Monday, December 3, 2012

Dreaming Mariel, El Mirage Dry Lake Bed, Los Angeles, California, November 18, 2012

While most would think twice about driving over two hours to a location, this young woman accepted the drive initially for our morning session. This meant leaving by four in the morning and returning well after two in the afternoon. She accepted without hesitation, always helping me feel comfortable in my attempts to make our arrangements ideal.

Perhaps by chance or perhaps by fate, the afternoon cleared for us to work and Mariel once again accepted without hesitation. We met by her apartment early in the morning nonetheless and began our three hour drive to El Mirage Dry Lake Bed just outside of Los Angeles. We stopped for coffee and hot chocolate, and chatted like old friends along the way.

When we arrived I was worried that maybe the lake bed would be closed due to the recent storms in the area. To my pleasant surprise the lake bed was open to the public, unlike my last visit to the area. We drove onto the lake bed, always to the side in order to preserve the integrity of the surface. We headed to the end of the bed where few would be around, and set up for our session soon after.

Mariel took a few minutes to prepare herself and was ready quickly. The angle of the sun was low and allowed us to work immediately, and throughout the afternoon. We began with an elegant black dress, and I soon learned that Mariel shed her inhibitions during her sessions. She began the session standing up and then laid down on the surface for a different presentation. Rather than worrying about the dust on the fabric, she embraced the dust and gave me yet another dimension to the images.

Then, for the image above, she returned to the car in order to gather an incredible piece that she had recently acquired. The wind, while ideal in most instances, made it quite difficult for Mariel to manage. Like a professional she managed beautifully, at times using her hands to stabilize the piece while adding lines, volume to the exposures.

She never complained, never once told me that we needed to finish early. We worked for almost three hours and then decided to end our session with peace in our hearts. We packed up our gear and headed back home, also chatting along the way. Some find it awkward after a session, since so much output is needed leaving one with little energy to talk. This exquisite woman understood the essence of my work and therefore quenched my need to learn about her. 

I very much look forward to printing more of her work, and to collaborating once again early next year.
Halim Ina Photography

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