A few years ago I saw an amazing dress at a thrift store and immediately knew I needed to buy it and wear it in a photo shoot. Jase takes great pictures of nature but I’m usually the one, behind the camera, in pajama pants and t-shirts, taking pictures of people. I knew we’d have a great time doing something like this and he jumped at the chance to share in this experience with me.

I’ve been scouting locations and ideas for this photo, ever since I bought the fifteen dollar dress. I thought an old rundown mine, barn or old factory would be a great location but I changed my mind once I realized those things would take the focus off of the image I had in my head. So… yesterday, after talking it out with Jase, I decided that nature would be the best location. I needed to narrow the list down to what type of nature shot: field, marsh, mountain landscape or forest? Looking at pictures online, I realized that “forest” seemed like the best fit. Now, all we had to do was find the perfect spot. I thought we’d have take a two-three hour drive into the mountains but after cross-referencing Colorado landscape images online with Google Map street views, I realized we had some prime location spots about thirty-forty minutes from us, in Boulder.

Since Malakai and Zoe were at a slumber party and we wouldn’t see them until noon at church the next day, Jase and I decided that we should do the photo shoot in the morning before church. We thought it would be fun to wake up before sunrise but we slept in and getting ready took longer than anticipated. We left the house at eight o’clock and headed into Boulder Canyon.

I didn’t know if my hair should be straight or wavy, up or down but Jase helped in that decision. Although I knew I wanted my eye makeup to be extremely dark and dramatic, I had a hard time figuring out exactly what it should look like. I was online last night for about an hour, just checking out eye makeup images. I started the application process on myself once we were on the road this morning but it ended up looking like Amy Winehouse did it. So Jase, being the artist he is, completed my eyes for me.

Jase and I talked about what we’d need to bring on location for a picture preview, without interrupting the camera, because I’ve had a “vision” of what I wanted it to look like for about three years. Last year, we had his camera hooked up to one of our mini televisions when Jase took pictures in our garage for a headshot I needed. However, lugging around a television while hiking to a forest location did not sound enjoyable to me or Jase. So, Jase decided to bring his laptop for viewing shots and/or dumping his card.

We drove around the Boulder Canyon area for about an hour, stopped off at three or four different areas and made about five different u-turns before finding a great spot with great vehicle access, secluded, away from the public, with a clearing, near the river and with an availability to cross the quick-moving river without getting swept away or completely submerged and while carrying a stool, tripod, laptop, camera, diaper bag, my dress, the under garments, Cali and her stroller. Since Jase only had one pair of shoes, he initially crossed the river and scoped out the location while barefoot. The moss-covered rocks quickly taught him that we’d both have to sacrifice and have soaked shoes if we were going to get this shot. So, Jase went to church barefoot and wearing heavy, wet jeans. The sun was shining once we arrived but the clouds rolled in for perfect lighting and rolled away once we were done.

Jase took over four hundred pictures this morning and we spent over an hour in our exotic location. Cali sat, perfect, in her stroller, the entire time. This experience was so amazing for me and Jase and both of us feel so much more in love after planning and accomplishing this together.

Here’s Mr. Genius (a.k.a. Jase), dumping his card, and Ms. Perfect (a.k.a. Cali), keeping herself occupied with her baby:

Boulder Canyon, 5/31/09

I’m sure Jase will work on some of the pics and make them look awesome, but here are a couple unedited versions, click them to enlarge:

Boulder Canyon, 5/31/09

Boulder Canyon, 5/31/09

And here are several unedited versions without links to enlarge:

Boulder Canyon, 5/31/09

Boulder Canyon, 5/31/09

Boulder Canyon, 5/31/09

Boulder Canyon, 5/31/09