Ija’s most recent photo shoot was a dream come true. I love when the image you have in your mind is surpassed by the quality of the final product. My inspiration for this shoot was the Alvord Desert in Eastern Oregon. Having lived in Oregon my whole life, I’d heard tales but had never found the time to make the trek.
The desert spoke to me and the year that I have just come through. The juxtaposition of the dry lake bed against the rugged, snowcapped Steens mountain range was amazing. To me it represented the parched reality of life with cancer and the hope of survival.
The phenomenal collection of women who made the ridiculously long journey made it all worth while. My beloved girlfriend Sarah Evans did the styling. She showed up at my home a couple nights before and over a bottle of wine we played with her insane collection of clothing. She takes fashion to another level. Hair and makeup was knocked out of the park by Annie Simmons. Annie, Sarah and I have known one another for over ten years and met working together at a local record store when we were kids. The stunning model for the shoot is my incredibly beautiful little sister, Celeste. Her eyes seem to see straight to your soul. My phenomenal mother in law sent me with the Moroccan rug from her living room; knowing it would look amazing against the desert floor and Sarah and Annie had the genius idea of collecting the bleached bones of an unfortunate steer from the side of the road. They were the perfect accent for the shots although my car still faintly smells of dead cow.
For the very first time I played photographer and although I know a REAL photographer would have done a much better job; I wasn’t too bad. The lovely thing about the shoot was that we all worked together to find the perfect shot/angle. I feel blessed to have been surrounded by such creative women. They filled my soul artistically as well as spiritually. The perfect day ended with all of us in the local hot springs, listening to the wind whistle past as we basked in the evening light. Perfection.