I realize I say this a lot, which tells me I am somehow finding the exact right clients. Within two minutes on the phone with Jesse and Constantin, I felt like I had known them for years. Maybe this had something to do with their mutual obsession with books. (Constantin brought a book for Jesse on their first date, and they are getting married at a library. SO me.) Or maybe it was their down-to-earth intelligence that drew me in. Whatever it was, they felt like fast friends.
We talked about all kinds of options for their engagement session, and they ultimately decided on an intimate in-home shoot that included their beloved dog, Blue. They live on the second floor flat of a gorgeous old home near New Haven on a historic block, so we had plenty of photographable options within steps from their front door.
We decided to start outside. They leashed Blue up, we strode down the walk to take a stroll, and before we made it out of the yard, Jesse shrieked and started dancing around in that very specific way that indicates one is being stung and is trying not to rip their clothes off outdoors.
Sure enough, a hornet (which remained unseen) had stung her right as she was heading into her engagement session. I felt terrible. Yet Jesse would not be brought down so easily. She laughed it off like the hardass she is, and off we went.
Later, when we returned to their front porch to grab some shots before going inside, she started doing The Dance again, and in horror she realized that the hornet had been UP HER DRESS THE ENTIRE TIME. I grabbed Blue’s leash and turned away as Constantin tried to help her rid herself of this unwanted tagalong without flashing the passing cars. They finally lost the persistent fellow. It was a little funny. Just a little.
We headed inside for a cozy, curled up session that wound up making me think of those old Rolling Stones photo spreads. There is something a little rockstar about these two and their home; something a little cooler than what the rest of us have going on. Also, they are so themselves with each other. Which is always cool.
I had a great time hanging with the three of them and am so looking forward to photographing their wedding next year. What meant the most, though, was getting an email from Jesse a month or so after our session. She was letting me know that Blue had passed away rather quickly. They were devastated, but were also so grateful to have had these photos including him. It made our session that much more meaningful that it was the last documentation of the their life together–the three of them–in that home.
We never know how long we have with the people or the animals in our lives. All the more reason to take the time to document the current moment. It won’t be around for long.