The concept of this collection came about as a combination of a number of factors. On one hand, I have always been a person who is extremely self-conscious, afraid of what others think and how they perceive me. On the other hand, I am loud, outgoing and boisterous most of the time. I am covered in tattoos, I ride a motorcycle, and I have been told that I am funny and entertaining. The discrepancies in the way I feel on the inside and what I show on the outside is very different. I am more sensitive and vulnerable than people sometimes realize. Hence, the title of this collection of fine art photographs is “Fragile”. I chose a floral theme throughout each series (there are 7), because flowers are not only beautiful, but strong, vibrant and healthy in the right environment. At the same time, they are extremely delicate and susceptible to harm, depending on the nurturing they receive. I wanted a series of fine art photographs that depict this feeling of duality that I personally experience every day.
So began my labor of love, a personal project to bring me happiness and joy. A chance to do something uniquely different, something that my clients have never experienced or seen.
Step One: Create the Costumes
A personal bucket list item is learning how to sew. I actually really stink at it, and I have absolutely no talent or patience when it comes to stitching material. My mother in law gave me her old sewing machine, and I have always wanted to learn. So, I decided to teach myself a few things with this fine art photography project. I sewed ALL the costumes for this series, which took me approximately 60 hours to complete all seven of them. I made a lot of mistakes, and I learned a lot in the process. We don't have a fabric store where I live, so I drove two hours to the nearest city and visited a few places to get tulle in all the colors I wanted. I believe I stitched approximately 300 yards of tulle! I didn't begin sewing the costumes until I had my models selected, so that I could make them specifically to fit each one, with some room for adjustments.
Step Two: Create the Headpieces
Second step was to create the various headpieces to match the costumes.
Step Three: Begin Selecting & Styling the Wigs
I have a pretty extensive wig collection, partially because I love dressing up and trying new things, and partially for use in my photography studio. It also allows me to keep up with my hair styling training (I have been a hairstylist since 1996), and practice braiding and up-do styles.
Step Four: Model Selection
The next step was to find willing participants for these shoots. I created an online application on my website, and posted to my Facebook page. I had 54 applications in 20 minutes! I went through the applications and called each of the models I wished to use for this project. I explained the process, and the styling and finished idea that existed in my head, to make sure they were comfortable with the idea. Then we scheduled dates and times for sessions. I am super fortunate to live in a small community.... I knew almost every single person that applied! Now I have a great list of resources for this project, and for future ideas! How cool is that? My brain is already spinning for future projects to utilize all the models who applied! Stay tuned for more of my crazy ideas!
Step Five: The Photo Sessions
I am a little OCD from time to time, so I scheduled my sessions based on my availability, my model's availability, and when I could arrange for my puppy to stay with our friend. (The amazing Dawn Klassen of All Creatures)
Stay Tuned for Part 2 of these blog posts, where I show you the results from each of the series of photo sessions!
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