I went to Marfa, Texas and found it to be on the of the most amazing places on earth. My semi last minute decision to go was because of a great friend and fellow photographer, Marissa Welsh owner of Marissa McInnis Photography. She had told me about this cool workshop going on in a cool town with a cool photographer named Clayton Austin. Clayton is a wedding photographer and seeing as to how I have three weddings on the books for this year, it sounded like a great idea to join her and have a little photography education vacation. What neither of realized is that the whole experience was going to be magic. And that is Marfa. Marfa Magic. The air is magic there. The people are magic there. The food is magic there. We even saw the magic marfa lights. Well, they aren’t magic, but we couldn’t explain them. They were definitely there. It was simply awesome and beautiful. (Clayton’s workshop was as inspiring and beautiful as his photographs are. Seriously, check him out. He is amazing and a really cool guy.)
The dog on below is a sweetheart named angel, who clearly had an angel watching over her as she was a rescue from an animal hoarder placed into the loving care of the sweet fella that works at the Marfa Book Company.
Marissa and I wanted to see a great sunset so we headed up a road that went up figuring that would lead us somewhere! We knew the sun was setting on the other side of the mountain so up was the best option. She spotted a pull off point and after a slight detour to make some photos of the mountains, we made it just in time to catch the last little bit of the setting sun as it raced to get dark. As I was enjoying the view, I noticed a couple holding up an iphone of themselves with the sunset behind them to try and make a photo. I could see by their disappointed faces each time they looked at the screen that they were getting the sunset but that they were just black shapes blocking part of it. There was still a few minutes left so I ran to my car and switched out the battery & card, changed the lens and threw on my flash. I ran over and asked them if they would like me to make a photo that I could email to them. We snapped three or four images and then they told me their story about living across the country from each other. Brandon was stationed in El Paso and Michelle lived back in Chicago. She had two more nights on the visit and then it was back to living on other sides of the country.
It was one of those moments best summed up by Winnie The Pooh, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
As I was typing this, I just got an email from Michelle as I just emailed her copies of the images “I’m not sure if we mentioned it, but that was the first time we’d gotten to spend time together in 5 months, so these photos will always be very special to us.”
The chance meeting lead us to an area outside of El Paso that we would never have found on our own. While we were chatting, I asked if there were any spots around that would be cool for chilling out in the desert with our cameras after dark. He suggested we find our way to Montana Avenue and just drive! The best advice ever, it was so fortunate that we all met at sunset. As we were heading out of town on Montana Ave, I spotted a road side stand with these amazing blinking swords. They were closing up shop but I u-turned it and the gal pulled out her entire supply and I stocked up because you can never have too many blinking swords.
We drove by loads of strip clubs and eventually found ourselves in nowhere with a dirt road leading off to the right. We spent far too many hours out there making photos and I commend Marissa for making her early flight the next morning. My flight was 2 hours after hers and I had trouble rousing myself. Well worth the tired eyes though.