The MalleyCats


(2011) In which we have our pictures taken

ou've probably heard of Blue Lily. Wendy and Tyler are super rock-star photographers that travel the world taking pictures. And they are good. Like, really good. We've been following their blog for awhile and have been fans from far-away, so when we saw they were coming to Chicago and had openings, Seth and I decided to jump at the chance to have our family photos taken by them. The location was the Indiana Dunes, which is a beach at Lake Michigan about an hour and a half from our house. Since our shoot was scheduled for the morning we decided to go down the night before, stay in a hotel nearby and then spend the day at the beach following our photo shoot.

The morning of the pictures the forecast said it would rain. We didn't think too much of it at first, because the forecast always says chance of rain in the summer....but as we drove to the beach it was like driving into a black hole. The rain started coming down in sheets, followed by lots of thunder and lightning. We quickly made a plan with Wendy to wait it out for awhile and see if it blew over. And within an hour or so, it cleared up enough for us to take pictures. It did start raining one other time while we were taking pictures which was bad news for my hair, but not for anything else.

While we fully expected Wendy and Tyler to be great photographers, what we didn't expect was for them to turn out to be so great in every other way. We immediately clicked, and we had such fun taking pictures and talking. It was like getting together with old friends. At the end of our photo shoot we walked back to the cars and said our goodbyes. They were headed to Skokie, Il, and we were getting our gear for the beach. We lamented the fact that we lived so far away from each other and said we hoped to see each other again.

After they left we hung out at the beach and enjoyed a perfect day. Around 5 pm we left the beach for the drive home, and about 20 minutes into the drive I got a call from Wendy who sounded a little frantic, asking: "Are you still at the beach?" "No" I answered, "We just left". "I have a huge favor" she went on..."I left my camera bag with all my equipment and memory cards in it somewhere at the park after the last shoot we had." "Oh no..." I responded, "Don't worry, we will go back and look for it". She told us the approximate location where she though it might be, and we turned around and headed back to the dunes. To make a really long story short(er): the rangers found the bag! When we arrived back at the park and asked about the bag, the ranger who found it said that when he came across the bag and it's thousands of dollars worth of camera gear in it, he immediately started looking for a body lying in the woods somewhere since surely no one would forget such a thing. The logical answer is that the owner must be laying injured nearby. Or dead. The only person more relieved than the ranger was Wendy, who had been having a total panic attack for the last hour since realizing the bag was left behind. The best part of the whole ordeal was the fact that Wendy and Tyler had to drive to our house in Shorewood to get the bag, which turned into an all-night chat fest on our couch. They brought treats and we gave them salad with bacon on it. Which was unfortunate mainly because they are vegetarians. But amidst the bacon-laden salad and peanut butter whoopie pies, a friendship was born. We laughed and talked for hours until sadly it was realized they needed to go.

So when I look at the pictures they took that day, it is filled with memories of a crazy storm, a fun day at the beach, and the grand adventure of retrieving the bag and making new friends that we'll have forever.

Seth Malley