Photographs like this one don’t come along very often. I refer to these as “Cover Photos”. What I mean by this is that the photograph is strong enough to grace the cover of a book, magazine or website.
It is my opinion that one has to be prepared to make photographs like this while dealing with the unexpected. I had a basic idea, concept and vision for this photograph. I knew the dress and model would be available to me and I knew I would have assistance available. What I didn’t know were the challenges of working with a dress this large. It is actually made from a parachute. The other unknown factor was how to deal with the wind. At first I thought that the dress blowing around in the wind would be fantastic, however, I quickly learned that while this is true in some cases, it was not true for the picture that I wanted to make. We were in Alabama Hills in Lone Pine, CA as dusk was approaching. I’ve been there many times and usually the winds are calm or nonexistant at this time of day. On this day the wind was howling and did nothing but damage to my picture making effort.
The picture was shot using an off camera Speed Light (camera left) hand held by an assistant; thank you Marc. It took a bit of time and test shots moving the light around making subtle adjustments to get it exactly as I wanted it. The camera was on a tripod as I didn’t want the camera angle to change at all. I knew that I might need to combine multiple frames to achieve the final vision. All of this while waiting for breaks in the wind gusts and posing the model as desired. I got the shot and did not have to combine multiple frames.
Model: Erica Jay
Assistants: Marc Nathanson and Michael Pannier
Dress: Alice Andrews Designs