The Page of Coins is probably the most dangerous card we’ve shot in a while, in terms of “the photographer may break her neck” possibilities. As with most of the other “don’t try this at home, kids” shots, this involved me needing to be higher in the air than Stephanie, so that I could shoot down toward her.
In this case, we wanted to convey a sense of playing and youth, since the pages are typically “younger” cards, but I also wanted to make sure that we could see the ground, since the suit of Coins or Pentacles is traditionally associated with the element of Earth. We hit upon the idea of a jungle gym fairly early on, but
we live in an urban enough area that it was somewhat difficult to hunt one down; finally I remembered this climbing structure in the Ohlone Park near my office, which conveniently also had a second rope climbing structure, so we had options.
It was damp when we shot, which was what truly lent an air of “might injure” to the climbing- I’ve always liked jungle gyms and climbing things, so I had no problem getting to the top and wedging myself in. The more difficult bits were in trying to peer through a viewfinder, tell Stephanie where to move, and lean around while not losing my precarious balance on the slippery metal pipes. It wasn’t a traditional jungle gym, there weren’t a lot of joints to anchor yourself against, just a lot of wet, smooth, metal.
Nonetheless, they came off fine, and the rope climbing structure was much easier to navigate, and also a lot of fun. This shoot actually reminded me how much I like being active, and how much I hate “adult” forms of exercise (running, the treadmill, etc). It’s exactly the sort of reminder appropriate to this card- I like climbing, I like playing, I like a physical challenge. It’s when I feel obligated or routinized that I begin to resent my own physicality.
I’m pleased with the photos, overall- the second structure made me really want to shoot Stephanie as Ariadne or some such, because it looked so much like a web. We’ll see if it comes up in any of the Major Arcana, but as of this moment, I can’t think what we’d do with it. Still, it was a good site.
Check out Stephanie’s take here, or the full Flickr set here, or our actual website itself here.
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