I'm a total planner, and when I want something, I go after it. This time, I wanted a group photo of me and my 8 best friends all wearing floral print. Sounds pretty easy right? Well it's a bit challenging with my sister in law living in southern California and my friend Sara living up near Sacramento. Plus everyone has crazy schedules, and I requested this shoot around the holidays! By some miracle, Monday morning right after Christmas worked for everyone!!! Some friends had to borrow or buy a floral print item (half of my wardrobe is floral print so I didn't think I was asking too much haha), and the rest of us pulled out our favs! The last time I had a bff photo was at my wedding almost 3 years ago, and I've since added 2 bffs to the crew. I know it can be hard to get these cherished photos, but I promise it's worth the effort to make it happen :)
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Ok, now a little about each of my bffs (in the order I met them):
Julia: We met in 6th grade at Hart Middle School in Pleasanton. I don't really remember the exact moment we became friends, I just know I started camping with her family every summer thereafter and we've been friends ever since! We had countless sleepovers, always dressed up for twin day at school, thought we were "secret agents" for a while, went all out for our half birthdays and I even got a hamster because I loved hers so much. Since the beginning of my photography days, she's been my model, letting me dress her in crazy outfits, modeling for any shoot I needed. After high school (and some community college), we went to Cal Poly SLO and lived together too! We both got married in Aug. 2014 and were both each others MOH! We just like to do things at the same time ;) She is now best known for her amazing birthday cakes that she makes me every year, including a camera cake, a Sawyer cake, and a pineapple cake.
Sara aka Beldie: I met her the first week of high school at Amador. The high school that Julia and I went to was the one where most people from our middle school didn't. So I of course was missing a lot of my friends who went to Foothill, but knew I needed to make some new ones. My mom told me to say hi to someone and they'd say hi back. So the next day I said hi to the girl in PE whose number was in front of mine, and that girl was Sara. She is the sweetest, most down to earth person I know. I'm so thankful to have made all the memories we have, from high school girls at sleepovers, to 21 year olds at Berkeley bars. She was actually the first bff of my girls to get married and the first bff whose wedding I shot back in 2013. Watching her become a mom has been amazing. She's literally the mom I want to be, so easy going, and still does things that she enjoys doing! I just wish she lived closer to me!
Jenae aka Gertrude: She is Adam's little sister (5 years younger), and was in middle school when Adam and I started dating senior year of high school. We've always been close, and referring to her as my "sister-in-law" always feels weird because to me she is just my sister. We both love Free People, sushi, summertime, wine, gin & tonics, mexican food, and being silly. I literally have the best time every time I'm with her, and I couldn't have asked for a better sister! I love our FaceTime chats, that usually last forever because neither of us want to say goodbye. It's hard that she's lived in Orange County since she graduated high school because she is my bff, but I know she loves it down there and I cherish the times I do get to spend with her. I adore her spirit, her strength, and her character; she's basically the best :)
Stacie aka Scandalous Stacie or Stay-Z: Senior year of high school Julia and I had a TA period right before lunch, and a lot of days there wasn't anything to do so we went to the library to "work on homework". There we met Stacie and Morgan, who were doing something similar. Soon after graduation I stayed for community college and Stacie went to ASU. I luckily got to visit her while she was there and it was a trip to remember :) Fast forward to now and we are both back living in the Bay Area and took a trip to Maui together 2 years ago! I'm thankful that she's Sawyer's aunt, for her shared love of bumping rap music in the car, and for all the pranks we have and will pull on our bff Chris Ho!
Alana: Right after high school I went to community college at Las Positas in Livermore for 2 years. One semester in an English class I spotted this girl across the room that was so pretty and had the friendliest smile. I decided I needed to be friends with her ;) And this girl was Alana! Since that class we've been really close, even when she went off to culinary school in SF and I moved down to SLO. But that didn't stop us from staying friends! We visited her for Halloween one year which was a party I'll never forget haha. Most recently we all went to Kauai together, I photographed their engagement session there, and in September I get to be a bridesmaid and her wedding photographer! This girl is always smiling and laughing, and I couldn't be happier to watch her marry Andy in just a few months!!
Kelly: I actually met Kelly in the same English class at Las Positas that I met Alana in. Kelly knew my friend Ian who was also in that class, she sat next to him, and they sat behind me. We got to talking and realized how much we had in common. We did lose touch a bit when I moved away, but of course kept up with each others lives thanks to social media. A few summers ago we came back to the Bay Area for Adam's internship, and Kelly and I reconnected like no time had passed! She loves clothes and food just as much as I do, I mean what more could I ask for in a friend :) Last year I was a bridesmaid in her wedding and her wedding photographer too! We have a lot of similar dreams and goals, and I can't wait to see where her life takes her!
Alexa: I went to high school with her and her now husband (she's 2 years younger though so we didn't really cross paths). Shortly after graduation, back when I wanted to be a fashion photographer, I took Alexa to the fair and we did a fun shoot. We still didn't become friends somehow, and it wasn't until her and her husband were models for a backyard party shoot that I did, that we reconnected. We then did a shoot for Three Bird Nest together, and she was engaged and looking for her wedding photographer. She hired me, and June of 2014 when we moved back for another summer, we met up. We got boba and she paid me my final payment for her wedding, and we've been bffs since. Like we literally text almost everyday! haha. We love all the same things and are always laughing when we are together. She gets me, and I'm thankful for a friendship that turned from nothing to something so quickly! And we became friends in time to make it to each others weddings :) I now photograph her almost every week for Three Bird Nest.
Jess: This is another one of those missed connection friendships like Alexa, like how did we not become friends sooner?! So Jess and her now fiance Nick, as well as Adam and I, all went to Cal Poly in SLO. Adam and Nick were both in construction management so they had a class or two together. They talked in their classes, but never became friends outside of that. After college we moved back to the Bay Area, and Nick and Jess moved up this way too. We had no idea though until we randomly ran into Nick at Safeway near our house in November 2015. It was perfect timing because Adam had been looking for a new job closer to Livermore and Nick's company was hiring. Talk about meant to be!! The 4 of double dated a few times, and within a few short months we were hanging out all the time and they bought a house just a few minutes from ours. It's another one of those friendships that one day we weren't friends, and basically the next day we were bffs. They took us camping last year at her parents property that is really special to them, and it was our first trip together. Then in November they came to Kauai with us, we did their engagement session there, and I get to be a bridesmaid and photographer at their wedding this October :) I turned Jess onto Show Me Your Mumu, Joybird, Plato's Closet, and now she's addicted like I am haha! I love how easy she is to talk to, and it's a friendship that I cherish a lot! PS. It's crazy how much Nick and Adam have in common, like they were FOR SURE meant to be bffs haha.
And lucky me, I've shot/will be shooting these 5 bff's weddings (below) as of 2017 :)