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From Anxious to Amazing


An alarm went off at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning. Two of my roommates had to be in hair and makeup at 4:15 a.m. for their sunrise shoot.

After that alarm went off, I laid in bed wide awake. I didn't have the sunrise shoot that morning, but we were leaving for my shoot a little later at 10 a.m. My nerves refused to let me go back to sleep.

We were staying in Montego Bay, but my shoot was in Negril, which was about an hour-and-a-half away. I was shooting with eight of my teammates, so I knew the trip would take all day and that I needed to pack accordingly.

At about 5:45 a.m., I got up, packed my stuff, and walked out on our patio to watch the beautiful sunrise over the Jamaican horizon.

After the sunrise, I put on my tennis shoes, grabbed my headphones, and headed down to the fitness gym at our hotel to get a little workout in before my long day started.

At 10 a.m, we all met downstairs and hopped on the buses to head to Negril. We arrived at Tensing Pen at about 12:30 p.m. The ride seemed long, but when we got to the resort, we all quickly realized that every minute of that ride was worth it. This was one of the most beautiful places that I had ever been to in my life.

Hair and makeup set up in a little bungalow overlooking the ocean.

I was the third girl to shoot. I was very anxious since this was the first time I had ever done anything like this, but Joey Wright, the photographer, eased my nerves right away. He gave me a little pep talk beforehand. He explained exactly what expression he wanted on my face and even took a few quick pictures of me just sitting there to try and help illustrate exactly what he meant.

For my actual shoot, I was standing next to a tall green plant with white blossoms that coordinated with the colors in my swimsuit. The hardest part about shooting, for me, was being able to hold the positions and expressions without moving at all. My shoot took about 30 minutes total, and in a flash, we were on to the next girl.

After my shoot, Natalie S. and I jumped off the Tensing Pen Bridge into the ocean to celebrate being finished. We had a blast, and the scenery was breathtaking.

All I could think about on the way back to Montego Bay was how blessed I was to have had the opportunity to travel to such a beautiful place with some truly amazing girls.

Chato, Jakene, the photographers, videographers, social media personnel, hair stylists, and makeup artists were on the clock for almost 24 hours a day for 4 days straight, and they managed to keep smiles on their faces the entire time. They were all amazing.

This was an unforgettable experience, and I am so grateful for all of the hard work that was put in by everyone.

I still can't really believe that I'm an Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader. I absolutely cannot wait for football season to start!

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