Allison Davis podcast episode

Episode 57 – Revealed At The Edge (ft. Allison Davis)

In this episode of the VulnerABILITY Podcast, host Marisa Donnelly dives into conversation with Allison Davis, award-winning wedding photographer and creator of Revealed at the Edge, a fine art photography coffee table book of the American West Coast she created in the heart of the global pandemic.

Highlights From the Episode:

[5:20] “At the beginning of 2020, I was praying about how to use my time… I was praying about what personal projects I could do… I was thinking about doing a sunrise or sunset project, and honestly, the wheels just started going.”

[5:50] “What if I photographed the whole coastline of California? And I was like, well, why even stop there? What if I could do the whole West Coast? I thought about it, and… I thought that sounds really hard… and kind of awesome.”

[6:20] “Here’s my time to pursue creating—let’s see what I come up with.”

[7:10] “My whole quest was just to seek what I could find at the edge—what would be revealed to me by pursuing beauty, by spending time with God, by spending time in creation, and seeing what I could find.”

[7:50] “It’s really easy, as a photographer, to take pictures on a really beautiful day…that’s easy. I love that I was challenging myself to pursue beauty, and pursue ‘pretty’ in unideal circumstances. And that’s what this book is: it’s this pursuit of beauty.”

[9:00] “Everything you just shared about searching for beauty in devastating times, it’s a huge metaphor—not only for this pandemic but for life itself. Sometimes we go through things or we experience change, or loss, or heartbreak, or whatever it is. And when you’re in that painful moment, that’s all you see… But it’s incredible what’s often revealed or brought to the surface.”

[10:05] “You cataloged a time when the whole world was in stillness, but in pain.

[10:50] “I was actively pursuing writing a new story for my life. I wasn’t going to let the circumstances of what’s happened to me in the past continue to define me, and my life, and who I am amongst my friends and my community.”

[11:20] “I didn’t want my story to be ‘The pandemic took away my wedding photography business. And I had to get a job. And I lost everything I loved as an entrepreneur and creative. And I didn’t take any risks. And I didn’t do anything with all the time given to me.’ I didn’t want that to be my story at all.”

[11:35] “I didn’t want to sit back and let the world take away so much away from me. So, I actively pursued a new story. And I love the story I’m writing right now. And I love it because I don’t know where it’s going to end, where it’s going to take me.”

[12:40] “There’s still an opportunity to figure out what life is pushing you towards or calling you to do. There’s always an opportunity to pivot… or take risks, make change happen, reflect on the things you have or don’t have. And use that to move forward.”

[13:45] “Sometimes when you’re frozen and stuck in the middle of something, then nothing’s going to change. Even taking a step [in] what felt like the wrong direction, was actually a step that led me to the right direction. I find that just making moves and doing something can create change. [And] that can lead you to something completely different. It’s being open to the possibilities and not trying to hold the script of your life so tightly.”

[16:10] “I drove up from San Diego to Blaine, Washington… I took three days to drive straight there. I did as much coastal as I could…I took twenty-seven days to drive south. My routine for the day was to wake up for sunrise, shoot sunrise if it was there, write, and then start shooting the different spots that I would pin the day before. I marked 70 locations that I would photograph, and at the end of each day, I would plan the next day’s route.”

[17:40] “When I finished the trip, I had photographed 28,000 images and I had 7,000 images I wanted to edit.”

[23:30] “What COVID has brought to the forefront, is the [idea that the] prioritization of passion needs to be there.”

[24:20] “Typically landscape photographers, what they do is they spend 1-3 months in the location they’re wanting to photograph. And they wait — for the right moment, with the right light, with the right clouds, with the right conditions. And they basically plant themselves in one place. And for me, I just never felt like that was true to life. I’d always see these beautiful landscapes and think, ‘The world never looks like that all the time. And I wanted to bring this authenticity and realness to what the coast looks like.”

[25:15] “It was this constant pursuit of authentic beauty that I wanted to bring to the book. And I was able to refine my vision as an artist, and my heart as an artist, in creating this project and executing it in a way… [that] what I’m putting forth is a real and authentic experience of what traveling the West Coast would look like.”

[26:30] “There’s beauty, even on the ugly days. There’s beauty in the pandemic. There’s beauty in loss, and fire, and all of these things. I love that you took an authentic journey and captured that authentic journey.”

[27:45] “The water, and hearing the waves… It’s really that feeling of coming home, in a sense, to this place that isn’t even your home because it’s so limitless… It’s just this deep, profound connection — a grounding to the universe.”

[28:00] “Part of my point of view, as an artist, is that when I look at a landscape, I see and can see, how it can be a reflection of the state of our heart or the state of our soul.”

[29:05] “I see this jaggedness, and it’s still really beautiful… My hope is that people connect with the landscapes, that they connect with words in it and maybe that’s how they identify where they are in their life, and their journey, and their heart.”

[29:40] “When you’re tapped into your creative purpose and something you’re passionate about, it just flows.”

[33:00] “Whatever our story is, there’s something universally true about what is revealed to us and the beauty that we can find in so many different moments of life.”

Learn More About Revealed At The Edge:

Follow Allison and her journey on the Revealed at the Edge website and Instagram!
Support the mission and purchase the book on Kickstarter! [Information here! Kickstarter ends August 23, 2021!]
Check out Allison’s Instagram, Facebook, and website.

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