Leaps of faith
4 days. 4 days until I hop on a flight, short layover in Iceland and then continue on to the U.K. There isn't much else other than pure excitement about this. As soon as my feet hit that British pavement 1IN700 will officially be an international photography project. Hard work, determination, sacrifice, and lots and lots of leaps of faith have brought me to this moment of true revelation. For the first time in my life I will be thousands of miles from everyone I know and love. I will be finally starting this mission of awareness across the pond. It's just me, my camera, my will, and my deep, deep desire to open minds and share stories. I don't know when I will be coming back to the states just yet. My plan changes so much and spontaneity has proven itself incredibly present on this journey. But hey, I am going to run like crazy with it.
As I look back on the last month in New York I can't help but smile at the hard work, hustle, and evolution of Zack. I was included in the launch as a featured blogger on Renee Bhagwandeen's blog "Models Mafia." I did a total of 15 photo shoots. I got to spend time with two very special people to me: Shelbie Kramer & Anthony Tudisco. I met with some amazing peeps at Smile Train. I connected with people I have been social media friends with for years and photographed them (Danielle Zierer, Melanie Needham, Mary Hargrove). I made MOVES. We made moves. I am leaving that city with a very different feeling than I had years ago and this time it's a damn good one.
I do get a little anxious about taking this on of course. I'm scared I'll run out of money, being in all of these places alone seems so crazy, getting lost, not receiving space donations for shoots, etc. But if I have learned anything these past two years, it's that someone or something greater than me wants this project to happen. I feel like every time I question what is about to happen I am met with a solution more effective than I could have done on my own. Every. Single. Time. So those "leaps of faith" I was talking about earlier, well they just reassure me to trust, to stay confident in what I am doing because I DO got this. I will succeed in the completion of 1IN700 because I want it more than I have ever wanted anything else in my life.
I found love in this project. Growing up, I was that kid with a ton of friends. Strong characters that weren't afraid to speak their minds. I admired them so much more than they ever could have even known. I thought that being cleft affected AND gay meant I couldn't stand up for myself. That I NEEDED friends to protect me. While that is fantastic and I still aspire to have those kind of friendships, 1IN700 has taught me that I am beyond capable. I am able. I am strong. I am ready. And I will.
p.s. I am sorry if the format is a little funky. I am posting this on a bus from NYC to D.C. from my cell phone so it may look a little different!
I ate so many tortas. Spanish Harlem has the beeeest!
My friend Matty (Matt Clancy) turned me into a bunny during our Easter brunch.
Second time meeting this beauty and have surely gained a lifelong friendship.
Test shoot w // @ShannonMcnulty // @MajorModelsNYC
Hair & Makeup // @makeupbydisco
Melanie Needham & Danielle Zierer
@anthonytudisco // @beieio
Danced on rooftops and laughed until the sun went down and came back up again. The love I have for these two is insane. Thank you so much for the pics @anthonytudisco !!
Until next time New York.