Ikara: Epic Beauty Portraits in Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon

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Ikara: Epic Beauty Portraits in Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon by Zorz Studios (4)

Next up in the ZORPHOTOUR series are epic beauty portraits in Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon in Arizona that spanned three days.

I continue publishing what I brought from past summer’s ZORPHOTOUR—the 11,000-mile road trip through 31 US states to photograph friends and clients. Next up is Alena’s epic beauty portraits in Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon with a warm-up in Las Vegas, NV.

My debut with this NYC-based fashion and travel blogger rocked our worlds two years ago. Really, I cannot say this about every photoshoot I’ve done: our first photo session turned into one of the best in my 12-year career, as a deep and meaningful exploration of one’s soul. Check out a few samples:

She later participated in the annual Boudoir Marathon and when Alena learned about my cross-country photo tour, she wanted to travel from NYC to catch me in the Antelope Canyon. Unfortunately, I was already booked for it so we agreed on two alternative sessions, one in Las Vegas and one in Grand Canyon.

Below are the extracts from my PolarSteps trip journal, the full version of this 30-day adventurous RV tour is available here.

Days before reaching Las Vegas I learned that the Antelope Canyon clients had to cancel their romance shoot. I offered to Alena splitting her Grand Canyon shoot into two canyons, for they are just two hours apart. We started at Las Vegas’ Bellagio and shot inside and around it for 2 hours. There was a cool Hell’s Kitchen display but we missed the fire when ready to shoot… I took advantage of some other great backdrops and statues.

The following day we arrived to the Grand Canyon. Alena was already there waiting so I jumped out of the RV to start working. She was traveling with her family (husband Gene and one of her children, 13-year-old daughter) so first we did a bit of family photography, wearing all white. Gene often accompanies Alena in her travels and is her regular photographer producing photos for her fashion blog. The apex of the shoot was my successful insistence on getting onto a standing out ridge, a little difficult to access but safe and roomy to work on. I brought her down in my arms as she proclaimed my trademark, “Dare to be photographed!” It wasn’t as windy as I would like to but with the help of others we added a dramatic flow, so fitting the expanse of the Grand Canyon! As the final touch, I ran to the next ridge to get the full scale of the drama in the sunset. I heard people next to me wowing and ooing while I was shouting the instructions to Gene, and then someone exclaimed: “Look at those two, they are alive!” Turned out, there was a couple of goats just below Alena and Gene (look down the ridge to spot one). Not sure who looked more amazing to the spectators.

We were thrilled with the results and decided to finish the project at the Antelope Canyon the next day. Unlike my first experience in the Antelope Canyon last year when I shot a cool engagement session, we went not to the traditional spot but to its alternative, Antelope Canyon X. This techie-sounding canyon is a little-known gem. It was recommended to me by my Facebook friend shortly before the tour. It offers same beauty and geology at a lower price, with less crowds, and more freedom (no need for “photography tour” upgrade! The only disadvantage is that it’s shorter in length but for a photoshoot, or for a thorough unrushed enjoyment, you may not need a looooong stretch of the same, with people breathing into your neck.

Enjoy these epic beauty portraits in Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon. 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. 🙂

Click images for full size. Kindly refrain from re-uploading images to social media during the first week of feature. Share instead and give credit!


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.

1 Comment

  1. […] RV photo tour when my New York client did her snazzy photoshoot in Las Vegas, followed by a spectacular Grand Canyon backdrop. There are cool spots within a drive from the Sin City if you tire of it! So, the plan was to get […]

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