Saturday, January 15, 2011

Finishing the Fae in Us All Project

Ashley as the Autumn Fae (2006)
I've been working on my Fae in Us All project for about 5 years now.  I began planning the concept and interviewing models in the summer of 2006, but it wasn't until October of that year that I actually shot the first model for the series, and while that first shoot yielded some nice images, the project was in its infancy and didn't produce the results that I sought for the final publication of the photos.

So, I went back to the drawing board for a couple of years. I researched and purchased various wings, material, makeup,  and jewelry. I also looked at the work of various artists who specialized in depicting images of fairies.  I also spent time visiting various locations around the state to find locations that would afford both the model and I privacy and an appropriate setting for the various shoots that would comprise the project. Luckily, I also have a good and generous friend who has let me shoot on his property for many of the shoots as well.

Initially the shoots were to include only the seasons and the elements - Winter, Spring Summer and Fall, as well as Fire, Water, Spirit, Earth and Air.  Most have been shot, and in some cases, reshoot, but Winter, Earth and Air remain.  When I resumed shooting in the summer of 2008,  after interviewing a number of models and talking to a number of my more artistic friends, I decided to expand the scope to include any number of expressions of a person's inner Fae, and then the project got its title and purpose.

Lilly as the Woodland Fae
I also looked and my portfolio and determined I needed to add a more diverse selection of models. That fit well with the "In Us All" portion of the concept. The second shoot of the series was the Woodland Fairy featuring Lilly. The shoot was planned with full collaboration with the model with regards to the concept, the costume and the setting. I was much more pleased with the results and I discovered that I truly enjoyed the collaborative creative process, i.e. working with the model as well as others to design the outfit, makeup, hairstyle and choose the various props for the shoot.

In the last three years, I've shot a number of variations on the them - Combat Fairy, House Fairy, Photo Fairy, Pixie, River Fairy, Waterfall Nymph, Garden Fairy, Flower Fairy and so forth and so on. It's now, however, time to wrap this up and move on to other areas of photographic interests. That means I must shoot the final, essential elements of the project I mentioned above during the 1st half of 2011 and start the layout of the book, along with the accompanying text for the images that will be included in the final publication. 

Base design for Winter Wings
To that end, I'm in the midst of planning my Winter Fae shoot. There are a couple of models in consideration for the role, and the costume is essential ready. I'll be using a variation of wings from the to complete the costume, but for this shoot, I'll also be photographing the model without wings so I can add some variations during the post-processing. When the weather warms up and the skies clear enough, I'll shoot the Wind (Air) Fairy and then when we move into early summer, I'll wrap up the project with the Earth Fairy. There are a number of variations that can be done on the latter two Fae and I'm looking forward to exploring those variations with the models. 

If you are a model, or know of one that would like to participate in the project, the window of opportunity will be closing this year. While I have plans for only the three shoots I've mentioned, I'm still open to adding one or two more if I can fit it into the schedule. One I'd particularly like to try is a Rain Fairy, but there could also be a Fae of Music or one of Light.  

1 comment:

DL-Wilson said...

I came across your blog while searching for pictures on fantasy, particularly elves and fairies. What kept me there was your photographic work. I enjoy photography and have have several cameras, both digital and film (35mm). I look forward to the completion of your fae project as it sounds very intriguing.
Keep up the awesome work.