Shoots don't always go as planned,
so it's really important that you go start every shoot with zero expectations of everything going as planned. In fact, not really trusting your plans is one of the best pieces of advice I could give anybody doing photoshoots outside of a studio.
This particular shoot was meant to be at China Walls, a location that Derek and I have been mermaid lusting after for over a year. It's dramatic, it's sensational, it's merfection. GET IT? Merfection!
When we arrived for our shoot and started making the wee little hike in to the alcove we had scoped out when we scouted early last year, our client had a moment of hesitation when she saw where we were shooting. I looked at her and I could see she didn't feel entirely comfortable, so I asked her if she was ok. She's pregnant, and I was initially thinking maybe she was feeling a little ill (we had had a slight time mix up, and she arrived earlier than we had set up, so she had just been sitting in the sun for about 40 minutes while she waited for us to arrive earlier than call time, but far later than she did). When she told me she wasn't feeling sure about the location, I told her that if she had even a small doubt in her mind, or felt even the tiniest bit uncomfortable, that we could go and we did not have to shoot there. She looked at me and said she was just a little worried about the waves sweeping her out to sea, and I'll be honest, it WAS high tide, and the waves WERE crashing up on the rocks, but we would never put our clients in jeopardy. I assured her that where she'd be sitting, she would, at MOST, get a bit of splash from the waves, but that the waves themselves wouldn't come close to cresting up and she was in no danger. We sat together and watched the wave cycle for a few minutes, and despite my assurances, she shook her head and said she didn't want to shoot there.
I told her that I absolutely respect that, and if she doesn't feel comfortable, I don't feel comfortable, and her comfort is my number one priority.
So we left.
We headed down to Sandy Beach, the most preferred spot by all of my merclients because it really is one of the prettiest beaches here (if you're not into the pristine sand, palm tree look, that is. If you want a rocky, interesting beach, Sandy is the most convenient beach for you!), but because it was so late in the day, the beach was PACKED and our access to my usual shooting location was...well...in. Inaccessible. The parking lot was jam packed, and the one parking spot that Tonantzin could find that was ready to be vacated...well...let's just say the lady was exceptionally rude and taking MORE than her sweet time (think a very literal 20 minutes before we gave up and left) and couldn't have been bothered to either tell us she wasn't leaving, or tell us that she would be another...like...twenty minutes.
We gave up (PLEASE be courteous to people that are obviously waiting on your parking spot!!!! Even if you're not leaving, it takes literally a minute or less to let us know you have no plans to leave any time soon) and drive further down, and then Tonantzin pulled in to a parking area we were unfamiliar with, that opened up to a section of beach we had never shot at. I had no idea what we were in for, but I got out and did a fast assessment of the area. I knew we were going to lose light and FAST, so really, I didn't have much of a choice but to make this work. I found a little rock jutting out of a big leafy bush, and made sure T would be comfortable there. She was, and we were off to the races!!!
I had hoped we could make her mershoot a maternity shoot, as well (stay tuned, I will think of a mermaid related pun for that if it's the last thing I do), but because she is still only a few months along, we weren't able to make that work. She would have just looked bloated rather than pregnant, and nobody deserves that as a final product when, in reality, they are adorably pregnant and still in the twee baby bump stage!!
Even with the location changes and the later in the day shooting times, T REALLY pulled no punches during her shoot time and she looked MAGNIFICENT. The audibles, in my approximation, really served us all well.