We didn’t believe this was actually happening until the week before when we were scrambling to find my passport! I mean- who’s traveling internationally in 2021? Closest thing I’ve been to traveling was the emails from Delta Airlines that they miss me. The feeling is mutual, my friend.
Nicole, here, and this is about the time we spontaneously purchased international tickets with exactly 3 weeks to spare…still haven’t told my mother.
Days after we announced we were looking for an additional travel location, one of my all-time favorite clients reached out to ask if we would fly out to the Riviera Maya. They wanted a sunset session on the beach with her 3-year-old son, husband, and herself.
I, so clearly, remember gasping and immediately told her yes before my next heartbeat. How many photographers get this kind of opportunity? After all the screaming over how excited we both were, I asked when their trip was and then gasped again. It’s three weeks. Shit.
The story gets better- so hold on with me friends. At 7PM at night, I called my operations manager, Jaclyn, and basically screamed, “ DO YOU HAVE A PASSPORT?” and her answer was yes…but also no. Jaclyn had just gotten married a year and a half ago and still hasn’t updated her passport. Jesus, lady!
My solution: let’s break the law and lie a little bit. Within hours, I recruited my best friend turned writing manager, Kristin, to join me on this spontaneous adventure. We’re packing, coordinating outfits, and also purchasing a ticket under her maiden name..because that’s what says on her passport, too. Yikes. But here me out, she hyphenated so it still counts right?
As we’re finally kicking off our journey at 4AM in the morning, our luck immediately starts to run out. As a member of the BIPOC community and someone who always has a ton of electronic equipment in my carry-ons, I’m always expecting to be pulled over by security but in this case it wasn’t me. The TSA agent signaled over to us thinking she was talking about me but no, it was Kristen? Apparently, she was unknowingly carrying a handful of 3-inch live shot gun bullets in her fanny pack!? She doesn’t even own a gun!
That was it. I was ready to be black listed from the airport for life. Kristen was going to get arrested. We were going to miss our flights. Goodbye dream session. It was nice while it lasted. But no, the sweet TSA agent saw the genuine distraught and confusion in our faces and just asked if she could throw these away and let us go on our work trip.
Kristen and I had the craziest and most glorious work trip. Our session on the beach was absolutely flawless and at the end we treated our client’s son, Beau, to a vanilla ice cream cone in which 40% of it made it to his mouth and the other 60% was all over his hands and feet.
I’ve been photographing this family for nearly 4 years and it wasn’t until I started editing the sneak peeks that it really hit me. I’ve watched Beau grow up from this little bean to a small sprout and I am so humbled that I’ve gotten the opportunity to really be a part of this family. Granted, photographing a family session on the sandy beaches of Tulum, Mexico may have been a dream but finding a family that makes you love your career takes the cake.
Thank you guys again for having me. I miss you already and will see you at our fall family photos!