The fun thing about personal projects is that you get a chance to show off what you’re capable of beyond what you normally do. My Tree Woman Project inspired a friend to revisit her favorite portrait from college taken by a friend on film.
We took inspiration from it, and had a lot of fun creating something new. Though we didn’t have a snowy forest to work with, we did find some amazing tree branches in the Kubota Gardens. Like the ying and yang of life, I think these two personalized portraits are lovely in their opposite tones, but complimentary in style.
I also realized just how much I enjoy a creative challenge and trying new things. So, if you have a photograph from your past and want to recreate it or something new, I’m game!
When I saw this old apple tree, I could not believe how big it had grown. It’s hiding in a green space where rumor has it there used to be an old military bunker. The story goes that they filled it with cement and it’s buried deep under a school nearby. Regardless of the old military presence, this part of the green space is home to many fruit trees. This apple tree is overgrown like a wild tree in a Dr. Seuss book.
My mother loves apples, and so it was truly delightful to pair her session with the old wild apple tree.
The day we woke up to do our session, Seattle saw it’s first snow. It was bitter cold outside, but we decided to go for it anyway. Add to that the fact that my back was out of alignment, and you have two very determined artists stomping through the frozen forest to get these photographs.
We left the green space with frozen fingers and toes, but huge smiles as we had gone against the natural inclination to stay indoors and capture natural beauty.
Special thanks to my Mom for being my model, and camera assistant lugging around my old fashioned metal tripod and large camera bag. It was truly an adventure!
I have had a love for trees for quite some time now, and this past summer, I was able to volunteer with a Tree Ambassador program in Seattle by photographing trees for a self-guided tree walk map.
Capturing beauty in women is also a passion of mine. When I discovered Brooke Shaden, both of those passions merged into a lovely light bulb moment: I wanted to photograph women AND trees. This little idea further grew after meeting and hearing Jeremy Cowart speak during Creative Live’s Photo Week in September. His work is amazing, and his experimental nature inspired me to just jump in and start my idea: Tree Women – and did a first try with my daughter last month.
When I posted to my friends on Facebook asking for volunteer models and help with the project, I was so encouraged. Not only did I get volunteer models, a fellow photographer friend offered to assist. The morning of our photo session, it was super windy – like storm warning the night before windy. It was so gusty, that I almost cancelled for fear that we’d be in danger, but my model/friend Tasha was sure it would be okay.
And, boy was I glad we decided to go for it. Literally, the clouds parted and the sunshine came out toward the end of our session. It was beautiful!
Life is too short to wait until I feel old enough to reach for my dreams. I’ve felt that very deeply lately after losing a mentor and watching my aunt struggle with cancer. The problem with being me is that I have many dreams and yet a very real sense of duty and responsibility to focus on my photography business in a traditional business model.
My dream is to use photography to capture fine art portraits based on whimsical concepts AND to help through non-profit photography. While I’ve been focusing on my business and learning non-profit photography (planning on learning through Workshops With A Purpose in April 2015), I’ve decided to jump into the other side of my dream – concept based fine art portraiture.
I have this idea to photograph women in the woods with the shoot designed around specific types of trees to highlight the beauty of both nature an real women. So, I shared the idea on my facebook page, and the response was encouraging! So, a new personal project has been born, and I look forward to filling my portfolio for the day when I can offer concept based fine art portraits…
That look a little something like this:
Everything about this session with my daughter was amazingly fulfilling. From creating her head pieces to scouting the locations to actually giving her a piggyback ride once her shoes were off so she could stand on that tree barefoot was so much fun. It was like playing dress up and watching a dream come true. Now, I have challenged myself to do 10 more of these sessions with the same concept so that I can fill a portfolio and streamline the process to create an enjoyable client experience.
So, thank you for watching me grow my fine art creative portraiture branch!