Hey everyone, I hope y’all had a good week (and I hope you were able to get a glimpse of the subtle lunar eclipse that took place on July 5th)! This week, my good friend, Cas, and I hiked through the falls trail at Ricketts Glen State Park (highly recommended) and I took photos of her for her blog (make sure to check it out!!!).

Cas drove us in her ’95 Cadillac DeVille and it took roughly an hour through back roads to reach the State Park. The parking lot was just about filled as it was a really beautiful day and everyone rightfully wanted to enjoy the sunshine. As we entered the falls trail, we discussed what kind of look Cas wanted for her photos. Having little to no experience in outdoor photo-shoots, this was a great opportunity for me to experiment with light and composition!

We hiked through the deemed ‘difficult’ section (you could do either moderate or difficult) because we hoped to encounter less people. After we hiked up some pretty vertical parts of the trail (the extremity of the ups and downs almost reminded me of Steel Force, a roller coaster at Knoebels Amusement Park known for its large drop at the beginning of the ride) we finally reached our first waterfall.

The above image is from the second waterfall we encountered, they just kept coming one after another, almost immediately. I wanted to get some shots of Cas with the fall in the background, of course, so thankfully my waterproof boots allowed me to just to walk right into the middle of the water (low tide that day, as well). I really enjoy this shot because the white of the rushing water almost forms a halo around her head (I’m a sucker for religious art so this shot really stood out to me).

These are some vertical shots I took of her at different parts of the trail. Working with nature and not against, trying to make Cas look natural in the environment surrounding us (her crazy cool hair color helped a ton!) while also making sure she stands out just enough were some things going through my mind. I still have a lot to learn, but I think this outdoor session was a great start, I had a lot of fun and I got to see some really beautiful falls.

Cas and I are on the same wavelength seeing as we both harbor such a strong connection to nature. Cas has this really good energy about her and I really think her personality comes through in these photos, quiet yet powerful. Her writing is the same way… it’s calming to read through and very clear/concise, but you can absolutely harvest the power and intent through her words.

To circle back to Cas’s blog, I asked her to describe the direction she wants her blog to go, what she enjoys writing about, etc…

“I’m just starting out with my blog, Forest Thoughts, so I’m still very much in the process of refining what it’s all about. However, I do know that I use my writing as a way to work through ideas that are challenging to think about, the big stuff like sexism, self development, and spirituality. With each piece I write, I figure more out about the world and society and how I want to live my life. It’s very therapeutic. And I love the freedom of it- having a space where I can write and publish whatever I feel like. And even if only a few people read my posts, that’s enough for me to know that I might’ve given someone an insight into the intensely crazy lives we’re living.”

I also asked who is the most influential writer for her at the moment and she said this of Roxanne Gay, “Bad Feminist opened up the door of my interest in creative nonfiction and essay writing”.

I hope y’all are able to enjoy the rest of your week (try to get outdoors, but also remember to stay hydrated since we’re in the middle of a heatwave). Until next time, take care!

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