Behind the Scenes: Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again


1 breath-taking park in full autumn bloom, 10 photographers, and 3 vehicles filled with costumes, props, and smoke bombs galore, make for one epic photo adventure!

Back in September, my friend Rob (of Robert Cornelius Photography) and I were hanging out in Philly, on what happened to be Free Museum Day! We met up with our friend Steph and went to the Academy of Natural Sciences. Rob started telling me abut this Flickr meetup he'd been invited to by Val (of Valerie Kasinski Photography) and it sounded like really fun trip. I had asked if there could be room for one more, and I'm so happy I was able to come aboard! 

This meetup was in mid-October, so I drove to Rob and we carpooled to the cabin in upstate New York for a new adventure! On our second day of the meetup, we traveled to Genesee Falls to take advantage of the amazing fall foliage. It was a bit chilly out that day, but I was really excited about the waterfall nearby. After watching a few of the others working on their own concepts, I climbed down over a ledge to check out how deep the water was by the edge and see if I'd be able to use that location for the concept I wanted to shoot. 

After Rob shot this amazing photograph, he helped me bring my equipment down to the water and then we helped the amazing Aleah (of Aleah Michele Photography) down in her dress. I'll tell you for sure that this girl is a trooper. The water was pretty frigid, so we worked on the shoot as quickly and safely as we could.

Personally, I'm not one to go tell a model to do something if I'm not willing to do it as well, so I walked as far over to the waters edge as carefully as I could on the squishy and slippery rocks, and man did that water feel icy (at least I didn't get frostbite this time though!). Aleah got into position in the water and I found a spot to anchor my tripod on a flat surface in a shallower part of the water. 

We practiced a few poses fist before shooting, knowing how to react and move to the smoke bomb we were igniting. Once you light one of those suckers, you gotta move quick! I used a purple smoke bomb here because I liked how it complimented Aleah's dress and would nicely contrast against the fall colors in the background. 

Aleah ignited the smoke bomb, hid the lighter, and stepped into action so quickly and it was amazing. A subtle breeze came in as the smoke was pluming and created a beautiful and natural spiral effect that trailed behind her. The whole thing was magical. I had her stay in position just for a little while longer, while I shot additional images, panning the area, to use for the expansion I stitched together later for the final image. 

At some point when I was shooting the expansion shots, I squatted down just a little too low and jumped up at the sudden shock of cold water on my booty. Because I was already wet and down in the waterfall, Aleah then took the opportunity to shoot me over on the side of the falls to create this epic photograph

I still have a number of images to edit from this Flickr meetup, now it's just trying to find the time to hopefully continue to release once each week. 

This will hopefully be the next image I'll have finished for next week. 

This will hopefully be the next image I'll have finished for next week. 

Admit this is the best group photo/gif you've ever seen! 

Admit this is the best group photo/gif you've ever seen!