Freelance Photograph On The Road 

     I don’t speak often about me, I feel more comfortable to talk thought my        pictures…

 

It already made one year that I decided to change of life and take the scariest path that my life can have but also the most delicious. One year ago I decided to quit my job to follow the voice of the adventure and my dream: just live my life while taking pictures. 

 

As long i can remember I always been taking pictures it alway been the way I had to express myself and speak through my pictures. Talking and express my feelings always been hard so when I was a child the best way I found to express my  fear, sadness or truly joy was with my camera and my pictures. 

I started climbing quite late when I was studying art at university, I fell in love with climbing and i quickly started to mix both of these two passions. 

I love in climbing see people in a total commitment in they efforts. They vision of life echo to mine. 

In climbing more than any other sport you can’t cheat. When you climb and you go deeply in the effort you are 100% yourself no matter the grade you climb. And I love the truth that comes out of these moments. Climbing has the super power to push you deeply to your limits physically and mentally. Through the effort in climbing you reveal yourself in your purest form without any fear and judgment. And it’s an amazing privilege for me to be a spectator of those moments and to pass them.

I know that usually it’s not the right season fo this kind of article or reflections it mostly comes at the end of the year but for me it’s now, it’s a kind of birthday of my changing life !

 

And now one year after, I realize all the things that I’ve done and so many personal achievement. If one year ago someone came here and tell me that I will work with some of the best climbers in the world and people I admire since I started climbing the following year or in my entire life I will never trust it. And finally it happens. 

And today I feel that I want to share my story with you !

 

So I keep practicing climbing and taking pictures, quite fast I started to work as climbing instructor in France. But after some years I realized that I was more passionated of climbing than teaching, I started to ask myself why I was doing this. And at the same time I’ve still had in a little corner of my mind this childhood dream of being a photograph, travel and adventure. Gradually this little voice got louder and louder until I couldn’t ignore it anymore. So I started to listen to her. I find out that taking climbing/mountaineering pictures was the right way to answer to this this little voice of « children Julia » who was still dreaming of adventure.  

« It's easy to die. It's really hard to live » 

 

Those words of Rannveig Aamodt made a really big impression on me at this time of my life and made me realize so many things. 

It’s so hard to take some risks and accept failure in things you love and even more in your dream. 

But I started to think, what should I risk except « breaking my dreams » finally nothing … 

So I decided to quit everything I  buy my van, build a house inside, quit my job and my appartement in Toulouse, move in my van and just go on the road. 

To be really honest it was the hardest and also the best decision of my life. It was really scary to leave everything, get out of my comfort zone, and also while building the van, I was like ‘’Come on Julia you never hold a drill before excepted to set route in a climbing gym !’’ But finally I made it with the help of my friends I build my own house, a place where I feel safe, my cave, my everywhere house. 

Freedom can be really scary, the idea of not going to you work tomorrow and finally go wherever you want alone and by yourself is hard. The emptiness in front of you is scary. Following your dream is hard.  But once you accept and embrace this freedom, this fear became your best friend. Dreaming in your comfy life is easy, it’s a kind of goal, a destination far away in your mind it keeps you motivated every day, but once you decided to really accomplish this dream it's really hard you have to do a kind of grief to be able to accept failure or accomplishment. 

 

I took this new start without any expectation just a free open mind, just go wherever there was climber with my van and taking as much pictures as I can. I was just going at the crags with climbers and without any assignment just hopping selling my pics after while to some company. I was without any backups and it’s really scary and insecure feeling. Some climbers love to tell that I’m doing some charity work for them ! Hopefully I love so much what I’m doing so I was motivated for everything , any kind of project and even more the craziest ones ! 

I quickly met pro climbers in the alps and I offer them to take pictures in their projects

I always been searching to learn from new experiences and seeking for adventure. I think that this limitless motivation I possess has been my best ally. I had this in common with pro climbers this passion and motivation for my «project ». And this motivation is over any limit. More then just taking picture il love in climbing/ mountaineering picture go over my own physical limits. I love when its challenging, spending severals hours suspended in space, jumaring hundred meters of rope in a day. More the project is adventurous, hard, scary and more I love it. I think this aspect of my personality touch the climbers, passionate people understand passionate people, we speak the same language. And hopefully for me some of them accept to give me a chance to prove them that I can follow them in their projects and tell their story. 

To my own opinion when a pro climber allow you to take pictures they give you their trust and allow you to make a step in their intimacy. When a climber give a try in his project they can not be less themself, they let go everything and express themself in the most beautiful way they can do: while climbing. You can deeply know someone just watching him climbing.  

To me taking pictures of athletes is to represent them in their very own element, most of the time during extreme effort. Alpinist, climbers and explorers have something in common, they use their sport as a way to express their personality and physical limits while using all their personal ressources. Behind my camera I’m only a spectator, I try to catch some moments that could describe the best each of this athletes, some pictures able to express their performances and tell their own story.

It was for me a kind of accomplissement to meet climbers that you really admire  and inspire you during your personal practice. Being part of their projects and follow the process in international performance with them is clearly incredible and I’m feeling so blessed and thankful everyday for this.

On the road I’ve met so many interesting peoples and so many inspiring personality. Each soul touch me and change me. They feed my creativity, my way to live and to comprehend life 

When you live in a van you are on the sidelines of « common » society it’s hard to find balance in your work while living in a daily framework that most of the people can call « Hollidays ». If you don’t have enough motivation and strictness you will probably just chillin at the crag everyday … But I find my own work and office rhythm in the van. At the same time you met an incredible nice community of climbers living in their van, it’s a huge family from all walks of life and country. You can find with them short emotionally charged friendship and sometimes you’re lucky and you find friends for life. 

Living on the road is something different that our education teach to us but it’s worth a trip down there ! 

As any big changes in your life it’s not easy and all pink. I’m always asking myself of my life choice and reconsider my way to work, my lifestyle … I leave behind me a lot of things for this project  Since I’m living on the road i’m far for my closest friends and family, I’m most of the time alone without any backups. Not going back home so often. 

I try to remember me all the sacrifices I’ve done for this life and I’m trying really hard to make it worthy. And it’s also a big part of my motivation. 

 

This year teach me mostly patience, perseverance, eating pasta but most important let in go and accept the insecure feeling and turn it to an everyday adventure and inspiration.

Just take pictures and have faith in your destiny 

© 2018 par JULIA CASSOU. Créé avec Wix.com