It seems that no amount of planning will guarantee a perfect shoot, so it's always best to just go with the flow. So several weeks of preparation for the gold mine shoot yielded a lot of Fool's Gold, but a few real nuggets.
So Russell (the other photographer) and I originally had 3-4 models lined up, but as usual, one that originally agreed dropped off the face of the Earth (she probably had multiple grandmothers die back-to-back), and 2 others decided in days leading up to just stop communicating. So we had 1 model confirmed, and I tried to convince Russell to reschedule. We both put on a mad rush to find at least 1 more model, and he reached into his bag of tricks to rustle up a second girl.
Surprise #1: Upon arriving in Idaho Springs at the gold mine, I found out that Russell was unable to bring his lights, which made the heavy generator in the back of my car nothing more than a gasoline-scented air freshener.
Surprise #2: The owner that had granted us access informed us that he could not stay, but we might be able to ask one of the 'help.' We were told $20 could do the trick (which is all Russell had on him and I had nothing). But, oh yeah, that's only going to hold the guy for 30 minutes. So off I raced back into town to an ATM to get more cash.
Surprise #3: When the customers were finally gone and we could go into the mine to start shooting, our guide had to tag along. That brings up the awkward scenario of explaining to the guy that the 2 models were about to lose their clothing. Russell and I tactfully tried to ask him if he had any issues with "artistic" photos, at which time he tried to tell us how a shot most people like to get is with their kids holding the TNT trigger with the parents standing behind them with their fingers in their ears. OK, fail. So Russell stepped in and asked the guy if he had a bad ticker. He still didn't get it. So while Russell and I struggled for the rights words, one of our models, Jackie, was kind enough to just loudly blurt out "We're shooting nudes!" Luckily he had no issue with it, but it added a bit to the willingness of one of the girls to flaunt her good in front of him, so we had to get creative.
Fortunately, we had enough light from the solar powered bulbs still lit to shoot what we wanted. For me, it gave me these:
When we finished inside the mine, we were lucky that everyone else left, which allowed us pure access to anything on site, and only a small need to watch for cars driving by. I took a lot of shots of Niki on an old rusty tractor, but really only liked how this one turned out:
Before we lost all natural light, I envisioned something fun in front of the closed up entrance of the mine area:
So some cash, 2-hour drive, several wasted hours tracking down models that never showed, and one really dusty car later, we chalk up another interesting location shoot.