I was going to title this post "Death, Garbage, and Inappropriate Jokes" but Jordynn's gallery is so lovely I just couldn't bring myself to do it. So first I'll tell you a little bit about Jordynn and then I'll get to all that other crazy stuff.
Jordynn already knows that she wants to get her teaching credential. During her senior year she is student teaching in a second grade classroom at Alisal Elementary. But here's the best part: she's student teaching... with the same teacher that she HAD for second grade at Alisal. How awesome is that?
So during her session we took smiling Jordynn shots and serious Jordynn shots. I asked her to do my "big fake laugh" and can report that Jordynn has the worst fake laugh ever. I would say "Ok, go!" and she would give the weakest little "heh heh." But then I would call her out on it and she'd start laughing for real. Her real laugh is *fantastic*.
We lucked out during her shoot because it started off overcast and then the sun came out. Best of both worlds, really.
Towards the end of the shoot I asked Jordynn if she'd be willing to forge across to the opposite side of the nearby stream for the last location. She donned a pair of random pedicure flip flops her mom had from the car, which promptly ripped apart in the water, and then proceeded barefoot up the bank.
I dragged over a log for her to sit on and we started shooting. It turned out there was a can of Modelo in the frame so to spare myself the time in photoshop I did a little "real life" edit. (Note to self: buy more hand sanitizer for the camera bag.) The scene was beautiful. The scene was perfect. Well, I thought it was until I glanced to my left...
Not 5 feet away from me was the well rotted carcass of a mid-sized mammal. I quickly looked back at Jordynn hoping that she hadn't followed my gaze. She had. "What is THAT?" she asked. I took a deep breath, which at that point started to smell, nodded slowly, and said, "You look stunning right now." And we kept on shooting.
I'm fairly confident it was a raccoon. But you know what? Jordynn kept right on going like it wasn't even there. I was so impressed.
On the walk back to the car I found out that Jordynn's mom, Chris, is an agricultural inspector so I asked her about those tall golden grasses that I'm always working with. I've always wondered what they were. She wasn't sure then, but she remembered this conversation at Jordynn's gallery reveal and there she looked it up.
Wild Oats. Yes, that's right. I couldn't help myself, "Wild Oats?!?!?" I exclaimed, "as in "sow your wild oats??" Ha! I actually get this question fairly often, so the next time someone asks me if I happen to know what that plant is I'm going to have a really hard time not cracking up.
At any rate, Jordynn: it was an honor and a pleasure to photograph your senior portrait. Thanks for the adventure and I can't wait to see what happens during your Cap & Gown mini session in the spring!!!!
I am a high school senior portrait photographer in the SF east bay area.