I've known April a while. I really dig her. I'm super close friends with her sister Noelle whom I met years ago at a dog park where our puppies played together while we commiserated about how dog parks were the Bermuda Triangle of common sense. Needless to say, we instantly hit it off. And also stopped going to dog parks. :)
April and Noelle are both ridiculously smart, relentlessly driven, and totally hilarious. I'm immeasurably fond of both of them. I knew the shoot would be a blast but I cannot even tell you how many times I nearly peed my pants. It started off innocuously enough with us shooting the first half of the shoot in April's favorite alleyway in town which houses her "favorite door in all of Santa Cruz." A couple days prior to the shoot, April texted me that she had (allegedly) lost the attachment I had sent her with all the info on clothing do's and don't's. She asked for a quick text about what they should definitely NOT wear. I sent her a speedy reply, partly in jest, about not wearing any crazy Hawaiian shirts, santa hats, or bringing any ridiculous props.
They show up for the shoot looking all dapper (much to my surprise as I was expecting her to play some trick on me) and we get the first half of the shoot done with a minimal amount of craziness. Well, there was that one moment where I tried to give them some direction on how to loosen their bodies with a little trick I do and they totally misinterpreted me and all started doing the robot dance simultaneously.... but yeah, for the most part it was smooth sailing.
Then we drive to the second location and they all get out of their car wearing loud Hawaiian shirts, santa hats, plastic swords, light sabers and carrying nerf guns. They clearly thought they had won some little power struggle with me but OH NO APRIL GRADY, two can play at this game missy... So, naturally, I go and find the most obnoxiously large fallen tree trunk and make them all straddle it in and lean on each other and do the "train" and the whole shebang. If they want to bring the Awkward Family Photos vibe, I will raise them one and beat them at their own game. So, yeah, we went FULL TILT on the super awkward. Which means, you know, in the end, I totally won that round.... lol! Neener neener! And just because those shots are SOOO incredibly funny, I have included a few at the end but I will have to add a disclaimer that this is NOT the type of photography I actually take lest anyone get the wrong idea!!!
We finished off the rest of the shoot in NORMAL attire and I was even able to bring them to a grove of what we called Tim Burton Trees, just really kind of creepy and gorgeous and awesome-sauce trees with stunning backlighting that I knew April would love (she did!) and which rocked my world too. So, in the end, we both won. :)
OK I need to reiterate that the pictures BELOW are NOT representative of the types of images I take! I need to find a way to highlight this disclaimer, underline it a few times and maybe make the font gargantuan or something.... :)