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The Lake and the Model

I live in the desert. Dry would be a great way to describe it here. We sometimes get rain during our monsoon season, but that kind of rain is typically too heavy and paired with too much wind to be used for photography. You can imagine my excitement then, when I saw in the forecast we would be having a regular rain storm in January. I had dreams of a moody rain photoshoot where there was enough precipitation and wind to make amazing photos, but not so much as to ruin all my equipment. I immediately put out a model call, looking for someone willing to brave the elements in the name of art and fun. I'm no fool though. I have been let down by the weather in Arizona enough to know I should always have a plan B. So, when thinking of a location for the shoot, I decided to find a body of water as the location.

I watched the weather all week in anticipation of the shoot. My excitement grew day by day at first, and then hour by hour as we approached the shoot date. The rain was still forecast for the day of the shoot. I ordered rain gear for the camera and myself. Especially since this was going to be the maiden voyage of my new camera. The day of the shoot was overcast and rain seemed on the verge of falling at any moment. When the model and I arrived at our location, the clouds started to part and the sun was punching holes in several areas. I was a bit disappointed, but there was still hope. As we hiked out to the location, it became very obvious we weren't going to be getting any rain.

Thank god for plan B. Even without the rain, we could get some moody, artsy shots with thick clouds and black water. The model changed into the dress I brought for the shoot and I got my gear ready and looked around for the first spot we would shoot in. We decided to get some quick shots before she got fully into the water and I saw a tree with stunning texture. I was standing on rocks, but she put her foot into the water to get closer to the tree. Shock. That was the expression that hit her face after the first toe dipped into the water. The day was warm. The water? The water was freezing. Shockingly so. I found out myself soon enough. A photography friend said it best when he commented on my first post of these images: if the model is in the water, there is a good chance the photographer will be in the water too at some point. Even knowing that it was cold. When I took my shoes off and rolled up my pants, I was still unprepared for how numbingly cold the water was. I just looked at her amazed when I realized how long she had been walking in the water without complaint. After getting the shots with her standing in the water it was time to discuss the next series of shots we had planned. She was going to have to be submerged. I looked at her in the eye and asked, "Are you sure you want to get in?" She just said as long as she didn't think about it too long and just did it, it would be fine. So, that's what she did. I am so lucky to work with some of the most amazing, strong, brave, and professional people out here. She did what I never could have, and I am so thankful for it. I love these images and I hope you do as well.


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