I was chatting it up with a photographer friend of mine about how I was anxious to do something really creative during the winter season.
Something for me that was kind of unexpected and out of the box. I thought about it for a while and then out of nowhere, the idea came to me to do a styled maternity session up in the mountains. Not many people do styled maternity and I thought it would be so fun to celebrate this stage of life. Something that had a rustic “Cold Mountain” vibe with a touch of whimsy.
So I began working through my mood board, adding color tones, furs and location ideas. But as I tried to really define how it all would feel, I found myself constantly drawn to the word endurance. Endurance. A simple word with so much depth. When we found our model for the shoot, it was a match made in heaven. She’s a mom of 3 and is currently carrying TWINS! I mean, if there was ever a more perfect word for her, it’s endurance. But when I say that, I think sometimes there’s a negative connotation with it. So today, I hope to share how we all found joy through endurance.
Everything about this shoot took a certain amount of endurance. From getting the dresses in the mail MINUTES before we needed to leave; to our original florist not being able to follow through on the order. Our locations being unbearably cold and windy; to our beautiful floral crowns flying out of her hair. But what was great about the whole thing was doing it with a crew of people who were in it for the long haul. They were ready to endure whatever the day had to offer.
Not once did they complain. Not once did they want to throw in the towel. Instead, they pushed through and even asked if we could keep shooting when the sun was clearly set. A car full of enneagram 7’s never wanting to miss out on a worthwhile experience. Seven’s are called “the enthusiast” for a reason. They are optimistic extroverts, ready for any adventure. With this crazy big goal of creating something unique and magical, they all responded with an enthusiastic YES every time.
Working with Chaundra on hair and makeup is like a dream. Not only is she a blast to be around as a person, but during our sessions together, she brings so much peace to our clients. We work in perfect tandem, as I move them to a new position, she makes sure every hair is in place and fabric is laying perfectly. Between the two of us, we make a great team.
And to make things even better we had a bonus “roadie” who kept the car warm, did lighting test shots and helped me quickly swap lenses or lent a hand to Sarah as we post holed to the location. I swear my husband Jeremy is a saint. He is so incredibly talented in so many ways, and yet he serves me so selflessly during our sessions. I am crazy lucky to have him by my side both in life and in business. He’s always ready to swoop in with a light-hearted joke or create small talk with people while they hang. He’s a big reason that this BGP Fam is growing so quickly. He makes clients feel like family right from the get-go.
And I don’t want to leave out our final sidekick for the day… the wind. It wasn’t like this beautiful breeze that makes a model feel like she has a wind machine. It was the kind of wind that you hear rustling through the trees in the distance and know it’s about to wipe you out. So between waves of wind crashing through our shoot, we would quickly make adjustments and snap as many shots as we could before the next big wave hit. It made for lots of laughs and lots of cuddle time as we wrapped Sarah up in all the blankets to keep her warm.
Sarah is one tough cookie. From the moment we connected, it was like I was meeting myself. Not that I’m a tough cookie (a story for another day). But it was her insatiable passion for life. She’s so motivated; as is proven by her social media stories of her working out at the crack of dawn. Similarly, I think about getting up early to workout and just watch her do it online instead. We’re basically the same. But in all seriousness, it’s amazing meeting someone who doesn’t take no for an answer creates her own path to achieve her dreams and believes in other people more than they believe in themselves. She invests time into her family and her husband and is there for a friend during times of need. It was such a serendipitous event that allowed us to become fast friends.
Now that I’ve bragged on these amazing people that I got to spend the day with, I suppose what you really came to hear about is the Moose.
It was a crazy little part of our adventure that day, that can’t go without saying. So as we came to the perfect location along the river, we slowed the car down and gazed out across the fresh snow to see a a giant moose. We were in shock. Was there seriously a moose not but 20 feet away from us? And now what were we going to do? This moose was in prime realestate. Fortunately, we aren’t tourists and we know not to approach the wildlife. So we slowly creeped away to find a new location down the road. But after lots of wandering and the sun quickly setting, we started to head back to the original space hoping the moose had moved on. Thankfully he had, but we knew we needed to keep our eyes peeled and decided to go just a tad further down the river to be sure.
It was absolute perfection. I mean, the wind as previously mentioned, was a beast to work with. But we made the best of it and once we took our final shots we quickly got back in the car and tried to defrost. We started making our way back to the main road and as we looked to the left what did we see? Not one, but two moose. This time, so close we could reach out of the car and give them a high five. What is the plural for moose by the way? Mooses? Moo? Moosies? Anyway. It was like, raining moose up there. It certainly made our adventure together that day much more memorable.
On our way out of the canyon, we drove past what was our first location from earlier in the day; which we conceded to the wind. But when we glanced back to the west, it was one of the most epic sunsets we’d ever seen. So unanimously we all agreed this had to happen. So we jumped out of the car with our game face on and captured some stunning images of Sarah, enduring some insane wind. It couldn’t have been more perfect.
It’s about finding joy in the middle. There’s always joy to be found in the planning and creating and dreaming phase of a project. You get all that jacked up energy and are ready to take on the world. And then there’s the joy at the end. The feeling of accomplishment and completion. But in the middle, that’s where it can sometimes be hard to find joy. Especially when you are enduring what seem to be impossible circumstances. I am so grateful that I was surrounded by people who reminded me of the joy we were experiencing, as I anxiously worried this might not happen. We might not get the images we hoped for. We might have done all of this for nothing. But it was the joy that filled our car that reminded me, we were all in this together. Pushing through and overcoming all the obstacles with people by my side, really helped me endure. So I guess all that to say, when we are facing the impossible and we don’t know if we can endure, please surround yourself with people who will endure along with you. It might not make it easier, but it can hopefully help you see that in the middle you aren’t alone. I’m so glad we got to create something beautiful together. Thank you Chaundra, Sarah and Jeremy. You guys are incredible.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Britni Girard, Britni Girard Photography
HAIR & MAKEUP: Chaundra Nelms Revier, Glam.5280
WARDROBE & STYLING: Britni Girard
FLORIST: Sarah Lee Welch
MODEL: Sarah Brooks
ASSISTANT: Jeremy Girard
LOCATION: Lyons, Colorado