Anya Anti

Cave Shoot

This photoshoot took place in July in Crystal Cave, Pennsylvania, for Amber Skye "Rivers" EP cover.

I met Amber last winter. She is a Brooklyn based singer and musician. From the beginning I knew we would do some kind of a collaboration together because we have so much in common. We both like fantasies and fairy tales, everything mysterious and magical. Amber's music is very atmospheric, full of dark and mystical tones. She launched a successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year which helped bring her new EP, Rivers, to life in November. Me and my husband made a promo video for the campaign. After that Amber asked me to make a cover photo for her future EP.

Making art that involves many people sometimes can take a lot of time for preparations, making decisions and getting everyone on board. That's why we planned the photoshoot only in July. There were a lot of ideas and location options. We wanted something mystical but not too fairy tale. That's when Amber came up with the idea of caves. I've actually never seen good photoshoots in caves before so it was very unusual and interesting to us.

When the place and date were set we met at 6 in the morning, picked up our team, props, coffee, some inspiration and went to Pennsylvania in a rented van. on a 2 hours road trip.

That time I just recently got my first order from broncolor so it was actually the first time I tried to shoot with my Move 1200 kit on location for such a big project.

I suppose everybody knows how caves look inside so you may imagine how extreme and challenging it was. It is dark and chilly down there with small, narrow paths and a slippery floor, so you have to be very careful. And now imagine the whole team and me running around with lightning and photo equipment. Also it was Sunday and Crystal Caves is a tourist spot. So we had to deal with groups of tourists, 10-15 people each, every 20 minutes walking around, looking, wondering, listening to tourist guide and every time they turned down the light to show people how pitch black it is inside of the cave!

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Still, we managed to get good shots. I used the Move 1200 with MobiLed flash heads, sometimes with colored gel filters. I had no idea what I would do without it. I needed very powerful but small and mobile lighting gear in that dark small place and sometimes continuous light. Around noon my first battery was dead and we went to have lunch.

The Crystal Cave surrounding area is beautiful itself with hills and forest. That's why the second part of the day we were shooting outside. It was one of the hottest day of the summer. We had to use a huge fan blowing at ourselves that was consigned for photoshoot purposes. And again, the Move 1200 kit saved my life. We used smoke bombs and Amber was dancing so I needed a very short flash duration.

We came back home late in the evening and very exhausted. But it was an amazing experience!

 
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