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Part 1 of 50: An Unexpected Email

Hello everyone! I’m writing a series of blogs about our recent wonderful ZoeFestX experience on my personal photography blog and Zoe said it would be okay for me to post them here as well. I really truly miss all of you wonderful humans already. Here’s the first entry:

A week ago today, I got on an airplane in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to fly home after one of the greatest artistic¬†adventures¬†of my life. It’s a long, long story. Certainly too much for one blog.

So this will be part 1 of 50. Here’s how it begins:

Keira at Casa Dracula
Keira at Casa Dracula

Last July, I got an email from a photographer whose work I really respected. Zoe Wiseman is a friend of a model friend of mine and was inviting me to her annual fine art photographers retreat. This year it would take place in Todos Santos, Mexico in October. I emailed her back asking her for more information.

“Drying my nails. Can’t type. Call me,” she wrote back.

I did and Zoe proceeded to enthusiastically tell me the incredible details. 15 international figure models. A group of photographers she personally respected. All of them hand picked by Zoe, who would spend 10 incredible days collaborating to create spectacular images in an amazing location.

“You really need to come to this,” she insisted.

“Give me 24 hours to think about it.”

An hour later I called Zoe back to tell her, of course, I’d love to be there.

The next few months were very busy and I had very little time to prepare as October raced toward me. A few last minute projects crept up and suddenly my departure date was here. I’d be flying into Cabo San Lucas, picking up a rental car and finding one of the other photographers and one of the models and driving the 120 miles up the Pacific coast to the little town of Todos Santos. The only problem was, none of us had ever met each other. Our flights had all landed within an hour of each other and somehow through a series of voice mail messages, texts and emails, Joris, Ella Rose and I all connected and headed off on Mexico Highway 1.

The photo above is one I made in Casa Dracula, a one hundred fifty year old mansion built as part of a Todos Santos sugarcane plantation in the 1850s. Keira was an amazing model to collaborate with. She had reviewed my previous work prior to our photoshoot and reminded me how I loved to create images with sheer fabric and long motion exposures. She had paid attention. This is one of the amazing images we made and I decided to start our story with this one because of it’s colorful nature and the fact that it’s been dreadfully dreary this week in Chicago.

So much more to come! Stay tuned.

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