Sunday's Shoot - Ashlyn

It's been a few weeks, but I finally got to pull out my camera again for a female willing to pull her feet out of her shoes Or is it boots? Or maybe knee high socks? Perhaps some well-worn Vans? Well, in today's case, it was all three.

All year long I have been trying to book a shoot with Ashlyn. She posed for her first and only time (until today) back in mid-August of 2013 (see blog: "Sunday's Shoot - Ashlyn"). Back then she had red hair and now she has black. But one thing sure hasn't changed - she's a total sweetheart!

Since neither of us are morning people we decided to meet up in the afternoon for her first shots of 2014. One of the location I wanted to use was about an hour drive. It's called Yards Park right by the National's stadium in Washington, D.C. Ever since her debut last year, Ashlyn has had an idea she's been wanting to do for a shoot. This location was perfect for it. More on that later.

With a Nationals game scheduled at 1:30 p.m., we decided to avoid Yards Park like the plague until the evening. I wanted to give everyone a chance to leave so that it wouldn't be as crowded, traffic wouldn't be ridiculous, and parking wouldn't cost me an outrageous amount. With that in mind, I found a few other potential locations for shoots to do beforehand so the game crowds would disperse.

Our first location ended up being across, and just down the river from Yards Park - Anacostia Park. I had found the spot during a Google Earth search a few days before. I saw a boat ramp with a unique background. When I shared it with Ashlyn, she liked it too. Since she was already wearing the clothes (and boots) for this set, we made it our first set.

We made our way into the park and found a parking spot right by the boat ramp. As we were getting ready a truck pulled up to lower a boat into the water. We decided to wait so they didn't ruin our background and so they weren't right on top of us while we tried to shoot. The wait pushed us back a good 45 minutes. On a positive note, however, it was 45 more minutes for the game to finish up. 

After the boat was lowered, boarded, and on its way down river, Ashlyn and I made our way out onto the pier to claim our shoot location. We moved to the end so we could get the closest to view we both loved on Google Earth. That view was a swinging train bridge. I hoped that a train would eventually come by, which did indeed happen about a quarter of the way into the set.

Ashlyn started off the set in the boots. She had been wearing since I picked her up and is definitely a boot kind of girl. Of course I had to crack a joke about how strongly her feet and boots smelled the first time she shot. She laughed and gave this pair a sniff.

"They don't smell as bad, do they?" Ashlyn asked, handing me a boot.

"They do smell, but nowhere near as bad as those other ones," I replied. "I could smell those ones hovering over your feet taking the pictures last time."

Eventually Ashlyn's feet would be bare and those blue toenails came out into their glory. I loved the color choice, especially since Ashlyn admitted that she likes to stick to reds when it comes to manicures and pedicures. I didn't give her any input at all on the color and kind of expected her to have red. Maybe she remembered me saying how much I like blues and teals the last time? Who knows?

As we began wrapping up the set a couple came down to sit on the pier. I had Ashlyn lay down into the "pose" for the last few shots. By time I finished up with those, a few more people made their way down to do some fishing. Good timing, I guess. Ashlyn and I made our way back to the car to figure out where we would shoot next.

By this time I felt pretty good that we wouldn't have too much of a crowd at Yards Park. Still, I decided to give it another half an hour and just stop at a McDonald's for Ashlyn to change and for us to get a quick drink and some yummy Chicken McNuggets. It was also when I decided to rip the button off my shorts. I'm so glad I had a safety pin on my backpack because I didn't have a belt. We would have had to go shopping for some shorts if not. They weren't trying to stay up. And I sure don't think I would have fit into anything little Ms. Ashlyn had brought with her!

Once I secured my shorts we made our way to Yards Park. Thankfully the parking lots were that charging a $25-40 event rate were no longer doing so. Our lot was only $2 per hour and was right by where we planned to shoot.

This set was the one Ashlyn has been wanting to do for just under a year now. She came up with the idea on her own, which is something I love when the girls do. The theme was a long board set.

Not too long ago I found some neat looking knee high socks that I thought would be perfect for this set. Ashlyn loves knee high socks, and the design is nothing like I had ever seen. They are multi-colored, with one color fading into the other. When I showed Ashlyn a photo of them, she immediately claimed the green and blue pair. They were waiting for her legs and feet this entire time!

We really lucked out with this location. There was hardly anyone around, well, at least along the boardwalk. Mostly everyone was back at the wading fountain cooling off. I was so scared there would still be a lot of people lingering around, but it wasn't the case. We made our way to a spot I thought would add a few more splashes of color to a set  - a set that was already going to be full of color.

Not much to say about how this set progressed. Ashlyn was wearing her well-worn Vans and knee high socks to start. In the 100-plus photos that followed, she slowly peeled them from her warm feet. If you like sneakers, socks, or bare feet, this set has them all - and it pretty much has them in every combination too. I made sure to get poses with one shoe on, and one off and then with one sock on, and one off too. There's just something cute about those poses to me. I know a few of you have mentioned liking that as well.

Once we wrapped up with photos we shot a video clip and pondered what to do next. My original plan was to do three sets, but we fell behind a little with some traffic, at the boat launch, and finally by doing over 100 photos for the long board set. After discussing it we decided to call it a day and try to book again soon.

"That'll let you get a new color on your toes and for us to find some other cool locations," I said.

Ashlyn agreed and we made our way home.

In addition to the sets Ashlyn and I plan on doing, I've also been talking to Olivia about getting the both of them together. Both girls are looking forward to that, but probably not as much as I am. Those two together should be great. So be on the lookout for more of both girls - solo and hopefully, together!