The idea for this photo shoot started small. This winter has been pretty slow for business, (though I can't say I have minded since I'm also a full time mom to a six-month-old) and I've been getting a little stir crazy. I wanted to post something new and fresh on social media and do something to get my creative juices flowing that wouldn't take a lot of effort or planning. I've been noticing the flower crown trend and figured that spring would be the opportune time to try and create one myself.
Everything for this photo shoot came together within a week. We hit up the new Community Aid Thrift Store for some bohemian style clothing and picked up flowers at Central Market on Friday to make our crowns. I bought the wire for the headbands at Michael's. Total cost for everything (clothes, flowers, crown materials) was under $75. My dear friend, neighbor and partner in crime Drea was happy to model since she is currently without a job having recently returned from living abroad. My other good friend Bethany also joined in last minute after hearing of our plans. Both of these beautiful brunettes were bridesmaids in my wedding and I couldn't be happier with how these photos turned out.
In the spirit of simplicity, we took the majority of these photos within my Lancaster City neighborhood, Cabbage Hill. I wanted to be able to walk and I thought it would be unique to photograph flower crown models in an urban setting since most of the images I have seen are in fields or forests. That said, we couldn't resist making a trip to the Lancaster County Central Park to take a few more images in said fields and forests. :)
A big thanks to my neighbors Anne and Rob Nye for letting us use their beautiful city yard for many of the photos. It is amazing how a simple slate wall and a fence full of ivy can create the illusion of a secret garden.
I also did some experimenting with free lensing, a process I had heard about and had always wanted to try. Basically it involves removing the lens from your camera and holding it in front of the opening and shooting through it. It allows you to play with the focus and depth of field in a much different way than if it were attached to your camera. It's somewhat hard to control what is in focus, but allows the edges to be tilted or blurred. I think it gives a dreamlike quality to the images. The two images of Drea below were taken using the free lensing technique.
One thing I love about these images is the contrast of the bright colorful flowers amidst the dry, dead brown colors of winter. There is evidence of new life here. The trees are starting to bud and spring flower bulbs have already sprouted from the ground. The grass is turning green and mossy and the air has the damp smell of the earth coming to life. Spring brings growth in both the personal and professional sense this year, especially in my new role as a mother and as I continue to discover, discern and pursue the direction I want my art and my photography to go.
A couple years ago Drea and I visited Bethany in Morocco where she was teaching art at a school in Casablanca. We shared the experience of rug bargaining at a market in Fes which will forever remain a fond memory from the trip (and we all brought home Moroccan rugs of course!). Drea's rug made it in the photo shoot, as well a previous photo shoot I did two summers ago from a Moroccan themed picnic in our backyard which you can see here on my blog.
I learned about a new flower that I am now fond of: the ranunculus (the big orange one in Drea's crown below). Quite popular these days in wedding bouquets and flower crowns, the ranunculus flower was the most pricey of all. I paid $5.50 for one stem! I'd say it was worth it.
My fabulous models were willing to climb this tree so I could get the best angle to maximize those yellow blooms :)
No flower crown photo shoot would be complete without a little twirling in front of a flower themed mural.
If only I could get paid to have this much fun! What started as a simple idea turned out to be even better than what I imagined. I will definitely be adding some of these images to my portfolio! I count my first styled shoot a success!