My Photographed Phenomenon In New York City

May 27th 2015

Story originally written and experienced: April 18th 2015

“We’ve completely stopped doing it.”

I can’t remember who said it.

But it was said somewhere.

By someone I like.

That our friends had completely stopped taking pictures together. And according to social media.

We hadn’t hung out since 2012.

Spiderman said it best.

Real talk brought to you by Spiderman.


Here’s the thing.

Documentation isn’t necessary.

I know that. And they do too.


The idea is nice.

It’s the theoretical reason cameras were invented in the first place.

To capture pausings than can live beyond >> the time restraint of an original moment.

Something sentimental to look at.           Later.

Because sometimes.                     Distant memories don’t always feel like enough.


I thought about this.

And I thought about it a lot.

And then my unplanned 26th birthday party made a cameo on my calendar.

And I thought.


Just maybe.

I could plan something potentially great.

Only because.

I have a track record of doing it anyway.

I only wanted 2 things this year.

1. New photos for this wacky website           2. To hang out with my best damn friends

So I thought.

What if.

I could have them both.

At the exact same time?


Mind currently being blown.





I had to call her.

She was the perfect person for the job.


A current success-story photographer in D.C. who, at the age of 19, started a magazine with 19 year old me, on our college campus with a handful of other phenoms in 2008.

I was the head writer. And she manhandled all the photography.

olive the people and kelci alane photography

Recognize. (literally)



And 7 years later, we were in separate cities on diligent dreaming endeavors and achieving them one blog story and photo shoot at a time.

I had to call her.

“Kelci. Do you remember back in December when you were in New York and we went to the Jimmy Fallon show together, and while we were waiting in line you were talking about doing a joint collaboration?”

“Of course!”

“Okay cool. I thought of an idea. And I think I know what I want to do.”

“Tell me everything.”

So I did.

Told her I wanted a brand new look for my site. A revamp of the old. But an element of the new.

But also.

I wanted my friends to have every part of it. Because we never take pictures together anymore. And I wanted to capture real moments, some candid, some posed, but all great. Because I wanted us have them. And also because. They’ve been on this journey with me since the very beginning. And the website isn’t called Olive. It’s called Olive the people.

And there’s a damn good reason for that.


I booked a bus to transport her from Washington D.C >>>> to New York City on the weekend of April 18th, 2015.

Sent out an email to my friends that looked like this:

HELLOOOOOOO party people,
The rumors are true. Age 26 does INDEED come after 25 and I’m ready to goddamn celebrate this with the best people I know. That being said, in classic Olive fashion, this won’t be your standard run-of-the-mill birthday party (see: party bus, ninja castle and Williamsburg pub crawl extravaganza)
SO. Here’s what you need ta know:
Who: YOU! (and me)
What: I’m hosting a giant ass photo shoot and I want all of your faces to be a part of it. A photographer has been hired. Locations have been selected. Props, costumes, merchandise and booze are being ordered. Everything is free.
Why: I was thinking about it a lot and what I really want for my birthday is:
1. Refresh my assets for my Olive The People Blog. 
2. Have my best friends join me.
3. Make lifelong fucking memories and have footage to go along with it. Thing is, a lot of us are moving away, won’t be here for long and care about each other a whole hell of a lot and I’d love for all of us to get some quirky and ridiculous group pics you can keep forevs. Endless Instagram, prof pic and framed pic material to remember this epic time in our lives by. YA DIG?!
When: Saturday, April 18th. 
Where: The photo shoot will be broken down into 3 parts and anyone is welcome to join any and all of it. 
Location 1: 12 PM at Olive’s Apartment! Boozy brunch will be provided!!
Location 2: Playing around New York City —subways, high line, times square, pizza shops
Location 3: Evening bar party. I’m going to rent out a room at a fun and casual bar to get some candid party pics. Really for this one all you have to do is show up. 
^ Please know that this whole shebang will basically just be us doing ridiculous shit together with a profesh and fun friend who will be capturing all the madness. Much drinking will be had. I promise. Invite whoever you want! The more people, the merrier.
Love you all,

Mocked up a stellar storyboard/call sheet that looked like this:

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 12.09.24 PM

And then the day arrived.

And each part. As it turns, out. Fulfilled. And even exceeded. The original plan.

And what I mean is this.

Part: 1

April 18th, 2015

12 P.M

New York City, East Village

Olive’s Apartment

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 12.17.19 PM

The outcome:


Nobody puts Olive in a corner…except Kelci.


Boozy breakfast.

Breakfast with the best.



Just add scandal.


"Where do you normally write?" "In my bed actually." "Okay let's get a shot of you there."

“Where do you normally write?”
“In my bed actually.”
“Okay let’s get a shot of you there.”





Meet Daisy: The neighbors pup borrowed for "National Puppy Day" shots and for just a straight dose of cute to the shoot.

