A Winter Wonderland Story

I have been watching the weather forecast like a hawk over the last few weeks, hoping for a huge snow fall to happen that would last for a few days, so I could get some nice winter photos taken this year. But what I ended up with, was much more than I could have ever imagined!

"We’re expecting probably the biggest snow storm of the season for the Sierra's. Periods of very heavy snow fall are expected with wind gusts up to 55 mph". WOW...did I just hear this right? I was dancing in circles in my living room watching the weather forecast with a big smile and was hoping for exactly that.

Friday morning couldn't come fast enough! I looked through my frosted windows with excitement to see that everything looked just like a Winter Wonderland, along with freezing temperatures and some serious winds. I dropped off my little boy at day care, rushed thru my morning chores and off I went to Franktown Meadows Equestrian Center located in Washoe Valley, hoping they got hit with even more snow.

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This image is the drive way into the equestrian facility. You can see the wind blowing the snow across the drive way...now I started wondering if that was actually a good idea to come down here. I wasn't so sure anymore.

There were probably three cars around the entire property. I checked in with the barn manager, and told them that I was here to take some photos. I also cleared it a few days prior with the owner in case of snow fall. 

 

So just imagine, these pastures are several acres big located in a huge valley in a middle of nowhere, and that's how it felt...No Man's Land! I hardly got out of the car and my fingers were icicles. Most of the horses were tucked in under the shed and gave me justifiably strange looks. As I entered the pasture, they all came up to greet me....then in the middle of nowhere, around 100 ft away, I see this girl walking her dog! What? OMG...another crazy person out here, I was thinking. I continued out to the pasture to get some distance between me and the horses. My idea was simply to watch them and see what they might do in that snow storm. By now this girl is at the gate and is watching me. So I stumbled my way back through the snow while trying to avoid to sink into some big hidden water holes. I introduced myself and told her what I was doing. Surprisingly, Allison had a big smile on her face and offered her help to take the blanket off her horse.

Here are some final edited images I captured:

So here is the interesting part:

Shelley, a good friend of mine, bought a gift certificate for her friend for a photo shoot with her horse. She told me, she boarded her two horses at Franktown Meadows. So, as I continued my conversation with Allison in that freezing cold weather, it suddenly clicked in my head and found out that it was Allison whom Shelly got the gift for! OMG...talk about bizarre circumstances of meeting a future client :). We both were in dis beliefs and got a good laugh out of it! 

And it gets even better! Allison loved my images of her horse Kjartan (horse with the heart on his forehead) so much, that she asked me to come out the following day for a Winter Photo Shoot. WOW that totally made my day! :) 

On Sunday, two days later, I could not have asked for better weather! The snow was thick, fluffy and as white as it could get, illuminated by a big sun in a clear blue sky with the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in the back ground. This scenery was beyond stunning and simply indescribably! 

Here are some of Allison's favorite images in a video slide show!

Allison and I after the shoot...oh and of course, I backed up my car into a ditch!

I can't wait to do it again with Allison in the summer, when she will use her gift from Shelley!

That weekend was truly special to me and I am so beyond thankful that I was able to capture the horses during the storm, show the beauty after the storm and meeting Allison in the most miraculous way possible! I made a new friend with a very special horse that carries two hearts with him! One in his chest and one on his forehead...