Jill called me from Wisconsin. Wait. Maybe it was Minnesota. The only thing I remember is that when she told me, I thought, “Colder than Philadelphia.” and I shuttered a little. Either way, it was far away… and colder.
She had some exciting news. She was pregnant!! I didn’t know Jill, but I was still overcome with excitement because, 1. Babies are exciting, by default and 2. She was calling to ask me to help be apart of her revealing her pregnancy to her husband. He was away on work related endeavors for several weeks. Shortly after he left she received confirmation that they were about to start a family. She simply could not wait for his return. Jill hopped a plane to Philly to meet her man and tell him the good news. Of course, she cloaked this good news under the guise of a simple weekend visit.
How does one disguise an impromptu photo session in a random city on a weekend visit? Groupon, of course! Under the pretense that she’d found an amazing couple’s session deal (I mean, how can you pass up a good Groupon, right?) she hooked her hubby into picking her up from the airport and driving directly to the iconic Love Park for an afternoon session.
This was my first session in which the couple was reuniting across several states to have photos taken. As often happens with winter sessions and with travel; there were delays – flight delays, weather delays, delayed delays. I did what every good Philadelphian does when waiting. I saddled up to a bar in an Irish Pub and made a new (though very inebriated) friend.
Nearer to their arrival the sun was long gone and frigid does not adequately describe the depths of cold I felt. Jill asked if we should bag it, but I was determined. Who needs the sun when we have light pollution? I had my tripod, flash and reflectors. Everything was present to make this moment happen. I set up in front of the Love statue and waited. A moment later a wind gust blew threw, knocking over my tripod, light stands – everything. The flash, reflector holder and lens were all broken moments before they arrived. My heart briefly sank, but I’m a big believer in making art with what you have. Nearly anything can be a vehicle for art – cell phones, polaroids, shoe box cameras, whatever. Use what you have and make it work. So, I strapped on my 20mm lens and opened it up to let as much natural light in as possible.
They arrived and Jill’s hubby, still under the impression we were doing a simple couples session, was poised to pose. However, I started them off with an activity and requested that they go to separate spots a few yards away and compose a simple note to one another declaring their love for each other. Of course, Jill had something special to say. He was rendered speechless.