I've shot with both women before -- with Kristy twice, but a long time ago, not long after I started shooting with figure models; and Diana several times over the years, both in the city and the wilderness. Both used to live full-time in Seattle, but Kristy is now living the RV life most of the time, and Diana has moved to San Francisco. Both happened to be in town at the same time, though, and since I've wanted to shoot again with each of them, I proposed working with them together. They readily agreed.
We considered a couple of settings in Seattle: Centennial Park, the Arboretum, and finally I proposed Marsh and Foster Island, a lesser-known trail east of the Montlake Cut that parallels Highway 520 on Lake Washington. I did a scouting trip to Seattle and the trail looked so great in the sunshine, with blue skies and blue seas!
So, of course, the morning of our shoot arrived with the only clouds anywhere in the forecast! That's the challenge of shooting in nature, you're completely at the mercy of the weather, and I've learned over the years that you have to be mentally prepared for anything. So when you're hoping for sunshine and get Seattle Gray, you say "oh well, the light will be less contrasty!" Cloudy days actually are much easier to shoot in than high sun, because it's like a giant softbox in the sky, giving you even lighting and saturated colors and fewer shadows.
It was nice to get caught up with two individuals that have become friends over the years (especially Diana given how regularly I've shot with her), and even nicer to work with two people who are so good at what they do. Both Diana and Kristy each have well over a decade of experience modeling, so probably a good 30 years between the two of them, and they are so intuitive with their poses and so quick to pick up on what I was trying to accomplish. And working together, you'd almost swear that Diana and Kristy could communicate telepathically, as they interacted so naturally with each other, feeding off each other's ideas and creativity, matching each other's poses, making suggestions with just a word or two. I am quite certain that I got at least twice as many shots in our two hours as I would have with less experienced models, because they moved so swiftly and naturally to new poses with minimal input from me.
The trail starts from Montlake and crosses a short boardwalk bridge to Marsh Island. At the far end of the island, it crosses a longer boardwalk to Foster Island, which then connects underneath the 520 Highway to the north edge of the Washington Park Arboretum. There are great views of Lake Washington from the boardwalks, and across the water to the distinctive Husky Stadium at the University of Washington. There are two places on Marsh Island where there are side trails to decks surrounded by lily pads with views to (and from) the highway. There's a larger deck on the other side of the island with views of the Stadium and, this morning, numerous crew rowers headed out on morning practice. Foster Island, then, has a raised observatory with panoramic views northward across the Lake.
Shooting on a cloudy morning, there were a few hikers and runners on the main trail. We shot mostly on the side trails, but not exclusively, so when people came by we just acted professional and people just smiled and passed by. I intentionally wore my UW t-shirt and sweatshirt, thinking that people would just think I was an art student from the University across the Cut!
I loved the way the two models interacted with each other so much, that I never did any shooting with them individually. I usually do, but you can't argue with great results and it was working so well with the two together that it seemed foolish to mess with success. Some of the photos look like friend, or sisters, or even lovers; I love that it completely doesn't matter, and that the viewer can bring whatever interpretation to it that they like.
At the end, Diana and Kristy got into the water among the lily pads for a final set -- we saved the wet and cold for the end, intentionally. We also saw a raccoon fishing along the edge of the water there!
All in all, I'm very pleased with the photos. These are just a few previews; I'll edit the rest of the photos later when I have more time. You can see more of my preview images on my website.