Snow was coming down pretty hard on Tuesday afternoon in Kansas City. I was released from work early since it was projected to snow two to four inches. As I was about to head home I knew I wanted to use this rare chance of having free time combined with also having daylight during these winter months to photograph anyone. So I scrambled through my contacts and chance would have it, Baylee Sowter had been released from work as well and was open to being photographed.
I picked her up from her apartment and we took my lowered Honda Fit around the snowy roads. We had no idea where we were going to shoot and the traffic was just awful so we decided to just go down some sketchy alley ways until we settled on this location.
It was a spot between two roughed up buildings with some scaffolding over the sidewalk. I kind of loved this location. Wooden beams going up and across the frame. Lines, lines, lines and more lines.
I’m a sucker for lines.
At this point the snow started falling even harder and the wind started picking up. Add fact that we were next to a sketchy gas station meant that we were drawing a lot of attention. So, like any sane person in this situation, we decided to leave the open and obvious safety of being out in plain site and decided to go down some sketchy alley way between two abandoned buildings.
When shit gets sketchy, become more suspect.
Snow was getting thicker, wind was getting heavier, temperature was dropping, Baylee naturally did what anyone would do and threw her hood up. And for whatever reason I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen anyone do. So I asked her to throw her hood up again while I shot away.
At this point though, it was way too cold to be outside. We were becoming numb and our conversations were getting lost in the wind. We jumped back in my little Honda and went straight back to her apartment. As we got out, Baylee started heading towards her door when I realized how amazing her street looked when it was blanketed in snow. I asked for her to stand in the middle of the street while I snagged this last shot outside.
Nothing too complicated. Super boring composition and it’s literally just a road with some cars on it. But I’m just so mystified by the world when it’s blanketed in fresh, clean, white snow. I find it magical. But as magical as it was, it was definitely time to get the hell inside.
SNOW IS COOL, BUT IT’S FUCKIN’ COLD.
We moved inside so that we could warm up and I noticed her patio at the end of the room. I asked to investigate and as I stepped into the room I knew we had to shoot there.
The light quality was amazing, the lines were awesome, everything was perfect. I couldn’t have asked for anything more especially on the fact that I wasn’t even sure if we were going to continue shooting.
What a good fuckin’ day.
I got off from work early. There was still light in the sky. Snow added some extra magic. A very willing and very able model open to making images and an apartment with the best light I’ve seen in a long while. I seriously couldn’t have asked for more for a last minute situation.
I’m going to take this moment to be completely real. This whole situation freaked me out. I built up alot of anxiety around this idea and during the shoot. This was the first time I really photographed a female subject as the primary focus. I normally photograph people in conjunction with product/event promotion or advertisement, or if I’m on assignment trying to convey a specific story. And even then I’ve found that mainly only photograph men. I didn’t notice until this shoot that I’ve photographed so few women in my life. I’m so comfortable photographing men. I can make a dude look tough as nails or super important, or just catching the essence of their wonderful stupidity.
But put a woman in front of me, no products to sell, no specific story to tell, I’m at a loss, and that nervousness sets in. Hopefully in time it’ll go away. Maybe in time I’ll figure out why I was (and continue to be) nervous in the first place.
I’ve photographed female characters before but I’ve never photographed a female soul for the purpose of celebrating the fact that she was simply not a man. And I find that reason to photograph women for that very fact is awesome in itself.
Women are dope.
Always have been and forever will be.
Here’s to making good use of time off.
Here’s to snow in Kansas City.
Here’s to Baylee Sowter being a down ass.
Here’s to down ass female souls in the world.