Wilderness Shoot with Model Krista O’Brien (Natural beauty… “Had the price of looking been blindness, I would have looked.” ~Ralph Ellison, “Battle Royal”

Natural beauty... Had the price of looking been blindness, I would have looked. ~Ralph Ellison, "Battle Royal"

Natural beauty… Had the price of looking been blindness, I would have looked. ~Ralph Ellison, “Battle Royal”


Her name is Krista and we did an amazing wilderness shoot in the White Haven area of the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania last summer. An outdoor shoot it was… way outdoors, as in the wilderness. We shot at three separate locations and the all involved water. The first location was a mountain river, then to a waterfall that had just a small stream falling due to the mid-summer heat and the last was back to another section of the mountainous river with a view that stretched upstream for what seemed an endless view of boulders and little pours & pools of water. The whole day for me was amazing, to be able to shoot this naturally beautiful girl in such a natural setting. Not a soul around to distract us. It was I the model and her escort who also helped with reflectors and some fill flash when needed. I love the outdoors and I have done countless outdoor model shoots but this was amazing, I felt like I was a kid again, hoping around on huge rocks trying not to fall in the water. All the while Krista was leading the way to these gorgeous locations. I want to do it again this summer.

The Great Outdoors (Not too hard to do, unless you’re holding over $5000 the water.)

Krista In the Creek  1/60 sec at f/2.8 ISO 100 200mm, radio speedlight 1/2 power in a 26" Rapid Box

Krista In the Creek
1/60 sec at f/2.8 ISO 100 200mm (no flash)


Shooting with Krista Obrien was truly a lot of fun and very trying at times. Most of the day was spent capturing outdoor images that include moving water in the background. Moving water in hilly or mountainous streams, our first location seemed harmless as it was a short walk from the parking area to the river front. The actual location was where Pine Creek leads from Sunrise Lake into the Lehigh River. While moving around the river front and fighting with the harsh midday sun I spotted a waterfalls up the creek. So we decided to move to this area hoping for better more even light. This really changes the intensity of the photo shoot, as to now I go from fighting sunlight causing harsh shadows to fighting the dappled light of the forest. But more so now I have Krista navigating the stin camera gear. Knowing one slip could smash or drown the camera. But it was all good, Krista was fearless as any young outdoor enthusiast would be and she really wanted to play in steep rocky stream while I’m navigating the steep banks on the side of the stream and then walking out on rocks in the stream. Not too hard to do, unless you’re holding over $5000 the water. I being an outdoors lover and hiker was more than willing to do what I had to do to position myself for the shots, I just had to be cautious of the camera and might I add all while using off camera flash in some of the shots. I love radio flash and the Westcott Rapid Box for this type of shoot was perfect.

So as you can see from some of the photos we were able to capture great images in a very remote area that most photographers would only trek to for Landscape shots. As a side note: you must have total confidence in letting your subject do this kind of navigating and you must have the utmost confidence in where you are putting your foot every time you take a step and what your leaning on or sitting on while shooting. Krista did take a tumble in the water at one point and while it looked bad it was merely nothing at all. So the locations varied from river front, to rushing water, to a very steep high angle cave entrance to sitting on a log the extended over water and sometimes just sitting on rocks. A lot of fun for sure and I would do it again in a heartbeat.