|One of several shoots Alice was really looking forward to at the beach.|
Things don't always go according to plan. That's something I've learned quite well these last 15 years. The reasons are numerous - locations don't work out, the weather turns for the worst, my models or myself have something come up, etc. For the most part, a lot of these turns for the worst happen before I even step foot outside to meet up for a shoot. Other times, however, things will happen while out with my models and things come crashing down. Those are the worst because not only am I disappointed, but so are my models. This is exactly what happened on what I consider my best day of shooting too. Things we looking great, took a massive turn for the worst, but then did a 180 degree turnaround back for the best.
It was early August 2016. It was a beautiful morning and I had the ever-so-beautiful Alice set to shoot. I woke up early, picked her up and we headed up to Seaside Heights, N.J. Our plan for the day was to shoot as many sets as we could get in, with the most important one being her 2017 Wu's Feet Links Feature Set, "The SK8R Gal Who Wears Size 11 Skates."
After a three hour drove, we finally got things under way around 10 a.m. First up was the feature set. Things couldn't have begun any better either. It was clear skies and not too many people were down the far end of the boardwalk where we set up to shoot. Every picture I took, I loved. And take pictures did we ever! We shot 140 photos and then some video clips and headed back to the car.
While in the car, Alice wanted to see the photos. Naturally, I wanted to rub her huge feet, so I gave her my camera and she gave me her sweaty size 11's. See how amazing this day was going? Well, this is where things began to change.
My next planned locations turned out to be a total waste. I had wanted to shoot a bunch of sets in the not too far away, Island Beach State Park. When we approached, we saw the park was turning people away because it was overcrowded. Ouch!
Although I was bummed, I wasn't feeling doom and gloom. There is plenty of beach up and down the coast of New Jersey. I turned the car around and headed north. And headed north. Then kept heading north. Then further north.
Alice and I drove around for almost four hours looking for spots to shoot with no luck. Needless to say, I was getting quite angry. We were about four hours away from home at this point and evening was approaching. In the back of my mind I was thinking of how we could have been done three to five more sets by this point and be out enjoying the boardwalk, or eating dinner. I didn't want to just go up and shoot. I wanted to spend some time doing some beach attractions with Alice too. Instead I was wondering if we'd even shoot anything else for the rest of the day.
Even with my growing frustration, Alice kept things as positive as can be. Then finally, we found a spot. We grabbed everything we had that involved beach themed shoots and made our way out into the sand. Well, after taking a while to find a parking spot anyhow.
The Hot Dog Size Tease, Shark Bites, and Eat Me Wet Shirt sets were all done over the next couple of hours out on the beach. The entire time, I was in awe of these photos just as I had been with the feature set hours before. I was quickly feeling better about the day. All I could think about is how amazing it is to shoot with Alice. Ever since her debut she's been nothing short of stellar when it comes to shooting memorable sets and on this day, she did four of her best.
After we shot the fourth set, we decided to head back down the coast to Seaside Heights to hit up the boardwalk. I really did want to relax a bit and enjoy the evening with Alice. She's fun to be around and I was looking forward to putting the camera (and steering wheel) down for a bit.
When I said above that Alice did four of her best sets, I truly mean it. Not only did she do four of her best, but she also did four of my favorites. The fact that they call came on the same exact day just blows my mind. I could only imagine if we had even more time, but perhaps things happened for a reason and we wound up where we did to make all these sets as legendary to me as they are.
If you'd like to see more details about how this day went, be sure to check out the blog, "Sunday's Shoot - Alice" from back in August of 2016. In it, I give a timestamped diary of the entire day. Even three years ago I knew this day was one to cherish.