2015 52 Week Project // Week 9: The Fastest Shoot I've Ever Done (With Before & After + BTS)

This week for my 52 week project, I did my first out of state portrait shoot near Rathdrum, Idaho. This week, however, just like all the other ones, provided some unexpected challenges.

So I wanted to go shoot up at the top of Mount Spokane this week. Most of my friends who are photographers have shot up there, and I've seen some beautiful images created in that location! I had the whole set of images in my head: everything from framing to posing to outfits, and even my model, Sarah. But alas, the photography gods decided that that wasn't going to happen for me; and a couple days before the shoot, my friend Colton texted me saying that Mount Spokane was closed, and that we couldn't get to the place we could shoot at. 

This is my daily struggle.

I began to try and look for other locations. I put the word out on multiple Facebook photography groups in Spokane that I was looking for a place that would be similar to Mount Spokane. I never got a solid "ooh, yeah let's shoot there!" response, so I decided to look in other directions. I remembered that I'd seen a group of photographers posting some images in these really interesting rows of trees, and so I began to do some research in finding the place that they shot!

Step one to discovering the mystical tree place: figuring out exactly what it is and what it's used for. My mom, who is well versed in gardening and plants, was able to help me figure what kind of trees they are. Next, after doing some google searching, I figured out that the place is actually a tree farm, where they grow the poplar trees to use for biofuel. Finally, I needed an address of some sort to pinpoint exactly how to get there. 

This is where it got really difficult. All of my searches lead me to a dead end and the closest I could get to finding a location is that it was "somewhere outside of Coeur d' Alene". Then a lightbulb came on: in one of the groups I'm in on Facebook, I remembered someone posting an image of a place with rows of trees. Could that be it? 

I commented on the photo, and luckily enough, the photographer told me exactly where the place was! I looked it up on Google Earth to confirm, and I was happy to see, from a satellite view, a bunch of small green dots in even rows. 

So last Sunday, me, Colton, Whitney, Sarah, and her son Joseph all hopped in my car and drove to Rathdrum. We get to the place, and then we realize something: all of these trees are behind a fence. This is something I should have thought of, but didn't even consider: poplar tree farms for biofuel are generally run by the government, and involve a lot of signs that say "no trespassing", "violators will be prosecuted", and "under video surveillance". 

Well, darn.

I know for a fact that I've seen images of people in these trees, so either people are trespassing, or they're getting permission to get in. We didn't have time for the latter, and I didn't want to worry about breaking any laws or getting in trouble, so we found a loophole. Loopholes are legal, right?

At the end of the farm, the fence ends and there's a little bit of room to shoot with the trees in the back. Ding ding ding! Loophole. Strictly out of fear of getting caught and getting in trouble, we shot a whole set of images pretty rapidly, and got out of there in like 15 minutes. Quickest. Shoot. Ever. 

After we left the "danger zone", we went down to the part where the fence was, and Colton and I got a couple shots of the rows of trees. This place is so incredible to see in person! As we were shooting, the sun was setting, and I didn't want to waste a perfectly good sunset. So we snagged some images of Sarah with Joseph that are to die for! This kid is seriously too photogenic for his own good.

Another week down! :)

Jessica MummComment