You never can forget the people you were close to in high school. Even though you aren’t with them anymore, you always have flashbacks to moments you had with your ragtag group of friends- and mine was one of the most ragtag group of them all. We weren’t the popular kids, but we weren’t necessarily the least popular (although, I’m not certain that’s true). Our group was the group that hung out in the front of the school after the last bell had rung, where some of us talked about anime, some of us talked about music, and all of us loved Tim Burton. That is, until I met the Wests.
The West family began coming into Saint Johns High School my sophomore year, beginning with Sara. She and I connected like Will and Grace. We even formed a Will and Grace-esque relationship with four people. Our friend Kat was Karen, Jake was Will, I was Jack, and Sara was Grace. This, along with a deep fondness for the movie, “Rent”, deepened our friendship to the point to where I would frequently visit their home, where I met the rest of their family- Joe, Zaccary, and Brittani. Joe is their father, Brittany and Zaccary were both younger siblings.
Brittani followed in her bigger sister, Amber’s, footsteps and joined choir and was an avid reader. They were almost the spitting image of one another, and looked way more like their mother than they did their father, which could have attributed to them moving out to California with her later after they both graduated. While in California, the West family faced a sudden, deeply sad tragedy- the death of their brother, Zaccary, in a terrible car accident in Michigan.
After a few years in California, Brittani and her boyfriend moved out to Michigan. Personally, I don’t really know why exactly, but it’s none of my business if I’m being honest. A few months after moving here, I was asked to take couple’s portraits of the two of them. My favorite shoots to do, after all, are ones that I do of couples.
We met in Owosso, Michigan, a town just a hair more populated than our hometown of Saint Johns, in front of Kroger. As we (Jaime and I) pulled up, we noticed that we weren’t in Lansing anymore. A lot of the cars were proudly showcasing their confederate flag bumper stickers alongside their “Trump 16” ones. I needed this shoot to begin.
Once the shoot began, the nerves were gone. I was hurled back to when Brittani, her siblings, and I would hang out and talk, laugh, and allow her to swear because her father couldn’t hear her. It was nice to capture her as an adult, and with a boyfriend (who was not bad looking, if I might say) who seemed to have a good head on his shoulders.
Owosso has a bad rep about it, but it does have good spots for photographs. There’s the armory, using old brick and black iron, the Curwood Castle with it’s old-style door and windows, and there’s even a cool spot under the bridge to take photos as well. There are probably more locations in Owosso to get photos taken, but I just haven’t discovered them yet. Maybe that’s something I should do sometime- drive around and try to discover new spots for photos.