“Something simple can always become difficult if all the right things go wrong”
True can be said about the opposite of that statement as well, The story starts about 6 months ago when I happened across an image online unfortunately the photo was not credited so I have no Idea who took it to give them inspiration credit but, If i ever do Ill add it to here later. Anyways after seeing this image a simple lighting setup 2 woman and a smoke bomb in the desert. I thought to myself: “Damn I wish I could shoot something like this here in Ohio but we do not have anything Desert like here so it will never happen” Over the next few days the image kept popping into my head it just wouldn’t go away. If you are an artist like myself once you get on something it haunts your everything till you either burn out or complete it. So I started planning some grand trip to Vegas with models and my team and all the jazz then reality set in HA! the Thousands of dollars needed to pull it off was like a swift kick to the man parts. So I felt like it was gonna burn out.
A few nights later I was laying in bed trying to sleep but it wasn’t working so I did what I do from time to time and I opened my Google Earth app, and began to location scout for any ideas for some new locations while scrolling around Northwestern Ohio I came across what looked to be a big open pit so I zoomed in to get a closer look. It turned out to be a Old Quarry that had been turned into a Metro Park so I Googled the name of the park I got off the sign, and to my surprise the landscape in the park was very intriguing and the photos I was finding were a mix of empty and typical Ohio metro park looking areas. Since Ohio was still in the upper 50s in January I though why not go check it out.
Since the park was pretty far away from where I live I decided to make it into one of the Photo Walks we host to see if anyone would like to travel out there to scope it out What a better way to location scout.
A few weekends later Rob his wife Deb and I Drove out to the park to check things out. Upon arrival we noticed a sign right off the bat that said no Drones allowed, Which sucked cause I brought mine to scout with, But it was just a hiccup in the trip.
Over all since it was winter there was very little vegetation, Only a few shrubs and winter trees the landscape was pretty barren and got me thinking about that image again. After all it didn’t have to be an actual desert.
After the walk around the inside of the Quarry we stopped off at a little diner in town and grabbed lunch like we always do after a Photo Walk, I filled Rob in on my ideas and he was game to help so as soon as I got home I began to plan. I wanted to shoot this in February which was only a few weeks away so I needed to get the ball rolling fast so I contacted model that day and started to put that end together I had a pretty clear Idea of the models I wanted to use and what all was needed to pull it off, But I needed to get a hold of the park to get permission to put up a tent and possibly use a generator in the park (Models don’t like the 50 degree weather like I do LOL) So first thing Monday morning I called the Park system.
Erie Metroparks have got to be some of the nicest people working in parks in Ohio, For those of you that have been with me awhile may remember a total disaster from a few years ago with Cleveland Metroparks and there INSANE fees for Professional photo shoots not to mention the RUDE ass people that work there. But that was so not the case with Erie from the moment I opened my mouth on the phone I felt like Sandy had my back and she even seemed excited to see what we were going to created inside the park. Sandy went over all the permit details, Drone restrictions and fees with me and we were off and running, The only thing left to do was come up with the cash for the Smoke bombs and permit.
I was currently also planning my “EFFLUVIUM” series (Yet to be released) at the same time so I had already priced out smoke bombs. Unfortunately putting a date on the shoot became much harder than I thought. Between my schedule and “EFFLUVIUM” (My largest production to date) Consuming my every waking hour and the models scheduling plus funding by the time it was all sorted out mother nature had turned from the 50s to the negatives. It was as if a perfect storm of shit crushed the shoot before it ever got started.
A few months went by other projects came and went, But I still really wanted to do this shoot. So I revisited the FB group and asked if anyone was still interested. To my surprise Everyone was still on board. So with a date picked out it was time to get the ball rolling, After the permit was accepted and the models were gathering outfits I ordered the SUPER expensive smoke bombs.
The day has come.
The morning of the shoot, Bubba and Rob met me at my house to grab gear, the tent and bottled water. Then we all started the long drive. A little over an hour later we were at the park. Now began the hard part. The parking lot is across the street from the main entrance to the park but once in the park its about a half mile walk to the spot we were setting up the tent so that meant caring all that gear and it was not an easy task I will give credit to Rob and Bubba and even Juliet who was modeling that day but they hauled a shit load of stuff out to the middle of the Quarry in record time I swear without them I would have never been able to pull this type of stuff off!
Once we all got set up it was time for the models to get dressed.
Acid and Megan were the first to be ready so in true Goth royalty style they protected there fair skin with some umbrellas and no it wasn’t raining HA!
Now using Smoke bombs can be SO much fun they add so much texture and movement to photographs How ever they are highly unpredictable an in turn can completely not work the way you want. Not to mention the fact that for some reason my Vagabond MINI got turned on in my bag so we arrived with only 1/3 power so we had to make every click count! Plus with the smoke bombs being so costly we could only afford 2 per model so it was 60 seconds of shooting per model per look. for a total of 120 seconds of being in front of the camera. All that work for 2 min worth of time. I felt so much pressure to get the shot.
After the first round of photos we moved locations to the other side of the tent hoping that a change in location would help with the wind. It did and the second looks came out SO much better than the first ones. Here are some BTS
We didn’t get much of a chance to get BTS photos or video at this shoot as there was a lot of pressure and everyone involved had other jobs to do. But some of the models managed to snap a few for us.
The goal in the beginning of this was to create a Editorial and we did just that, All these ladies Killed this shoot the time crunch is not something that most models can handle so Im glad I had quality models and a great team with me to pull this off.
I hope you all enjoy the final product.
Model Bedlam Bettie
A HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE INVOLVED!