• Tamara Merri

Nothing to Fear Here | Project

Updated: Jul 11, 2019

Fear can make us act in a way we wish we wouldn't, or sometimes not take action at all.

When I was a child, I remember being perpetually afraid. What if I don't fit in? What if they're disappointed? What if I get hurt? As I've aged, fear has grown with me. What if I don't succeed? What if I get rejected? What if I embarrass myself? It leaves me anxious, hesitant and in some cases, hopeless.

In 2018 I'm determined to escape, or at least distance myself, from this pit of fears. In order to do so, I must stop running and face fear head on. I need to be strong and willing to change. Most importantly, I need to be honest with myself. What better way to do this than to share my fears with strangers, and then ask them to do the same? After all, I know I can't be the only one stifled by fear. Thus, we took to the streets of Austin, TX for photo project #3.

This time around we had a sign that read "Who are you really?" and let people approach us, rather than asking them to help us as we did in the past. The ask was simple: what is your biggest fear? (and then, of course, "can I take your picture?"). Many people confessed a fear that is holding them back from achieving something.

Let's learn about our participants and their fears:


Kelsie - Austin, TX (your trusted narrator)

Today's fear: Being real and authentic.

Prior to venturing out for this project, I woke up and immediately asked myself: "what is the biggest thing that scares me today?" It's a question that takes deep thought, so I immediately jumped to the desire to be real. But then I couldn't help but to feel battled by this conflict: I'm afraid to be real, but I'm also afraid to not be authentic. So this is why, for this project, I didn't wear a drop of makeup and chose my clothes independently of each other; meaning I only chose items I wanted to wear, but didn't consider how they'd look together as an ensemble. I let myself exist exactly as I wanted, and didn't mind how it came across.


Tammy - Austin, TX (co-operator of photo project)

Current fear: Admitting her passion with the world.

It took Tammy so long to be able to tell the world (well, Facebook- let's be real), that she wanted to be a photographer. Even after she did, she'd have so much anxiety wondering what other people thought. Truth: No. One. Cares. You will always care so much more than everyone else and will be your own worst critic. One of the reasons she came up with this photo project was to get over her fear and have the to courage to say "I'm a photographer" to strangers.


Rhonda - Chicago, IL

Ultimate fear: Not pursuing creativity in life.

Rhonda had this amazing style to her, so I was hardly shocked when she told us she is an artist and teaches Fashion & Color Theory at the Art Institute in Chicago. Her life is saturated with art and yet she fears it is not enough. I love it. Do more of what inspires you!

*Do you relate to Rhonda's fear? Check out Elizabeth Gilbert's newest book, Big Magic, as it's big message is creative living beyond fear*


Joseph - Austin, TX

Ultimate Fear: Not pursuing his dream.

Right now he handles renovation work but would rather be a full time woodworker. It's so easy to be consumed by jobs that pay for our livelihood and never peruse our passions and dreams that would fulfill us. Joseph, and readers, I believe you have the courage to transition into your dream job. Good luck!



Mara - Austin, TX

Ultimate fear: Ending up in a career that doesn't make her happy.

Mara is a full-time student going to school for Advertising, which is what her mom makes her pursue. Know what she really wants to do? Marketing. Marketing for musicians, specifically (I need your help!). Thankfully, she has a part-time job marketing for a small business. I hope I'm not the only one with this advice: Parents, stop forcing your kids to do something they don't want to do.

Peyton - Austin, TX

Ultimate fear: failing his passion.

Peyton is a full-time student studying film and journalism with an interest in animation. He also works as a graphic designer at an IT company, but initially applied to be an office assistant. Don't you love when that happens?! Peyton, and readers, the only way you'll fail is by not pursuing what you love. Keep going!


Carlos - Matamoros, Mexico

Ultimate fear: Artificial Intelligence.

Carlos expressed "decades and centuries ago, you would have to have very big equipment to handle the processes that now small, microscopic machines can complete". I'm right there with you - robots freak. me. OUT. He had so much wisdom in his words when we spoke, I was immediately inspired. He works in Cytology, but wants to pursue Bio and Pharmatics as a Geneticist. No wonder he has AI on the brain!


Alejandra - Matamoros, Mexico

Ultimate fear: Aliens.

Don't get me started on all the alien theories I have. They definitely exist but, hopefully, they are not scary. Alejandra is a teacher and, guess what, wants to be a teacher. HOORAY! She is already doing exactly what she wants - we should all follow suit.


Neal - Tulsa, AZ

Ultimate fear: Not living up to his potential.

Neal is also a teacher, but really wants to be a doctor. He's currently studying for the MCAT so is already on his way to achieving his passion (woo!). Neal, and readers, only you know your potential. Keep listening to yourself and your intuition to follow your dreams.

Kevin - New York City, NY

Ultimate fear: Dying alone.

After seeing our "Who are you really" sign, Kevin immediately wanted to know what we were doing. I'm so happy he did because we had the best, zany conversation about dying... particularly in the bathtub. What?! Also, we talked about his current job as a stagehand for the Book of Mormon. Yes, he knows the creators, and yes, they're as hilarious and genuine as you might think.


Eddy - Atlanta, GA

Ultimate fear: Being alone.

He's afraid to be alone, yet here he is traveling alone just to challenge himself. I think that is so inspiring. We should all find a way to challenge ourselves. Push the boundaries of our comfort zone. Eddy, and readers, I wrote a song called Alone that you may enjoy. You can listen to on my YouTube channel here.

You, dear reader, what is your fear? Acknowledge it. Appreciate it. Move past it.

Author: Kelsie

Editor and Photography: Tammy


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Tammy Arnold
Tamara Merri Photography
Austin & New England 
Wedding Photographer
tamaramerriphotography@gmail.com
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