“Don’t be afraid of new beginnings. Don’t shy away from new people, new energy, new surroundings. Embrace new chances at happiness.”

– Billy Chapata

When you live with depression or anxiety, it can be really hard getting out there and meeting new people. Trying new things. Putting yourself out there. I know I'm one of the lucky ones in the aspect that I can just force myself to do something that does actually scare the living crap out of me. Mainly because I know that having my camera in had helps me out so much. I just forget everything else other than capturing what is in front of me.

I've been on a couple of photographer "meet ups" now, but this was the first one I'd attended where I'd felt welcomed and a part of something.

There's just something really comforting about being around like-minded people and other creatives. Everyone just gets this contagious joy when we pick up our cameras and really get into it!

Jackie had organized this meet up at Mona vale and did an absolutely splendid job of it!

5 models attended and it was great meeting a few I could see fitting perfectly with ideas I'd had for months haha That's the other reason why these are so great to attend. Meeting models you may not have heard of, meeting other photographers that you can draw inspiration from... hell... I even got to meet a few I IDOLIZE hahahaha. It felt like being in the midst of celebrities. Going into the Mona Vale meet up, the only person I had met before was Jackie. She is a photographer that also models, so I had worked with her in my studio. Knowing only her going into it really had me on a high level of anxiety... then to add those celebrities into it... Christ I was a nervous wreck!

Though I think the real celebrity of the evening was Monty!

Willy brought along his best mate Monty - a Curly coated wheaten terrier. Beautiful dog that everyone just fell in love with!

Lots of credit to the models!

It certainly isn't easy working with so many photographers and can be pretty full on trying to make sure everyone gets the shot they are after. Even more so when everyone has so many ideas they want to work on or try out.

Laura C, Laura, Kat, Jesse and Christina all did an amazing job. Hopefully I get the chance to work with a few of you next year!