Happy New Year, friends! 2016 has definitely been a year that will go down in history in many ways. While so many amazing things happened over the past 365 days (getting married was definitely a huge highlight!), I am looking forward to the start of a brand new year.
Okay. I want to tell you a little story behind this blog shoot. Friends, I am thrilled to introduce you to the featured photographer behind these fantastic images, Julia O Test. However, before I start gushing too much, let me back up a touch and tell you how Julia and I met in the most amazing way.
If you follow me on Instagram (@wannabefashionblogger), you obviously know how obsessed I am with Boba Guys, a local boba tea shop that makes the most incredible milk tea drinks (read more about their inspiring story here). Many of my friends have rolled their eyes and joked about how addicted I am to Strawberry Matcha Lattes and guess what? I don’t care! Bring on the eye rolls! Even though I am aware of Boba Guys’ popularity in SF (they literally have lines that wrap around city blocks before they open their doors for the day!), I thought I was destined to walk the sweet milk tea roads of boba passion on my own…until I met Julia.
Because Boba Guys are so awesome, they created fun gift card scavenger hunts for their loyal fans. Guys, I’m not going to lie. I was DETERMINED to win one. I stalked Boba Guys’ Instagram account everyday for new clues about where they were hiding the gift cards. I even had my mom try to win one for me at their secret location, which is located in the city where my parents live, but she was too late by only a couple of seconds. After that, I kind of gave up because I knew I was one of many BG fanatics that were trying to find one. However, on the first morning of my holiday vacation, I woke up and saw that they were giving away a $100 (!!!!) gift card and one of the founders, Bin, was stationed up at Twin Peaks, which is only a 7 minute drive from where I live in Noe Valley. I rolled over at 7:30 AM and whispered to Jonny, “I’m GOING FOR IT!” I drove up to Twin Peaks in my pajamas (I literally ran out the door!), and won! It was such an exciting moment and I honestly couldn’t believe that I had won something so special!
As I was processing all my excitement, someone approached Bin and I asking about whether or not I had grabbed the gift card because she was also looking for it. If you couldn’t already guess, that person was Julia! Much to both of our surprise, Bin pulled out another Boba Guys gift card for her, too! We were both jumping up and down while we congratulated each other on our precious winnings! We posed for pictures together (yes, all in my PJ’s, of course) and took pictures of the incredible view from Twin Peaks. We hung out for a couple of minutes and while Bin tagged us in a few Instagram posts, Julia and I hugged goodbye and wished each other well!
When I got home, I relived the moment by re-watching our videos from that morning. I saw that Bin had tagged Julia and I clicked on her handle so that I could tell her how great it was to meet another Boba Guys super fan under the best circumstances ever. When I clicked through to her IG account, I was immediately blown away by her stunning photos and quickly put together that she was a photographer based in SF! Julia’s darker aesthetic intrigued me and I loved her unique eye for creating one of a kind shots. Within a few minutes, I was obsessed with her work so much that I knew that I had to contact her to see if she would be interested in shooting fashion editorial content for my blog. To keep a long story (somewhat) short, she wrote me back and said that she would love to shoot!
We met again just a few days ago and you guys, we immediately became friends. To be honest, this type of connection does not come easily to me, especially when shooting with a photographer that I really admire because I am not natural in front of the camera. However, Julia made me feel amazing and she even challenged me to shoot most of our content WITHOUT my sunglasses (eek!). In between outfit changes, we chatted and got to know each other and learned that we have a lot in common beyond our Boba Guys obsession. Basically, we became instant besties and I knew it was the “real deal” when we both wanted to shoot inside a Boba Guys shop. I mean, how cool is that?! Julia is fearless when it comes to her art and I can’t help but be very inspired by her incredible energy.
I have a feeling that this friendship is going to take us both to inspirational and creative places in 2017. I feel so lucky to have met Julia through our mutual obsession with Boba Guys and to work with her in such a creative space. We are already planning some amazing content for 2017 so stay tuned for much more from this duo!
Here’s to 2017!