Fifteen years ago I flew from Los Angeles to Cincinnati on a clear winter day. Thirty thousand feet below I could see breathtaking desert formations. There and then I decided that one day I'll return to these places by land for shooting.
And in March 2012, there I was: California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. 2500 miles in ten days, starting in Los Angeles -–as I once did - with Dorothy Johnson, a Cincinnati born model living in San Francisco! LA and Cincinnati - history revisited!
Five months before the trip I was looking for a model to accompany me; the moment I saw Dottie's eyes I knew she's The One. I'm still not sure why; a sixth sense perhaps? It soon turned out I was right: starting a physically and mentally demanding adventure as perfect strangers, it immediately proved to be a perfect match between a photographer and a model.
The weather was hard: low temperatures at high altitudes, often below freezing point, strong winds, snow, rain.… Long off-road treks, harsh rocks and sharp tree branches were Dottie's everyday treat. She proved to be unbreakable though: her fervor, endurance and energy turned impossible conditions into inspiring shooting. Where often I was about to quit, she pushed on and on.
On the following pages you are about to join Dottie and me on this journey of discovering Gaia: a journey through the beauty of woman and nature, passion and art but most of all a journey that ended in a very dear friendship.