I needed an image I could use as a billboard on the side of my two-story, 100-year old, brick building downtown Tulsa. It took me a long time to visualize what I wanted; Fashion couture look, wardrobe, location, backdrop, a young lady that I could look at everyday (which is my niece), the composition…this thought process took me a year to plan and put together. I started with the wardrobe. Red is my favorite color so a red dress seemed a no brainer. When you need help who better to call than mom! I sent several dress ideas to my mom. Tulle was the look I chose, Soft, elegant, and feminine, 60 yards. Mom had ideas of her own. She, literally, hand ruched every few inches and stitched little black beads into the tulle. The skirt turned out more beautiful than I could have imagined. Since this I have photographed a 55-year old woman in the same outfit! Classic!
I originally planned a couple of locations, the woods and the studio, using natural light. Two days before the shoot I panicked and called my past teacher, friend and cinema videographer Kelly Kerr and ask his thoughts, rooftop and studio he said, I agreed. Now for the backdrop in the studio. I wanted white for the red to pop so I created the backdrop using white 12×12 scrapbook paper. Brittany and I brushed the edges with black paint, scrunched it up and taped it to the backboard. We did this until 1:00am the night before the shoot. We used constant daylight balanced lights that Jeff Anderson (photographer friend) brought in to use with the videography.
The black dress you see is four yards of fabric I picked up the day before the shoot and my mom and sister literally wrapped Brittany in it moments before we started shooting. I loved the texture and elegant look of the fabric. We took a few in the studio using constant daylight balanced lights before heading to a downtown location.
I was relaxed, energized, anxious and excited all at the same time. Doing a photoshoot with someone videotaping the whole experience was intimidating, not to mention I was still wearing a cast to my armpit. This was out of my comfort zone for sure.
I AM GRATEFUL!
Thank you Mom so much for your long hard labor of love. This experience is one I truly cherish, and I will talk about to anyone who will listen 🙂
Did I mention to you all that Brittany is my niece! If I am going to see a 10×20 foot billboard everyday I want it to be someone I love seeing. Thank you Brittany for supporting your aunt and being such a trooper when I was coaching poses to you, laughing with you, and being bossy! I love you like you are mine. Thank you to my sister Mila for all her help in wrapping brittany up in that lovely black gown and for supporting me all the way! I love you more than eternity!
Thank you Kelly Kerr (Special K) for all your support and seeing my vision come to life. You are awesome! And a special thank you to Jeff Anderson who was a machine this day, setting up the videographer, the lights, moving equipment…always there before you had to ask.
Thank you to my friends Melanie Patterson for the beautiful hair. Thank you Alicia Foster for the fun makeup (and those lashes!). Watching these girls work was so fun and educational.
I will post a storyboard in the next few weeks to go along with the video, so stay tuned.