I had the pleasure several weeks back photographing Elise Stephens. Elise is an author & a friend who I have had the pleasure of knowing for the past couple years. I admire Elise most for her perseverance & her tenacity. Her debut novel Moonlight & Oranges came out a few months ago & I was so proud to see the tangible results of the years when no one else was watching finally come to fruition. Elise has taught me as an artist that working when no one is watching & when no one else knows you exist can be one of the most important things you can do. Everybody started somewhere and sometimes all they had was a business card. She has helped me address the fears of being an artist and wondering if anyone cares about who you are and what you do. As artists we are the most critical of our own work & we can work for hours, days & even weeks yet feel like we have accomplished nothing. We constantly are battling our own insecurities & demons that never seem to go away & often times make us feel like giving up. Sometimes the only thing that keeps us going is we don't know what else to do. It's like a disease, the feeling that you have to create something but when your not creating you thinking about the next project or hating yourself for being "lazy". Is it worth it? Sometimes I feel like I don't know but Elise has taught me to keep holding on, face my fears & keep moving forward. Thank you Elise.