Going Back To Cali

Traveling for work is always a perk for me. It can be a lot of work on the logistical side of things. But I get to treat my eyes to a change of scenery which is always a treat for my creative side.

When I get to travel back to my hometown for work, it’s bittersweet.

I get to enjoy driving around my old stomping grounds, reminisce a little days past, and see all the changes that have happened since my last visit. But I also have to work. Which means I have limited time to visit with friends and the limited family I have left in the area.

During my last five-day trip to the Central Valley area of California, the schedule quickly filled up after being brought on to document Monica and Robert’s 25th anniversary vow renewal. They added on a senior portrait session the evening I landed. Then three other portrait sessions and meetings were scheduled in various locations within the Central Valley area. This resulted in a very productive trip. But it also meant not a lot of down time either.

I have to say though, with the mix of people I worked with, it was a great way to keep me going.

Thursday afternoon — My first shoot was senior session was with a very serious young man who played classical piano and was the quiet, introspective type of teenager.

Thursday evening — I got to finally have an in-person meet and greet with Monica and Robert at their rehearsal and get to finalize our plans for the coverage of their vow renewal.

Friday — Time for Monica and Robert’s 25th anniversary vow renewal. Because they’re experienced with this, it was a very low-key day with plenty of people to celebrate with this couple, which in turn created great moments for me to capture.

Saturday morning — My friend from “way back” planned a session at a horse ranch for her and her family. It’s always good to catch up with people. Especially since we haven’t seen each other in person for more than two decades. Luckily social media kept us connected.

Saturday evening — When I get referrals, the people who send clients my way get rewarded. Claudia and her family earned a portrait session. But since they had already had a traditional portrait session, they decided to have me work my speciality of a lifestyle-documentary session. Backyard soccer, an evening walk, smores, and the family just hanging out offered me a great opportunity to capture the behind the scene, day-to-day activities of this busy family.

Sunday morning — A session with Alexia, Darren and their blue-eyed girl Daphne in the foothills outside of Clovis. Navigating around the tall grass, occasional snake, barbed wire and a shuttered copper mine was an adventure to be sure.

Sunday afternoon — Spent with my uncle. It was the only time I was able to sit down and visit with anyone. We definitely made the most of it. We took a drive to a small town where I have some of my earliest memories from, he navigated our way on some dirt roads to find some old historical spots, we grabbed some food and told stories for a while.

Sunday evening — I had dinner with some clients who have become friends and headed back to the hotel so I could pack everything for my flight the next morning.

Looking back on this schedule, I realize how rewarding this path is for me. Not only to people believe in my approach and abilities to capture and remember moments in their lives, but it affords me the opportunity to document stories, make new friends, travel and most importantly, realize how valuable every minute we have is.

Now if I could only find a way to add more time.

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© 2017 Jerome Pollos