Friday, October 19, 2012

Bees or Hornets or Wasps?? Oh my!

Well it's been a few years since I've been shooting families, weddings, couples etc. and anyone who follows my blog knows I'm not the studio type. The more rugged and rusty, the more backwoods and earthy... the better. Nature lends itself as the ultimate backdrop for me. I've waded brides knee deep into muddy ponds, walked fancily clad couples into the dunes of the painted desert, spend too much time to quantify in the forests and dips and hollows seeking out great light and beautiful canvases for people to stand against. I've never leant a second thought to anything going wrong with all of these equations. AND ALL THIS TIME... I've never had anything bad happen. Thank God. No snake bites, no scrapes or bruises or bumps - nobody has even left with any remnant of harm besides a little dirt as a souvenir of the journey. Until last week.

I've been photographing this little family (who happen also to be friends) for a very long time. We decided to haul their kids AND my kids up the mountain to look at the golden aspens and take family photos. It went splendidly. Beautiful leaves, cold crisp air, golden light... oh that golden light. The last 10 minutes of daylight when it gets inexplicably beautiful and everything is dripping in yellow. And RIGHT when those last golden rays reached my lens I looked down  to see that we were standing directly over a hornet's nest.

Ember (my friend's 3 year old) had already been stung by what we thought was a bee 10 minutes earlier but I could tell from the hole they were pouring out of that these were yellow jackets. I calmly told everyone to move slowly away but right as I said that the first stings were being delivered and panic ensued. Lydia had them stuck in her hair and tights (yeah... no idea how that happened?) already and  I lurched to get my kids away from the nest. In the process I had what I think must have been 5-7 hornets fly UP MY SKIRT. I dropped my kids away from the insuing disaster and started wildly flapping at my legs. I looked up... Jimmy was staring at me yelling "are you okay?" - and I looked back in horror at him and the line of innocent bystanders standing on the ridge attracted by the screaming. At this point my mind started urgently trying to recall if hornets could sting more than once and as I leaped around the field like a pin cushion I began to conclude that evidently - they could. I knew what I had to do - my clothes were working against me - and I had no choice but to shed them. As you can imagine the rest of the ordeal turned into me hysterically laughing because the only other option was to hysterically cry and just about the last thing I want anyone to see... is what those hornets were seeing. All in all I was stung 7 times and the group combined got about another 15. I made it back to the car in my clothes, glad that it hadn't been an entire wedding party I had to disrobe in front of, or worse a bride's dress that those angry little creatures had found to borough into.

Mostly I was just thankful that between 7 of us nobody had an allergic reaction. We were too far from help to have done much about it. From now on a bottle of Benadryl will be part of my photography arsenal .I have to say that despite the whole ordeal I would choose this or any of our other beautiful Northern Arizona locations again... this beats any studio... hornets aside... don't you think? Thank you God... once again... for watching out for us!

1 comment:

  1. Love these so much! A great family shoot Brynne!


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