I don't consider myself a brave person. I didn't learn to ride a bike until 7th grade and have never jumped off of a swimming pool diving board. My brother-in-law had to teach me to strike a match when I was in high school because I was afraid of holding fire that close to my hand. It took me 4 years to muster up the courage to leave everything in Oklahoma for photography school and as much as I want a tattoo, I can't because of pain (and a mild case of indecision.) So this is all why when my mom emailed me yesterday with the following, I stopped and read it again, slowly:

"You do so many many things that are so brave of you. 
I admire you so much for having such determination."

I almost didn't feel like she was talking to me. As if I was logged into the wrong email account, or she accidentally sent it to the wrong person. Brave people go to a foreign countries alone, eat cow eyeballs, and jump out of airplanes. That's brave. And even though I have come a long way from the young girl who couldn't hold a lit match, I still don't think I'm brave. For over a year now I have felt as if I am not enough, never doing enough or being enough. But after reading it a few times over and over, completely digesting the words, I realized Mom was right. I am brave.

Tomorrow I drive 12 hours to my homeland and on Sunday I will run more than I've ever run in my life with nearly 24,000 other strangers in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. There's a part of me that's terrified and doubting my physical ability to run that far. I've had two major Achilles tendon injuries in the last 12 months, which has greatly affected my training schedule. But mostly I can't stop thinking about 13.1 miles and what it will feel like. I can't stop thinking about the energy of OKC that morning, the cheering, and how amazing a burger and beer will taste afterwards. But mostly I keep thinking about the 500 people who were injured 18 years ago in the Murrah Federal Building Bombing, the 168 people who died, and their families that have had to wake up every morning without them. And lets not forget the innocent people recently affected in Boston. That's brave.
They are brave.

So on Sunday I will run for them. All of them. I will thank every lungful of air for my body, my feet, and for life. I will replace fear and doubt with bravery, and I will run.



lets get real (and other things as of late.)

 Lets just get real for a second.

I probably started to type this to you about seven times, each time erasing it realizing I was trying too hard. Trying too hard to be witty, to be interesting, or to come up with excuses for not blogging. It was then that I realized that all you needed from me was to be real. After all, that's why you've probably found yourself here in the first place, right? To see real images, to feel real things, and to get a small glimpse of the real Hailey. 

I've had a lot on my plate since the new year started, and as always I can't seem to get a grip or find balance in any of it. Just when I feel caught up with one thing, five more get added to my list. This is why I made that gigantic chalkboard recently. The to-do lists were simply too large for paper and my brain craved having one place for everything to fall when I couldn't carry it anymore. I think it's helped, but it doesn't make my workload lighter. Thankfully all of the things I've had my hands in have been fun and photo related. You see, I've been in a huge creative dry spell now for maybe a year. It's embarrassing to admit, but I know it's not uncommon. I've been racking my brain on how to get ahead on work, how to work less at a second job, and how to feel alive again when I pick up my camera. I realized recently that the first step to feeling inspired is to pick up my camera and shoot something - anything. This is why in the last few months when I've been asked to photograph things like nipples and beards full of lit candles I haven't said no. It's been...interesting. Anyhow, I promised myself a lot of things in the new year, a lot of which I'm failing at, one of which is blogging way more often. So, there's no way today I can catch you up on everything, but I do have a few pictures to at least give you an idea of what my little world has looked like lately.

In January I photographed an art show opening for a dear friend of mine:

In February I ate homemade Ratatouille and re-watched Ratatouille. I recommend this to everyone.

Also in February, the artist above turned 30. To celebrate, we ate ice cream sandwiches and put lit candles in his beard. He's kind of a bad ass and I'm honored he asked me to do it.

At the end of the month I had a soft opening party with a few close friends and family to celebrate my new collaboration and studio space. (WAY more on this later!) 
You can find us on Facebook HERE.

For the first five days in March I ran around town as the official photographer for the Durango Independent Film Festival. I'd work all day at the coffee shop then photograph events at night. On the weekend I saw a number of films, went to two VIP parties for filmakers, and photographed a couple of discussion panels, one of which included Walter Matthau's son, Charles Matthau. 
(more photos from this fun weekend soon!)

After the film festival I photographed nipples for four different artists in town who were having their 3rd anniversary party. These nipples later got turned into handmade buttons.

On March 30th my collective 863 had a grand opening party. There was food, a bar serving homemade Tom Collins all night, a live band who ended up giving a concert on the rooftop at dusk, and lots and lots of support from friends and the community. See ALL of the PICTURES I took for this party on our FACEBOOK PAGE:

This little bear has been sick a lot :( 

A tiny glimpse of my at-home work space:

This weekend I made (and ate) some of the best pizza I've had in a really really long time. I also learned how to toss pizza dough from a pro. :)

Garage sale action on a Saturday:

And yesterday I left ALL the work behind and went on a mini adventure. Breakfast in Mancos, CO., shopping at one of the biggest antique markets in the area, and hiking in Sand Canyon near Mesa Verde National Park. It was much deserved.