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A blog written by a Denver photographer, with photographs by that photographer, but not always about photography. Or for that matter, Denver.

Conquering Fear in 2017: How to be brave and live the life of your dreams (part one)

Happy New Year from this Denver Photographer! I say that for two reasons. One, I'm officially relocating to Denver after going back and forth between Colorado and Maryland for the last year! After quite the search, Martin and I finally found a house to rent!! See?!

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Two, now that I'm moving I am starting my client base from scratch and will be incorporating key words into my blogs and website so that Denver photography clients can find me in Denver. See what I did there? Denver Portrait Photographer. Denver Family Photographer. Ok, I'm done. Back to the blog.

Today we are going to discuss fear. But first, as usual, some back story.

Two years ago today, my life looked very different. I was a professional dancer and on the brink of becoming a father through gestational surrogacy. Unbeknownst to me, my embryo had been transferred into the uterus of a very dangerous con-artist. She had a false identity with the false medical history and documents to back it up, and was physically unable to carry a pregnancy to term. She lost my child (a son) and led me into a year long police investigation that would also lead me to some of the deepest depression I've ever experienced.

Somehow, though it put me on the path I was meant to walk.

I took a trip to Disney World to clear my heart. I was determined to "get back on the horse" and be around happy families because I was scared if I didn't, I would grow a cold and resentful heart. While there, I received a text message that would change my destiny. It was from an old friend of mine who I had done some wedding photos for while simultaneously being in her wedding (don't ask). She said that her soon to be sister-in-law was getting married in a few months and wanted to hire me as her photographer.

I thought this to be a ridiculous request, as I had never been paid for my photography. I knew how important a wedding was and I didn't know if I could handle that responsibility. I texted her back that I would think about it, but I had pretty much made up my mind that I wouldn't do it. It wasn't until a serendipitous phone call a few weeks later that I would change my tune.

A woman on my personal Facebook had seen what I was going through with losing my baby (which, side note, is the worst pain I have ever felt in my life and cannot believe how many people are silent about) and offered to talk to me. She worked as a life coach and thought perhaps she could offer some help. On top of the pain of losing a child, I had lost a tremendous amount of money in the process. Like, a whole lot. And it had taken a long time to save. As a dancer working for somebody else, I was at the mercy of what my company could pay me and in the US, arts funding is often scarce. This made starting over financially on the journey to baby quite a daunting task. The life coach asked if I had considered being in business for myself. I mentioned that I had been offered the chance to photograph a wedding, but was going to turn it down.

But as the words came out of my mouth as to why I was going to turn it down..."I'm just not good enough...talented enough...experienced enough...prepared enough...", I realized that they were all excuses. And not even very truthful or convincing ones. I had plenty of experience as an amateur photographer. Ten years, in fact. And many people by that point had complimented me on my work and told me that I should start a business. The bottom line? I was just too scared.

I hung up the phone...thought to myself, "if not now, then when?"...took a deep breath...and texted my friend.

A message that would change everything.

A message that would change everything.


I had three months. And I was scared to death. (to be continued)

For my latest work/shenanigans, please follow me here on Instagram! @markrossphotography