I’m excited to finally share some of my NYC adventure! It’s been a bit hectic around here since I’ve been home and it feels surreal to look back at my photographs, especially since so much has happened in New York since I was there. I hope you’re not looking for great photos of the actual city — most of mine are iPhone pics. Shame on me, I know. Here’s my best city pic taken from Chelsea Piers.
When it comes to recounting stories, I usually go with the long version, so if you read this entire post, I will love you forever.
Nick took me to the airport on Sunday morning (10/21) and the kids joined him for the big send-off! I had been so stressed about preparing things here at home and making sure I had liquids that were less than 3 oz. (and why don’t I ever have a quart sized bag?!) that I forgot saying goodbye to my sweeties was going to be heart-wrenching. There is no more of the out-of-sight-out-of-mind comfort that you have when they’re babies. I held it together pretty well during the ride to the airport, changing every dang country song that came on the radio, because darn it, Hootie, I won’t let you make me cry again. That is until we pulled up to “Departures” and after my husband put the van in park, I suddenly felt two arms hug me from behind and the familiar shaking-sob of my daughter. And then I just had to join in.
After saying goodbye and having a good cry in the airport restroom, I went to the security screening, did the whole rigamarole that I can never seem to get right (did you remove your belt? Is that your cell phone in your pocket? No, you need to put that in a separate bin… ) and headed to my gate. The bird flying around the terminal was a nice distraction. No more sitting there being sad, posting pictures of my kids to Instagram. All I could do was sit there and think, “I need to wear these pants on Wednesday too! That bird had better not poop on them.” Luckily, the bird was kind. Unfortunately, the subway later that day was not, but I’ll get to that.
My first evening in New York was all kinds of fun because I got to meet up with my friend Jessica, who I ‘ve been friends with since we met our first day as freshmen at University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. She now lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn and this was my second time visiting her in New York. We did a whirlwind, Instagramed tour of NY on our way to a delicious dinner. Did you know that ramen noodles were not just in those crunchy little packages? I had NO idea! Momofuko was ridiculously yummy and then we even went to their Milk Bar and had dessert.
Between all of the eating, there was A LOT of talking. Jess is the kind of friend that you can pick up right where you left off the last time you were together. It was sad to say goodbye at the station and head in opposite directions. Although, I will admit, I felt pretty cool waving goodbye to my friend across the platform and getting on the subway all by myself. And that is when I sat in the mystery liquid on the subway seat. Ew, yuck. Welcome to New York, Big City Girl.
Monday was the first day of the Creative LIVE class with Lara Jade, and oh my gosh, I did more things that scared me that day before 9:30 am than I usually do in a whole week — it was exhilarating, but a little bit terrifying. Her Fashion Photography 101 class was from 9-5 for 3 days. As much as I’m babbling about my trip, I will try to sum up 3 days of learning as best I can.
Creative LIVE provides courses to photographers and other creatives through an online classroom. You can watch live during the broadcast or purchase a digital copy of the course. I have watched a lot of cL classes and it was so much fun to be a part of one. During each class they have a live audience of students (this time it was me, Christina, Yin, & Chloe) to ask questions, and those watching online also ask questions through Facebook, Twitter, and the cL website. It is an amazing resource that’s getting a lot of recognition. It is even up for an award (go and vote here)! The hosts for the NY class (it is usually shot in Seattle) were Kenna Klosterman and Russ Andes, who were, not surprisingly, as nice in person as they seem on the internet (if not more).
And Lara? Oh my, she was lovely. So unbelievably sweet and willing to share her knowledge. It was such a thrill to meet her, watch her work, and learn all about fashion photography from her.
Lara told us how she started in photography, from doing self-portraits at 14, to moving to London and finding an agent, to traveling worldwide and having major clients. She went over the different elements of fashion photography and stressed the importance of continuing to do personal work and constantly looking for inspiration.
She walked us through how she does a photo shoot and then allowed us, the students, to shoot along with her.
After the first day’s class a lot of the crew met up for dinner and drinks. I didn’t know until I arrived at the Creative LIVE studio that there were a lot of photography events going on in NYC that week and so there were a lot of photographers in town. So in addition to Lara, the cL team, and fellow students, I got to meet a whole bunch of other really amazing people.
Lara had an amazing team of artists who helped with the shoot, providing make-up, hair, props, clothing & accessories. They also shared their insight on how to put together your own style team to create fashion and editorial shoots, even on a small budget.
Another extra-special part of my trip was a dinner with my dear friend from middle and high school, Kelly. She and her husband moved to NY last year and it was so wonderful to see her. I think we did a pretty good job of squeezing 15 years of catch-up into a very short 2 hours.
Three days of fashion photography was amazing. On day #3 Lara showed us her retouching techniques and how she processes her photographs, plus a ton more.
I was sad to leave all the fun right after the class ended on Wednesday, but I was excited to be home when my kids got up the next morning. It almost didn’t happen because of a delayed flight in NY and missing the last flight to Fort Wayne, but 2 other stranded passengers at O’Hare were heading my way and I caught a ride with my new BFFs, Keith and Trudy. I felt a little like Kate McCallister, minus the polka band in a U-Haul, trying to get home.
If you’re still reading this, thanks for indulging me. I haven’t taken the time to sit and reflect on my time in New York. I’m so grateful for the knowledge I gained and friendships I made, and am super excited to see where my new goals and new passion for photography take me this next year, which sounds like a good topic for a different blog post. It’s time to wrap this one up!