Not just the clients and friends got treated to photoshoots in epic locations during past summer’s cross-country ZORPHOTOUR—photographer’s wife graced picturesque maternity shoots, too!
Although the idea of past summer’s ZORPHOTOUR—the 11,000-mile road trip through 31 US states to photograph friends and clients—was not announced yet, it was in its full development when we decided to conceive another child. The RV had been booked, promotional materials were ready, and the thrill factor was maxing out. We thought that if we back out now, there may not be another chance anytime soon, if at all. We figured that 7th month into pregnancy won’t be too problematic although her OB/GYN advised against such a prolonged (30 days!) road trip.
Being part of Zorz Studios and shooting along with me, Lara surely appreciates unique photo opportunities that the trip would present to our clients. It wasn’t just being photographer’s wife, however. She shares some adventurous and endurance traits with me, helping us manage sleeping on the floor in one-room hostel in Kashmir or in a tent below freezing in the Himalayas several years ago. Even after we learned days before hitting the road that the RV generator broke down, taking the A/C out of the equation for August trip through deserts, she hesitated but stayed on board. There were indeed challenges that would fall beyond the scope of this blog. Those interested can find them in my PolarSteps trip journal here.
As the proverb goes, “The shoemaker’s wife is always the worst shod”. There is a fair amount of truth: constantly buried between the pressing photoshoots and post-processing orders, it’s tough to find room for photographer’s wife or children, that is with a proper location, makeup, styling, props, lighting, and post-production. I wanted to at least partially break the saying and find some time during this rigid and exhausting photo tour. We could only pull off a formal photoshoot at the Arches National Park with a few more informal smartphone photo sessions. I include samples from the Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon, along with the bonus artwork from a lake back home.
It was surprising that no one booked a photoshoot in this park. The landscape is so raw, wild, powerful, and unreal… But—I was so happy no one booked! The schedule got tight in the popular spots and barely left me time to admire the beauty between the shoots and driving. What to say about taking professional photos of my own wife?! We had this gorgeous landmark all to ourselves! Lara loves my maternity photography and has been adoring others’ portraits. Time came for her to become part of my official portfolio (actually, she has been for years, in an incognito boudoir appearance). The photographer’s wife got to be best shod!
Our team members who flew from Europe to join us mid-tour, did makeup, assisted with lighting, and documented behind-the-scenes. As we were doing Lara’s makeup, a fierce sandstorm hit us. It died off as quickly. We first tried the Delicate Arch but it turns out to be too far away from parking, requiring an hour hike up the hill. We then tried the North Arch. Off-camera flash, a dry tree, vibrant flying fabric, and Lara’s quiet beauty made up to something truly amazing. So happy we got it all just for the photographer’s wife!
We visited Antelope Canyon for Alena, one of ZORPHOTOUR clients from NYC as part of her 3-day epic shoot, started in Las Vegas and Grand Canyon. Lara and I had already visited Antelope Canyon previous year to shoot a cool engagement session. I suggested a “sister site” to Alena, Antelope Canyon X. This modern-sounding canyon is a little-known gem nearby offering the same beauty and geology at a lower price and with less crowds. It is shorter but for a photoshoot you may not need a long stretch of the same. I squeezed in a couple of shots for Lara.
On her 7th month of pregnancy, my wife refused to stay in the RV and joined us on a mile-long hilly trek that separates parking and Horseshoe Bend. We had had a picnic there after a photoshoot the previous year so she wanted to relive the memory. Photographer’s wife got another photo op!
One of the most breathtaking experiences of ZORPHOTOUR travels was boondocking in Badlands National Park. As usual, Lara and I woke up at dawn while the girls were still asleep (our European visitors didn’t join us yet). We parked in a complete darkness the night before so the break of light revealed where we stood—on a cliff overlooking the full beauty of Badlands rocks. As we were enjoying the romantic sunrise breakfast for two, tickled by the gentle breeze, and watched the valley below where a herd of about 80 bisons grazed, I thought of doing a wild maternity photo session. What do (some of) you do when one-on-one with open wilderness? You lose your clothes, no? That nude maternity session happened but at the request of the photographer’s wife, will largely stay private for now, except for one image that I covered up in Photoshop.
