We landed in London.
At one of the busiest airports in the world.
On a Friday afternoon.
We’d been traveling night and day.
And could barely keep our eyes open.
We were the poster children for jet lag and sleep deprivation.
Baggage claim, customs lines and a few trains later…
We were standing in the London car rental parking lot.
We still had a two hour DRIVE ahead of us.
That’s when the car rental employee broke the news to us…
We’re out of everything…
Except our luxury cars.
We can upgrade you…
Would that be okay?
It would DEFINITELY be okay.
He walked us over to a very fancy luxury italian sports car.
It was b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l.
We felt SO excited.
We loaded our bags, took the keys and got in.
That’s when it hit us.
They drive on the OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE ROAD HERE.
We’d never driven…
On the opposite side of the car.
On the opposite side of the road.
Much less in one of the biggest, busiest cities in the world.
IN RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC.
Jordan played it cool.
But inside… he was sweating bullets.
Driving any car here was going to feel terrifying, but especially one that cost five times our own car.
Amy buckled herself into the passenger seat (which was on the typical driver side) and said a prayer.
Jordan pulled out of the parking lot and onto the very busy, crowded roads.
London is not very different from New York, and this felt like the highest stakes drive we’d ever taken.
Driving on the other side of the road feels SO unsettling, but we were trying our best to… how do they say it?
Keep calm and carry on.
We’d been awake and traveling for so many hours that our brains felt foggy and our heads had that sensation they were going to float right off our bodies.
Jordan gripped the steering wheel tight while Amy was quietly reliving that recurring nightmare where you’re in the car but don’t have control over where it goes.
Then we came to our first multi-lane roundabout.
We’d never seen so many circling cars in our life.
They were whizzing by so fast.
On-ramping and exiting at what felt like top speeds.
ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD.
At least it was wrong to us (silly Americans.)
It was like a symphony of cars where everyone had the sheet music… except for us.
We were so scared that we probably would’ve stayed at the roundabout entrance for the rest of our life if we could have.
That’s when we looked in the rearview mirror.
And saw lights.
And heard horns.
There was an impatient line.
And we were holding it up.
Jordan took a deep breath.
Here we go…
He hit the gas.
And we pulled onto a British roundabout for the first time.
Our hearts were pounding and we were doing a REALLY bad job at that whole “keep calm” thing.
Jordan’s usually a pretty slow, safe driver by nature.
(He’s VERY proud of the fact that he’s had his license for over 20 years and still can boast ZERO tickets and ZERO accidents)
But this was cautious even by HIS standards.
We were the turtle. Every other car was a hare.
We made our way around the circle.
Jordan’s never gripped the wheel so hard in his life.
It felt SO HARD just to keep the car inside the lane lines.
MUCH LESS EXIT ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROUNDABOUT.
Jordan was SURE he was going to start our trip by causing a multi-car accident.
Amy thought we were gonna die.
Cars were honking at us, flashing their lights and shooting us dirty looks.
(It was like they all just knew we were Americans in a rental car)
As we approached our exit, we realized that we were in the right lane, not the left. Because everything is OPPOSITE.
We were going to have to cross MULTIPLE LANES while driving in a circle on the wrong side of the road, each on the wrong side of the car before we could get off the most terrifying ride of our life.
So, instead of attempting an exit, we went around again.
So many times we lost count.
But each time, Jordan got a little more comfortable.
And a little more confident.
Then, it was time.
He changed lanes.
And we exited safely.
We were EUPHORIC.
Jordan felt so proud.
Amy felt happy to be alive.
Why do we tell you all this?
Because when we first started in photography, it felt a lot like that London roundabout.
It was new.
We were excited.
Then it got hard.
The camera was confusing.
We felt stupid and got frustrated.
At times, we were scared.
It felt like we were going ’round and ’round in circles and not making much progress.
Like, everyone driving by knew we were imposters.
We wanted to give up.
But slowly and surely, with each attempt, we got better.
And the same way driving in the UK got more fun the more we did it…
So did photography.
We ended up having the best time in England.
We drove all over the countryside.
We had so many amazing experiences and made so many great memories.
When we think back to that roundabout, it’s such a metaphor for our photography journey.
And our life.
We’re so glad we didn’t let fear keep us from getting on the road in the first place.
And once we were on the road, we’re so proud that we were willing to circle as many times as we had to in order to get to our destination.
If you’ve ever felt this way about photography, we have some good news…
You’re not in the car alone.
We remember what it felt like to hold a camera in our hand for the first time and be as confused as when we were driving on the opposite side of the road.
We’re here to help make every twist and turn of YOUR journey feel more smooth and clear.
And we’re here to remind you… the scary parts, the confusing parts, the exhausting parts…
The hard stuff leads you to the good stuff.
So like our friends across the pond say, let’s keep calm, and carry on together.
SHOOTING & EDITING COURSE
One of the reasons we created The Shooting & Editing Course was so you wouldn’t have to feel like you’re going around and around in circles, and instead get the exact steps you need to feel confident with your camera, creating amazing photos you’re proud of, and be part of an incredibly warm, welcoming community of like-minded photographers. If you wanna skip the stress and get the roadmap we created for you, you can click here to check it out.