On July 13, 2015 (thanks Instagram for helping me find out the date) I met @alexandragarrett during an Instameet at Old Town Auburn which was hosted by @igerssac. I had been to meet ups in San Francisco prior to this, but this would be my first meet up with the Sacramento community. You may read check out the photographs that I took during the Old Town Auburn Instameet in my 3rd journal entry or you may search the hashtag #igerssac_oldauburn on Instagram to view photographs that everyone took on that day. There's even a group photo of all of us. Back to the story.
It was only for a brief moment that I met Alex (I call her Alex now) during the Instameet from almost a year ago, but somehow we managed to continue to follow each other on Instagram ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ It was not until I saw Alex post on her Instagram a photograph of my former roommate @thereallukes (Hi Luke if you're reading this) and a couple of photographs from a recent photo session she did, that I decided to get in touch with her about helping me out with some of my photography. To me, it's always inspiring and motivating to meet people whom have the same interests as me and push me to continue to learn and grow on this whole photography adventure. Alex was definitely one of those people.
[SIDE NOTE: Most recently this YouTube video of lifestyle photographer James Barkman's story has inspired me. The last 3.5 minutes basically describe me and where I want to be as a photographer]
Alex and I broke the ice quickly as we talked about how we knew Luke, locations, and of course modeling and photography. By the end of the conversation we had a date, time, and location set to collaborate with each other and shoot some portraits. The crazy part is that it turns out she has known Luke for most of her life! Small world right!? It gets better though because we would have not decided on this location if it was not for my other former San Francisco roommate @thesamgraves (Hi Sam if your reading this) posting about it. I asked Sam about it and he gave me some tips about the spot and where and when to go. Thanks Sam! Funny how I connected with with my former roommates through this whole mini adventure set up. Definitely miss those guys! If it was not for them, I would have probably never been to an Instameet and realized how big the Instagram community really is. I owe them for that! Alex told me the same thing and how Luke introduced her to her first Instameet. Again, small world. Speaking of meeting up, let's continue continue the story.
Alex is from the Sacramento area and I am from the Merced / Modesto area of California so we agreed to meet halfway at the Great Mall in Milpitas, CA and carpool the rest of the way to Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve in Redwood City, CA. After Alex was offered a job and I saw a bunch of food and dishes fall inside the mall that created an unnecessary scene for everyone, we finally reintroduced ourself to each other. Alex volunteered to drive her new Prius a.k.a Truman the rest of the way to Russian Ridge. I was having a difficult time remembering the cars name, but I remembered the car's name this time Alex! :) Truman was a trooper and we got to our location safe and sound. Thanks Truman! Thanks Alex! Thanks Parm..oh wait.
Once we began hiking the trail we were stuck between a decision because the trail split in half at the very beginning and I was trying to recall what Sam had told me. All I remember him saying was that the spot he went to was not far away from the parking lot, but never specified which trail to take, so Alex and I winged it. Unfortunately we had no cell phone service either.
Once we began hiking it seemed like we were walking forever, well, we were. We didn't mind it though because both Alex and I had the opportunity to get to know each other a little better. Turns out we had a lot more in common than I had expected. It's true what they say, expect the unexpected. We talked about how we both enjoy traveling, about a bunch of different Instagrammers such as @kodiakstag and @andrewtkearns. In case you are wondering what motivates / inspires me, right now, it is definitely Andrew T. Kearns and his vlogs and photography. Extremely inspirational! As we hiked the trails we stopped every now and then to catch our breath and take photos. I think this is the part where I should state we did not have any beverages or water with us. The hiking was not bad though, but I highly recommend you take water if you plan on going to Russian Ridge because you might end up taking the long route like we did. Hey! It was our first time out there and we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Let me just say, if I had to do this all over again with no water, I totally would because everything about this was all worth it! As Alex stated in my Snapchat (username: paarrmm), "This was probably a 9.5, it's pretty high up there." She was answering my question to how cool the experience was on a scale from 1-10. 9.5/10 everyone! 9.5!