Instagram is a bizarre and wondrous reality. You take photos, you get likes, you may even get haters. But one thing that it does is connect you to strangers. And that’s exactly what I did: connect in Downtown LA with a strange man.
Here’s the proof of said adventure, but let me explain…
As my Instagram grows, I’ve started to get a lot of attention. A lot is positive, some is negative, and then there’s those Tinder-esque messages.
“But Sebrin, isn’t that what you want? Attention?”
When I decided to keep this blog going as more than just a side hobby, the Instagram account grew along with those dreams. My insta account helps spread the word on my blog, my message and ultimately, helps me achieve my goals. But even though I would never call myself a shy person IRL, I would definitely say I’m camera shy.
And now, I get some of that hard earned attention (but mostly people sending me emoji roses from the other side of the world).
Still the beauty of Instagram is that it really DOES draw people together. People you actually find inspiring or beautiful pop into your life simply clicking a few hashtags and links. This is where I found Eric and I couldn’t help but fall in love with his photography. His portrait work, his night scenes… it was some serious heart eyes.
For the first time ever, I decided to reach out to Eric to collaborate. And what do you know, he said yes!
I decided to meet Eric at a rooftop overlooking Downtown Los Angeles. In hindsight, that was probably a bad idea. I jokingly texted my husband, “if you don’t hear from me in an hour, he’s probably Dexter-ing me” to which he naturally responded, “WHAT?!?!”
Bad joke, Sebrin.
Eric met me on the roof and we exchanged only a brief moment of awkwardness. After all, we were two strangers meeting on top of a roof at 8 pm at night. Eric quickly assessed the location I had picked and decided it really wasn’t going to do.
“I know a spot by the freeway. It’s got cool lighting and I’ve been there before.”
I wish I could tell you that my smart-girl reflexes kicked in and that the idea of going to a freeway overpass to take pictures was probably bad. But no. I trusted this kind-looking photographer and simply said, “let’s do it!”
We parked in a dark and seemingly abandoned lot (that of course still required $5). We walked to the bridge that looked over the freeway and I couldn’t help but think this wasn’t right. Not because it was isolated. Not because I was afraid (which I wasn’t). But mostly because the lighting looked ‘bleh.’
Eric set up his camera and told me to act natural which is basically my cue to be anything BUT natural. I make what I think are sexy poses, I laugh at those weird poses and then I continue to fiddle with my sweater. Models make this look incredibly easy.
And when Eric finally showed me a few shots, I knew I was with a professional.
We continued to walk around and this strange photographer that I knew all of 1 hour was slowly warming up to me. Not only did I get to witness this guy and action, he even told me this was just a hobby! That photography was just a side passion and not even his job!
By the end of the hour and a half, we had wandered through magical parts of Downtown Los Angeles I didn’t know existed. I met a stranger on a rooftop that turned out to be a talented and kind photographer. I made a fool of myself and laughed and had a great time.
Once again, Instagram for the win.
To work with Eric, contact through his Instagram (since you know, it’s just his hobby).