This week I went on a road trip to Massachusetts to photograph my friends who live just outside of Boston. I'm very accustomed to road trips, so the seven hour drive went by incredibly quickly. And it felt even quicker thanks to an unexpected visit from an old friend.
Crystal and I met as performers on a cruise ship back when I was still a professional dancer. We hadn't seen each other in close to a year, which is not uncommon when the co-workers you become friends with are from all over the world. But as it so happened, on the very day that I was driving to MA, Crystal was doing a singing gig in NJ. As soon as I found this out, we arranged for an impromptu Panera meeting...and of course, photo shoot.
When you first meet Crystal, all you can see is her stunning physical beauty. Her fair skin, arched eyebrows and high cheekbones are always accessorized with a pair of designer sunglasses and expensive handbag. She quite literally, at all times, looks like she just stepped out of a fashion magazine. But that outer beauty is just where it starts.
Crystal used to work for Walt Disney World as several of the Disney princesses, most commonly as Snow White. And incidentally, her spirit is just as gentle and kind as Miss White. Well. With a little Puerto Rican/Italian flavor sprinkled in to keep things interesting!
When Crystal and I first met, I was very intimidated by her very glamorous looks, but quickly learned to not judge a book by its cover. And speaking of books, we ended up starting a book club out in the middle of the Mediterranean. Crystal and I were born one day apart and love the exact same kind of self-help/New Age kind of books. The two of us, along with another amazing friend, would meet every single day to both read and discuss our latest book. It became incredibly therapeutic for me, as many months away from home can make anybody feel lost inside. I would say that meeting Crystal and starting our book club truly helped me find myself.
Crystal is an amazing (and legit) singer and actress. You shouldn't be surprised if you find her on your television screen or on a Broadway stage sometime soon. She is truly and incredibly talented.
Upon my arrival to NJ, we did nothing but hug each other tightly. Neither one of us knew when we'd see the other again, so to be face to face so soon felt AMAZING. We then drove to Panera, as planned and caught each other up on life. Crystal had a very short break after the contract we had done together, so while I've been here getting my photography business underway, she had done a whole different contract with a whole different itinerary! Crystal adores traveling and is currently starting her new business as a travel and beauty blogger. Her brand is Globetrotting Glamour and you can find her on YouTube here:
As we gabbed and gabbed, time started getting away from us. I looked outside the window over Crystal's shoulder and said, "oh shit...the sun is going down!!!!! We need to hurry if we are going to get photos done!!!!" We didn't know what kind of photos we were going to do, but I wanted to try out my new lens and I always love adding to my portfolio. And add I did!!!!
I wasn't sure if I would try to capture some work headshots to help her book that Broadway show or if we would just play around and do silly things. I guess we did a bit of both! Crystal is also a very natural model (it's WAY harder than it looks, both to do and to direct), so almost every photo I took made me excited! By the end we were cracking up and searching "model poses" on Pinterest and trying to recreate them. Here is one that made us laugh pretty hard, although she STILL looks fabulous:
As the sun started to set, we did a few more shots of her running towards me, just for variety.
I whipped out my phone, realizing it was time to get back on the road to MA. I snapped the final image of our impromptu photo shoot and reunion, sad that it was ending but incredibly elated that I had been given the unexpected gift of seeing her.
As we hugged goodbye, I held her tightly. Determined not to cry (as I had upon our last goodbye), I simply smiled and told her what my grandmother always said: "until we meet again." Spending the afternoon with her literally rejuvenated my soul and gave me the energy I needed to finish my road trip, alert and revitalized. And that is what she does. She spreads light all around the world. If you check out her YouTube channel, or ever have the opportunity to meet her in person, you will understand why her name is Crystal...
...because she truly is a gem.