I’ve been talking a lot lately. There’s nothing I like better… well, few things I like better, than talking one on one with someone who I’m connecting with. As humans, it seems like we sometimes need time alone and sometimes need time to connect with each other.

I’m definitely in a connecting period right now.

But I find I’m working from a slightly different place than I feel I’ve been in the past. There’s a lot more honesty pouring out of me. And I don’t mean that I’ve been lying all my life, only simply that as the years go by I find I have a very good idea of who I am and what I will and won’t do.

It also means I’m not afraid of hiding mistakes I’ve made along the way.

I’ve certainly made a lot of them.

I used to think mistakes were weaknesses. But I don’t believe that any longer. It means I’m out there living… and trying… and pushing myself.

I found myself in a club the other night talking to someone I knew a bit, but not someone I would consider a close friend. Yet we began to have a very honest conversation about very personal things. Not in the “too much information” way, but in a fearless way.

I talked about things I had been through in the last year that were difficult, but I got through them and I’m happy where I am on the other side. And then I listened to the story coming from the other side of the table.

Both very human stories. But like I said, there was a fearlessness. I could be embarrassed about mistakes I’ve made, but I think it’s better to just own them. I put them into my art. They also help to define me as I move forward in life.

I was having a similar discussion with Stella, a model friend of mine whose long beautiful legs are featured in this photograph of a pair of Kate Spade heels. There is so much unknown in our lives that it’s important to know who you are as you have to deal with the bumps along the way.

Stella has a very good sense of who she is, and I enjoy photographing her for that reason. She’s very competitive and is constantly challenging herself, something that works very well when we’re trying to create beautiful images.

Spring is finally here in Chicago and I find that very inspiring as well. Everything seems fresh and the possibilities stretch to the horizon. I like the view.

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