Yes, I know that the people that I admire and look up to are just human beings. But to me, they’re celebrities.

Last summer, the tour for the new premiere of PASS from Showit came to Denver. Wh-wh-what?! Denver? Things hardly ever come here! I was SO excited to go! Tom came with me, and I think that was the first time that he ever really GOT it. The community, the other features of Showit beyond the software itself. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

On the way downtown, we stopped at Cosmo’s Pizza. Only because… well, because we could. We don’t live near Cosmos and it is one of my favorite pizza places, so we stopped to get some yumminess. Even with the stop, we were SUPER early, so we were parked right up front at Mile High Station. I would rather be way early than late, who’s with me? I grabbed a piece of pizza and took a huge bite (don’t judge, I was hungry) and I saw him. HIM. I about choked on a mushroom when he walked out of the building and into the bus. Tom was looking at me like I had three heads. I think he thought I saw a ghost or something, because I was so stunned and excited, all while choking on my yummy pizza. I was finally able to get it out – “I….. saw….. David Jay!! That was DJ!!” I got another “what-the-heck-are-you-talking-about” look, and we continued eating our pizza.

As the time grew closer for us to go in, we got out of the car and I was straightening my dress. I changed into my awesome shoes – because every woman reading this knows exactly what I’m talking about, I will explain for the guys… we wear comfy shoes until we absolutely have to get into the ones that hurt our feet SO damn bad but we just HAVE to wear because they are fabulous – and pulled my sunglasses up on top of my head. And he came back out. I sincerely hope he didn’t come out when I was bending over to buckle my shoes, how embarrassing. And people, it takes a LOT to embarrass me. He walked out of the bus and started walking towards the building. I don’t know WHY I said it, looking back I can imagine just how dorky I looked, but I called out to him, and introduced myself.

And I could barely talk.

He stood there, so polite just waiting for me to say something, and I froze. I wanted to scream out YOU’RE AMAZING and DO YOU REALIZE YOU’RE THE BRAD PITT OF THE PHOTOGRAPHY WORLD but I just stood there. Frozen. At least I had my cute shoes on at that point.

He was super sweet and told me he needed to go inside but he would see me there, and we parted ways. Tom again, thought I was crazy. I was completely, 100% star struck.

For anyone not in the photography community, think of it this way. Let’s say you’re a writer, and there’s an awesome, amazing writer that you really look up to. They’re not only talented, but just super classy and someone that you really admire. And then you run into them in the grocery store. A little stunned, right? That was me – stunned and excited. I waited until he was inside and the door closed, and turned to Tom and squealed. Yes, I’m that dork that squeals and cries and yells and jumps up and down when I get excited. And I was SO excited to meet THE David Jay.

David Jay was not the only celebrity I met that night. We met the amazing Zach and Jody – and actually talked with Zach for awhile. I think that was Tom’s aha moment – the moment throughout the evening when he really understood that this is not just some crazy hobby, but an amazing business and community. We also met Promise Tangeman, who is every bit as beautiful as she seems online. FOUR celebrities in one night? I was on a SUPER high as we left that evening.

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So why am I talking about this, eight months later? Well one, because it’s still flippin’ awesome – ha! But two… because in a few short days I will be at WPPI. Surrounded by celebrities. Yes, I KNOW they’re just people. I know they’re normal human beings who shower every day and feed their dogs and make coffee – just like us. But to me, they are celebrities. And I’m *really* trying to play it cool when I have the chance to meet some of them at WPPI. So I’ve come up with a strategy to try to play it cool, tell me what you think.

  1. No squealing or jumping up and down. I can only imagine how silly I look, it’s involuntary, I swear!
  2. Ask a question about their lives outside of photography. I plan to ask Jasmine Star if she has purchased any fun outfits for Polo lately.
  3. Unfortunately I won’t be wearing super cool shoes because I want to enjoy WPPI for the entire length, instead of 20 minutes – but I plan to wear some super cool comfy shoes.
  4. Do not ask for autographs. Hey, if they sell autograph books at Disneyland for Mickey, I think one is totally appropriate for WPPI. Unfortunately I think that most people would disagree with me. And asking someone to sign one would probably kill the one motivation in this list to begin with – to play it cool.

I have these ideas, and sure, they’re great – but chances are, when I meet people, I will be myself. Dorky, silly, and excitable. Internet, I get teary eyed walking into Disneyland because I get so excited. And I’m not even exaggerating. That’s just me. And I’m sure that no matter how much I try to hide it, it will probably come out at WPPI.

And maybe that’s okay.

Everyone says you should be yourself, right? I feel like I am becoming more and more myself every day, just by ALLOWING myself to do it. I worked at a bridal show on Sunday, and got excited with brides, and I think there may have even been a little bit of squealing. And no one ran screaming from my booth. So maybe I will allow a little of myself to come through at WPPI, even around the celebrities.

Just a little though, I don’t want to scare anyone by screaming too much.