SESSION • Lifestyle Blogger Barbara Martinez

As has been requested by my lovely followers, i'm going to start spending some more time blogging my sessions. I have so much work that I love from this past year...I can't let it sit alone & untouched on my computer hard drive any longer! I've really gotten into blogger photography as of late, & I wanted to share a story & some favorite shots from a session I shot last fall with local Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, Barbara Martinez - aka Ethereal Fawn. 

Barbara had a vision to shoot a few outfits that she needed images of to use in a post series highlighting Vintage Fashion Finds on her blog, & after discussing some shot lists & a few location ideas together over coffee, we settled on our concept. We wanted this shoot to be full of fall-inspired tones, so I scouted out a few spots within in the back trails at nearby El Capitán Beach. If you're a local & have never explored beyond the beach or campground area at El Capitán, you're missing out! The nature trail has a cute bridge, some glowy maple trees, and some perfect golden lighting colors in the afternoon when the sun is shining down through the leaves. 

On the day of the shoot, I stopped by Trader Joe's & snagged some mini pumpkins & sunflowers, ran to Starbucks & picked up a couple of Pumpkin Spice Lattes (a guilty pleasure for us both), & met up with Barbara so that we could drive up to our location together. 

 
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I always spend a lot of energy preparing for shoots - & i've learned what steps to take beforehand so that I set myself up for success & can be as calm, cool, & collected as possible on the day of. This usually means an early bedtime the night before, having everything packed and organized & in the car in advance, checking (& re-checking) to make sure i have charged batteries, snacks, extra water, good walking shoes, etc., getting to a location early to make sure that all is well - shoots are serious business. If i'm stressed out, tired, running late, & drinking too much coffee (extra caffeine jitters = blurry photos, - ugh!) my energy will be low & I can always look back at those sessions and be able to tell that I wasn't shooting my best. 

But sometimes, in spite of our best preparations and efforts - the universe deals us a wild card. I was unbelievably stressed during this shoot. Insanely so. Why? Well, If you've been a Santa Barbara resident over this past year, it's likely that you will never forget our recent months of back-to-back wildfire drama. As my luck would have it, right as Barbara & I were gearing up to walk down the trail & start shooting, I got a call from my landlady saying "hey! so... a fire just started in the neighborhood - our house could burn down. They won't let anyone in & we're all getting out - anything you want me to grab from your house for you?" 

Um. My cat? My computer? My passport, I guess? 

Barbara, the darling person that she is, immediately offered to postpone our shoot for another day, but after a little hemming & hawing, I declined. When you live in a fire-prone area & have gone through multiple evacuations within a short period of time, eventually you'll reach this very strange point of acceptance/defeat where you take a deep breath, throw your hands up, & say "You know what, if my house burns down, that's life. I don't have the energy to be agonizing about this anymore. Have at it, Mother Earth." 

And so, down the trail we went, as I apologized profusely for how distracted I was by the ominous plume of smoke that was becoming increasingly visible up on the edge of the 154. As they say - the show must go on! 

 
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As fire helicopters buzzed in the distance, Barbara & I started shooting her 3 outfits - & in spite of my general anxiety through it all, we had so much fun! The El Capitán trail has some portrait-perfect shaded areas, & we tried a different location for each outfit. I find photographing bloggers to be really enjoyable because it's so creative - you're creating portraits, outfit detail images, action shots, working with props...needing all that image variety makes for a really fun shoot! 

Every outfit always has at least one detail that can be highlighted & enhanced with a prop or two - Barbara's fashion finds were so cute & we chatted it up like old friends as we walked around trying out different angles & doing lightening-speed clothing changes in the bushes as other trail-explorers wandered by. 

I've included some screenshots from Barbara's Blog so you can see how she used the images - one of my favorite parts of shooting a session for someone is seeing how they use their favorite images in the end. Barbara split our session into three separate posts on her blog - she was such a delight to spend time with & she looked so flawless in all of the shots! 

 
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You'll be glad to know that this story has a happy ending...as the sun lowered & we finished our shot list, I called my landlady & found that thanks to the quick efforts of 4 helicopters, several fire trucks, & the work of our local firemen & neighborhood volunteers, the fire only burned a few acres & didn't damage any of the houses. They were able to attack full force & got it out in those couple of hours - miraculous! After Barbara & I said our goodbyes, I drove back home up to my mountain neighborhood to find a truck full of firemen who stayed in the zone all that night to make sure that no hot spots re-ignited. As a long-time Santa Barbara resident, I get a little bit choked up whenever I see a team of firemen - they always work so hard to keep our town safe! It's #santabarbaraliving to its fullest, really, to always be in potential danger of one's house being burned down or swept away by a mudslide. Firemen are our biggest heroes here! 

As stressed as I was during the shoot, Barbara & I still had an amazing time together & were rewarded with some beautiful shots. Fall is my favorite season & I was so happy to be able to create some autumn-toned images for her to use in her posts - these shots have become some of my all-time favorites! 

Do any of you have a crazy photoshoot story to tell? I'd love to hear - tell me your story in the comments below! 

As always, thank you so much for reading & viewing - my clients & followers are so amazingly supportive. I am so grateful for you, for firemen, & for those pumpkin spice lattes. 

- Miranda K. 



© 2018 Miranda Kelton Photography