When I first moved out to Grand Rapids over three years ago, a local photographer told me, "GR has the most photographers per capita of any city in the country. Good luck coming out here and getting work, you'll have way too much competition." Not the most encouraging thing to hear, and definitely intimidating, especially since I was far from confident in my capability to be a full-time photographer at that point. But I quickly realized that it's so freaking cool to live in a city with such a thriving arts community. And as much as there may be cons to living in a city inundated by photographers, there are way more pros. One of those pros has been making incredible friends who are as passionate about photography as I am; who are creative and talented and genuinely wonderful people; who inspire me with the way they view the world and create art. I've grown so much as a photographer these past few years, and that has in large part been due to the incredible people I've met and worked with. I can say with confidence that I would not be the photographer I am today if I did not live in a city with such a thriving photography community. Is there competition for clients? Absolutely. Do I have to hustle hard to get the work I want? Fo shizzle. But it makes it so much easier when I have friends hustling alongside me. People who are just as driven, excited, creative, and confused as I am. Who inspire me, and who I can inspire. It's been the bomb. I can't wait to meet more of my fellow GR photographers, and continue to be challenged, influenced, and encouraged by them.

Sarah is one of my new-in-the-past-few-years photographer friends. She's exuberant, passionate, genuine, and always up for getting out to shoot just for fun, which is what we did this night. Danced around to Justin Timberlake, let Sarah's new hat take the spotlight for a while, and left the night feeling revitalized by each other's creativity, and by taking a break in the midst of a crazy busy season to be funky with our cameras just for the heck of it.

*special bonus*: scroll to the end, and you'll see some shots of me that Sarah snapped. Also be sure to check out more of Sarah's work hereĀ and here.

Life's more fun when we include others in our trials and joys and creations. Thankful to have friends like Sarah alongside me.