This is something I am very proud to show off. It has taken a year or two since I saw this place in photos, and then finally rolling up my sleeves to put a team together to execute. First is my wife as always, who helps me creatively and supports me in the many ways unseen in the final products. Second, came Chinenye who has been my creative partner for many shoots in the last year and finally was Emily, who has been a blessing as she is not only a classically trained ballerina, she is also a fashion designer.
After months of brainstorming, sometime in February we headed off to find this magical place. Nobody told me it was hidden in a hill somewhere and not that easy to find. Thus, we parked the car and trekked the landscape, and ended calling for help in the middle of the lake as that was the only place where we found a bar of reception. My useless iphone froze within minutes so I was no use. After some second guessing, we finally find this beautiful location and instantly felt that our struggles were worth it. "Il faut la peine", as the french would say.
We returned to the car, and to our surprise there was a sign that said "Mine". Although it was a tiny faded sign, it would have helped tremendously if we had saw it in the first place. Then came the horror, the car was parked on ice and despite a half our of creative maneuvering with blankets, we threw in the flag and made our descend to find help. Along the way we found a couple in a car and they gave us a ride to find help. We asked a lady who lived nearby, whom gave us some salt and a shovel, and back we went. However, the tools proved useless and again we found ourselves back down the hill. This time, we stopped by a house and using my terrible french I asked for help. Unfortunately, because of people exploiting this landmark the neighbours are sick of people like us visiting and making a mess, and we were treated unkindly and left us no choice but the find the original lady that helped us down the hill. Good thing is she was there, and she had a truck to tow us out. As we returned in the truck, to our surprise there was a bunch of guys there and they were able to help tow us out and our troubles were over.
So, in preparation for the shoot, we picked out fabric and Emily designed a nice flowly dress just for this occasion. My directions were simple, "bigger". Towards the shoot day, we brought on board a videographer, Romeo. He was going to film the entire shoot and make a nice bts reel for us. In addition, Emily's brother was going to be the second dancer to add to the interest. However, I lost Steven to sickness, who has been my assistant on my shoots for the last year, which meant I had to pack light. But, I thought we had enough people to make it work.
The day of the shoot started early and quite smooth, all were on time and schedule was on track. Well all except this Romeo guy, who never showed. Not only did he delay us for an hour, he kept reassuring he would meet us first at the house, then at the Canadian Tire, and finally just at the shoot location. In the end he never showed. "Where art thou, Romeo" - right?
The best part is now we have met this nice lady from our scouting session the first time, so we brought her some gifts and got to use her driveway to park our car. We walked up the hill and magical photography of dancing happened.
*update: These images are also published here: https://www.prolificquarterly.us/single-post/2017/09/13/PQs-Dancers-in-the-Mine