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April 26, 2024 3 min read

It’s that time again, when we pull back the curtain and let y’all in on all the goings-on behind the scenes of the photoshoot. Though relatively free of mishaps, there was still some magic – and one minor misunderstanding – in making Monument Valley.

For starters, we’ve already confessed that we weren’t actually in Monument Valley.

“Logistically, it just wasn’t feasible to get our cast and crew there,” shared Mitchell. “Monument Valley is really, really remote. Which, of course, is part of the magic of it, right? But not when you’re hauling as much clothing and equipment and jewelry and people as we needed; lodging, the commute, everything just made it impossible. So, we chose Sedona.”

Sedona, Arizona proved to be a dang good substitute. Geographically and topographically, of course, it was a fit; it’s about as close as we could possibly get to the real deal. But the more inexplicable similarity was in the ambiance.

“Sedona’s a wild city,” Mitchell laughed. “It’s full of crystals and auras and, shall we say, ‘magical’ people. But I will say, when you leave all that behind and really get into the park, there is something very spiritual about it, it’s pretty majestic and moving.”

It wasn’t all sunshine, though. No, like literally.

“It’s cold and there’s like 10 hours of daylight!” Audrey exclaimed. “That’s like three hours less than daylight than there was today. You know how many looks we can photograph in three hours? Especially if Hedy’s cracking the whip!”

“Oh, but don’t worry,” Hedy interjected. “Mitchell has an app for that!”

This is a long-running inside joke, because we swear, Mitchell knows of an app for EV.ERY.THING.

“Hey, they laugh, but my apps save our you-know-whats more often than they want to admit!” Mitchell laughed. “This one is actually really neat; it’s called Sun Seeker, and it can tell you where the sun is going to be at what time of day. We used it to scout and select our scenes and it essentially allowed us to schedule our day.”

And limited sunshine wasn’t our only obstacle for shooting this collection. Turns out, it’s quite difficult to acquire a permit to photograph in Coconino National Park. It took a ton of paperwork and documentation, lots of back and forth, and we barely secured the permit about four days before we left Texas – which, in case you were wondering, is long after we already booked travel and talent and spent a whole lot of money. But is it even a DDR photoshoot without a little element of drama?

Oh, speaking of drama, Hedy always manages to find herself in the middle of some scene suited for a sitcom.

“We’re set up on a mountain in Sedona, and they’ve shoved me at basecamp,” Hedy explained. “I’m always back at basecamp, every now and then they let me wander up with them wherever they’re shooting, but mostly I’m stuck behind. On this shoot, I really had to stay at base because there were tons of hikers, and you know, we’ve got a hundred-thousand dollars’ worth of jewelry out there. Well, this lady comes up asking me, ‘Do y’all have any hamburgers?’ And I’m like, ‘What? No! I am not serving food!’ And she says, ‘Well, my husband’s really hungry.’ I’m looking at her like, ‘So?! I’m really hungry, too! I’ve been on a diet for two years, I’m starving!’”

We can’t take her anywhere – and apparently, we can’t leave her behind anywhere, either.

Speaking of being taken places, we have to give another huge shoutout to A Day in the West Jeep Tours for working with us on this photoshoot. They were such a delight to work with and they were integral to accomplishing this shoot in a remarkable two days – one with Kaylin and Mikayla, one with Ashley Callingbull. We highly recommend you book with them if you venture out to Sedona, and moreover, we highly recommend you put Sedona on your shortlist of places to visit!

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