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"Fire, Help Me To Forget" & "My Whole Heart"

I want to start this entry off by addressing the fact that my blog is now on my website. For a long time I've had my blogger integrated on here, but I've been wanting to use this website more and have all of my content gathered in one place. I feel that now is the perfect opportunity to part with my blog on blogger and start fresh here. I've finished my year long project "The Last Queen of Faeries" and I'm now starting several new projects, so I've revamped my website and one of the new features will be this diary. All of my old posts will remain on my old blog, if anyone should want to browse through them, here is a link:

As I mentioned, I'm starting a few new projects this year and one of them I'll be sharing with you right now: A new series called "In The Enchanted Realm". It'll be a collection of photos of creatures that in some way or another are magical; A world filled with heroes and villains, light and dark, and really just anything that I can dream up ;)

The first character we meet is the Phoenix. She's filled with fire and light, and a passion that, at times, burns too wildly to be contained. She battles the forces of darkness, but she stands alone and eventually falls. She succumbs to the darkness and the earth reclaims her. Maybe, like the phoenix, she will be reborn someday.

Fire, Help Me To Forget I

"Fire, Help Me To Forget I"

"Fire, Help Me To Forget II"

"My Whole Heart I"

"My Whole Heart II"

This shoot, these photos, grew in my mind over some time. I felt inspired to do something with armors and swords, and I saw this fallen creature with a chest plate that was torn open with vines, revealing a bleeding heart of berries. I then worked my way backwards to this creature of light, who'd either burned too brightly or fallen into darkness.

Often when I get an idea for something, I have a really hard time comprising it for whatever reasons. So when I saw this creature wielding a sword, I couldn't let it go, even though, I didn't have a sword and that swords are expensive and that you need permit to own one, and even if you have permit you can't actually bring a sword outside. After much back and forth, not really seeing a way around all of that, I found a seller in Denmark who sells practical swords. So I ended up buying one those.

For a long time I've wanted to try and make armor with Worbla. I've a had one or two failed attempts, but I decided to have another go at it. The Sun armor was my first succesful armor. Well, "succesful" may be laying it on too thick, it worked for the shoot, but upon close inspection, it's kind of a mess. But I learned a lot from making it and the second one, the silver armor, turned out much better and took about a third of the time to make.

For the dress, I worked with colours that I haven't really gravitated to previously. But I'd seen these two fabrics a while ago and made a note to make something using them one day. I initially had a different design in mind for the dress, something more historical, but after a failed attempt at a pocket hoop pannier, I scrapped that idea and decided to go in a more elven direction. I like how the dress is almost like a flame, but I will say, honestly, I'm not a 100 % satisfied with it. Mostly, I'm annoyed that I made the skirt that shape. The yellow fabric is too thin and stiff for it too drape nicely over the petticoat. I guess, I know not to do that another time..

The crown is made from two headpieces from Asos that I combined. I bought the crystal one last year and it was broken when it arrived. I never bothered to return it, thinking I could just fix it when the time came. But this I saw this very nice circlet with a dip in the front, that didn't have any details, so I thought I'd try and put the two together.

Nadja has modelled for me before, but a whole year has passed since then. We talked about doing another shoot for while, I've just had to postpone my ideas, because I had a big backlog of costumes to finish (The faerie queen). Finally I could start something new. And so I did. I wanted to start this project off with this character, because, even though, she meets a dark fate, the character itself is pure light and passion, and I really wanted to revel in that, and display something fierce and raw.

On the day of the shoot, Nadja arrived at my place at 11 am. After she tried on a couple of costumes, I began to curl her hair, since this was one of the few shoots where I'd actually make use of a model's natural hair. Then Tenna arrived. Nadja has about three or four times as much hair as anyone I know, so it took a long time to finish curling her hair. After makeup and lunch, we drove to our location: The forest. It's quite obvious that I love shooting outdoors, I love being outside in nature. Of course, you are dependent on the weather, and while I had hope to shoot this in the warm afternoon sun, there was no such thing; Only dark clouds and cold winds.

As we walked through the quiet forest, to the location I'd decided on, we heard the wind moving eerily through the still bare trees, building up, and then blasting us with full force. We joked about how it was maybe a warning to stay away. But we pressed on.

We were going to do the first part on the shoot in an open field, and I wasn't sure exactly how well, it was going to work with my smoke bombs in such windy weather. But for once, somehow, the smoke moved well and looked amazing, and Nadja looked like a fierce knight ready to take on a battle.

There is such a thing as too much smoke :/

There is such a thing as too much smoke :/

Once we'd shot the Sun armor, we moved along and got ready to shoot the next one. There was this tree nearby, which bloomed white and had bare branches near the ground. I thought it would be a nice place to drape the ivy garlands that I'd brought.

I try to teach myself and prepare better for shoots, and I feel like over the past year, I've gotten much, much better at seeing the exact photos I want to create in my mind, rather than just sensing the atmosphere. For this particular setup, I knew exactly what I wanted. The close up of Nadja with open eyes and pained expression, and the full body on the ground, covered by ivy and fallen from her hand.

After not having been out on a shoot for about three months and having been locked up in my work room in all of my spare time, it was so good getting out there again. For some reason doing shoots is always so exhausting; Being outside in the fresh air and intently focusing on something for so long, I'm always totally beat afterwards. In the evening on that day, I welcomed that exhaustion so much. I felt like myself again.

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