We know how much y’all enjoy a good “behind the scenes” – especially of a photo shoot – because they’re usually full of chaos and comedy capers. They often involve unpredictable obstacles and improvisations, and for some wild reason, our Wolfies love to see how the sausage is made. Welp, we might be about to let you down this time. If you’re here for the mishaps, you’re going to be disappointed. But we’re still giving you a front-row seat through the (literal and figurative) lens of our beloved photographer, Mitchell Franz.
MAKING OF MARIA: BEHIND THE SCENES
“As far as photo shoots go, the most unusual thing was just how uneventful it was,” he laughed. “It was remarkably smooth sailing in hindsight. But there were still memorable moments. For instance, there were the COVID tests, that was something unique to this shoot. For the safety of our team and theirs, we all did a rapid test when we arrived. That was a bit of a surreal moment, of like, ‘This is the world right now. What a wild time to be alive.’ Before too long that sort of thing will be a thing of the past, but it’s definitely a memorable moment from Maria.”
And by “theirs”, we mean Wyatt Ranches. Once again, we found ourselves photographing against the backdrop of their land, and once again, we were blown away by the experience.
“It’s impossible to talk about the Maria photoshoot without talking about Wyatt Ranches,” he said. “The properties and facilities are impeccable; the team and the family are an absolute dream, their hospitality is extraordinary – beyond compare. They were wonderful to work with. They provided us horses and handlers. They fed us home-cooked meals that I’m still thinking about. They even gifted me a little engraved souvenir to commemorate our visit. Top notch, class act, extra mile all the way."
"When you’re in a self-contained set like that and surrounded by such professionals, it erases all those elements that can kind of happen in the periphery and it allows you to really focus on the job at hand. As a photographer, that’s invaluable," he said.
Not only did we have the ideal set-up and extra hands on deck, we were also blessed with virtually perfect weather. We had no major roadblocks, really. It was all sunshine and roses… and bees.
“Oh, yeah,” Mitchell laughed. “I don’t know if it was the scent of the hair products or what, but there was a bee that would not leave Kaylin alone. She was trying not to freak out, we were trying not to crack up. And of course, I did what any gentleman would do: I filmed it.” (Don’t let him fool you – he went to her aid after he got a few comical seconds on video.)
We had another on-set encounter that was a little more “aww” than “eww”. There was a little pet deer, Felina, and while she had her run of the place, she was living her best life when she was following and frolicking with Razor, the ranch’s resident canine.
After we wrapped the shoot, a group of us took a sojourn about an hour out of the way to a little South Texas town called Riviera, home to a famed seafood joint we’d heard tale of, King’s Inn Seafood. While we accomplished our main mission of gorging ourselves on delicious fare, we unfortunately missed getting to see longtime friend of DDR and Wolf Pack member, style sister Phyllis Unterbrink. (Next time, girl!) All in all, still totally worth the detour.
So, there you have it. For a collection named after such a troublemaker, Maria gave us no trouble at all.
(But don’t you fret, the shenanigans return on the set of Cynthia.)