I want to share a little bit about the adventures that commenced a couple days ago during my photo shoot at Yosemite National Park. I have always dreamed about wearing long dresses and looking like a princess that came out of a fairytale. The problem is, nobody told me that those picture perfect moments came with a price (surprise!). Here are some of the hilarious things that I had to go through for those pictures.. (they weren't as funny when they happened).
1. I love meadow and valley pictures. I love nature. But I totally forgot that nature can be kind of dirty. To GET to the meadow, we had to go on a one-mile hike. The road was incredibly hilly and I had to stop a couple of times to catch my breath. Not only that, while trying to take those meadow-fairytale like pictures I had to walk in wet and mushy soil (new sneakers needed please.. donations accepted). Nevermind thinking about heels, I was thankful that I was even able to stand at all while walking on unstable tree logs! Oh, and have I mentioned the outrageous amount of flies and mosquitoes? I have to remember to bring my bug repellant next time. Thankfully they looked like they were fairy dust in the pictures. You wouldn't even know that they're actually bugs and flies!
2. There are NO BATHROOMS. Girls, listen to me. If you're planning to shoot in the middle of nowhere and you happen to have a tiny bladder like I do, do NOT drink beforehand. I think being dehydrated for a couple of hours is much better than having to make nature your bathroom. You probably don't want more details on this point, but if you do... inquire within. Ask me in person ;)
3. The number of details you have to think about.. I needed to color coordinate my outfits with Sean, I needed to think about whether my red dress contrasts well with Yosemite in the background. The most important thing is of course remembering to bring all of those little things with you.. heels, sneakers, sandals, different styles of men shoes, bowties, ties, dresses.. it's like bringing a whole house with you! Be prepared to bring a large backpack with you if you're planning to shoot in remote areas that are not accessible by cars.
4. Bring bed sheets. To change. I asked Sean to bring two bedsheets for me, and my friends created a rectangular curtain for me to change in. I think that was the best idea that I have ever came up with in my life. Changing in the forest was really changing, and at that point I probably couldn't care less if anyone saw me naked, I just wanted to get into my dress!
5. If you're aiming for the sunset.. make sure to check the sunset time first. If you live in the US, the sunset goes down later in the day in the summer, and earlier in the day in the winter. Keep in mind the season you're photo shooting in. This sounds incredibly obvious, but trust me, it's not obvious anymore when you have a gazillion other things to think about.
6. Bring LOTS of food with you. We stayed in Yosemite until after sunset (9PM), and it took us about 1.5 hours to go down the mountain. By the time we got to the foot of the mountain all restaurants were closed and we survived on chips from the vending machine. I think I lost a couple pounds that day from starving myself.
7. Bring flashlights when shooting in forests. Yes, forests do get dark at night. Whoops, totally forgot about that. Thank God for iPhone flashlights!! (Do make sure you have juice in your phone as well.. otherwise, even your iphone can't save you)
Regardless, I had TONS of fun, and I would definitely do it all over again in a heartbeat.. but maybe with a little more preparation :p Thankfully I brought such good companions during that trip - My photographer (Jenn Emerling) is such a positive soul and she really knew how to lighten up the air every time I started stressing out. Sean was also such a good support system, he never complained about anything and assisted me in any way he could. Bryan and Fonda, our dear friends, were also so willing to carry things for us while we took shots (from flower buckets to huge bed sheets, you mention it! LOL). Not to mention, we had absolutely BEAUTIFUL weather during the shoot.. picture perfect blue skies and white clouds. I've gone through a couple of shoots where the sky is cloudy, and trust me, they don't come up pretty in pictures!
I hope you don't have to go through the same challenges that I did during my photoshoot. But even if you do.. remember that you can always laugh things off and have fun! Good memories sometimes come with a price ;)