It’s been a year since I got the news that I was contracted to provide COVID-19 ICU relief. I’ve worked with a lot of complex patients in the past three years as a critical care nurse, but nothing has compared to nursing at a pandemic level. My partner, Alex, drove with me on a roadtrip across the US. We drove all the way from Nashville, Tennessee to my nursing assignment out in Los Angeles, California. We had been given just six days notice of my start date. So we left as soon as possible to maximize our time outside together, camping out of my Subaru along the way.
We got caught in a Texas snow storm on Valentine’s day only to be re-routed from Saguaro to the Grand Canyon instead. Then we camped in Zion in freezing temperatures, scaling Angel’s Landing at sunrise. After that, hiked the twenty miles up the Half Dome in Yosemite, rock climbing the last four hundred feet with the cables down, and found ourselves to be the only ones at the top. 🤍
This chapter of my life was pivotal for me.
Chapters opening and closing when it came to my career of nursing, relationships, worldviews, and… photos. I remember a night so vividly of us at our campsite for our first time in Joshua Tree just days before I started the crisis work in LA. I had my camera set up on the picnic table trying astrophotography over + over again. It was so simple and honestly really subpar imagery, but that experience changed everything for me. I had rediscovered my love for photographing landscape on this trip. To this day, I feel like it has consumed my mind in the most beautiful way possible ever since then.
I kept a journal and would write in it every day when we were driving. Looking back on it I can’t thank my partner, Alex, enough for his patience and being so willing to drive me across the country not once, but twice. I’ve considered re-editing a lot of my images from these road trips. I have learned so much about editing since they were first taken + edited, but I love them as they are. For they are the base of everything that would soon follow.
A collection of images shot on my ten year old Canon T5i with an 18-35mm + Kodak disposable film. 🤍
the joshua tree astro shot above. will never forget this night, as long as I live. 🤍
me + my bestie!
wanted to link here to the cutie studio airbnb in LA I rented for the eight weeks with the kindest hosts ever 🤍
February 18, 2022
Nicole Lenia Kiser is a Traveling Elopement + WEdding photographer based out of Tennessee, MOntana, & Wyoming.
through experience in working with landscapes, she is able to create storytelling imagery connecting couples to the earth.