We moved out of NYC weeks before ZORPHOTOUR, adding to the tour preparation stress. While I take my time unveiling the details of Zorz Studios’ expansion, I wanted to give a peek at some of the new opportunities for my NY/NJ clients. We now have a lake, boats, and the fog is fairly consistent and predictable at dawn. One such morning upon our return home we jumped in boats for Lara’s final maternity shoot. My underwater camera casing, used during ZORPHOTOUR for another maternity photography, could have been bulky for me to stand on a rocking boat and I didn’t want to risk my camera without the casing, so smartphone photography again! Using Samsung Note 8 these days (hence the narrower than usual images, with its native 18:9 ratio). Dream, solitude, and poetry are what heals us here, and we are ready to share the resources with clients wishing to briefly escape the city.
I can say with a relief now: photographer’s wife was finally best shod. What other maternity client of mine could don such a range of iconic backdrops? : ) The photos did wait for five months to be published during the seasonal slowdown but it wouldn’t matter in the future. Some behind-the-scenes are at the end. Thank you all for your love!
Click images for full size.
The next natural question is: what about the baby photos? She’s turning 3 months today but curiously enough, I have not posted any pictures in social media although I have lots in my phone. Some know that we did an all-day professional shoot for her 1.5 months ago, at the insistence of my dear friend in Alaska who launched my professional photography career in 2006. Those photos are coming, for now enjoy a sneak peek along with behind-the-scenes of Lara’s ZORPHOTOUR sessions:
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Behind the scenes of yesterday’s #epic #maternity photoshoot at a majestic #ArchesNationalPark. The story will be posted to my travel journal: https://zorz.it/2G07gG3 #ZORPHOTOUR #DareToBePhotographed #GetZorzed #ZorzStudios #zorz #FearlessPhotographer #photography #PhotoTour #USTour #dramatic #creative #PortraitPhotographer #ZorzTravels #RoadTrip #RV #TravelingPhotographer #DestinationPhotographer #PolarSteps #Canon #adventure #TravelGram #travel #wanderlust #arches #BTS #BehindTheScenes #OffCameraFlash
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We had a long day shooting our 1.5-month baby, around 9 hours with short breaks. The question was standing: you must have done a #newborn session for her, haven’t you? Now I have. Perhaps this could be a good way to finally and formally introduce her, albeit in another month or so. I owe you Lara’s maternity set first. #DareToBePhotographed #GetZorzed #ZorzStudios #zorz #FearlessPhotographer #photography #newbornphotography #baby #rain #crazyparents #allday #PhotographerAtRest #shoemaker #ShoemakersChild #hensel #BTS #BehindTheScenes
Check out some other ZORPHOTOUR published shoots:
Vivacity: Stylish Underwater Maternity Shoot
Ikara: Epic Beauty Portraits in Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon
Redress: Bollywood Dance Photoshoot
Icy Hot: Black Beauty in the White Sands Photoshoot
Horst Couture: Dark Fashion in Color
Fam Naija: Vogue-esque Nigerian Family Photoshoot
And finally, a big shoutout to ZORPHOTOUR generous sponsors:
Indianica Academy – Immerse yourself In the rich, vibrant heritage of Indian performing arts.
JP REMDL – Improving your home from the ground up.
PHOTOKRAFFT – Continually push the envelope and challenge ourselves to build album, books, frames and other products that redefine quality and style.
Babydoll Beauty Boutique – High-end beauty boutique, specializing in eyelash extensions and makeup for any occasion, specially bridal, and advanced skin care.
Shoff Accounting – Helping photographers and other creatives streamline the financial side of their business.