August 2017 this gorgeous little red head popped up on my screen as I scrolled my Instagram timeline. I instantly knew I wanted to shoot with her. I guess I wasn’t the only one, her mother had come across my page and wanted to work with me. Kennedi and her mother Rickeisha lived in Tennessee with their family. I thought that the opportunity to do so would never present itself. June of this year, after chatting via Instagram and liking each other’s posts, Rickiesha told me that Kennedi would be walking the runway in New Jersey and she wanted to shoot some new head shots of Kennedi while she was up north. With me! Of all the photographers, you want to travel across state lines and shoot with little ole me!
I was super excited, even more excited when she told me she wanted to shoot in NYC!
Is this really happening?
About a month went by and I received a message from Rickiesha that Kennedi would not be attending the Fashion show as planned. Ugh, my heart sank and before I could allow the feeling to set in, she followed up with, “but are still coming up to shoot with you! Kennedi has fall break in October.”
AHHHH!!!! THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING.
I didn’t want to tell anyone until her flight was booked but as soon as I got the message that the flight was booked and booking deposit was made I was stoked. Sure, working with out of state models was normal in this industry and some thought as though it wasn't that big of a deal. It was a HUGE DEAL to me. This was my first out of state model booking.
2018 has been the year of firsts for me. So, like I did with every other first event, I celebrated!!! And of course, I cried. I cry when I’m excited and happy. Heck I pretty much cry for anything. I could really have a great acting career. Lol
I wanted to go all out for Kennedi. I researched everywhere possible to shoot in NYC, created my own vision board around her gorgeous hair and of course the outfit choices her mom selected. I knew I wanted a nice clean look, so I YouTube’d great portrait lenses and ended up with the Sigma Art 50-100mm lens. THE WORKS BABY!
I wanted to make her time spent with me worth every penny and more.
The morning of shoot.
October 13, 2018, I woke up and gathered myself and my gear hopeful. “You got this!” I pep talk myself before every shoot. Lol I head downstairs to get in the car, and its raining. “WHYYYYY!!!!! This cannot be happening!!!” Slightly in a panic I check my phone for the weather, It was 7 am and we were meeting at noon, the exact time its supposed to stop raining. “Everything will be fine Lorina, woooosaaa!” But what if it doesn’t stop raining? All of my location options were outdoors, and I don’t know NYC.
Quick Thinking led me to call my sister. Of course, her living in New Jersey so close to the city, she is always out there. Now we had a tour guide and thank goodness we did. Even though we spent months planning, nothing prepared us for actually being in the Big Apple. On my way to get my sister, I made a stop at my mother's for a breakfast fit for champions and of course a much-needed pep talk.
Okay, I’m Ready.
The sun was shining, the rain had stopped by the time we reached the city. We met Kennedi and her mom at Penn Station, “Kennedi, you made it!” she replied “yes, and look my shirt has a sight word on it! It says WE!” I just knew WE would be besties! I do sight words every night. With my children of course.
She had never been to NYC before and besides telling my sister the vibe I was going for and a few random locations I remember from previous excursions to the city, I didn’t know my way around. So that meant exploring, and we had so much fun doing so!
Our first stop was the High Line. The area was amazing. The road beneath was cobble stoned, the stair case leading up was a cool silver and nearby there was a purple geo-art wall. I made use of every part. Kennedi and I instantly clicked so I had no trouble bringing out her inner diva, natural laughter and let’s be real doesn’t she look like a little firecracker. Besides, if she didn’t laugh or giggle for me I let her know my tickle hands are lethal and I wasn’t afraid to use them. I really left her no choice.
On the ride into Penn station we passed through Canal St. That area was my style, we headed back in that direction. We drove by a construction wall that was plastered with this gorgeous jewelry ads. Semi tethered and tagged over, but you could see the women with her freckles and red hair, kind of like Kennedi’s just an older version. We pulled over and shot around. From there we decided to walk. My time with Kennedi was running out. I had another engagement booked back in CT otherwise I could have photographed Kennedi all day long. Before we parted ways, I needed a subway entry. In the meantime, while looking for the nearest subway, I blew up balloons, Kennedi traded her pants and glasses for a tutu and we walked Broome St.
We ended up in the Prince St. Station. She twirled around and cartwheeled as riders entered and exited and watched her in awe. I mean I was in awe. Kennedi lit up NYC like the 4th of July. I felt like I was walking with a celebrity it was all eyes on her! Her smile was big, her laughter was intoxicating, and her hair made her so intriguing. We held hands and talked a bit and when We parted ways I hugged her and thanked her for being so amazing.
Kennedi, I hope I made your experience in NYC as exciting as you made mine! Until next time.