Beauty on The Beach-LaRae Lobdell

January has proven to be my favorite of the year already...okay okay, so it hasn't had much competition yet but I have already found myself in Miami with my darling friend Lucy to photograph a beautiful soul who was in need of a little pep talking and some severe girly time, Larae. 

strength by the lighthouse in pink

We have been planning this trip since last year and we already had her shoot figured out (mentally) immediately. Of course we didn't really put things together until a week an half before we got in the car and headed further south. Lucy had a ton of fun with metallic gold spray paint and hand made the most amazing accessories for the dress which was left in my hands this time. Grabbing from Lucy's collection of corsets we planned two outfits and even included a piece that one of our Tampa Shutter Sisters, Jennifer, made to go with one of the looks. 

We thought pink and gold all day and couldn't wait to surprise LaRae with what we created, but first.....we had to survive the Quality Inn while we waited for sleeping beauty to awake. See not only did we create something for this, LaRae had been busy too. Gluing rhinestones to her walker, something like 4,400 of them! Wait, walker? Yes, a walker. See, LaRae has a bit of a story to share. 

A lot of you reading this will recognize the PhotoSister from places like her former post as CreativeLIVE host, and among her various projects with the theater community in Seattle-which were absolutely amazing by the way (you want to really be impressed? check out her Bio here on her site and see some of her incredible work) What a lot of you may not know is that she moved to Miami with her Fiancee to start a new chapter in her life (and ya know, fish,) but she was forced into a bit of a break. Literally. 

For her birthday last October, she and Jon went out and had dinner saw the sunset and were cruising home and as they came around a turn, one of the tires burst and they went into a tree. LaRae braced herself for impact instinctively and....she broke a whole lot of "stuff"-multiple fractures in her right pelvis and it landed her with a decent stay in her local hospital and unable to walk. It had her out of commission since. From that day of finding herself suddenly unable to move her legs, she has come so far. She is now walking with a cane and a walker and making progress towards a full recovery without surgery. While super painful, and super hard emotionally on anyone going through something like this, it has been extremely difficult as Miami is still quite new to her, so it can be a bit lonely. She doesn't let it get her down though. Her soul shines brightly as ever and it has reintroduced her to time. How slowly it can move, or how fast it can speed by and how to simply "let go" of certain things-like dishes (woohoo!) It has taught her a lot about herself and she doesn't realize it yet, but she is growing so much stronger and even more beautiful of a person from this experience. Having your legs taken from you only to "earn" them back so to speak, I am positive is quite a journey that isn't easy to partake. In the end though, she will walk tall again and continue on her path of amazing-she just will remember to stop and smell the flowers and enjoy the view a bit more often now. My dear LaRae-this is but a bump in the road. Much love girl <3 

Lucy and I packed into the car on January 9th, grabbed our starbucks and turned up the music. I serenaded her and cars we passed by for 4 hours. Literally. Poor Lucy. Upon arriving at the Quality Inn in Miami...we discovered quickly that it lacked the quality its name suggests, but had fun regardless, because that is what we do.  While we waited for LaRae to wake from her own bedazzled sleep, Lucy enjoyed quiet time while I doodled in photoshop. Basically we were a bunch of  party animals as per usual. 

beauty on the beach sitting

We took a beautiful scenic route to dinner at an outdoor garden place and had a lot of fun chatting long past paying our bill. That night we stayed up to discover if we wont he big powerball, which i discovered that I did...win $4-so basically the jackpot. 

Sunday was a hustle and bustle of make up and hair, seashells and sand, brought to you by the color pink. LaRae rocked her outfits and accessories like the star she is and had plenty of admirers snapping cellphone shots of her. I only had to pull out "mama bear" mode when someone whipped out their dslr and tried to get in on the shoot. I stood right in his way and made him pull his eye away from the camera to look up and then said NO! and when he stared at me blankly i proceeded with professional jargon, model releases and to basically go away. It was pretty funny if you weren't him. Client or friend, I protect them as much as I can, ya know.  Pizza, hugs and promises of a girls weekend in the future along with some traffic and Lucy and I were on our way home-without music this time, at all. 

Since you have enjoyed our 'little' adventure to Miami, enjoy the ridiculous beauty of Miss LaRae, that I deemed, "Beauty on The Beach".  *click that link for pictures!!* 

The Team

Looking back at this wonderful shoot, I realized that we didn't document the actual journey and in between moments-what kind of photographers are we?! Until the next time! Hope you enjoy the images folks, thanks for stopping by.  
Show LaRae some love and send her words of encouragement in the comments section below.