Cassandra Wilsted + The Story Behind

Sometimes as photographers, we find ourselves in a pickle when it comes to weather. Let’s face it, we are held captive by it at times which leads to cancellations (BOOOOO). In this installment of The Story Behind, Cassandra rolled with the punches Mother Nature dished out and made fog and freezing temps work for her. We are truly captivated by the outcome and we hope you are too! So without further ado, let’s say hello to Cass!

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What inspires your are?
Hmmm I’ve never been asked that. I would say most of my work is highly influenced by my love for whimsy and romance. I see stories in everything I create and I try to translate that to my work. My biggest influence though would have to be the individuals I am working with. No one session is ever the same and I love to explore the true nature of the people I am photographing and the real love that makes up their relationships…it inspires me in the moment.

Where was this photo taken?
This photo was taken in Tehachapi, CA. Its a neat little historical piece of land with an old barn and ruins dating back to the 1800’s.

How did the location add or hinder to your image?
The location is located in a beautiful valley, but there are a bunch of homes around it. I had to photoshop a few of them out to give it that “in the middle of no where” look. The valley has its benefits though, like the amazing view of the mountains and a beautiful vast sky.

DSLR, iphone, instant or film?
Nikon D3s shot with a Sigma 24mm 1.4 ART

What were your camera settings for this image?
ISO 250
Shutter 1/8000
F 1.4
Exposure – 3

Can you tell us “The Story Behind” this shot?
This was taken a few days before Christmas. The weather was absolutely terrible, the temperature was in the 30’s. I had been contemplating all morning locations…I had originally planed to shoot elsewhere. As I was driving into town, which is about a 20 minute jaunt from where I live, I could see that the fog was coming in quickly and going to cover everything. I love fog but I usually opt for at least a little sunlight. I passed this property and it was literally the last sunny place in all of Tehachapi so I made a last minute location change…kinda rolling the dice that we would get a few pictures before the fog took over. I had no idea we would end up with such and amazing view. The family was amazing. It was literally freezing and the little girl handled it like a champ. They made it look like it was 70 degrees outside the whole time. Thats half the battle when working with those types of conditions.

What speaks to you about this image? What specifically made you press the shutter?
The love and happiness that radiates off the family. The contrast of the white fog on the vibrant wintery background. Probably just the fact that its so whimsical with all that fog rolling in behind them. And I am always a sucker for a beautiful cloudy sky.

What was your composition technique with this shot?
Rule of thirds. I tend to shoot all my images this way.

Did you have any lighting challenges/How did you light the image?
I underexposed this image for a more moody look in post. Because of the fog and cloudy sky the light was even that day but very bright and I knew I didn’t want that brightness to take over the image.

Did you use any special techniques – freelensing, prism, etc?

Was this photo happenstance or did you visualize it prior? If so, how did you envision the image and set up for it?
It was definitely happenstance. I mean we’ve been having the strangest weather this season with a ton of fog and I had secretly hoped I would get a shot with the fog rolling in. I never imagined I would get so lucky though.

Did you use a preset to edit this image, your own selective edits or a combination of both?
No this was edited with my own select edits. I have a few of my own presets that I have made…but I am always tweaking everything.

Do you have any addition information you would like to share with our readers?
These clients happened to be my Moms best friends daughter and I had no idea until just before the session.

Continue to be inspired by Laura’s gorgeous work at the following: