The other day I decided to invite some friends over for a picnic/photo shoot. My friend Eddie, who has put together some amazing videos for me in the past, had this fleeting window to hang out and do what he does best before he jetted out of town. At first, I didn’t know what I wanted to do and was frankly blasé about the idea because I’m so over styled shoots I could puke in my mouth. (Yes, I acknowledge the hypocrisy of that since I’ve been doing them consistently for 10 years now, but that was before they, ahem, became such a “thing.”)
Don’t get me wrong. Styled shoots are beautiful to look at and they do serve a purpose in business, but there’s something that just gives me the ‘ughs’ about them now.
It’s not only because they are everywhere but because it is ultimately feeding into this frightening cultural movement driven by social media that makes us feel like we can only share our life when it looks perfect. That’s not real life, people!
So here’s the weird thing that I’m having a hard time reconciling in my head…this was a totally thrown together little picnic where I literally just invited some friends over and said bring the kiddos, I’ll dress you in some Nest clothes, and we’ll have a picnic. Nothing fancy…boiled eggs, carrots, and my son’s favorite: watermelon. (The kid can put down some watermelon. You’ll see in the video.)
But when Kendall Town comes to photograph it, suddenly my crazy impromptu picnic looks like a fairy tale dreamland.
When you look at these pictures, you’d never know that as my friends Breanna and Ali and their boys were filtering in, I was running around my house like a crazy person because I had a guest at my house who was lovely enough to play with Owen that morning so I could sleep in. And sleep in I did because you take advantage of opportunities like that when you have a 3 year old that insists that it’s time to wake up once any sliver of light starts peeking through the window. Although well-rested, I ended up being totally behind and unprepared. I was going to get fancy and make fresh watermelon cucumber juice with my vintage avocado green Champion juicer for godssakes!
But I just ended up boiling some eggs, had Ali cut some watermelon and off we went into the Verdi forest, 2 camera-loving, bologna-vulture dogs in tow. There was nothing that felt glamorous about this shoot. Shit, I didn’t even end up brushing my hair!
And why did I pick Breanna and Ali?
Because I don’t get to spend as much time with them as I’d like to. Yes, they are absolutely gorgeous individuals—inside and out—but they’re not professional models, even though they look like it here! I don’t use professional models in my shoots. I use my friends and customers because they are real people! And what better way to capture what life is really like than to just do life how we do?
Yes, it turned out dreamy because Kendall is goddamn magic, but this is real.
I invite friends over, and we do picnics. No, I don’t normally dress friends in Nest clothes when they come over, so this was a bit of a special treat for them. Ali walked away with that ever-elusive treasure of a pair of perfectly fitting cutoffs. And that vest on Huck? C’mon, it must’ve been made for that kid!
And honestly, I love picnics. I do them at least once a week, even if it’s just my son and me outside on our grass. (Although we adore it when friends join us!)
Anyway, all that to say, we had a picnic. It was fun. Here’s the video of it. We’re not models. It wasn’t styled, per se. It was just a couple friends hanging out, watching kids run through the woods (sorry Calvin, you’ll be running soon enough…).
Kendall and Eddie just happened to be there capturing it to remind us that even though sometimes we think our everyday lives aren’t that glamorous, they really are fairy tale beautiful. No freshly squeezed watermelon cucumber juice needed.
Without further ado…
Special thanks to Vokab Kompany for letting us use “That’s Life” as the perfect soundtrack to our outing!