Behind the Scenes: The Piano Remained There


I wasn't 100% sure if this photograph was ever going to come to life. I was losing light so dramatically during this shoot. After modeling for Joshua and Jenna's demos for the workshop and then posing for some of the other workshop attendees,  I explored the property and ended up traveling way to the other side from everyone. Walking being the main lodge/museum, I came across these rabbits roaming around, so curious me followed. Yes, Alice in Wonderland totally came to mind in hindsight. If it weren't for following the rabbits, I would have never stumbled upon this amazing piano hidden away in the back of the yard. I seriously wanted to take it home with me. 

Immediantly, I knew this would be where I would set up for my first shoot at the workshop. I ran back to the car with all my equipment and props and brainstormed some concepts. I just tried sitting first, and there wasn't much of a story there. Luckily for me, there was a nearby barn which had a table and chair inside. I dragged them over on the rocky landscape and climbed on top. I was going to try to make myself fly. 

From camera set up - changing my outfit - finding/carrying over the table and chair - the light beyond the mountains was going quick. Since I was alone for this one, every few shots I ran back to the camera and re-ajusted for the light and to look at my poses. 

Once I was happy with a few of the things I saw in my camera, I removed the table and chair from the scene and panned the camera over to expand for the final image. I was going as quickly as I could. I still had to make time to shoot a concept over on the other side of the property at the airplane, so there was still much more to do. 

I did rush through the expansion, by I was extra sure to overlap enough through each shot to make sure I had covered as much as the area in camera as possible. As I was panning, the rabbits returned back and ended up making it into the final shot, which I'm really happy about, since if it weren't for them, this photograph would most likely would have been ever taken. 

Behind the Scenes: Las Vegas Creative Photography Workshop Part 2

Our group shot with smelly Jenna. 

(L to R) Jenna, Pete, Joshua, me, Ashley, and Kathy.

Our beautiful morning sunrise.  

After shooting long-exposures of the crashed airplane we turned in for the night. A small group of us agreed to wake up super early the morning and sneak in another fun shoot on our trip together. 

We hit the road when it was still pitch-black out and drove towards our shooting location from the previous day. On our way there the day before, we had spotted some areas on the side of the desert road with some small bodies of water that we knew we would like to revisit.

The landscape looked so amazing with the towering mountains surrounding us in all directions. Well, on the road we had a bit of a hard time finding the location and the water. We had prepared a bit too early and it was still too dark out. After circling around once or twice, we found our little sweet spot on the side of the road. We sat in the car waiting for the sun and trying to keep warm. 

Once we started seeing the first signs of light, we unloaded the plethora of vintage outfits and props we had in the trunk. Our creative juices were flowing (with the help of a little coffee) and we all helped each other bring to life each others concepts. 

Because there was water, at least one of us out of the group were getting in the cat urine  smelling runoff sewage that we once viewed as beautiful and scenic. Jenna (the Super Trooper that she is) got down and dirty as I had her lay in the mud and have some water thrown at her. I shot a few concepts that morning I've yet to start working on, so keep an eye out! Jenna had a fun concept running through her mind with some rather large rope I had brought along on the trip, so I got a little wet myself to even out the playing field; it was only fair.

We dried up, quickly took a group shot and set on back to the hotel from some breakfast (WAFFLES!). After eating, Josh and Jenna continued with the workshop. We went over some editing processes and then had time to work on some of our new images. Wrapping up the editing, we took a break for lunch and finished up the workshop with learning some neat things about social networking and marketing. At the end, there was a prize giveaway!

Some of the group left after we officially ended the workshop. Those of us with still time left joined Jenna and Josh at the indoor pool at the hotel, and helped Josh out with one more shoot before he had to fly back home and move into his new apartment. 

A few of us gathered for dinner our last night together. We enjoyed some laughs at an interesting local bar and called it a night; it'd been such a long day. I luckily persuaded Jenna to wake up early again and we set out towards our first shooting location for one final last-minute shoot, and our friend Janelle joined as she set out to continue her road trip across the country. 

Our workshop shooting location, in Eldorado Canyon. 

Funny outtake I shot after posing for my photo. 

I really wanted to shoot a concept I had floating in my head with one of the vintage cars on the property near the dangerous cactus field and I was so excited to get a second chance to do so. We didn't wake up as early as the previous day, and when we arrived, the blazing sun against our surroundings looked amazing. 

I was so satisfied with how my shoot went and walked over to Jenna as she finished shooting a beautiful concept. We looked at the time and it was time to head out, but I started to jump up and down when lighting struck my brain! I got Jenna into a vintage dress and scoured the property for a pitchfork. I had to re-create American Gothic by Grant Wood. As Janelle shot us, Jenna and I almost lost our eyes to the blazing sun and but we were just overjoyed with our morning to really care. 

I waited with Jenna at the airport and after she left, I had some time to kill in Las Vegas, so I explored some of the strip! I went to the Luxor Hotel & Casino and checked out their Titanic Artifact Exhibition. I used to work at the one here in Philadelphia, last year during the 100th anniversary of the sinking, and I was curious to see the other items they had there on display. I even got free admission because I had my old work ID badge on me, how awesome! I explored some of the other nearby casino's and made my way back to the airport and return to reality in Philly. This workshop and trip was amazing, and the people I met were equally awesome. It's so great to meet up with other creatives. Amazing things are bound to happen.