Elizabeth Stafford / Cheers to the New Year

   All my life, I haven’t taken no as an answer. My father always described me as a bulldog. If I set my mind to something, I lock my teeth around it, and I don’t let go. The negativity has always pushed me harder and further. When I started telling people I want to become a music photographer and/or writer, they looked at me like I was crazy. I had people saying I only wanted to become one to sleep with the artists. Or that it was really a man’s job. I had a lot of concern I wouldn’t be happy because I run the risk of living out of a suitcase in a van one day. Despite all the concern, I believe it is my year to reach my dreams. 2016 gave me some great starts, but I am pushing myself beyond the limits this year.

    In this past year, I started pushing the envelope of my comfort zone. Warped Tour this past year was a prime example. I went for another publication I was writing for, and I had several interviews scheduled with bands such as Issues and I See Stars. Walking into the press area for the interviews, my hand shook as I gripped my audio recorder. These bands were some of my favorites growing up, people I looked up to. I was beyond nervous but powered through and got the job done. Over months, I continued to climb and grow as an artist. My photographs have improved. My editing has started to develop a style. I have even starting toying with a prism during shows to play with the light. Just little things like that have helped me improve. 

    One thing I have also learned to deal with is disappointment. I have learned not getting a press pass isn’t personal and not having the best shots from a show happens. Not every show you photograph is going to be Rolling Stones worthy. I am only 20 years old with somewhat beginner equipment, but I have learned to work around that and work for the best shots. I tell myself to let my effort and growth show and not worry too much about the mistakes. 

    So, here’s a cheer to the New Year! Here is to all the hard work and growth for you and me. Here is to reaching further and grinding harder. I know it won’t be easy, but I am certain it will be worth it. My future is bright. Catch me on tour one day. 

Elizabeth Stafford