Every Thursday this month (except for Thanksgiving) I will be posting about our LA adventures. I'm baffled how it has been 6 months and I haven't shared these photos before. In our first post of the series, I wanted to go into detail about our Joshua Tree photos. More specifically, I wanted to use this pre-post of these series on things you should be prepared for when shooting boudoir in Joshua Tree.
1.) Leave an Hour Earlier than Planned
LA TRAFFIC IS NOT AN EXAGGERATION. Let me repeat! LA TRAFFIC IS NOT AN EXAGGERATION. I have driven through Austin, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Atlanta but Los Angeles traffic takes the bloody cake! The place you could be going to might be 3 miles away but it's going to take you 30 minutes to get there. Therefore, if you are looking to move around LA then leave an hour ahead of the time you THINK you should be leaving.
Driving to Joshua Tree took us an additional hour because of the immense traffic in Los Angelos. It's not like there was an accident or anything. It's just the nature of the traffic beast in this city. It doesn't help when you're shooting in natural light.
As you know when you are shooting with natural light you are fighting against time, SO LEAVE EARLY!
Believe me when I say just leave an hour earlier.
Trust me. You'll be thanking us.
2.) Check the Weather & Bring Warm Clothes
Yes, I know. Not all deserts are warm. This is elementary school knowledge. Being the adults we are we should have known better. I knew we had fucked up when we pull into Joshua Tree and everyone was wearing coats, beanies, and scarves. Jazzy and I looked at each other in terror as we saw people passing us all bundled up.
I had no sleeves and no jacket. Ms. M was in cut off shorts and a tank top. Jazzy only wore a thin jacket. In our defense, LA was almost 80 degrees when we left for Joshua Tree. Therefore it never occurred to us to check the weather in Joshua Tree. Had I done that I would have known it was in the high 40's.
The first rule of all travel is to check the weather. We did not do this.
3.) Bring your Own Set-up Station
Joshua Tree is not only a park, it's a national park. The keyword is "National"... NOT "Park". In my mind parks have benches. We had made plans to use the benches at this park. We would have used these bench for Jazzy to do makeup and a place for me to sit and clean my lenses. None of this happened. NONE. OF. IT!
There was not a bench here. There was not a bench there. There was not a bench anywhere!
Jazzy had to do Ms. M's make-up in the back of our hatchback in the freakin' cold! I cannot make this up. I'm so happy I have pictures of this. Therefore, when coming to Joshua Tree make sure you have a portable makeup station where your client can sit when needed.
4.) Do Hair & Makeup BEFORE you get to the Park
Going back to point three there aren't any benches (or at least we didn't come across any) so it is my suggestion that you don't do hair and makeup while at the park. Again, please see point three.
5.) Plan your Session around the Sunset.
Once golden hour hits the sun sets pretty quickly so it's very important you are efficient with your time. This actually goes back to point number one. Make sure you leave an hour earlier than planned because the traffic can be crazy. This will also ensure you have enough time to get all your looks in and find a great secluded area without the need to rush.
Also, make sure you find out exactly what time the sun sets on your day of your shoot. My favorite place to research sunrise and sunset is at the site Time and Date.
6.) Bring an Extra Person with You
I can't stress this point enough. After doing makeup in the cold for an hour Jazzy was through. I wish I had an assistant with me to help with a reflector and holding equipment. When in dusty areas I hate putting my camera down and having an extra set of hands would have been more efficient.
7.) Separate & Organize Outfits before Getting There
This particular day we did not organize the clothes in specific bags. This caused us to lose some time shuffling through everything looking for particular items. Even when we found them they required to be cut off from certain types of packaging but none of us has scissors. So make sure everything is packed into individual bags and make sure everything is readily available to be put on right then. If I had to make a point 8 it would be to bring scissors.
I hope these 7 tips help you prepare for a boudoir session in the dessert. Of all the points highlighted which one brought you the most enlightenment?
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