It is absurdly important for me to always do photo shoot projects for myself on the side. The moment the passion to create outside what I'm being paid to create goes away, I'm in big trouble as an artist.
What's ironic is, I used to live in Erie, PA. A smaller city with not a whole lot of location options. When people wanted to do their photos on the beach I would silently cringe...only because that's where I shot ALL the time (that, and it was a relatively polluted beach so editing out trash, dead fish, and condom wrappers got quite cumbersome). It got boring. And now that I'm not around the beach environment much anymore, I find myself thinking about that type of shoot environment quite often.
I've had my eye on this location WAAYYY out in Texas (I mean, REAL Texas, y'all. On my drive there I saw practically no cars, hundreds of deer, cows, and vultures, about 30 DQs, countless tumbleweeds, those oil drilling thingamajiggers everywhere, and the "EMPORIUM OF SPURS".) since I moved to Austin nearly 5 years ago.
When my super gorgeous model friend Olivia Jordan hired me to the be the photographer for Mood Board Productions' boudoir modeling weekend in Midland, we knew that a team Jordan/Trombetta shoot in the sandhills HAD to happen at some point.
I arrived at the hotel around 6pm, it was another 40 minute drive to the sandhills, and I had to collect Olivia in all her glory to head out that way. By the time we arrived, parked (apparently illegally. Who knew that was possible in the middle of nowhere!?), and hiked our way up the sandhills, not only was I completely out of breath, but we also only had TWENTY MINUTES of light left. WHAT!?
Luckily, #1- I'm a super fast-paced shooter. I don't linger at all from pose to pose. I get.it.done. #2- Olivia is a professional model. She is. No hiding that fact. So she knows her way around a photo shoot. #3- We've worked together enough times that we had our FLOW down and totally knew how to jive with each other to maximize efficiency. #4- I work so much better under a strict timeline. #5- THE LIGHT WAS SO FREAKING GLORIOUS.
So we cranked it out! I knew that I had to have at least one awesome self-portrait to add to my project...I mean, I DID drive all that way. More on that in another post. So I got my "selfie" and commanded Olivia to strip down (I get bossy when I'm in a hurry) and we went to "work".
It was SO incredible watching the shoot unfold (insanely quickly), watching the light change colors as the sun set, watching the shadows cast harshly on the windblown sand texture almost as if it knew exactly what I had been envisioning for years. It was glorious.
I don't think I have ever been so conflicted about keeping photos in color vs. doing black and white conversions....I tried to find a happy balance, but I truly love them all, in both color AND black and white.
As always, it was an absolute pleasure having a "play" shoot with this lovely. And I solemnly swear that I will always remember to shoot just for me every now and then.