Friday, July 20, 2007


In 2001 Katherine was making smoothies in the Newgate Mall in Ogden. That's where she caught the eye of a model scout working with me on a project, the 2002 Calendar of Utah Girls. The calendar has long been forgotten but by far my favorite result of making the calendar that year was discovering the beautiful Katherine.

For the last six years I have shot Katherine more than any other model I've ever worked with. She is amazing, and over the years as she has become a better model I have been inspired to become a better photographer just so I could do her justice.

I know I'll never forget the time we were shooting on a rock solid dry lake bed until the sun set. We quickly discovered the lake bed remained dry only because of the sun, once it set we were literally in the middle of nowhere with my SUV sunk up to it's axles in the thickest mud I've ever seen. We spent a few minutes trying to figure out our options when the swarm came. I have no idea what the mosquitoes out there normally ate but tonight they found a feast - us. By the way, if you are picturing a swarm of mosquitoes right now and it is anything less than a swarm of biblical proportions then you are imagining all wrong, I have never seen anything like it, nor will I ever again. At first we sought refuge inside the car, but when they followed us inside it didn't take Katherine long to call it quits and just start running. I seriously have no idea what her plan was, we were at least a mile or two from the freeway with no services within 30 miles in either direction but she didn't care - she just ran. So I figured, I'd better run too.

Her commitment to the run was much more intense than mine, I trailed behind her at least a hundred yards and it sure didn't help my speed having to stop and gather up her shoes that she lost along the way. Lucky for us a trucker was parked right off the exit with a flat tire, just sitting there waiting for his company to come change him out I guess. He invited us into his truck and proceeded to show us the worst picture album in the history of the world, I won't go into details but suffice it to say they were his travel photos, captured during his visit to the "Testical Festival" in Oregon. Nice.

Several hours later a snow cat arrived (turns out they are expensive to hire) to yank my car out. First we had to find it though. It was not a small lakebed and with no moon it was pitch dark. After a joyous, longer than expected ride through the feature-less field of mud we spotted the saddest looking vehicle ever. It was listing to one side as if it were a giant, leaking ship in an ice-berg laden ocean, clawing at the surface to stay afloat. I thought the poor car was going to break in half when we started pulling it out. But out it came, and after our five hour ordeal we dragged our muddy selves back inside for the half hour drive home, during which the ever vigilant Katherine constantly smashed mosquitoes on every solid surface of the interior.

So what does all of that have to do with last nights shoot? Well last night when I asked Katherine which photo, of all the photos we've ever shot, was her favorite she referred to a black and white close-up we shot that very night, while the sun was high and the ground was firm. Sometimes the best images are worth every bit of suffering they require. And other times a photo really isn't worth taking at all - the Testical Festival sure comes to mind.