Imagine my surprise and excitement last week when my online friend and fellow muse Ashley Sisk wrote me and said, “Yo Kat – how far are you from southern Oregon? I’m flying in on Sunday for a client – no car.” Yay! I looked it up, it was 3.5 to 4 hour drive. I had nothing going on Sunday, and she was coming in at noon. Totally doable!
I cajoled the family into coming along for the ride, and we all headed down on Sunday morning to meet Ashley and the coworker she was traveling with. It is always so much fun to meet online friends in person! Adding that third dimension to the equation – real time interaction, laughter, hugs and photos – is fantastic.
We met Ashley and her coworker at the hotel, just as they arrived. After a yummy lunch of Mexican food, we went in search of a good place to visit the Rogue River. The guys immediately went down by the bank to throw rocks in the river, while Ashley and I explored with our cameras. The light was beautiful! We ran around with our cameras and timers trying to find a good bench shot. We laughed as no one could figure out what we were doing, standing on the picnic tables. (Ashley has our results posted here.)
As we walked along a riverfront trail, Brandon got into the mix, playing around with Ashley. She teased him and laughed with him and captured him with her camera. She connected with him and he loved it. When she showed me a few of the pictures she captured in camera, they took my breath away. I’ve struggled to take portraits of Brandon for the last several years, he wants none of it. But he was so happy to ham it up for Ashley, and she easily captured his personality. Ashley has an amazing talent for working with kids. I can’t wait to see the edited pictures!
While we walked along the trail, Brandon said to me, “Driving four hours to come here? Totally worth it!” This was a kid we had to drag out of bed a few hours before. Ashley had won him over completely, the ultimate compliment from a 10-year-old boy.
He got a chance to turn the tables on her, when we asked him to take a few pictures of us jumping off of a bench. After a few false starts where we jumped and he didn’t catch us, he got some fun images of us. (A jumping bench shot with flare, do you sense any influences from our fellow muse Kirstin?)
But he wouldn’t give the camera back! It was his turn, capturing Ashley and the rest of us from the none-too-flattering “looking up” perspective. Ashley played right back with him, making silly faces and encouraging him on. I loved how he captured her here. So full of fun and laughter!
The sun was low in the sky as we wrapped up our walk and got ready to head home. They were tired from a very long day of travel, and we had a few hours in the car to drive home.
Brandon captured a few last shots of us, taking Ashley’s advice for a more flattering perspective using the bed of the truck to get above us. It was odd to be on the other side of the lens, and funny to see Brandon focus and recompose. He wanted us off center, in a more artistic composition. That’s my boy.
It was so wonderful to meet Ashley! I’ll tell you, she is every bit the sweet and fun person you see online. It is always amaing to connect with online friends in the real world. These connections we make here are real. It was like meeting an old friend, yet for the first time. We all live so far away, scattered across the globe, we have to take advantage of the little slices of time circumstances give us.
I have to agree with Brandon. Driving four hours to meet Ashley? Totally worth it.