It's always an adventure when you photograph a merbabe.

Today was Brittani's mermaid shoot. She chose to do it at Ka'ena point. It's always gorgeous and amazing to do a shoot at Ka'ena, and I always feel exceptionally lucky to have such relatively easy access to such a beautiful place.

We got everything set up a couple weeks ago, and finally met up today. It looked like rain, and rain isn't a problem necessarily, but the drive up to the point is rocky and tumbly and I was panicked it would get muddy and we'd get stuck. Not so bad if it were just me and Derek, though far from ideal, but with a client? I was horrified at the idea. It rained a lot on the hour drive out, but it was bone dry when we got there. Phew!

There was a bit of a hold up at the gate when we arrived, as a park ranger was chatting with a car that may have been stuck behind the gate. The truck in front of us was talked to by the ranger, then she came to our car. We rolled down the window. She asked if we had our permit (of course we do, but never in our almost two years have we been stopped and "carded". Wild! It made me wonder if maybe the car stuck behind the gate had been let in illegally. I certainly hope not, permit holders should know better. Whatever the reason, we were asked about our permit, which we had, and then she said, "do you not like your car?" LADY. It is sweet that you think I am not actively trying to run my car into the god damn ground, but make no mistake, I am actively trying to run my car into the god damn ground.

Brittani had never been on the drive on this side of the point, and she was a really good sport through the humpies and bumpies and the tilting and leaning. After the twenty minutes, we get to the point access area, grab the gear out of Jasper, and off we went. The light was already goldeny and lush when we parked at 4, and it was gorgeous when we arrived at the first spot. The point was relatively empty, just as I'd hoped.

Getting Brittani into the tail was relatively painless, considering how precarious the spot she was sitting on was. It was just a small slab of rock. Derek cut up my old yoga mat so as to not damage the tail (we're learning our lessons! AND UPCYCLING!) and I fired off some test shots to see if we'd need the flash.

We definitely did.

We couldn't have asked for a better day, though!!! The tide wasn't very high, but it was high enough to cause some splash, which, duh, Derek and I love. It adds a lot of drama. Do you know what else it adds?


A big, gorgeous wave was crashing, and two seconds prior I shouted out "BIG WAVE, GET READY!" I meant for Brittani to get ready to pose, but she instead got ready to freak out. We got a photo of her face reacting to the wave, but her body posing for it. I wish I could deliver it to her, because I definitely love the wave, but I don't want to deliver anything where she isn't killing it like she was in every other photo. This is even her fault. I miscommunicated.

We had a lot of lookiloos today, and I never mind that at all. I'm surprised people don't come down and talk to us to find out what we're doing. Derek insists it's people being polite and not wanting to intrude, and he's probably right. Almost all of the bystanders took photos of us today, which is always a delight, but Brittani was the star of the show (of course! She's the mermaid!). A little boy up on the hill spotted her and shouted down "MERMAID!" and Brittani waved, and I am willing to bet she made his entire year.

There are almost always kids around that holler about mermaids when we do our shoots, and it's my absolute favorite part. I wish I had seen and heard that little boy. I hope Brittani made his entire life more magical.

Brittani was amazed to see all of the fish in the tidepool. She remarked specifically on the angelfish, and every once and awhile, she'd get lost taking a little sneaky peek into the water. I mind things like that zero percent. Take the time to marvel!

It turns out our shoot was intruding on someone's nap. A baby Hawaiian monk seal! Just a little guy, all out on his own! We were a little alarmed (of course we are not so disrespectful as to go up to the pup or hassle it or anything, we just minded our business and went on working) but he was awfully cute, and we couldn't help but snap a few pictures. He was very curious about what we were doing. Very cautious, and rightly so. He never got too terribly close, and we never got too terribly close. Until he did.

I was in the water trying to get Brittani's last shots, and I heard her oohing and awwwing, so I turned around and who should be right there but my best little seal friend! But I left him be, after saying hello, of course.

I focused back to the last location. Then I heard bubbles being blown. BUBBLES, you guys. He blew bubbles. So I turned around slowly again, and he hammed it up for me good. He posed. He rolled. He blew bubbles. He was a delightful little performer. I had gotten out of the water by this time to give him the space and respect he deserves. And then, as suddenly as he was there, he made his exit. Stage left, even. Well, goo'bye!

So then it was really time to finish up, because the light was getting a little TOO warm for photos.

Derek got photos of the moon as it was rising. He had to leave after we did, mostly because I'm a slower walker than he is, and he had more stuff to pack up and we needed to get back to Jasper ASAP. But the moonrise was AMAZING. Derek said the photos are blurry, and he's right, but it doesn't even matter.

The drive back was relatively uneventful, considering we made it in the dark and that makes the journey a lot more difficult. But that wraps up the day. It was such a great shoot, I am excited to edit the photos!