How the Trip Came About
A few months ago Mindee and I met up for the first time since she moved back home from Georgia. We caught up on life and so much more. Eventually we talked about the original plan for me to visit her down south and do a ton of photos. I made sure to tell her I still wanted to do a lot of photos of her and that maybe a little vacation was in order this summer. Mindee loved the idea, so for the last few months we've been tossing around ideas.
What we ended up deciding on was a three day trip to Cedar Point, Ohio. With a long drive to and from our destination, we'd break it up with photo shoots along the way. In the weeks leading up to this trip, I found a bunch of locations we could use on Google Earth. We used quite a few of those locations, and others we did not.
Sunday, 7 a.m.
I told Mindee I'd pick her up bright and early on Sunday. I pulled up to her house at 7 a.m. and we loaded everything into the car. I was happy to see that the "bright" part of the bright and early had worked out. Sadly, rain would plague this entire trip, but we still pulled through with seven sets.
Sunday, 7:30 a.m.
As we approached what would end up being our first photo shoot location, I told Mindee it would be awesome if she did occasional dashboard photos of her feet during our trip. The first one came early in the morning and it didn't take long for people to see it and respond. Mindee was actually the one who was tending to the Soles of Silk Instagram while I drove. She loved reading your comments and seeing how many likes they got. She did this the entire trip.
|Mindee wearing the Maryland flag with pride.|
Sunday, 8 a.m.
Since we lucked out with the weather that morning I decided it would be wise to do an early stop for some photos. We pulled off the road into a small town that I've used several times before. We walked down to the canal and used one of the many small bridges as a backdrop. She pulled on her Maryland flag socks and hoodie and we were underway with our first set of the trip.
We flew through this set as it was still early and not that many people were out and about. Sometimes this canal district can be full of tourists and those out enjoying a walk. Only several people came by us getting in their morning walks and/or jogs, so it didn't really bother us. We finished up in about 45 minutes time.
Sunday, 9:30 a.m.
Mindee and I made a quick breakfast stop and then were back on the road. I set the GPS to a small amusement park called Conneaut Lake Park in Pennsylvania. I had went to Conneaut Lake last year with my brother on a small road trip, but the Blue Streak roller coaster ended up being down that day, so I never got to ride it. Since the park was on the way to Cedar Point, it was a stop I had planned on making from the start. We also thought we might be able to squeeze in a small shoot while in the area.
Sunday, 11 a.m.
While traveling Route 76 in Pennsylvania I saw the road sign for the town of Altoona. Altoona is home to another small amusement park named Lakemont Park. My brother and I also stopped at this park last year, so I asked Mindee if she wanted to go for a little bit. The park is home to the world's oldest roller coaster, Leap the Dips, so Mindee was certainly interested. I pulled off the exit, filled up the gas tank, and changed our GPS to Lakemont.
|Mindee posed in front of the world's oldest roller coaster.|
Sunday, 11:30 a.m.
We arrived at Lakemont and I left the camera in the car. We were only planning on hitting up several rides and getting back out on the road. What ended up happening, however, was the Leap the Dips was down for maintenance and the park was mostly empty.
After doing several other rides throughout the park, Mindee and I decided to try our luck with taking some photos before we left. I love having roller coasters in the background of my sets, but doing a full sized, regular set isn't always an option at an amusement park. We managed, however, and got in some great shots in front of two of their coasters.
Sunday, 12:30 p.m.
We left Lakemont Park and made a quick stop for lunch. From there, we were back on course for Conneaut Lake, our original destination.
Sunday, 4 p.m.
By time we arrived at Conneaut Lake Park, it had turned into a very gloomy, rainy day. We knew they were calling for rain and it finally arrived. Nevertheless, we went into the park and got in a couple of rides on the historic, Blue Streak roller coaster and I picked up a T-shirt. I was still happy in that I finally got to experience Blue Streak. Mindee loved that old rickety thing too!
With the weather so ho-hum, I decided against trying to do a shoot at the park or by the lake. Mindee was cold and I just knew the lighting would be terrible with such a dark sky. We hit up a couple more rides on Blue Streak and were on our way.
Sunday, 5:30 p.m.
Now that the weather was rainy I pretty much figured photo shoots were out for the rest of the evening. That's when I got the idea to hit up a third amusement park on the trip, another one my brother and I visited last year, Waldameer Park. It was only about an hour away too. I mentioned it to Mindee and she laughed.
"Why not?" she said.
Sunday, 6:30 p.m.
When we arrived at Waldameer we found out the park would be closing early due to the weather and poor attendance. We had an hour and a half to ride whatever we could, so we grabbed a ride card and hit up all of their roller coasters real quick.
Sunday, 8:30 p.m.
After leaving Waldameer we made a late night dinner stop before making our way to Cedar Point. We still had two and a half hour ride ahead of us and by this time, we were both getting tired.
Sunday, 11 p.m.
Mindee and I pulled into Cedar Point and Mindee was in awe. It was her first visit to the park. We made our way back to the hotel and were glad we finally made it.
Sunday, 11:30 p.m.
After putting everything in our room we began chatting about the plans the following day. We had a pass that allowed us entry to the park an hour early. I was thinking about taking the camera in and trying to get photos of Mindee all around the park. I ended up deciding against it, however, as we barely were able to get them in Lakemont. I just didn't want the stress with this park being so popular and well attended.
What we agreed on, however, was going into the park early and just enjoying the day. After the park closed, or we decided we were done, we'd go back to the hotel and do several sets inside our room.
Monday, 9:00 a.m.
Following showers and a short walk to the gates, we entered the park. It was cloudy, but not raining. We hopped from coaster to coaster until about 2:30 p.m., after we stopped for lunch.
