown and unfamiliar, I took a chance to do something completely out of my comfort zone both psychologically and photographically.

What 'fearless' Means to Me

On September 15, 2012, I rented a car and departed from the Northern Virginia (USA) area. I spent the next seven weeks driving across the country and back, in various destinations, spending my nights in the homes of complete strangers and taking their portraits. Photographing people is an intimate activity (with strangers even harder), and from the majority of my photographic career, you will not find many portraits or images of people for this reason. This project was to push myself and try to investigate the battle I've had with this fear.

I met the people I stayed with via Couch Surfing's site on the internet. I knew nothing about them except what they had written about in their profiles, and a general idea of what they looked like. It was a bit terrifying at first, but the further I traveled, the more I was able to relax. I was able to see how amazing and beautiful this country is in so many places, and meet some of the most wonderful and hospitable people I have ever met. I photographed every place I went, and came away with over 6000 photos from this trip that I still go through and am able to remember this soul-searching time.

The photos I am submitting here are three of the portraits I took while on my travels. Can I honestly say I am more comfortable photographing people after this? Not 100%, but I feel like it was an invaluable experience for me in every way, and I intend to do a trip like this again at some point in life.

These photos (and most others) were shot with a Pentax K-30 and the Tamron 28-75mm lens.
I'm not sure that this is many people's idea of what "fearless" is, but it certainly was for me!


Not a part of my submission, but should you be curious regarding the other images from this trip, you can view some more of the work that resulted from it here.

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