Metropolitan Bride Magazine Photo Shoot

Shortly after our trip to Nicaragua, I got a call from the amazing Dawn Shields who is the editor of Metropolitan Bride magazine.  There was this opportunity to shoot with the famous Bambi Cantrell and other photographers for a opportunity for a spread in the magazine.  I’d need to be on a flight to San Francisco in 3 days and I’d need to bring my A game.  (Duh – there is no B game.  😉 )
Roger gets enough time with girls in dresses at weddings, and wasn’t quite as stoked for the opportunity to photograph models as I was.  So, 3 days later I boarded a plane for San Francisco and embarked on my first solo adventure.
Roger is my safety zone, so I was VERY nervous shooting without him.  He’s also my copilot and I always travel with him by my side.  I would be a girl in the city – on my own – for the first time ever.  Now is when I should mention – I have an irrational fear of escalators.  I cannot get on a escalator with luggage.  I would rather pick up a heavy suitcase and haul it up 5 flights of stairs than try to navigate getting myself and my luggage on a moving escalator.  I literally sweat thinking about it.  The timing has to be perfect, and I am very challenged in the grace department.  I’m sure there is a name for the phobia I have, but I just call it “scared sh@#less”.

I also had to learn how to use the BART system (Bay Area Rapid Transit) all on my own.  There was experience after experience that normally I rely on my husband to safely guide me through, and I managed to make it through each one all on my own.  I was… a grown up.  (except for having to take elevators everywhere instead of the escalator like a normal person.)

Bambi Cantrell is the rock star of photographers.  Like a full on celebrity.  Walking into her studio, I felt like I was going to pass out.  In fact – the entire 3 following days I had no idea if I was really awake or dreaming.  It was literally heaven on Earth.  I’d just come off a trip that was in the most underprivileged conditions I’d ever experienced and walked right into decadence.  It’s amazing what can change in one week.
For the next 3 days I had the opportunity to photograph amazingly gorgeous models in breathtaking situations while watching one of my photography idols in easily my favorite place in the world.  I feel so fortunate to have gotten this opportunity and to have had the chance to get a full spread in the magazine.  There were a handful of other photographers shooting for the same opportunity, and they were all incredibly talented.  Between working with models and seeing the confidence in these other photographers – I was extremely intimidated.  I was completely out of my element and without the safety net of Roger to pick me up.  But I wanted to make him proud.  I’d dropped everything to chase this opportunity and there was no way I wanted to come home empty handed.  So I did what any terrified woman would do – I channeled Irene Cara and she told me to “take my passion, and make it happen”.  With the help of Irene’s “What A Feeling”,  and 10 cups of coffee, I embraced the final shoot for the magazine.

The entire day I felt like I was running.  My heart was going a thousand miles per hour and I was very sweaty and awkward.  We were  getting ready to work with our last models and I knew I hadn’t gotten my shot yet.  I have watched every episode of every season of America’s Next Top Model, and I always knew I wanted that opportunity to shoot like that.  This was my moment I had to “make it happen”.  I set up a final shot and all of a sudden it all came together.  It was my very last shot, I told my beautiful model exactly what I wanted her to do and I literally felt it as I hit the shutter.  I looked down at the back of my camera as if in slow motion, and knew that was the one right there.  It was the last photo I took.  I had 3 more minutes, and I didn’t need it.  I knew that even if I didn’t get the spread in the magazine – I wouldn’t walk away disappointed.  Because that one shot was the one I’d wanted to get.  Even if no one “got it” but me – it was in my eyes exactly what I wanted to see.

I submitted it the next day as my choice for the spread.  I hadn’t gotten more than 5 hours of sleep within the past 48 hours and was feeling drained.  I watched the other photographer’s images come up on the screen and really felt like their work was jaw dropping.  I had no idea at that point that my shot would be chosen, but when they said “the image we chose for the full page spread is…” and showed my image  – I cried the ugly cry.  Embarrassingly, in front of a room full of photographers AND BAMBI CANTRELL, I wept.
It wasn’t that having a photograph in the magazine was the end all, be all moment of my life.  It wasn’t that I felt that I had ‘won” over anyone else.  It was that I done something all on my own that I didn’t think I could do.  I’d overcome my fears, and I proved to myself that perseverance does pay off and that when you truly set your mind to something – you will achieve it.
The next day as I stepped off the BART to go to the airport, there it was right in front of me.  It was the only way up – no stairs, no elevator.  I took a deep breath, grabbed my suitcase and  I got on that escalator.  (I know Irene Cara would have been proud.)

Enjoy a few more of my favorite images from my adventure in San Francisco!!  What a feeling!!  😉


TO make matters more intimidating – the INCREDIBLY talented Justin Cardoza of Flourish Films was there filming the shoot for a promotional piece.  I am not one of those people who just forget I’m being filmed.  It brings my awkwardness to a whole new level.  So as you watch this amazing video of the experience, pay no attention to how awkward I am in any of the clips.  😉

Metropolitan Bride Magazine San Francisco Shoot from Justin Cardoza on Vimeo.

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christine - You my friend are a total and complete rockstar!! Extremely proud of you!! and the spread is to die for!!

karin - THANK YOU Christine!!!! I really appreciate that so much – especially from a talented girl like you!!

Joel - yowza.

Brittany - Congrats!! Amazing as always!

Dondi - Karin is the all around bomb diggity! (My favorite saying) So I would say she is the bin diggity Rock Star!! Love her!!!

Dondi - That should not say bin diggity! Geez!

Jami S - AMAZING! What an awesome job you have done creating your own destiny! (Loud applause)

Shawna - AWESOME!!! No doubt that they would pick yours….Your work is never less than AMAZING!!!!

Lisa H - What a cool opportunity, and you certainly did a fabulous job! Great work!!

Lisa - Soo proud of you and all you have accomplished (so far 😉 )! Love you ❤️

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