New Mexico nearly gave me a heart attack last weekend.
I’d been planning these Spring Canyon Mother’s Day Mini Sessions for six weeks or more–and Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day…until about an hour and a half before my first scheduled session. That’s when the sky turned dark, a desert wind storm rolled in, and within 15 minutes, I couldn’t see the Florida Mountains that are 10 miles behind my home–the air was thick with dirt, the yuccas in our yard were slanted sideways against the pressure of the wind.
I was in a panic–I had clients coming in from Silver City and Lordsburg, an hour away in two different directions. Not to mention those who live here in Deming…seven sessions, back to back, and both my plans and theirs were about to be ruined.
I scrambled to contact the first of my clients–those already on the road coming in from out of town–to either reschedule, postpone, or to relocate the shoots. I was grasping at straws to find a solution, while my husband and kids frantically whipped the house into shape, in case I’d need to shoot indoors as a last-minute alternative.
And then, as quickly as it started, the worst of the storm passed–the air cleared, the wind died down, and it looked like I might have worried for nothing. So I reversed my steps, called everyone back, asked them to meet me at our original location, and hoped and prayed the weather would hold.
As a child, my mom frequently said “If you don’t like the weather, stand still for five minutes.” That may be true of a lot of places, but I have literally never seen weather as changeable as in New Mexico! It wasn’t done playing tricks on me that day–we had everything except snow and hail in those short three hours, including rain WHILE the sun was shining, with a full rainbow bridging the sky behind us. My clients–many of whom I’d never met in person until that day—were so trusting and such good sports! We’d snap a few frames, then dash back to the cars when the rain started falling too hard to shoot in. Or, I’d get a shot set up, only to have a cold wind rage through the canyon, whipping hair in every direction, nearly knocking little people over. And all the while, I didn’t hear a single complaint.
Wind, rain and storms aside, I’m so happy with the way these images turned out. My clients were amazing!! I’d corresponded with each of them several times prior to their session, and I’m so grateful they were responsive, participated in my questionnaires and took my suggestions to heart. I felt like I knew them by the time they arrived, and they were totally prepared to have a good time. Everyone arrived early, so I was able to stay right on track with the flow of the sessions. They came in great spirits and were relaxed and genuine, and I think it shows through in their portraits.
What started six weeks ago as a desire to help women document a sliver of their relationships with their children, has turned into a favorite project. Too often, we’re the ones behind the camera. Even if we are in frame, it’s usually only because we’ve used the front-facing camera on our smart phone to snap a selfie with our kids. In poor light. At a less-than-flattering angle. Im excited to have been able to offer a much better, and hopefully much more meaningful, alternative, andI’m so happy that these amazing women took me up on that offer. (I’m also grateful to the husbands, friends and parents who drove out with them and supported these women off-camera! You all deserve a shout-out for making it happen!). These Mother’s Day Sessions were a beautiful experience, and I’m honored to have beenthe wind-blown, rained-on photographer behind the lens.