I first met Brit and Jose early in 2018; if you want to read more about their story and how they met, go check that out first. Don’t worry, I’ll be waiting right here when you get back.
After that first session together, Brit and Jose mentioned that, should I ever want to do an in-home session in a tiny apartment, theirs fit the bill. I said hell yes, tucked it away in the back of my brain, and got super busy with life. But I kept in touch.
(As an aside, that’s seriously one of my favourite things about working with all these amazing couples; we often stay in touch with one another and–dare I say?–become friends. We send stupid shit to one another, laugh at each others instagram stories, and offer support or a chat. It’s the best.)
They weren’t messing around though: they really do live in a tiny apartment. I’m talking 350 sq ft. total, including the closets. Things are so tight, the bathroom door has a wee section cut out of it so that it can swing past the toilet, and much of the kitchen storage is vertical, accessed via step stool. And yet, it’s incredibly well laid out. It doesn’t feel like a 350 sq ft. apartment. It feels like a home.
Their first home.
These cuties just celebrated one year of marriage together (as in, I messaged Brit and said “hey when is your anniversary again? I’m scheduling a blog post about you for the third week in October” and wouldn’t you freaking know it, their anniversary is the 21st. Let’s throw some confetti.), and this wee apartment is the first place that they called home as a married couple living together. It doesn’t matter that it’s tiny; it’s special to them. So when I finally got my brain around the concept of Real Life sessions and decided to run wild with it, the three of us knew that the time was finally right.
It also just so happened that around this time, my new friend Shannon wanted to do a mentorship with me, so…you know. The universe wanted this to happen. It was meant to be.
I’m sure you know everything there is to know about Real Life sessions by now, but I’ll refresh your memory. Just in case.
Real Life sessions with me are just that: they’re a half-to-full day of documenting your life as it is. If that means throwing on a t-shirt, not bothering to fix your hair, or even bothering to dry it after your morning shower, and making espresso because that’s just what you do on Saturday mornings, then let’s do that. Let’s linger over your weekend breakfast, or wander down to that local coffee shop you two like visiting, or hang out in pajamas or whatever and just…not worry so much about your outfit or the location or how it’ll look.
It’s already perfect.
Brit and Jose really understand this. They welcomed me into that tiny apartment on a Sunday morning with the biggest smiles, not fully dressed, one barefoot, one in slippers, and then they made banana pancakes. Because they love making banana pancakes. They bickered good-naturedly over the correct method and timing for flipping said pancakes, which Jose had painstakingly assembled via a new recipe after running out to the shops for bananas, while Brit gave in and made a cup of coffee that she previously said she wouldn’t.
They climbed on their step stool to reach things on top of the fridge, moved around each other in a practiced dance known only to those with teeny tiny kitchens. They sat at their table next to a window looking down into the courtyard. Jose cut his pancakes into perfect little slices so he could “eat more efficiently.” They washed the dishes, climbed back into bed, got cosy with some books. Jose read a Spanish comic out loud because he’s learning, only he’s not practicing as often as he should. He tickled her, she kicked and squirmed, they wrestled while I stood over them because that’s just how their mornings go.
…Usually without a photographer though.
They dug out a chest full of old vinyl records, turned on the record player, sifted through them and reminisced. They changed into the robes that Jose really loves, curled up on the sofa, and told me all about how Jose won Brit’s heart right from under the nose of a rival. He’d danced with her on a subway platform and that was pretty much that.
They got dressed. Jose tended to his bread dough, which was all very precise and kind of soothing to watch. We walked outside, across the street, up an enormous, steep hill that “they didn’t feel in their thighs so much any more,” and into the park that they called their “second living room.” They like to sit there reading, drawing, people-watching. They know the usual faces, the leather skin of the regular sunbathers who really ought to get acquainted with sunscreen, the dogs who look and act like their owners. Like the old basset hound who shuffles along just as slowly as the man who cares for him.
We played on the grass, they curled up on a bench. Brit licked Jose right in the face, which she does because she knows he’ll pull away, yell in surprise. Sometimes try and lick her back.
We walked through the city that they’ve called home, the streets that they know and that I would get lost in without them.
If you want to schedule a Real Life session of your own, let’s do it. My schedule can get pretty tight, so let me know early! But I mean. I suppose I do a lot of last minute things too. Roll those dice.