First thing I noticed as soon as I woke up is that it was still raining, hard. The goal for today is to shoot Austin & Julian working out together somewhere in the city but with it pouring out, our options are very limited. It’s got me a bit bummed however first things first, food. Today’s morning mission was to grab breakfast at the traditional coffee shop known all too well in New Orleans, Cafe du Monde.
This place is known for one thing and one thing only, their Beignets. It’s a fried piece of dough covered with powered sugar. One order comes with 3; we get two orders. I’m not one for sweets first thing in the morning but in this case I was willing to give it a go. Accompanied with some coffee and orange juice we take in the ambiance which is filled with the sounds of trumpets playing, coffee mugs clinging together and chatter from tourists and locals.
After we finished breakfast, Marco and I wander around the French Quarter while we wait for Austin to come around to pick us up. We eventually find our way into an antique gun & sword store, which I simply could not resist. There was a ton of incredible collectibles here like antique coins, money, maps, miniatures, guns and swords. Most of the weapons they had were from the Civil and Mexican-American War.
After we leave the antique shop, we get a heads up from Austin and meet with him and Julian shortly thereafter. The weather is still unfavorable but they know of a location right by the water that’s outdoors but has an exoskeleton of a warehouse that can provide cover for us all to still be able to work.
We arrive at Crescent Park; although the day was gloomy and raining, it fit the industrial look of the building surrounding us. I wasn’t in any position to be picky about where we shot; this is what we’ve got available to us and if they can make it work for themselves, I can do the same.
It was at this point where I just took a step back and observed Austin and Julian do their thing. Watching them coordinate moves together, encourage each other and offer constructive criticism is something you rarely witness with couples, let alone people who work together. Having worked with them before, there was really no need to ask them to do anything specific since what I needed to capture was simply them doing what they normally do together. I wanted to be as unobstructive as possible.
After shooting for a few hours, we threw ideas around on where else we could go to shoot but the weather still wasn’t playing nice, so we settled on going back to their apartment. I needed a bit more interaction of them together so I ended up shooting their “routine” warm-ups and stretches which ended up being a fantastic time for all of us. As I snagged some shots, we all conversed about growing up, life, the places we’re from and what matters most in this world. It’s conversations like these that really allow you to truly get to know someone and what they stand for.
After hanging out and working together all day, the time came for us to depart. I’ve continuously been inspired on this trip by people whom I’ve never met before and although Austin & Julian had already done that when I first met them, they inspired me yet again. They gave us their trust and showed Marco and I a true taste of family, friendship and trust. I can’t thank them enough for that and I can only hope that what I put together for them will mean as much to them as it did to me.