Community & Collaboration
Simply put, I'm a photographer and I love what I do. Growing up, I would always seek adventure and it's amazing that I've been able to make a living at it and travel the country. Something that I may love more than photography? Well, it's the community of like-minded people and artists behind it all!
Since I dived into conceptual/fine art photography, I've met some of the most amazing people and have created not only beautiful work with them, but wonderful memories of those adventures and antics we find ourselves constantly getting in. I think those positive moments flow through the work we create, which give the photographs we're bringing to life additional depth to them in a way. This photograph in particular is one of those moments.
I was out traveling the southwest for work recently and for the last week, I was scheduled to be in sunny San Diego! My friend Anita (of Anita Antonia Photography) got in touch with me from LA, and told me that the weekend I flew in was when World Wide Instameets were being held all over major cites across the globe!
I've been to a handful of the ones held in Philly, so I saw this as a great opportunity to meet some new peeps and possibly shoot a concept of some sorts. There were two being held in LA, one location for the sunrise and for sunset. I didn't get to my hotel until 2am after a full day of running around in Albuquerque, AZ. So I had to skip the morning meet up.
Later in the day, I experienced LA traffic for the first time in my life, and boy was it painful. Stop and go. Stop and go. Three hours later, I made it to Anita's and we carpooled up to the sunset meet up location, in Antelope Valley.
Once we found the others, (who were all hiding on the other side of the hill, haha) we made it just in time for the group shot. Then like wildfire, everyone was jumping into helping out others with with photo ideas and collaborating together. Anita seemed to be the star of the show! I bet there were hundreds of shots taken of her that day! Search on Instagram the hashtag #SeaOfPoppyMeet to check out everyones posts!
Anita introduced me to another photo friend of hers, Houston (of Houston Roderick Photography). We quickly got to talking about recent projects and photo adventures. He mentioned how his car is always filled with photo props, wardrobe, basically anything at his disposal for a spur-of-the-moment shoot. Just exactly how my car always is! We started listing all the odd and interesting things we're constantly driving around with us and that's when Houston mentioned he had a sword.
Just hearing those words dropped me dead in my tracks and I asked if he would model for me and grab the sword from his car. I brought a large piece (it's really a bed sheet) of fabric with me. It's the same I've always used for my other images with fabric incorporated into them. I really wanted to use it somehow that day. The winds were gusty, and I knew it would give a cape that perfect action in-motion look to it.
Time was of the essence. The clouds were opening up as the sun was dipping into the horizon. The low lit-field started making all of the poppies and wildflowers across the field glow. It was go-time. Now or never. I had another photographer from the meet up help me out by standing behind Houston, as he threw the cape up into the wind.
It's funny though, because after a few throws, I saw how the subtle wind was now gently billowing the fabric and loved the look of that natural movement. It also really helped fit the mood of the image in my opinion. Five minutes earlier or later, and the lighting of this scene would've been drastically different. I'm so happy we were able to make everything work out! I started to drool somewhat when I was reviewing the images from the back of the camera.
To me, this is a clear example of the photography community coming together, creating/brainstorming together, and producing creative concepts with each other. This was the first time I met Huston, and it was so easy to communicate and execute ideas with each other. Finding that openness working together instantly is really motivating. It makes me really glad I know so many amazing people from all over the world with similar passions for creating!