You’re one of the people I met when my life was in transition. I had recently been laid off from my Wall Street job and I was devoting my time to working solely on my consulting business and my photographer and videography. I became a pole dancing videographer by “accident” and soon after several pole dancing companies wanted me to shoot their marketing videos or create special packages for their students. Knowing that I didn’t have the right equipment, I sought some advice and direction and was led to you.
In our first conversation I tried to explain what I needed without mentioning I was a pole dancer and filmed pole dancers but it was hard to explain why a Steadicam wouldn’t work because I needed to crawl on the floor and perhaps ascend “something” all while filming. Finally, I relented and showed you a sample of my work. Besides advising me on how to improve the camera shake, you mentioned how you were a photographer and videographer and always wanted to film dancers…specifically pole dancers. You said the challenge though was that at the time, we were cult like, many were kind of anti-men in the studio space and so it never happened.
However me…I’m not “anti-men.” In fact, I wrote a letter saying we needed to let the men in. So I asked you to show me your work and that very day I hired you to shot a pole dancing video of me to celebrate my two year pole anniversary. In the span of three weeks, we shot to videos. “U-Need” and “Dark Side of the Pole.”
What also stood out was that in our first conversations besides talking about filming and pole dancers, you also asked me for my book recommendations. Based on that and your work ethic, we quickly became friends and in once sense you mentored me. My photography improved at a much faster and deeper rate because you always taught me informally or formally. Not only that, because our work ethics matched so much, we would partner with each other. Sometimes you hired me as your assistant. Such as the case with The Barber Battle or Diamonds or Free Crib video shoot. There were times when I hired you as well. Such as with my Iman Cosmetics “Motown the Musical” video shoot. There were times we collaborated together such as with the Dragon video shoot.
Not only did I learn more about photography and videography and business…of which we learned from each other, but you also became a “Pole Advocate.” You wanted to film more and more dancers, so you would come to our showcases, events, ask me qustions…hell, you even wrote a guest post on the Pole Dancing Blogger’s Association website. And therefore when people, including those in your personal life make jokes or bs comments about pole, I didn’t even need to say a thing. You would speak eloquently and passionately about our art form and I adored it.
Our friendship went beyond that. When I started hosting my “Crafts+Cupcakes” parties, you asked why was I marketing it to only women. I didn’t have a reason. They were the ones who showed up. But you admitted that you loved candles and if I as your friend was teaching people how to make candles, you wanted to learn too. So I expanded my marketing efforts and well, men started coming to Crafts+Cupcakes.
I also shared with you my desire to be in front of the camera more but “I wasn’t a model.” I felt really uncomfortable in front of the camera. But you…along with specializing in Boudoir and Portraits, you’re great at capturing candids. Most of the photos taken of me from 2012-2015…the best ones, were because of you. For example, the below….these are all CANDID photos of me but they are the ones I use for headshots and bios and profile pics.
I’ve learned quite a lot from you. I’ve learned to be a better photographer, a better filmmaker, a better model, a better business woman, a better artist and even a better friend. These are all essential tools of being a Wild Magical Woman. I can’t conquer the world, if I don’t know how to negotiate contracts.
This even reminds me when I had you on a business call with a brand while negotiating a project for the Pole Dancing Bloggers Association. You listened in silently and afterwards for an hour you taught me more about collaborations and partnerships than any book or blog post would have done. You taught me not to limit my marketing. You taught me that sometimes I need to fire clients. But more importantly, you taught me to find the light. Literally as a photographer and metaphorically as a human being. You pushed me to find what lit my soul on fire and to pursue with relentless effort the growth and mastering of that desire. I reframed how the structure of Wild Magical Woman works because of your advice. You changed me, Glen. My perspective. My art. And even the way, I look at light. I will always be grateful.
#32LoveLetters is a 32 day blog post challenge leading up to my 32nd birthday, I am writing letters to the people in my life who contributed to me becoming fully myself as a Wild Magical Woman. If someone were to write a biography about me…which they will, it’s imperative that chapters are focused on these 32 people. They have had a profound, lasting and influential effect on my life. I can not tell my own story without telling you of theirs.