Monday, 2:30 p.m.
By this time the weather got quite chilly and it began to rain once again. Mindee came up with the idea to head back to the hotel for a bit. Instead of doing the shoots at night, we would use the next few hours to shoot our indoor sets and see if the rain subsided.
|This is one of the most colorful sets I've ever shot.|
Monday, 3:30 p.m.
Once I was able to set up all my photo lamps and position how I wanted to shoot Mindee, we were underway. For this first indoor set, it would see Mindee wearing a colorful pair of unique stockings with equally colorful lollipops and sitting on top of a colorful bed as well. Color sure wasn't missing in this one! Our room was full of it.
Monday, 4:15 p.m.
We finished up what turned out to be a very large set with the stockings and lollipops and I waited for Mindee to change her nail polish color to a teal. I shot a short clip while she painted her nails for all the Instagram followers.
|This idea of food in shoes was one I had for a while.|
Monday, 4:30 p.m.
This next set was one that wouldn't take long to shoot, but the clean up afterward sure did. Days before our trip I had found some funnel cake mix at a Five Below store and a cheap pair of shoes. I thought it would be awesome for Mindee to pour the mix into the shoes and then put them on her feet. That's exactly what she did too! Talk about a mess.
Monday, 5:30 p.m.
We took the next half an hour after the set was done to clean up, not only Mindee, but the chair, table, and carpet below. I'm guessing it was the first time the hotel's towels were used to clean up funnel cake mix? Only a foot fetish photographer...
Monday, 6 p.m.
The rain had actually ended about 45 minutes before, but we were still shooting and cleaning up. Now that those two sets were done, however, it was time to go back into the park. We spent the rest of the night riding all the rides we didn't get to ride earlier and riding some of the other ones several times more.
Monday, 10:30 p.m.
After we returned to our hotel room, Mindee told me I owed her a foot rub from being on her feet all day. Who was I to argue? Mindee looked over her photos from the last two days and we planned out what we wanted to do for our trip back home.
|I was able to get the coasters in the background from the beach.|
Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.
One of the sets I really wanted to do, especially since we didn't shoot inside the park itself, was out on the beaches at Cedar Point. It would allow me to get in some of their coasters in the background while shooting Mindee's first ever beach set.
We walked down the beach and took a bunch of photos as the park's early visitors enjoyed the rides, leaving the beaches empty. This turned out to be yet another colorful set!
Tuesday, 11 a.m.
Mindee and I checked out of our hotel and made a quick lunch stop. Cleveland was our next destination as it was only an hour away. I also had a plan for a certain football themed set I wanted to shoot - one that I was only able to shoot half of, but more on that later.
|Our first shoot on our final day of our trip.|
Tuesday, 12:30 p.m.
While checking out Google Earth prior to our trip I decided the waterfront area of Cleveland, by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, was a perfect spot for some photos. I was in this area about six years ago, so I was already slightly familiar with it. Mindee liked it too when I showed off some photos of the area to her in the days leading up to our trip.
We weren't exactly sure where we'd shoot our first set, but found Voinovich Bicentennial Park to be less crowded than the areas closer to the Hall of Fame. I positioned Mindee with the Steamship William G. Mather behind her and thought it looked great. With that, she stuck out her feet and we were underway for our sixth set of the trip.
|Our daring football themed set in Cleveland.|
Tuesday, 2 p.m.
We returned to the car for Mindee to get changed for our next set - one I was slightly worried about shooting. Mindee emerged from the car wearing her Ravens shirt and flip flops. We then made our way to the Cleveland Brown's stadium for our next set.
This was supposed to be the first of two football themed sets in front of a division rival's stadium. I was only going to do a handful of photos here, but due to some concerns about the weather in Pittsburgh later in the day, I decided to shoot an entire set here just in case.
My fear of someone harassing us over Mindee's attire ended up not being warranted. I mean, I guess I can understand though. The original Browns did move to Baltimore in 1996 and become the Ravens.
Tuesday, 3 p.m.
Although the weather was great, I decided it was time to head to Pittsburgh for our remaining sets. I wanted to do the sister set to the one we just finished - this time in front of the Steelers stadium. In the long run, it would have been better to have stayed in Cleveland and do another set or two.
Tuesday, 5:30 p.m.
By time we pulled into Pittsburgh our outlook on any more photos was bleak. It had rained most of the drive from Cleveland to Pittsburgh. Even so, we parked and made our way down by the Pittsburgh waterfront. There were a handful of locations I really liked around here, other than the stadium, and was sad I might not be able to use any of them.
Tuesday, 6 p.m.
With the rain still overhead Mindee and I decided to eat at a Tilted Kilt restaurant before getting on the road to head home. Maybe we'll get back one day for some of these locations.
Tuesday, 11:30 p.m.
After our long drive, which was full of rain and an hour long traffic jam leaving Pittsburgh, we were finally home. I dropped off Mindee and thanked her for an awesome trip. She was super tired, as was I. We said our goodbyes and I got in my car to drive to my house.
The Day Following Our Trip
So here I am today recounting all of this. What is probably lost in this quick journal of events was just how much fun I had shooting over 520 photos of Mindee for Soles of Silk. Although I've said it numerous times in the past, I'll say it yet again - I never get tired of having Mindee in front of my camera. She really is a sweetheart and has fun doing each and every set.
With the shoots we did over this three day span, Mindee will have over 3,000 photos on the site once they're all published. That being said, Mindee and I are still planning on getting in at least three more sets this summer. We wanted to get in 10 on this trip, but only got in seven. Looks like I have more camera time to look forward to with those pretty size 8 feet!