Monday, our last shoot day in Mongolia, we set out from our hotel in Ulaan Bataar at 7:00am for a family who makes their traditional home in the countryside about 1 ½ hours out of the city. On the way, we came across this interesting pile of stone topped with a cool blue cloth concoction. A Shaman holy shrine we were told, not uncommon in the area and for me – a cool photo op!
Another five miles and we arrived at the home of our herdsman family. You could say our hopes for a traditional family were not disappointed. They even came with a bonus grandmother in the ranks! They were completely prepared for us keeping their two children who would have been in school home for our photos. We were initially seated and treated to a customary assortment of cheese, bread, hot milk, home grown yogurt, a potion of fermented horse milk (yippee!) and khuurshuur – Mongolian fried empanada things.
The multiple layered clouds drifting through created a perfect thin diffusion for the photos. The home (ger) had a peaked roof with a hole in the center which provided excellent natural lighting to the interior. Our family shoots are done in accordance with an strict schedule for the wide variety of scenes to be covered for each page of our 30+ titles to be printed this year. With both cameras (Canon 1Ds MKIII & 5D MKII) strapped one to a side, and ample direction from our crew, we went to work. I filled my first 32-gig card within the first hour alone (about 650 images). We came away with far more than we needed or ever hoped for. Absolutely, one of the most rewarding shoot days ever.
We are on a quest to document the beauty of families everywhere within their own unique and diverse settings. Our last shoot day in Mongolia was truly amazing and life changing all by itself! What could the heavens possibly have in store for us next!