I woke that morning to the sunrise pouring into the second floor of my cabin window, and watched in amazement the sight set before me. Outside, fresh snow was falling onto the already covered forest, the sound of chopping wood being stockpiled for the day was echoing through the trees, the chimneys were puffing with smoke signifying life and warmth; the village of Ijevsk was waking, and so must I.

Amidst all of the beauty and splendor of the Russian countryside, the last thing I wanted to do was march out into the 4-foot snow with all of my precious gear and shoot interviews. However, these interviews had to be done and who knew how often the sun would decide to grace us with her presence. So, after bundling up, without appearing too fat which is always the challenge, and downing one large cup of coffee, we set out into the woods to accomplish what seemed rather impossible.

Looking around, I really only noticed one color.. white, and I wasn't really convinced that my camera would be able to see anything else either. One of the differences I have learned between what makes an amateur and a professional is an amateur will allow their circumstances to dictate how they work, while professionals will use their work to bring out the best advantages of their circumstances.

In other words, I had a choice; I could either hurry along, get the footage needed and run back inside where it was warm and dry (after all, the snow seemed to be falling at an angle which made everything more challenging). Or, I could put my so called skills to the test and use this as an opportunity to not only become better, but to truly capture the quiet, still beauty that was set before me. I chose the latter, and in doing so, I filmed some of the most beautiful interviews that I have personally had the privilege to shoot.

The main challenge I was facing was in being the only "media person" on the team, and not having anyone around who could give me advice or answer my questions or simply help me, aside from the occasional "hold this" and "move here." So, as I'm sliding and falling on sheets of ice (saving my equipment at the expense of myself), trying to balance my tripod in 4-feet of uneven snow, protecting my lenses from the seemingly horizontal snowfall, and dodging every crazy Russian driver that liked to play the game "let's see how close we can get to that crazy girl with a camera," every moment was an opportunity to exercise patience, determination, and excellent work.

I found myself constantly asking the Holy Spirit to bless what I was trying to do, regardless of my lack of experience and expertise, and I found myself reassured that even when my best just doesn't seem good enough, my best is not all I have to offer. My creativity comes from the author of existence and He promised to bless whatever I put my hands to. Even though I had technically lost all feeling in my hands by this point, I was still putting them to something and because of this, God was able to show Himself strong where I didn't have any strength, wise where I still lacked wisdom, and creative where I still lacked skills. And it is because of this, that no matter what situation I walk into, as a videographer or a person, I know that I will accomplish what I need to with excellence; not because I know it all, but I don't have to.. I've got connections.