Back on July 4th weekend, I headed to Vegas for a super exciting shoot. I packed up my camera gear, lots of water and my friend, Kim. We left early in the morning to scout out locations for the day’s shoot and for a future styled shoot for next year! We took my 4 door sedan down dirt roads, sometimes for miles, looking for the coolest locations in the desert. We found some cool spots and couldn’t wait to meet up with Luis and Alexis for their shoot. When we were scouting the temperature was HOT! My car was making all kinds of noises to try to stay cool and the temp reading was over 100 degrees. I was a little worried about taking Luis and Alexis out in the super hot temps but they were up for it.
Alexis and Luis met us at our hotel and I noticed there were some clouds coming in and the wind was picking up. All I kept thinking was that there really couldn’t be a storm coming in and where would we shoot if there was. I came from Orange County, Luis from San Diego and Alexis from Chicago. I refused to let weather get in the way. From what I knew of desert storms, they can pass through quickly so if they were going to come, I was hoping the would leave just as fast as they got there.
A little about Luis and Alexis… they have been married for about two years but like a lot of military couples they never got to have full wedding and they didn’t have any wedding photos. Luis is a marine stationed in San Diego and Alexis is living in Chicago with their daughter (whose newborn photos I did). For the Fourth of July, they decided to meet up in Vegas and finally get some photos done! Alexis contacted me to see if I knew any photographers in Vegas but since I needed to go out there to scout locations anyway, I offered to drive out. I can’t even tell you how glad I am that I went! They are the sweetest couple and we got some pretty amazing shots!
Okay, so now back to the weather. As you will see in the photo below our drive out to the desert was not a dry one. I think most people would have turned around at this point but I had a gut feeling it would clear by the time we got to our location. Luis had the weather pulled up on his phone and I think he was a little skeptical about my choice to keep driving. Deep down, I think I was doubting my gut feeling also but I figured we had nothing to lose! The rain was coming down so hard at some points I couldn’t see out the window. Lightning was striking all around us. All I could do is nervously laugh. As we pulled up to the first location it wasn’t raining! We got out of the car and shot for about 2 minutes and huge drops slowly started coming down. Alexis was amazing and didn’t freak out about getting a little wet. We hopped back in the car and kept driving to the next spot. We were in a giant dry river bed and all around us were storms but the spot we were in was clear. I was closely watching the lightening striking all around us to make sure it didn’t get to close. It was seriously an amazing thing to see. One side the sky is black and there is thunder and lightening. The other side the clouds are white and blue sky and the sun are popping through. We got hit with rain here and there but nothing crazy like the drive over. The cool thing about all the storms is that it cooled down to 74 degrees!! Amazing!!
I had so many favorites from this shoot and here are a few!
Alexis said one of her friends texted her saying there were flash flood warnings. We were standing in a dry river bed. Not the smartest thing but look at these photos! You would have done the same thing.
I made the bouquet and the boutonniere and I have to say it was the hardest one I’ve made yet and I don’t see myself working with succulents for awhile. I pictured a bouquet with succulents, billy bobs, peacock feathers and white flowers. The picture in my head was much prettier then how it turned out but I still think it looked pretty good… at least the front of it did. From now on, I think I’ll leave bouquet making up to the professionals! BTW, Luis didn’t wear the boutonniere since his uniform was decorated (I hope that’s the right term) enough.