Telluride, Colorado - 2023
56” x 81” Unframed 71” x 96” Framed Edition of 12
37” x 53” Unframed 52” x 68” Framed Edition of 12
Just occasionally it all comes together and this particular morning in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, we had our moment. Everything did indeed come together and I will hold this photograph close to my heart. It is a strong compositional balance and the light allows it to transcend.
This all came down to the team working very quickly from 4 am: the stylists; hair and make-up and, of course, the plane crew. I knew that as soon as the sun rose the ethereal nature of the light would be lost and our window of opportunity would be gone. The sun could hit the top of the mountains but no more.
The glorious DC3 plane, which participated in D Day, had been flown in 48 hours earlier to avoid the snowstorm which had cleared by about 4 am of the day of the shoot and my plan was for that to form the middle ground, with the grandeur of the mountain behind.
There were challenges: it was extremely cold and we also needed to work with red tape because Telluride airport is commercial and the runway crew were righty prioritising snow clearing before accommodating a film crew. Everything had been agreed long in advance, but the snowstorm threw a curve ball in front of us.
My team did everything they could to encourage the airport manager to let us onto the runway as soon as possible and charm and appreciation ultimately prevailed with time running up.
This was one of the first images I took that morning and every minute after that the light became less kind. It was taken just after 7 am. Josie Canseco looks fabulous and full of winter mischief. She is a total professional as it was minus 20 degrees and she manages to maintain a sovereignty and a sexuality that can be difficult to evoke under those conditions.
I asked the pilot to keep the propellors on to add a dynamism and sense that Josie was merely being dropped off. Good call, I think. ~ David Yarrow