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Icy Hot: Black Beauty in the White Sands Photoshoot

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Icy Hot: Black Beauty in the White Sands Photoshoot by Zorz Studios (1)

This ZORPHOTOUR adventure brought black beauty to the White Sands photoshoot.

If one asks what the most extreme photo session was from the past summer’s ZORPHOTOUR—the 11,000-mile road trip through 31 US states to photograph friends and clients—I would tell a story of bringing black beauty to the White Sands photoshoot. Below is the extracts from my PolarSteps trip journal, the full version of this 30-day adventurous RV tour is available here.

My client was Stephanie, my former Forest Laboratories colleague. She was the one who brought me to the Antelope Canyon and Grand Canyon for their engagement session a year ago, followed by a wedding in Mexico. My announced tour caught her attention as she’s all for being a photography subject in exotic places. She flew in for the session from Georgia and brought a few props, traditional South African accessories, and wore a swimsuit.

As we approached the White Sands National Park, we saw an air base with a few combat aircrafts taking off in front of us. The border was near… We arrived in the middle of a scorching sun. The temperature was around 100°F, not the highest I experienced so I wasn’t worried about the shoot. The sand looked deceitful! Everything appeared to be snow-covered, luring for a (not so) refreshing stroll in the dunes.

This White Sands photoshoot was for four hours, all in the desert… You have to experience driving in an RV with no air conditioning in August with the temperatures pushing for 90-100°F to know what the anticipation of walking into a desert for half a day might be. One thing I regretted not bringing was sunglasses. I managed on 6 oz of water (they recommend bringing a gallon…) but the eyes pained from the bright light reflected from the sand, from every direction you look, and no shade in 360° sight. We got used to it later.

Stephanie handled the shoot like a trooper but it is hours of posing in heat! Some of my local clients get sore and grumpy in two hours. She was done eventually but right on time to go back.

Enjoy the epic black beauty in the White Sands photoshoot. Unlike with all of my usual blogs, these photos are not my selections but a few of clients’ favorites to get everything out sooner. My plan is to prepare a director’s cut later—a special compilation blog with some of the best tour stories, moments, and my own favorite photos, perhaps with some powerful imagery of unrealized potential by the clients. 🙂

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Some behind-the-scenes shot for you, more available in the journal:

Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov
Ed Hafizov is a creative director and lead photographer of Zorz Studios, Manhattan-based boutique photography studio, offering arousing and daring fashion, commercial, beauty, and wedding photography. Multiple Fearless Photographer™ award winner, named among the top 50 US wedding photographers, top 10 NY wedding photographers, winner of Adobe contests, featured by Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle et al, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week photographer, and a distinguished member of Grace Ormonde Wedding Style‘s Platinum List, he is eager to step out of his and willing clients' comfort zone to pursue original artwork with a lasting impression.

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