This is Adrian Amparo, Jackie’s husband. After the Tax Day picture we kinda felt like we should have one portrait a month and since there were so many holidays and special events going on in May, we had a lot from which to choose. There was Star Wars Day, Teacher Appreciation Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day. We decided to shoot a Star Wars – May the 4th Be with you Themed Scene. Our kids love the movies and were reignited in their enthusiasm for those galaxies far, far away when The Force Awakens opened in December.
Once we decided on the theme, Jackie quickly chimed in on the location. She wanted to shoot at Joshua Tree National Park. It’s a beautiful place with many landscapes that really do look out of this world. She’d been wanting to go for a few years now and I think she finally found a way for her to get her wish.
The first thing we thought of was to re-enact a scene from Star Wars but it was quickly shot down because it has been done before and very well too. Also, putting on masks and costumes defeated the purpose of having a family portrait. We then thought about going with a subtle hint of Star Wars but found it hard to be subtle when dealing with Star Wars. Since we had many light-sabers around the house we thought of having a fight scene with everyone wearing a Star Wars shirt.
However, thinking of having a video, I suggested all of us using the force to try to get a single light-saber which would make it move slightly as we all reached for it. That was it! Jackie said it was perfect and we had our shot.
Our idea behind making the light-saber move was to bury a vibrating baby toy next to the weapon so that the vibrations from the ball would make it move. We quickly found out the dirt from the National Park was too heavy for the baby toy and kept it from moving at all. We had to ditch the idea, and yes that hurt, and just take a regular still shot.
We spent a few more hours at Joshua Tree taking pictures and enjoying the park but Jackie wanted her shot. She then considered using her giant back massager to make the toy saber vibrate. She figured out how to connect it to a portable battery pack and place both the massager and the battery pack into a big trash bag to bury them together. By then we were back in the desert and drove around looking for a the perfect spot for the shot which we thought we would never get because it started raining. Yes, it rains in the desert but only when you need to do something outside. After the rained stopped we found the place and with the last few minutes of good light, our family finally caught the shot. May the 4th be with you!