I am constantly shooting. I can’t sit idle for more than a couple days without feeling like my life is wasting away. More than anything this drive for me to go out and make new images has shaped my style and honed my skill. How often do professional athletes practice? You get the point. On one of my latest adventures I went out with actor/model Sierra Fisk. I met Sierra six years ago and we’ve had the pleasure of working together a handful of times. When it comes to shoots that involve me spending a lot of time with models or stylists I want the best talent but I also want people who I enjoy working with. Sierra is both.
I can’t remember if I came across an images of a smoke bomb used in a photo or my purchase of said smoke bombs on my drive to Texas prompted the idea for the shoot. Regardless that was the goal. Great fashion inspired portraits and a lot of smoke. I figured that I would need some desolation to pull this off so we drove out to the desert north of LA. Not knowing many locations in the desert I picked a well know destination I knew could work with the hopes that other opportunities and locations would come up on the way. As it turned out we found so many great locations we never made it to my original destination.
For me this is exactly what I crave. Being put in situations where I have some semblance of what I want to see as a result but knowing that there are many paths to get there and allowing myself to explore those paths. As soon as we passed the restaurant I knew we had to stop. It was an abandoned little Mexican restaurant. For me what it offered was shade and texture. I didn’t want to waste too much time on an unplanned location but our short little pit-stop was worth it.
After about 30 minutes we were off to our original destination which was still another 45 minute drive. But then we saw what became our second location. It was another structure that at one point was a small stone house. There was no roof, the desert had reclaimed the floor and it was going to take a short hike for us to get to it. It was worth the hike.
After this 30 minute stop we knew we had to get on the road to make sure we were at the final destination and set-up before the sun set. We had only driven another 15 minutes before we found what became our third and final destination. It was another small home that was abandoned. There was a driveway and road for us to use so we were able to pull right up and get to work. I knew that this location offered everything I had hoped to find and that we would finish the day here.
Despite my original idea of a smoke filled scene with a beautiful and moody portrait we came away with so many great shots that had nothing to do with smoke.