Mogollon Rim, bears and storms

Serendipity is the only word for this day.

We began our session along this forest service road, getting comfortable being in front of the camera, having a few laughs. We had only started, when this curious bear walked into the scene behind my couple. I was conflicted with the extreme excitement for the photo opportunity and the hard cold facts that possibly a mama bear was close behind. The bear followed us with a great amount of interest. I told my couple to stop, hold their pose, yet look slowly behind them at the bear. They thought I was joking!  We grabbed a few shots, then headed back to the truck to check on their two small pups. The bear continued to follow us. After a few more shots, we jumped in the 4wd and headed a short distance down the road as to not encourage our bear further.


We were so involved with our session, we didn't notice the storm brewing to the south. We suddenly felt the breeze shift abruptly and felt the hair on our necks rise as the thunder and lightening in the distance suddenly became very close.  As we hurried to set up on this view-point, a double-rainbow came out above us, long enough for a hurried few shots. The storm was encircling us rapidly.


As darkness embraced the three of us, we continued with the session, and the lighting became more epic and commanding to the south. After 30 min., the clouds billowed towards the rim, lathering us softly with a light sprinkle. We packed up our gear after getting a few shots that stirred my soul.


We ran for cover as we blended into the rolling clouds and the sky shook lose all of it's moisture. There was not another person out there all day, until the torrential rain began. It was then, a passing car slowed to watch us running for the truck. It's headlights beamed low onto the gravel road as it came to a stop. I hollered to Kayla to step into the flood of lights, as the car stopped. She stood there waiting for my next move. A voice yelled out the window, "would you like the high beams?"  I shouted "yes" as loud as I could, competing with the pounding rain. The driver of the car put his high beams on, and I quickly shot this solo portrait of Kyla, the one I will never forget. That moment my perspective changed. THIS experience was why I am inspired to do the work I do. Living with passion, forever chasing magic, looking for that "light", that "look", and having serendipity on my side. My lust for blending beauty in nature is what drives me every day. I was living my life as I envisioned.  Kayla and Rich were my perfect partners in this creation. I felt wickedly creative this day.