Have you ever had a childhood experience that has continued to inspire you even into adulthood? For me, nothing was more iconic than Shania Twain strutting around the desert wearing her head-to toe-leopard ensemble in the ultimate female-empowerment moment in That Don’t Impress Me Much. I’ve seriously been dreaming about recreating this spotted spectacle ever since I was like two years old, and when we moved back to California, I finally had my chance.
It all started last year when I finally found the perfect pair of leopard pants from BlankNYC. I had been looking for the right variation of leopard print for a while (which, if you’re as particular when it comes to fashion as I am, is actually kind of hard) and then became tasked (read: obsessed) with finding a top that not only matched the print, but also the vibe of Shania’s original look. A few weeks ago, I landed this sheer, long sleeve crop top from N DUO and was, at long last, ready to make my animal print desert dreams come true.
Well, as you can imagine, in August in Southern California, any and all dry lake beds are the temperature equivalent of the surface of the sun, so both making the trek and achieving a good amount of images without abandoning my hydration and testing out my health insurance seemed like a stretch. But, I could no longer stand to wait, so we ended up staying with my folks for the weekend (they’re about 1.5 hours away from the desert) and leaving their house around 4pm to escape the worst heat of the day. My mom came along for moral support (and also to supervise our 9 month old puppy who’s too young to leave alone for too long without something being chewed). I wanted to photograph a few more looks besides this one when we were up there, so what was supposed to be a quick trip that would end before dinnertime turned into a full-blown on-location style shoot. We ended up stopping at another location along the way, and after a lot of outfit changes, angle-discussions, and figuring out how to get onto the dry lake bed, the sun had just about gone down. I started to worry that we wouldn’t get the shots we wanted, especially since it was too windy and dark to get the aerial video footage we had planned on with the drone my husband brought along. At his reassurance, I begrudgingly changed into my outfit and started posing (honestly not expecting much). After I checked the first few shots, I was astonished by what I saw! Not only was there plenty of light to see the detail of the look, but the flash that my husband had thrown on the camera created this super-glam, almost moody effect that I wasn’t expecting AT ALL. My reservations melted away under the desert heat and the rest of the shoot was actually really fun! Sometimes you just have to let go of your reservations and have fun without worrying too much about the result!
Scroll to see the photos below!