Here's some tear sheets from this months edition of Vigour Magazine.
Patience and I have worked together a couple of times in the past and each time has resulted in some of the best work I have done since the last time we'd collaborated. This time was no different!
When Patience and I set up our shoot day, I had created a pretty ambitious itinerary. The whole shoot took place on Sauvie Island and the plan was to start on one side of the island and work our way towards Collins Beach as the sun got a bit lower in the sky.
The problem was, the sun was out the entire day cooking us to a crisp right up until the time we were getting ready to change for the third look. At that moment, clouds rolled in from the west and pretty much turned our bright sunny scorcher of a day into a big gray blanket of diffusion. The third look wasn't going to work, and it was getting late enough that if that cloud didn't move on by the time we were able to make it across the island to the beach, we were going to lose the sun behind the trees and that made me nervous that the "hero" look at the end of the day would be a bust. This was a look that had been on my "must" list for a while. So, pedal to the metal we went across the island.
I knew I wanted to shoot at the very end of the clothing optional portion of the beach. We got to the parking area and as soon as we stepped out of the truck we knew we were in for a fight, the mosquitoes were starting to come out for the evening, and they were coming out in droves. I had my friend Jeremy along to assist and film BTS footage for my Patreon page, and the three of us hosed each other down as quickly as we could with OFF and set out on the trail. The blood sucking demon bugs from hell were relentless as we made our way through the canopy, but surprisingly while hundreds of them seemed to land on us simultaneously, I don't think any of us got bit. Score for the makers of DeepWoods OFF.
We passed by one gentleman on his way back from the beach who politely asked if we had seen a silver key chain with car keys on it anywhere on the trail. Nope... no such luck. It was of course a nude beach, so he did not exactly have pockets... those keys could be anywhere.
While we certainly didn't have any direct light as the sun had started dropping low behind the trees, the ambient glow suited the look perfectly and really pulled the color palette together. Patience's pale skin and red hair were the perfect compliment to the faint orange glow in the distant sky and the lace robe that I had thrifted for this shoot. The wet Columbia river beach sand was almost like shooting on my favorite thunder gray seamless paper in studio. The sound of the water hitting the beach from the barge that had passed by moments before provided enough white noise to isolate us from anything else going on in the world, and just focus on creating great images.
I direct a lot when I shoot, and a big reason for that is not to correct anything the model may be doing "wrong" but to maintain an active connection with the camera, the environment, and to keep momentum up enough to coax those magic moments out that only happen when you're on autopilot. This was one of those moments though where even though I give lots of direction/feedback, it just wasn't really necessary. Autopilot was achieved pretty quickly and we were both able to just react to what the other was doing.
Other than a little help from a 4x4ft silver reflector to fill in behind her in the shots where she is leaning against the log, there's zero auxiliary gear here... i used my Canon EOS-R with a Sigma 50mm f1.4 Art Series lens, and 100% ambient light. Sometimes it's the best feeling to strip away all of the fancy bullshit and just go find great light, and put a great model in the middle of it, and accept yes for an answer.
We all knew these were something special, so I scrambled to get a story's worth of images edited as fast as I could for a submission. I had to whittle down from 614 frames, 560 of which were "keepers" - truly viable images not just culling missed focus and blinks - first to about 25 frames that were true gems and had a good flow, then cut down to I think it was 12 frames that I submitted - with 2 days to the deadline to go. I hit send at about 11pm and went to bed. I woke up around 4am to let the dog out and checked my email to see a very welcome thumbs up response - we were in.
Patience moved out of state right after this publication notice came my way, so really satisfying to know that the last shoot we'll be able to do for a while knocked one out of the park.
You can purchase a print or digital copy of this issue of Vigour magazine to see these images uncensored as they were intended at: https://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/2277517
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