Meet Daisy: The neighbors precious pup borrowed for “National Puppy Day” shots…and also for a straight dose of cute to the shoot.


Marvelous new merch.

Marvelous new merch. (Designed by the one and only Penny Erikson)


Side bar conversations. (Candidly telling her about my roommates surprise proposal if you want to know)

Side bar conversations. (Candidly filling in Nicole Detamble about my roommate’s surprise proposal if you were curious to know)


Galentines galore.

Galentines galore.


Natural reactions.

Natural reactions.


Levels of love. (Relationship shots series will be a common theme throughout the shoot)

…Better together? (Disclaimer: Relationship shots were a common theme throughout the shoot. Why the hell not.)


Caught in the middle.

Caught in the middle.


Part: 2

April 18th, 2015

3:30 P.M – 7:30 P.M

New York City, (Union Square, Times Square, Hell’s Kitchen, The Chelsea High Line)

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 12.17.25 PM

The outcome:

Hauling ass with my crew.

Hauling ass.


Doing the walk and talk in between shoot locations.

Doing the walk and talk in between shoot locations.


A black and white approach.

A black and white approach.


Tasty touch bases in the park.

Tasty touch bases in the park.


Going down.

Going down.


“I want to take a picture of you writing anywhere and everywhere. Because that’s what you do—Take fast-paced moments, episodes and details…and never forget them.”


Up to speed.

Up to speed.


I need to sit down for this.

I need to sit down for this.


The classic Times Square Elmo/Cookie Monster/ Guy in Plaid picture crash.

The classic Times Square Elmo/Cookie Monster/Guy in Plaid – picture crash.


New York, you're an outrageously wild place. But, I'm bound and determined to remember everything about you.

New York, you’re an outrageously wild place, but I’m bound and determined to remember everything about you.


I see what you did there.

I see what you did there.


"Look, we showed up on the jumbo screen!" - Krissy

“Look! We showed up on the jumbo screen!” – Krissy





“Who’s hungry?” said everyone.

“Perfect. Because we need pizza shots anyway,” said Kelci.

Your wish is our command.

Your wish is our command.


In case you're wondering what happiness looks like.

In case you’re wondering what happiness looks like.


To the face.

To the face.


“Alright guys, the sun is setting. Let’s head to the High line to get our final day shots.”







These two are going places.

These two…they’re going places.


Love these 2 hoodrats.

He’s got her back.



Good evening, New York.

Good evening, New York.


And alas.

As we headed back to my place to do our final prep and rally for the last location/legitimate birthday party. Kelci told me to turn around as we were walking down the staircase. She had an impromptu idea…and she wanted to see if it would work.




Part: 3

April 18th, 2015

9:30 P.M

New York City, The Roost

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 12.17.32 PM

The outcome:

The time the Magic Mike showed up to surprise me.

The time Mike the magician showed up to surprise me.


"Now you see it."

Manhandling the masses via magic.


Celebratory pizzas with jelly bean captions. Compliments of Asian Amy.

Celebratory pizzas with jelly bean captions. Compliments of Asian Amy.


Didn't last long...

Slice of the party.


I don't know who ate it.

Don’t know who ate it all…


A friendly embrace: hugging the first club promotor I met in New York City turned legitimate friend, even 4 years later. Pumped you came Ecko!

A friendly embrace: Hugging the first club promotor I met in New York City that turned into a legitimate friend, even 4 years later. Pumped you came Ekow!


...Isn't she lovely?

…Isn’t she lovely?


Waiting to see if my joke worked. #itworked

Waiting to see if my joke worked. #itworked #highhopes


Hanging out with people I look up to.

Hanging out with people I look up to.


Shameless merch shot.

Shameless new merch shot.


Find the wine.

Glass half full.


They always see things the same way.

They always see things the same way.


I joke, I joke. I kid, I kid.

Saying something irresistibly charming and booze-induced, I’m sure.


Pure (prosecco-filled) bliss.

Pure (prosecco-filled) bliss.


Olive & her people.

Olive & her people.


And that’s a wrap.

Parts 1, 2 and 3 were a photographic phenomenon.

And I had the best people.

And the best pictures.

To prove it.

See the rest of the photos here!

And yes, I’m keeping some of them a secret.


Let’s just say I’ve got some wild things in the works.

And this just a sneak peek.

P.S. Thank you to everyone who came out, supported and made this the best damn day a batshit blogger could ask for, capture or have proof that I was a part of.

Kelci, Nicole Detamble, Harvey, B, Krissy, Katie, Alex E., Leah, Suley, Lexi, Alex S., Kate, Andy, Penny, Sir Kyle, Alex B., Alexis, Joe E. , Annie, Ekow, Magic Mike, Asian Amy, Phil Amelie and Will.


You guys rock.