The itch started with the birds. Hearing them sing through the open bedroom window at dawn meant spring was right around the corner. That window had been opening a little more each night as the air started to feel cleaner, more alive, more drinkable. The mornings were still crisp and cold, but warmed up quick through the day. Everything was coming alive.
How do you put that into a picture?
I had met Vicky months before when the weather was flat-out cold. The skies were grey when we first got together to do a handful of head-shots for her marketing business. We swore we would work together again and had a million ideas for doing so. Then snow fell, months passed, hibernations ensued. Now, with the windows opened at dawn and a showcase on the horizon, it was time to get something to print.
Lair O’ The Bear is the right kind of place at daybreak. The parking lot is empty, save for those who had spent the night around here. The traffic on the nearby mountain road is still thin and all you can hear is the slow babble of the creek right through the trees. Vicky arrives and we head off down the trail with bags of camera gear and wardrobe changes. There is a spot I have in mind – where I know the grass would grow taller sometime around mid-July, where I head to when I’m looking to drop a fly in the water.
Today, that spot is a matting of brown playing host to the bright green sprouts of the virgin springtime shoots. This is what I’m here to try and catch – the thawing of brown into the gentle reminder of a changing season.
The morning chill and hints of frost melt away as the sun climbs. I’m not entirely sure how to explain what it is I want. The first fifty exposures may never see the light of any day – and that is usually on purpose. I’m at a loss for words and it takes a moment to open up a different kind of conversation – one built on movement and cuing physical positions. Before too long not much is said, just an observation of the organic growth, the dance, the expression of a body in an environment set to come alive.
Most of the time you know what you want. The rest of the time I try to be open to what is available.