No one asked me to take these photos, it was something I really wanted to do, so I went out and made it happen; despite my overwhelming fear of heights.
A couple weeks ago, I got a text from my friend showing me construction in the lobby for the La Crosse Center, they were covering the main lobby wall with two large images, images that I took. It is a moment I have been anticipating for what feels like forever, but realistically I think the conversation started about a year ago. It was something that I was excited about, but part of me couldn’t believe it. So, I didn’t share the news with many people until the images were actually displayed.
Well the time had come, it was real. As the feeling sunk in, I began to reminisce about all of the steps that led to this event.
One of the moments that stood out to me, was the day that I went up into a helicopter to take the lower image that is displayed on the wall of the La Crosse Center. It was the summer of 2019, I was prepping for a few days stretch of shooting video for Riverfest La Crosse, and I saw the schedule which has Lake Superior Helicopters doing aerial tours. Taking photos from a helicopter was a dream of mine but I had thought the opportunity would present itself only in larger cities, and now it was right here in my hometown. I had to go up, but there was only one concern: I have an incredible fear of heights - The ultimate conflict.
Everything boiled down to me reassuring my anxious brain that these (pilots) were professionals and I just needed to trust that process, the same way I expect clients to trust me in my profession. So I did that, I put my trust in them and I set my fear aside. It was still a rush knowing how high up we were, but I was lost in the moment of shooting and just focused on that. Right away I knew I had captured some images that I was really happy with, but I didn’t know what I was going to do with them.
As of January 2022, these photos have now been featured on the cover of a city magazine, on the back of a bank truck, in locals homes, and now on the walls of the La Crosse Center. I think this is a great example of following your passion and pushing yourself. No one asked me to take these photos, it was something I really wanted to do, so I went out and made it happen; despite my overwhelming fear of heights.
Take risks, do what makes you happy, and trust the process.
*Photo of me and La Crosse Center Director Art Fahey by Bao Xiong.