The Search for Snow

Lately, my mind has been all over the place with ideas, and there are a large number of new projects that I've been wanting to work on. It seems that somehow the new year has galvanized me to action, and already I've got three new shoots lined up. There are a number of costume projects that I want to do - the first of which, I shot this past weekend in Big Bear. 

About a month ago, one of my lovely cosplayer friends and I started a conversation about shooting a particular theme for the launch of her new project. I'm not going to report on her side of the project, that's for her to announce when she's ready - but I will share a couple teaser shots and the story of how sometimes, even when you go to find snow, you can't and you end up with beautiful results you didn't expect. 

The plan for our shoot this weekend was a simple one. Meet up Saturday morning, drive to Big Bear Lake (where it is cold and they are supposed to have snow), find a couple locations off the beaten path and do a series of photos with a distinct viking theme. My beautiful friend Isabelle (who was also the model) organized the arrangements and created the costume ideas for the 2 or 3 looks she wanted to accomplish. 

The problem was this: once we got to Big Bear, there wasn't any snow. At least not around in general. Sure there was snow on the slopes at Ski Summit and Bear Mountain, but those areas were off limits. Instead, we were able to find a little ravine, just off the road that had some snowy patches and enough tree cover to look significantly Norse. At the end of the day, as a storm and a large amount of fog rolled in, I was pleased and looking forward to the next day when we could maybe find a location that had a bit more snow cover. 

We decided to check out of our hotel early and head up into the mountains to a higher elevation and a potentially more snowy locale. But again, Thor and the Norse gods we were paying homage to denied us any real look at snow or even just cold weather. The higher we went, the warmer it was. Finally, somewhere outside a town called Twin Peaks (seriously) we found a perfect location. Again, it was just a little wooded area off the highway, but I honestly couldn't have asked for better light. The time of day was perfect. The greenery was bright and rich, and provided a wonderful contrast between Isabelle's snowy white costume and furs. 

It's not to say that I wouldn't love the opportunity to shoot this theme and indeed this costume again, in a more arctic and snowy environment. But even without the snow, the Viking Queen we set out to create had arisen. 

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All Photos ©LaurenElisabeth Photography

Costumes, Hair & MakeUp and Model: Isabelle Lynn