The journey to creating these images was quite interesting. I had found this amazing handmade floral dress at my local thrift store. I was staring at different floral editorials for the last few months, mostly inspired by the amazing Frida Kahlo and then this dress just showed up in my face! I went home and played around and it went perfectly with this Russianesque scarf and shawl I also thrifted a while back. I stuck some flowers in the scarf and voila! I took these on new years eve and the first image in this series was photo 365 for my Project Life 365 photo series.
So the shoot actually was very difficult to do because it was freezing outside and it almost turned out terrible until the last 10 minutes. I will explain...
I went to my go to farm in the blue hills area to get a nice neutral backdrop for this bold dress. I walked out into an area with a big field and it was really creepy because there was not one human out that day. I set up my camera on the tripod and adjusted the settings and did some test shots. The camera was just not focusing. I tried and tried, changed a few things a bunch of times, and still it was just not working. It usually takes a bit of effort to get right. I move the focus point to match where I'm standing so when I press the remote it focuses on me, but this time it just would not focus. Meanwhile I couldn't feel my fingers and my nose was dripping all over the place. To top it off I kept hearing something in the woods nearby. I know deer frequent the area but they are generally not out to get you. I was just nervous about whatever else lives in the woods. I was actually hoping to see a deer because I think they are really majestic creatures. One time I spotted one on a hike. It just stood there in the middle of this golden field of tall grass with the mountain as a backdrop and just looked at me with such poise. It had huge antlers and it was like I was in some dream/movie. It wasn't frightened, it was just IT! It was a magical moment that I still daydream about. I'm convinced it was some sort of spirit/animal guide speaking to me and now I just really love deer!
Sooo, I kept trying because I didn't want to give up. I came all this way and I was all dressed up. So I moved into another area thinking the camera would have a better time focusing with a different backdrop and that didn't work either. At that point I really couldn't feel my body and I think it was getting dangerous, so I had to go back to the car and warm up. After I warmed up a bit I decided to try my luck in another spot near the car as a last attempt. It was still having trouble and then this thought popped into my head to use the camera in LCD mode with the screen because it does a pretty good job at detecting people, and it worked!! I was able to get in a few shots and hopped back into the car to go. Just in time to see inmates stroll by picking up trash along the street. I did not want to be stranded in the middle of an abandoned farm with prison inmates nearby.
While driving away I was literally beaming! I was proud of what I could withstand to get those shots, proud of not giving up, and grateful for the powers above for helping me learn a new technique for taking self portraits. It's sooo much faster now and I wouldn't have figured it out if I didn't sit there and struggle with it. Which got me thinking...this was much more than a shoot...I was cultivating a habit of determination and drive and learning through DOING.
sort of like growing a garden...
We're all given these life experiences. Some beautiful and others incredibly traumatizing. It's hard to let go of the ones that are not so great but when you start to realize that YOU, your true being, are not defined by any of those things. If you let them, they can, but you can also decide to use them like seeds to plant your own garden.
Gardens take time to grow. They need to be watered, nurtured, and brought to life with patience, care and love. They go through stages of birth and decay and recreation over and over just as we do. We evolve and change constantly and need nourishment to sustain ourselves through each stage. Are we nurturing our souls enough? Because we should all take time to grow our own gardens. Peel back the layers and get to the root and plant it firmly into the ground and let yourself flourish. I've been doing a lot of this lately. There are so many layers to peel back and so much left to nurture and grow within... and I'm loving being the watcher of it all.
So you plant your garden and decorate your own soul.
Much love, water, and light