About 6 months ago Quit Nguyen asked me if I would be interested in taking a group camping so we could capture some images of Tree & Leaf apparel. Camping is my absolute favorite pastime second only to drawing, so when Quit made this proposal, I was definitely down. After a little brainstorming, the plan was simple: I bring the camping gear, Quit brings the camera.
Quit and I were both on the same page about the aesthetic, we didn't want to stage any shots. We wanted to take a bunch of people camping, hike around, and have a good time. Conveniently for Quit, he has an incredible eye for candid photography.
We loaded up 8 of our friends and headed to one of the most beautiful, diverse, and iconic state parks in Oklahoma, The Witchita Mountains. I had a really great time on this little excursion, and the group we took was awesome. I'll go ahead and apologize, because this blog is going to be long-winded, but Quit took so many damn good photos, I have to use as many as possible!
We made a quick pitstop by Lake Lawtonka to drop off our gear, all 10 of us hopped in my Tacoma and we headed toward the reserve. Quit's quick snaps in the back of the truck are some of my favorites.
We drove out to the Bison trailhead because it offers a huge variety of scenery between its lakes, the 'narrows,' and treelined creekbeds.
During the hike, I ran ahead of the pack so I could scout rest spots and places to shoot. One thing that really stuck out to me about this group was that although most of them were meeting for the first time, there was always a conversation happening. We had recruited some good folks for this trip and they all made sure to pack their good vibes.
My conversations mostly came from the local wildlife...
We crawled down into the narrows to explore and boulder a little bit before heading back to the campsite. It's not treacherous, but finding a way down the 40 foot incline can be a little daunting. Luckily, we all made it down without harm and made the narrows a spot for wandering.
We headed back to the trail, and eventually back to our camp at Lake Lawtonka. October in Oklahoma can be a little misleading, although the morning started out cold, the midday sun just about baked everyone into a bit of a daze. Luckily, a meal, some cold brews, and the sweet serenade from Steve on the guitar brought us all back to life.
The campsite is a great place to wind down, draw, read a book, and chat about the universe. Tacos made from fresh avocados, chicken, salsa, cheese and peppers made for a great recovery meal.
After dinner we decided to make a campfire at the shore of Lake Lawtonka so we could watch the incredible sunset over Mt. Scott.
This 30 second capture by Quit really grabbed the final mood of the evening. A few of our folks packed up and headed home, but the rest of us sipped wine and watched the fire turn to embers before retiring to our camp. So glad to have shared these experiences with good people. Cheers! Until the next adventure!