There have been a few times in my life where I'm just completely and utterly blown away by someone. In this instance, it happened more than once with multiple people.
I'm a member of a few creative communities on social media and other outlooks. These platforms serve as a way for photographers and other creatives to share their ideas, new toys, express their feelings, talk about events coming up, to just shoot the shit in an environment where they know they will be understood. True, sometimes this can turn into a "Burn Book" of photography (am I too old to be making Mean Girl references?) but most times it's a breath of fresh air to just brows and know you won't see some of the same BS you see on Facebook everyday. Although... I wouldn't be offended if more people in these groups posted more kitten videos. I digress.
Any who, on this site I met another photographer, Jessica Palatucci (check her out! #Communityovercompetition), and she happened to sign onto a studio with a few other creative friends. For the second time in the history of everdom - it's a word now - this was in my state, in my city, and in a neighborhood I knew had parking! Parking being the third most important aspect of this story but hey, it's Philadelphia and parking is for the birds.
Everyone, meet Jess. (She has two "s's" in her name so we can still be friends.)
So at this point, not only am I new-ish to this group I've joined, but I'm a complete stranger to Jess. She posts about her studio and being the Creeper McGavin that I am, I reach out to her. "Hey! I like doing things", was along the lines of what I sent over to her and to my surprise... she responded! Just when you think the humanity has left the world, she responded to my dumb comment that I probably posted way too late at night. Maybe it's the millennial in her or she's just a super sweet person, but I made a connection to a local studio and I was stupid happy. Anyone, let me know when you're ready to shoot in this beautiful space!
The plan was set to have a random shoot around day and we would bring in friends as models, drink champagne, play with puppies, paint each other's toe nails.... just kidding. That would be a dream world. But nonetheless, a plan was in place to get together and shoot around. About a month goes by and there is little to no word on this from Jess or any of the members of the group. I was so upset! So I reached out to her, "Hey... remember how I said I like doing things?". I felt so pathetic even reaching out again because my social anxiety took over and I assumed she was just uninterested in my entire being as a human. But she responded! Yay! I'm not as awkward as I thought! She had told me that group fell through but then quickly introduced me into another group she was working with for the same ideas. Only this time it was better! This time there was a tub! Bring it on milk bath.
So a few more weeks past but this time the conversation kept coming. I felt like an outsider as the only one who didn't know anyone, but fuck it... sorry Mom... why not try and meet some creatives in the area. The day finally came where we were set to shoot, I cleared my day, packed my car and headed into the great city of Philadelphia. Then there's the dreaded 'everyone is sick or can't make it text'. Balls. My heart was so filled with joy at this opportunity. I respond, "Does that mean we aren't shooting? I'm still fine to come down!" Thankfully Jess was still game, she found a wonderful friend of her names Trina to join us and there was one other comrade still coming along.
Everyone, I introduce you to Tiffany Lindner. You know when someone just walks into a room and fills it with so much energy that you could dance even though there isn't any music? This was Tiff, only she filled the entire block with her energy (and lighting gear) when she pulled up fashionably late. She grew up in the Broncs so I guess 30 Minutes late was still on time to her... I don't judge.
Tiff is the master behind my most recent (2017) headshots that you can find under my "About Me" page. Check them out!
Not only did she come in like a blast in a glass (am I too old to make Jersey Shore references also?) but she had tons of lighting gear with her. This was the double greatness that my day was filled with. I got to work in a beautiful new-to-me space and I got to test out some equipment that wasn't mine! Wonders! The Lighting Queen has arrived! The day started off pretty normal, we took a few headshots of each other which was nice but I was really looking forward to getting the boudoir shots! I mean, Trina was stuuuuuunnnning. I can't stress that enough. And bless her heart for sitting there listening to me blast Beyonce and the three of us chickens talking photog slang for hours before we got to the good stuff. She was so kind! I snuck in some of her fully dressed to warm her up. Also because I like what I do and extra pictures is my jam space!
You see what I mean now?! Look at her pretty face! LOOK AT IT!
Any who, so here we three are in the middle of Philadelphia, ready to take some stunner shots. We photographers are peas in a pod. No shame when it comes to telling others how to pose, smile, tilt you chin, angle your face, less teeth, etc. the list goes on. But then we step on the other side and become a bunch of bumbling children in a school yard. I loath having my picture taken professionally so it was really humbling to be on the other side with not one, but two beast mode cameras in my face. Getting our headshots done took it's fair share of time, but then somehow, magically, we all also decided we would model for boudoir to boost portfolios. WHAT?! You want my chubby editing body to be in your portfolio? Okay.. but none with my face. haha
Trina on the other hand was so sweet but so damn game when it came time for the boudoir. I find it's really hard to explain to someone what you're wearing for your boudoir shoot which is why it's always so fun when they come around the corner and BAM! Sex Goddess! I'm no model, and I can appreciate the determination it takes to get that "ideal" body... but there is something so refreshing about someone who is just happy being in their own skin. To others they may say she has flaws, but I say we all do, and I love them. Flaws and imperfections are what make people unique and I will celebrate that if you left me or hide it if you'd rather me. Back this outfit... BA BAM!
Where do you even find a full length lace cover up? And the lace on it was beautiful! Shame on me for not getting any close ups of the pattern. By this point in the day, having been distracted a bit throughout the day with chatting because we are female (hear us roar!) The sun was going down and we were getting in panic mode. I was supposed to be home for dinner with my Husband and we still had not started the tub! I know what your thinking... it's a tub, just turn it on while you're doing other things. Nope. That's way to simple.
This tub was a beautiful cast iron claw foot tub that was missing two things... a completely functional drain plug, and a connection to water. I don't know if you've been into older buildings in Philly, but there is only 1 bathroom per floor. This bathroom happened to be on the opposite end of a long narrow hallways. I should count my blessings in that it was on the same floor but man on man did I get my workout in. How did I get my workout you ask? Carrying 5 gallon old deli pickle buckets filled with water back and forth from the bathroom to the studio to fill this beautiful tub. I would like to shout out to Duct Tape and whichever one of Jess's studio mates had it laying around for us to barrow. Oh, and one more thing... This was winter, we had on space heaters that didn't do much, the windows were a bit drafty, and the water coming from the bathroom refused to get warm. Did I mention how thankful I was for Trina?
I'm pretty sure if you look close enough at any of these pictures you can still see the small little goose pimples from the cold water! So here we are, in the middle of Philly, freezing cold, in a tub filled with also cold water, and then come the florals because what fun is a milk bath with out the florals? Prior to showing up we had decided that I would bring along a little ambiance with the candles since I still have a gazillion left over from my own wedding. Damn, I'm glad I did. I love the mood it lends to this session and I didn't even mind the fact that we were loosing sun because it made the candles twinkle that much brighter. These candles will be making another appearance in a wedding I can't wait to share with everyone so keep an eye out for that!
For those of you who are curious... would I ever do a Milk Bath Session again? Of Course! I learned a few tricks this time and I would love to do one when it's warm out so my subject can be more comfortable. Luckily for me Trina was bomb and I couldn't have asked for a better model in this situation.
Also, side note... it was just as difficult to empty the tub as it was to fill it. I can't wait to do a session like this in my house where I can just use my super powers to empty the tub! haha