To be frank, getting married in the US wasn’t exactly the thing I was most looking forward to. Anyone who knows me understands that my take on marriage is that it’s merely a practical approach to facilitate the ease with which Ottie and I, keen to hold on to the citizenship of our respective countries, could live together. I’ve always thought that commitment and marriage are pretty much exclusive, but society being what it is, paperwork does get a lot easier when we follow the norm. Ottie believes otherwise regarding marriage, but that’s another write-up for another post.
What I was most excited about, in fact, was the plumes of smoke I was finally able to play with in the open spaces of Minnesota in winter. Can you imagine the panic it’d cause if I did this in densely-populated Singapore?! I don’t fancy trying to explain my vanity project to policemen. Anyway, I bought a pack of Enola Gaye smoke bombs from Amazon after a couple of intense days in Singapore researching the different brands and types, and virtually made the purchase immediately upon landing in US soil. Exciting~~!!
It was also my first time at the Concordia Language Village, an immersive camp for learning foreign languages from native speakers. We made the 3-hour-long road trip (each way) with Ottie’s dad and Jeff, and while I initially felt bad for the drivers that we had spent more time in the car than at the village, apparently I hadn’t quite grasped the concept that the journey itself was part of the experience, not simply a means to one.
The funny thing was that Ottie was so afraid of the smoke bomb spontaneously combusting that he hurled it super far away from where I originally composed the shot. Joke’s on him; he could have been standing on solid ground in my original composition, but I made him follow me deep into the snowy field in order to get the image I wanted after he treated the smoke bomb like an actual grenade. He didn’t even want me to pick up the smoke bomb because he was afraid of it incinerating my hands! Sometimes I wonder who’s really the paranoid one between us. Thankfully, Ottie managed to throw it in the right direction; I’d have been pretty upset if I didn’t get to take advantage of golden beams of sunset streaming in gloriously through the gaps between the trees.
I eventually got him to tone down his (unfounded) fears about the volatility of these smoke bombs for a later shoot. Believe me, the irony of his unwillingness to part with his Samsung Galaxy Note 7 months later was not lost on me. 😂
Here’s Jeff & Ottie playing with my prop after the shoot while we explored some parts of the Spanish village. During the road trip, Jeff introduced us to the awesome that is 99 Percent Invisible, a podcast about all the interesting tidbits otherwise obscured from everyday life – think Radiolab (which I also love), but with a deeper voice. I’ve been pimping this podcast to people. Go listen!
I’d never seen snowshoes before!
Here, have a jolly jig from Ottie:
Outfit photos assisted by Ottie.