Erica was inspired to do a glamour session after a few recent changes in her life made her realise if she didn't do something like this now, then when would she do it. Once the thought formed in her mind, it became etched in stone and she knew she wanted to capture herself in a unique way that would make her feel liberated and empowered. She wanted to shatter some of her comfort zones within. At the same tim, she wanted to not only feel beautiful but also radiate from the inside out. The certainly was not a skin deep journey for Erica, but rather the first step into the person she'd always been but was too scared to let out. Erica told me the fabulous story of how she had made a tutu for her three year old God daughter, just to try a new DIY project. Memories of her not so graceful ballerina days flooded back and in the midst of the production, the little girl was shown a photo of the "work in progress" and she blurted out that "Aunty Erie looks like a princess!". To which Erica's precarious retort was "Oh no, Auntie Erie may look like a princess, but she most certainly is a QUEEN!" And thus sparked an idea. Although Erica knows she couldn't recreate the glimmer in her god daughter's eyes that day, it was that majestic twinkle that inspired the making of the dress.
We decided to do the shoot at Tom Moore's jungle but when we arrived, there was only the last of the sun just disappearing behind the hilltops beyond. Poor Erica was so nervous at the idea of making real all her ideas that she had slipped into the Swizzle Inn for a few cocktails on her way to the shoot with her friend Shayla for support and constant jokes. But we chased to the highest point we could to capture the last glimpse of sun and in that particular spot, the wind was howling a gale off the south shore. We'd had visions of peaceful draped fabric but instead the material clung to Erica in the powerful breeze.
Next, Erica put on her fabulous creation which she had stayed up making late into the night before. It was layer upon layer of peachy flowy tulle and looked so fabulous as a skirt as she wandered through the tunnels of cherry trees.
Erica had wanted something really different for her shoot and not just a simple beauty session so she had her eye make up done in a very dramatic way for effect. We had so much fun on the shoot. Erica was trying desperately to not make what she called the "pouty fish face" which became especially difficult later as it grew colder and she was wet and her teeth were chattering.
Erica was such a trooper in the itchy grass they I insisted she lie down in for the perfect shot. The little bugs were apparently relentless, but Erica made it look like the softest sweetest experience of her life.
The darkness was falling fast, but lastly, we knew we wanted to have a few shots in the lagoon. I think the lack of light adds to the mood of the images in the water, but the poor girl was frozen.
It was officially dark when Erica emerged from the lagoon when she suddenly remembered she had brought glitter! Her friend Shayla came to the rescue and put on her cell phone light and we took a few last shots of Erica covered in glitter which worked a charm since she was soaking wet so they stuck as if with glue. I love the eerie effect of the weak phone light and think these last images are so hauntingly beautiful.
Thank you Erica for being such a star on the shoot. From the howling winds, scratchy grasses, biting bugs, freezing waters, and crazy amounts of glitter that you later had to get out of your hair, car and house, it was all worth it for the final images are glorious. Aside from all that you had to overcome, you were also insanely brave by simply getting over your own fears and shyness to make some truly beautiful images of yourself that I know you will look back on one day many years from now and be so so happy you took that risk. Congratulations. xxxx