As a photographer, I’ve had the opportunity to shoot some exciting people and places…
But never in my wildest imagination did I think I’d find myself having the most amazing boudoir photo experience in Scotland.
That’s right, Scotland.
Scotland, Connecticut is the not-so-far away home of the magical Beth Claire, who is both a professional boudoir photographer and world-traveling boudoir model. Beth and I became friends through Facebook, and ultimate as chosen “boudoir family” through AIBP (Association of International Boudoir Photographers). For years, we had dreamed of scheduling a session together, but no ordinary session would do.
We had talked about shooting her in a fur (and not much else) in the middle of Times Square. Then, I dreamed up a special stylized shoot in a with her dogs. (That is SO still happening!)
...Then, we got on the topic of her horse farm.
“Wait” I said, …”Did you just say HORSE FARM?” I felt like I won the lottery. It was the session of my dreams.
We threw together some plans. We discussed casting… which horses would fit visually and would be most cooperative. It was decided that Phantom…her stunning new black beauty gelding would be up for the task, and as Beth said...“The least ‘a$$hole’ of the whole stable.” We both laughed so hard.
I made the four hour journey (which with summer beach traffic, soon became six) but still could barely contain my excitement. When I arrived, Beth was as stunning in person as her many modeling photos convey. We had an immediate connection of laughter.
We hopped into the pickup, with Phantom in tow, and headed to her grandfather’s vast acreage of apple orchards.
By this time, the sun was going down and light was fleeting. Beth prepped Phantom swiftly and without hesitation Beth stripped down to ride bareback. Now, I stress the word BARE.
It’s not every day you see a half naked woman mount atop horse so fearlessly, without a saddle.
Phantom ultimately decided he did not like Beth’s chain accessory and got a little spooked. Mounting him was harder than expected. So, in a very Beth fashion, she took him for a little guided walk, topless of course, through the fields.
I stood in awe, intermittent with hysterical laughter and amazement at this woman. “Hey Phantom, how do you like them apples?”
We finally cooled Phantom’s temper for a while and Beth was able to pose with him. I have shot with horses before, but horses...like people...have different "careers". Therapy horses are excellent models. Show horses wait for commands and race horses will give you a run for your money, depending on the day.
Especially useful to this situation was the Sigma Art lens 50mm 1.4, which fellow AIBP member Charles Eames of Apeture Priority Rentals loaned us for the purposes of this session. It was a fast, sharp and deliciously creamy lens that lent itself nicely to show the intimacy between Beth and her beloved horse.
Though I had some specific shots in mind, I quickly needed to relinquish those. Our horse Phantom wasn't having it.
And, while Beth’s posing looks dreamily carefree, we had been losing light and had only about 45 minutes to do all the looks we desired.
As the sun went down, Beth demanded Phantom let her get her way. He eventually obliged and we were left with beautiful dusky twilight imagery. But it would not be without consequence.
As we were packing up, Phantom decided he wanted to “sow his oats” a bit, and charged off as we attempting to bridle him.
For over 2 hours, Beth and I (with the help of Beth’s aunt) were chasing a complete unchained horse in a field. He dodged us like a playful dog. Carrots, lullabyes, even tough love did not do the trick.
And, as the last piece of dusk shined on us, Phantom charged off full speed. Beth, now in sneakers, ran in pursuit 3 miles up the road. Me, the city girl in her designer sandals was rendered useless. I stood in the darkness of an empty field, listening to either frogs, foxes or the possible mountain lion of my imagination.
After 90 minutes in the pitch dark, I huddled in an empty pickup truck, wondering if Beth was alive. If it wasn’t comical before, this is when it got really comical.
I was wearing a 19th century velvet cape to stay warm and eating mints from my purse. I texted a few friends to see what I should do. I sent pics of my view to my friend eErin, which consisted only of the moon.
Finally Beth returned, Phantomless. Now midnight, we looked a bit more but she insisted I return home.
An all-night search party, which included a Beth, her Mom, her aunt, a 4 wheeler quad farmer ended in heroics that only a boudoir photographer could dream possibly dream up… the super hot cowboy.
“Was he hot? Sweaty? Shirtless?” I asked. “Yes,” Beth said, “And his name is Nacho.”
Thank you Beth, Phantom and Nacho for the greatest photo adventure of my life, and these beautiful resulting images.