Interesting Andi fact, I once spent part of a summer living in a 1966 Volkswagen Bus. I was on summer break from Ohio University and worked for one of my besties Denise doing hair wraps on Hilton Head Island. I stayed between Savannah and Hilton Head Island in a little town called Bluffton, SC. It was an adorable campground with the most beautiful roaming peacocks and a ton of pecan trees. More about the peacocks later.
I had been happily occupying a tent for about three weeks when Das Bus (pronounced Dahs Boose) became available. I was grateful to move into more luxurious digs. Living in Das Bus definitely had it’s advantages over a tent – doors that locked, no rain leaking in, a solid floor and a comfy bed. I can still smell that distinctive scent of old Volkswagen mixed with “incense”. It felt safe and it was always warm from having been parked in the sun all day. Surprisingly, there were a few disadvantages too.
Example: In addition to being my boudoir, Das Bus was also a primary source of transportation for my employer’s husband. To paint a clearer picture, he was a passive-aggressive, feminist fearing, bearded hippie. This particular hippie had little regard for my bedtime. I would meander about with no particular place to be until he would eventually show up. Once he would finally return to the campground with my bedroom, I would gratefully slip inside. I instantly felt cozy and secure in my little tin can oasis where I would read or journal. I would drift off into a blissful slumber and only occasionally be jolted awake by the screams of the peacocks. Like I said, it was mixed bag.
Having briefly lived in a Das Bus has done a few things for me. First and foremost, hippie street cred. I never went on tour, but I did live in a Bus. Second, I notice when a Bus has a split windshield. Split windshields means it was built before 1967. Lastly, I feel nostalgic and inspired to do a Volkswagen Bus shoot at some point. It is the first portrait session to make my bucket list.
Volkswagen Buses are hard to come by. Buses that run and are in good shape are even harder to come by…but I might have a lead on one. And my bucket list session might be happening!
I picture a relaxed family portrait session, or a fun senior portrait session with lots of bright and colors and laughter using the Bus interiors and exteriors as atmosphere. I imagine a family snuggled in the bed, reading, telling stories and rough housing. For seniors I could see someone curled up with a pile of books or a journal and a guitar with fun boho inspired hair and make-up.
What would you do with images from a shoot like this? Well anything you wanted of course! Amazing holiday cards with the words Peace maybe? I think it would fun to decorate a family room with gallery wraps from a bus session. I picture lots of bright large canvas gallery wraps grouped together or a custom designed album to commemorate the experience.
Are you a family that loves to travel of just has a thing for all things 60’s? Do you love being cozy together and feel inspired by the iconic feel and hippie values that a Volkswagen Bus shoot would vibe? Let me know and if this session happens I will give you first dibs on a spot.
I have been inspired by a couple of my favorite photographers that have already done a Bus shoot, Tara Whitney and Barb Uil. Check them out for some amazing inspiration if you are a photographer! You will see their work on this mood board I put together on Pinterest!
Roberts Family Photography has the skills and the resources to pull off customized portrait sessions from simple to the most epic! What is your bucket list portrait session? I want to hear about it! I may be interested in shooting it.
Andi Roberts is the director of Silliness and Sunshine at Roberts Family Photography and Hot Tomato Pin-Up Academy. Andi splits her time between Marietta, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan.