As promised, here are some behind the scenes photos and stories. This is the condensed version, although it appears that I have written a novel about all the fun we had! Our trip began with Brad not being able to get on the standby flight. Oh man! So sadly, he was left behind while Hailey, my mom, and I boarded the red-eye. The term “red-eye” is a very appropriate name for that flight because, oh my goodness, we didn’t sleep a wink! And trust me, my eyes were pretty bloodshot. Our cab driver from the airport was quite possibly the WORST in town, violently jerking the cab as he alternated from gas to brake, gas to brake, gas to brake. Whew! Was is hot in that taxi or was it just me? Oh my, it was warm in there, and then yes, you guessed it. I fully puked out the back window, stretching myself over Hailey’s lap. She quickly traded me places, rubbed my back as waves of sickness passed, and she reassuringly repeated, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry…” So funny! What a cute little sister I have.
That first day was meant for exploring, to figure out where we would shoot the actual engagement photos the following day (aaaand we hoped Brad would arrive by then!). We covered everywhere from China Town to Central Park, and had the blistered feet to prove it! Mom stepped in as Brad’s stunt double, if you will. She was a bit short for the part, but we were able to make some excellent plans regardless. Ha! Let me just tell you, my mom is the most fun person to travel with, it’s a laugh a minute. Hailey had plans to shoot bridal photos and video as well, so we needed to find a bouquet, and quick! Thank you Trader Joe’s for having such lovely flowers. That night we splurged on dinner in Little Italy while we waited for Brad’s arrival (the restaurant pressed its own amazing olive oil!).
Brad finally texted Hailey around 11 o’clock to tell her his flight had landed. We had just finished creating Hailey’s special Trader Joe’s bouquet. A bit later, we spotted Brad from our hotel window trying to get out of the cab, but it looked as if an argument with the driver was in progress…Mom panicked and called the front desk to ask them to go investigate. Turned out Brad and the driver were having a friendly, but very lively, discussion about religion!
Brad pulled out the mini-ironing board the next morning, and found the cord for the iron was about two feet long. Keep in mind that Brad is well over six feet tall, so it was funny to see him hunched over, trying to press his shirt. To his dismay, he later discovered that the cord was actually retractable and much longer than two feet.
We basically shot from sunrise to sunset on day two, taking a couple of breaks to eat along the way. The sandwiches at EATALY were so good that we ate there for lunch three days in a row! After the sun had set, we were spent, so a fun dinner at SERENDIPITY was a must. We laughed when a woman at a neighboring table purposely photo bombed Hailey’s Polaroid shot. “Oh no! It’s a Polaroid! I assumed it was digital so it wouldn’t matter!” she apologized over and over again.
Day three started before sunrise, and we kindly kicked Brad out so he wouldn’t see Hailey in her dress until the actual shoot. I did the best twist I possibly could in her hair, tucking in a few flowers, and off we hurried to the subway station. Freezing cold morning! Poor Hailey’s little legs were bare. My brother Trevor would be landing in NYC soon for a layover before going to Bolivia to see his wife. The plan was for him to shoot Hailey and Brad’s bridal video during his layover, and then catch a cab with us back to the airport. His flight arrived late, so there was a real time crunch.
While Trevor, Hailey, and Brad finished up the last of the video, Mom and I hauled Trevor’s suitcases, backpack, camera cases and other equipment back to our hotel. We still needed to pack our suitcases, Hailey and Brad’s suitcases, and be ready for the cab to the airport. Let it be known that getting from the Brooklyn Bridge to China Town is no easy task when you are in a rush and loaded with camera gear.
At one point Mom dropped a tall, skinny camera case inside the subway–BANG! Everyone around us jumped and were sure to notice the red “FRAGILE” sticker on top. We laughed as we waited for another train because I thought Mom looked like she could be a street performer, toting an oversized clarinet in that case. Unfortunately, Trevor’s giant suitcase wouldn’t fit between the escalator rails, so we had to heave it all the way up the stairs. When we reached the top, Mom dropped the long camera case again and this time it burst open! Bubble wrap floated all around us as the bustling crowd tried not to trip over us. Squatting to pick up the bubble wrap and lock the case, Mom practically did a backward somersault because Trevor’s backpack was so heavy on her back! So there she was, laying on the floor, struggling to stand back up and all I could do was look away because I was laughing too hard. Tears! People staring! Never laughed so hard in my life. We literally had to run after that scene, huffing and puffing through Little Italy and China Town where Mom nearly took out a few unsuspecting Asians with a long metal glide cam. It truly was miraculous that the four of us made our flights on time that afternoon, and that nobody was injured in the process!