KAABOO, 1 Camel, 2 Girls and 3 Alpacas

This weekend San Diego welcomes KAABOO, an annual three-day event created by music lovers for music lovers. Located at the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds event combines a fantastic lineup of music, comedy and food choices that will entice all of your senses and allow you to enjoy a relaxing day or three filled with dining and entertainment adventures. 

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In anticipation of the event, my friend Shannon Henry and I talked about what people would be wearing. That conversation led to a discussion about how cool it would be to create images for our blogs that would highlight KAABOO as we are both huge fans of the event. Although Shannon's vision drifted towards more of a "burning man" theme and my vision towards the "Coachella" vibe, we both agreed a camel would be a fun addition to the shoot. While looking for the wardrobe for the shoot, I discovered a beautiful line of dresses and fell in love.

Shannon Henry Alpaca Shoot Solo

Shahida Parides is a company started by Shahida Clayton. Parides translates to the "World of Fairies." Thier mission statement reads as follows: "We celebrate women as the modern day fairies. In women, we see the embodiment of beauty, power, fearlessness, and strength. Fly in our world and watch your imagination soar." I contacted the company and was so pleased that they agreed to collaborate. They chose this beautiful python print Maxi Dress that I wore off the shoulder. However, this piece can be worn three different ways. If you look closely at the silk, viscose, fabric, you will see the Swarovski embellishments.

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Both Shannon and I have had extraordinary busy summers, so we did not have much time to coordinate the details or plan and agree on the wardrobe before the shoot. Also, the owners of the Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona and I kept missing each other. So as the date of the photoshoot approached, I was not at all prepared.

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When I wasn't able to schedule a Camel, I search for another option. I came across the Hazard Alpacas website and contacted Patti Hazard who was very open to the idea of us taking photos of and with her animals. Although most of the herd she owns lives on another ranch, she was keeping three pregnant female alpacas on the property behind her home. I'd never met an alpaca before, and it was such an experience to interact with them. They are so sweet and gentle; I would highly recommend visiting the website and meeting these unique animals during one of the ranch events. 

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My favorite alpaca was Masquerade. It is easy to look at her markings to tell how she got her name. The moment I met Masquerade I noticed her sweet temperament. All three "mamas to be" were very uncomfortable around the time of the shoot as their period of gestation can range from 315-370 days, and they were all ready to deliver. I have been pregnant three times and cannot imagine being pregnant for a year give or take. We were lucky that Masquerade was in the mood to pose for us. 

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The day before the photo shoot, the make-up artist who was also the hair stylist for the shoot canceled due to a work commitment. So I scrambled to find someone to help. 

I approached one of local Solana Beach Salons called Salon Mirror Mirror and Dawn the owner was so sweet to offer her help. She scheduled me with Theresa, one of her senior stylists. As you can see, Theresa did an amazing job to help pull the tribal look together.

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Shannon introduced me to Anya Baker of Anya Baker Visage at the La Jolla Film Festival recently, so I reached out to her and asked if she was available to help. Anya is a very talented make-up artist and is very busy. She was available the following day, but she was only available the morning of the shoot before she needed to go to work. I met her at her home, and she created this dramatic look. I was thrilled. 

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Once we applied my eyelashes, however, we realized something was wrong. It turns out I had an allergic reaction to the black tinted eyelash glue. My eyes kept watering. They were itchy and hot, and I was miserable for hours. I knew if I took off the lashes the allergic reaction would most likely subside, but I was determined to leave them on until the shoot. 

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As I post the final images, I laugh and am so pleased with the way they turned out as I am reminded again why I created this blog in the first place. 

Once again, Shannon and I worked together to complete another project. Because of all the unexpected and unplanned events leading up to the shoot, my working relationship, and friendship with Shannon had another chance to grow.

Also, had we not planned and followed through with this shoot, I would have never met Patti and her lovely Alpacas. If my original make-up artist had not canceled, then I would not have met and had the opportunity to work with Anya or Theresa. 

So the reminder here is that with projects big or small, however important or unimportant, sometimes deviating from the plan can allow some very precious gifts to cross your path.