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Amy & Amir’s portraits at Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend

When you turn 30 years old what do you do? Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend of course.

And thankfully, inviting me along for the fun 🙂

Horseshoe Bend

This has been a roller coaster week of emotions, lack of sleep and total exhaustion. From Phoenix to Texas and then to northern Arizona for two photoshoots. Feelings of helplessness and pain as a friend left this earth way too early, to a day later witnessing two people promise to share their lives together at one of the most beautiful places in Arizona. A day later spending time with another couple celebrating a 30th birthday at Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.

It was stormy up there last night…incredibly windy and rain was coming. Our session ended before it got dark, which allowed me some time to myself. The sky was gorgeous, the clouds beautiful. This photos has what looks like a raggedy shelf cloud approaching my position.

I stayed there awhile, soaking it up, enjoying the spot with only a few people around. I even took a few portraits of two random couples and texted them the images just because after this week, I am inspired to try and be a better person and love people as much as I can.

Thomas & Becky’s Wedding Shoot at Antelope Canyon

A few weeks ago I ventured north to Page, Arizona, to meet up with Thomas and Becky, just two days after they got hitched in Las Vegas! We hit Antelope Canyon first, drank margaritas and then enjoyed sunset at Horseshoe Bend, followed up with a bit of the Milky Way an hour after dark.

Such a blast of a day, it was fantastic visiting Lower Antelope for the first time (Thanks Mike Mezeul for the tip!) and then scoring a stunning sunset to end things, and to have the clouds clear out just in time for the stars to go nuts was perfection.

Hope you enjoy!

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The nose of Antelope Canyon

The Nose
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, rokinon 14mm f/2.8, iso 100, f/8, 8 sec // buy print)

One thing we were thankful for during our tour of Upper Antelope Canyon was our guide.  He rocked at knowing good spots and also for tossing sand in strategic locations.

We had already shot the sand falling on the right side during our first pass through the Canyon, so on our way back he said he could make it fall on both sides. I quickly moved to this spot and was thankful for the 14mm lens I had with me. It was kind of a tiny area, so being able to get that wide was a bonus.

The rock formation in the middle kind of “jutted” out towards me and reminded me of a big nose on an old man’s face.

Definitely loved being able to finally visit this place, but this scene doesn’t tell the story of about 6 other photographers lined up to my right all shooting the same thing. And people waiting behind them to pass through.

If you are a photographer, I highly recommend paying for the two-hour tour because you get more time and also a bit of preferential treatment.

Spotlight | YoloZona

Spotlight
(please click to view on black // canon 5d mark ii, canon 17-40mm f/4 l, 17mm, f/8, iso 100, 8 seconds // buy print)

I’m a 38-year native of Arizona but there are a bunch of places I’ve never seen. Antelope Canyon was one of those…at least until a week ago today. With some really good friends in town to help me shoot a wedding, we decided to venture north and explore some super photogenic spots.

We paid $80 for a professional photographers tour package, which turned out to be the right decision. The first time you enter in with a guide and another tour group behind you…the pressure is a bit overwhelming. You stop, he tells you to photograph these rays of light coming in, you do your best to get it done in about 5-10 minutes, all the while you have a 1-hour tour group behind you waiting for you to finish. We did get that benefit though for paying the extra money. People would have to wait behind us until we were done getting what we needed.  We felt a little privileged because of it and it definitely helped big time.

The chaos in there is pretty crazy. But even with all the people, there would be times when you might be completely by yourself after the other tours and come and gone. And those moments were awesome.

The hardest part though I think is to pick your compositions without ever having been down there before and having to do it in a quick amount of time. The pressure to rock it was crazy. I think I walked away with maybe three images I really love, but we’ll see once I get a bit more into them.

This image was one of the early beams of light we saw. It’s really incredible actually. I’m not sure cameras can do this kind of thing justice. These focused rays of light in such a quiet place.

Despite all the beauty, the weather nerd inside of me couldn’t help but think about what a deathtrap this place is when a flash flood comes through, and how that’s the way this amazing place was formed to begin with. Over 10 years ago 13 people died in here because it rained 20 miles away and it was clear skies overhead at Antelope. I kept looking around, imagining a torrent of water rushing through here. Spooky.

More images to come!