We forced our eyes open and fought to keep them from shutting again during the darkness of our early morning. It was 3am, just an hour and a half from when we went to bed the night before from tirelessly preparing costumes and discussing ideas with our photographer.
Marcus Adkins seemed more alert and alive than the rest of us despite getting the same amount of sleep, he was so enthusiastic and excited to take us to his secret photo location he about burst out the door when we were dressed and ready to go.
With years of experience under his belt, Marcus had blessed us with the best, most inspirational fire photography we have ever been fortunate enough to model for – using the knowledge he has gained through experience he has taken pictures of us Fire Performing that even we ourselves have to take a step back and go “Wow I’m really doing that. Unbelievable!”
So when the time came to create new fire photos with a blue and white theme instead of the traditional dark colors it was without question who we would want to capture this new idea: Marcus not only was excited for the opportunity but took the reins on imagining and designing the perfect shots he was about to bring to life.
We awoke at the super early time Marcus and our Fire Team Leader Heather Phoi agreed upon, and got ready as quickly as we could. We had to make sure all equipment and costumes were ready for the long drive ahead of us, and we had to be out the door within the hour, so despite the groggy disposition everyone was motivated and we left after a brief fight with the face paint.
The drive was certainly a long one, with only the silent sips of coffee and Marcus excitedly filling our heads with the imagery of this secret location we were blindly heading towards. When we arrived, we were just about to hit sunrise so we had to hurry and get our equipment ready for a long distance walk and climb down to our secret location.
We were blown away. As early morning twilight hit, it shed a small amount of light on a glorious tall rock cliff face made of shells and limestone. The plant life had taken over this area and mingled with sand as it cracked and ran over the rocks and dropped off into abysmal holes we will never know how deep. It was beautiful, powerful. A geological gem in an otherwise flat and smooth state. A living, breathing, constantly changing art sculpture….and we were going to fire dance in it at sunrise like primal Gods and Goddesses of Nature.
At this point, everyone was excited. After first seeing Marcus’s location combined with the small window of opportunity for sunrise photos everyone was empowered to get this going as efficiently as possible. Costumes donned, we first crawled into a cave with no ceiling and tried to reflect the fire’s light as it reflected off the water that pushed its way into the cave floor. Marcus enjoyed himself and toyed with ways of getting the most detailed fire shots without saturating the subject, even still hiding just one more incredible surprise for us that he patiently waited for as he took our single subject shots.
Our group planned to get an all team series of photos just as the Sun peaked a single curve over the horizon. We were concerned we didn’t make the cutoff twilight photo window in time, but Marcus smiled because he knew of this locations golden hour. And gold it was! Gold colors reflected off the rocks and dappled the calm water, beamed through the curves of the cave and added new details in the rock’s face we could not see earlier, revealing breathtaking imagery that blended beautifully with our fire’s own incredibly fluid motions.
Marcus was practically submerged in the deepest part of the water at this point, asking all of us to be more at the mouth of a small opening in the rocks and partially in the water for this golden moment of the photos. A few pictures in, the water started waving a little as the breeze of the morning came to greet us…and got a little too personal with Marcus’s camera. He paid no mind, and continued to shoot bobbing around in the water as we curved fire around the rocks, crawled it across the water, and whipped it through the air.
By the time the golden hour had passed and Florida’s naturally intense Sun tried to match the heat of our flames, all of us had permanent smiles drawn into our faces. We all knew the photos were going to be amazing, but we did not fully comprehend what we have achieved until later that day he unloaded the photos onto the computer.
Each one of us here at Groovolution Entertainment wants to thank Marcus Adkins for coming down from Orlando and giving us the opportunity to pose for him at his incredibly stunning secret location. Marcus displayed and captured all the elements of life in photos that never need editing. They came out so powerful and inspiring we could not have even imagined what we were capable of. This was surely a day (or early morning rather) to remember.