What a morning!
There are few things as nerve-wracking as meeting a new client. Will they like me?? Will we get along? WHAT DO I WEAR??!?! I was thrilled that meeting Dean was like meeting up with an old friend. By the time he left after trying on the tail to make sure it was long enough (He is by far, the tallest client I've put in a tail, but fear not, fellow lengthy leg havers! The tails can definitely fit all of you!), I felt like I had known him forever.
I picked Dean up on Wednesday morning, bright and early, and we headed down to the location. We chatted and discussed fun things we could incorporate into the shoot. He had suggested leis on Monday when he came to try on the tail, and I found a couple of local places close to him that sold gorgeous, dramatic haku leis and regular leis after his visit to Safeway turned up nothing particularly eye-catching, but with time constraints being what they were, we ended up stopping at Walgreens and grabbing up four leis there, with two fake leis to pad out the fullness and add to the drama of the entire look.
And when I say drama, I cannot impart the levels to which the drama was brought. First of all, Dean has what can only be described as a full, luxurious, sexy beard. He told me that he placed in the National Beard and Mustache Championship, and would be competing in the World championship next year (how exciting!!! I'll DEFINITELY be rooting for him!!), and given how much care and love he shows it, he had an idea to make his beard as prominent a star of this shoot as he was going to be. He suggested glamming out his beard with seashells, and I was here for it. So we had a crazy sexy beard, dolled up in theme appropriate shells, and I LOVED IT. It brought such a full flavor to the shoot, and he really rocked the shells.
As always happens on shoots, we got attention from passersby, with one woman shouting out to Dean, "You look AMAZING!!!" and she wasn't wrong. Dean KILLED IT. He brought fierceness and originality and fun to every single shot. Crushed it from start to finish.
But of course, because I'm never one to be outdone if someone is bringing in the drama, I brought my OWN drama. And honestly, I still didn't outshine Dean, because he is a natural model. An absolute dream to shoot. Here's the drama I brought:
I lost. My phone. In the ocean.
I know we are all just living our best lives and LOVING putting it on the 'gram. No shade, I do it, too! I'm a photographer, of COURSE I photograph my life within an inch of...uh...its life. When Dean wanted a shot so he could immediately put it up on insta, I was so ready to champion his whim. I would have suggested it if he hadn't beaten me to it. Duh, we all wanna be hype masters of the cool things we're doing! So I grabbed up my phone, took a few shots, and instead of putting it back in my camera bag like a logical, sane woman, I stuffed it into my chest bags. Right against my boobs. And they betrayed me.
I noticed my phone was still in my sports bra, and getting damp because I was in the ocean, so I told Dean I was going to go put my phone away because I didn't want it to get wet. The irony is palpable.
My phone hot potatoed its way out of my hands and right into a rather large wave, and then it was swept out to see, never to be seen by me again.
My brain went in three different directions. The first was HOLY SHIT, THIS IS MY BIGGEST FEAR REALIZED, WHAT DO I DO NOW?? The second was HOLY SHIT THIS IS MY BIGGEST FEAR REALIZED, DIVE INTO THE OCEAN EVEN THOUGH YOU'RE HOLDING YOUR CAMERA! FIND YOUR PHONE!!! NOW! And the third one was, BITCH, keep your cool, you're with a client. So. I screamed. Naturally.
I ended up laughing it off, because after all, it's just a phone. And they're replaceable. Does it suck to lose my photos? Yes. I'm gutted over the photos of my kids that I lost when my phone rudely ran away with an admittedly very inviting, azure blue ocean. But it sucks even more to not be able to laugh at things like that, because they can happen to anybody (irresponsible and dumb, as I clearly was). Laughing was the best way to handle it, so I did. I laughed a lot. And then I went right back to shooting, and I think we finished up strong.
I had a great time with Dean yesterday, it was a great day, perfect waves for the shoot, perfect client for the shoot, and I have to toot my own horn and say I am absolutely WILD about the photos that we got.
The world DEFINITELY needs more mermen, especially if they're as fierce and powerful and fun as Dean.