A Weekend Trip to the Southwest with Megan

Hey guys! I hope everyone's week is going well! I'm back with another blog post of my travels. This past winter, I got a chance to explore the southwest with my good friend Megan. Although I've been to the Southwest before, I've never visited during the winter time. Originally this was going to be a group trip consisting of the 3 of us, however our other photographer friend couldn't go anymore so I got to spend a lot of time with Megan. We managed to explore 3 states: Utah, Arizona, and Nevada all in a weekend. You can read the first part of our trip here detailing our experience at the Mystic Hot Springs.

Almost exactly a year prior to this trip is when I first got a DM from Megan asking if I wanted to shoot. With work consuming most of my life at the time, it was really difficult for me to set something up. Over time I've been watching Megan grow as a model and she has improved a lot since I first saw her Instagram. I think we can proudly say that we both have grown a lot since then as artists.

After exploring Monument Valley, we headed straight to Antelope Canyon. This was my third time exploring the area but it was my first time taking portraits inside these beautiful slot canyons. It's always a bit challenging taking portraits in low light situations such as this but once you know the direction of light, it gets pretty easy exposing for the image and nailing the focus.

Our next stop was the famous Horseshoe Bend. I've been here plenty of times, but I've never taken portraits at this location. As always, Megan killed it. Horseshoe Bend has a great significance to Megan because this is where she had her first portrait shoot as a model. This is where it all started for her a year ago. The photographer found her on Instagram, messaged her, and they decided to take a roadtrip to Arizona. The shoot went so well that she decided that she wanted to keep modeling on the side. It still blows my mind how one app can connect people on so many levels. Who would of thought that we would be living in an age where we can meet people through an app where in most cases, we probably would of never met that person if it wasn't for that app.

While we were driving, the landscape around us caught my eye so we decided to pull over and snap a few pics before the sun went down.

Throughout the trip we were deciding where to go for our "retro themed diner shoot". Since nothing was on our route back home, we stopped in Las Vegas at Ruby's Diner. It definitely gave off those 80's retro vibes and the food was pretty good too! I highly recommend stopping by there if you're ever in the Vegas area.

Overall, it was an exhausting but very fun and rewarding trip. By spending a weekend away from home, me and Megan got to know each other a lot better. I think if I had to choose between instameets or a weekend getaway with a model, I would probably choose the latter. You get to know a person so much better when it's one on one and can have really deep conversations. From my experience, instameets don't really provide that chance since the time that you're with people is so short and it can get overwhelming since there's so many people. Thanks for reading this far and I hope I was able to motivate you to get out into the outdoors and adventure!

Exploring Mystic Hot Springs with Megan

I've always wanted to do a shoot in the hot springs and I finally made it happen when me and Megan decided to go to Mystic Hot Springs in Utah back in January of this year. I first came across this hot spring on Instagram through @rusticbones (one of my inspo btw) and I knew that we just had to go to this beautiful hot spring.

Getting to the hot springs from southern Utah was quite the journey (more on that in a separate blog post). But once we saw the hot springs we were amazed by the beauty. The contrast between the orange/red rocks and the snow was something that I had never seen before.

After we got changed we had to walk on snow in our bare feet to get to the hot springs. We were freezing at that point and we were looking forward to dipping our toes in the hot spring. But there was just one problem, the hot springs was 100 degrees Fahrenheit! It literally took us about 10 minutes to slowly get into the water and adjust our bodies to the hot temperature. After we got in, we started taking portraits and enjoyed the scenery.

One of my goals as a photographer is having certain moments in mind when capturing a photo. I call them my "photo goals". I've always been wanting to capture a moment in a hot spring with snow falling from the sky and I finally got to check that off my list. It was such an unreal experience that I'll never forget.

This was also my first time doing a bikini shoot (and a little bit of implied). When it comes to bikini and implied shoots, there's a great deal of trust that is involved between the photographer and model. Shout out to Megan for trusting me with these poses and also being such an amazing person to work with. 

There was an area going up from the main hot spring where there was 3 bath tubs each with hot water in them (not as hot as the main hot spring which was nice!) We were treated to an amazing view overlooking the whole city of Monroe and the surrounding mountains.

If you're ever visiting Utah I would highly recommend checking out Mystic Hot Springs I haven't been to a lot of hot springs, but this is one of the best ones that I've been to so far. They also have tent and cabin accommodations as well so you can easily spend a whole day in the hot spring. Make sure to follow me and Megan on Instagram! Thanks for reading!