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I tend to put myself into some precarious situations sometimes.  But it’s all for the sake of the shot!  And fortunately, I have over-cautious Aaron to keep me out of true harm’s way, so it all balances itself out.  (Seriously, he used to fret when I’d lift myself up in the passenger seat of the car to see farther over the edge of a passing cliff.. while my seatbelt was on… and the window was closed.)

I’m not shy about scaling lookouts and squeezing into crevices.  I step too close to the edges of drop-offs to get that vertigo-inducing angle (I’ve only once begun to feel the paralyzing fear of falling to my death.. that was enough to get me to back away.)

© Brianna Shade 2012

I’ll get myself stuck up a non-existent trail ascending a waterfall without an easy way back down.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

And I’m the first to leap at the opportunity to go camp with bears in the backwoods.

All for the shot!

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016
Yep, those are my feet dangling over the lake faaaar below

I keep telling Aaron I need wireless on my camera to automatically upload my pictures to the cloud.  That way, if I die leaning too far off a mountain’s edge, at least the picture will survive!

Yes, I have a blatant disregard for danger… either that, or I just love the thrill of an adventure – regardless of risk.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

I can’t imagine where I get that from

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

…yeah, nope…

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

…no idea…

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

Now, I joke about this, and it’s a running gag between me and Aaron, but I’m really not as careless as I say.  I might not be as scared of my environment as Aaron might prefer, but I do advocate caution while shooting.  I’ve seen too many stories where people actually do die trying to take selfies on a cliff or while hanging people off of skyscrapers.  Rest assured I’m not that crazy.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016
Photo courtesy of Norman Jarvis

My occasionally reckless lack of fear has only really gotten me into trouble once, but I wasn’t even holding a camera at the time.  I was skiing, and while attempting to chase after a wayward pole – confident I could handle the icy hill – I lost control and slid wildly down a black diamond run for 200 yards.  It was utterly terrifying, and it was the one time I legitimately thought I could die.  Clearly, I lived through the ordeal (though it took four ski patrol to get me off that mountain), and I ultimately skied away with only a scrape on my chin and few fewer pins on my jacket.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

But the experience tempered my disregard for personal safety, and it taught me I’m probably not as invincible as I thought.  Now, I treasure my life a bit more, and I realize: perhaps sacrificing those few feet from the cliff’s edge is worth a few more days continuing to shoot.

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