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The Naiad

Model: Nadja S. Jensen

Assistant (1st shot): Tenna V. Olesen

Photography/Costume: Sabrina Nielsen

Back when we went to the forest to shoot the Phoenix, we noticed there was an area in which some of the trees were under water. It looked so awesome and I think we all secretly wanted to use it in a shoot.

A while later, Nadja and I were talking at work, and she said really wanted to do a water shoot, and we decided to use that spot in the forest. Now fast forward to the day of the shoot, we get there and the water's gone. Damn. We walked around, for quite some time, looking for a different place to shoot, but nothing really looked good or usable for us, just wearing wellies. In the back of my mind the memory of this little lake that I used in a previous shoot, popped up as a last resort. We ended up using it and while we were trying to find a good spot and, you know, inspecting the water, Nadja discovered that there were leeches in the water.

What happened next was a good deal of time was then spent looking to see if Tenna and I could see them too, because we wanted to be 100 % certain that they were in fact leeches and not some other creature, and then when we finally did see them, we had to device a plan for how to proceed with the shoot.

As you can imagine, neither Nadja or I were too keen on going into the water with those leeches in there. The problem was that for it to look convincing; Like Nadja was actually a creature living in the lake, she would have to stand a bit further out into the water than what her wellies allowed her. It's kind of ironic, that leading up to the shoot we'd talked about waders and dismissed it, thinking we'd be totally fine (which we would have, had the original location worked out).

After much looking around, we found a large rock and a big branch that we then put into the lake, at the spot, I wanted Nadja to be in and then I lent Nadja my wellies, because the shafts were several inches longer than her own and then we were finally good to go.

We were at it for a while. As you can imagine, it's not very easy modelling, when you're confined to a single spot in a lake, but Nadja pushed through it. However, she came to me a few days after the shoot and said she'd didn't think it was her best performance and that she didn't feel like she completely done with that dress. I could see where she was coming from, as I actually find these types of water shoots (the ones where you can't go into the water much) quite difficult; The background and composition are extremely limited. So while I thought there were a couple great shots in the bunch, they didn't really seem to go together as well as I'd liked nor tell a cohesive story. Being a utter shoot-addict, I immediately allowed my mind to extend this narrative and plan another shoot with the blue dress AND at the same time design a new dress/character, so we could shoot two looks. This happened Friday evening, and we scheduled the shoot for Sunday, which gave me one day to create a completely new dress. But I'll talk more about that in the next post, where you'll also see those photos. I'll also talk more about the entire day and there'll be a video too.

But we ended up in my favourite secret garden and there were these gorgeous flower bushes blooming. When we first started shooting in front of the red flowers, the memory of the troublesome lake shoot and the hectic beginning to this shoot (which is covered in the next post) faded away completely. A calm settled over me and I could feel it settled over Nadja too. It was like we had both stepped out of the real world and into the enchanted garden. Before me stood a nymph-like princess, who was carefree, elegant and one with her surroundings.

The blue dress I made a few weeks before, using blue and pink tulle for the skirt and handdyed lace and flowers for the bodice. It was actually quite fun to dye the lace. I've only used tea in the past, so this was a new experience. I used the ink from alcohol markers in light blue and lavender. And I started out by painting the lace with a brush, because I initially wanted them to be an even colour. Alternatively, I'd thought about making a bath of the colour mixture and soaking the lace in that, but I was afraid the tulle that the lace is mounted on would take the colour and it would look weird on the background of a "nude" corset.

But it didn't really seem to take the colour that well - the tulle, I mean, so I gave it a go and submerged all the lace in my mixture and I think, because I didn't lay it out flat to dry, but stacked them rather unevenly, the pigment sort of accumulated in the lowest situated part of each individual piece of lace. That's my theory anyway. And it got this ombre effect, which I thought looked really nice.

I'll leave this video here that'll take you along with us on the day of the shoot. This will also be the last video of this quality. I've replaced this old point and shoot camera with a new DSLR for video, so I'm hoping to deliver behind the scenes videos of a much higher quality in the future. I love having these little videos to remember each shoot by, and I hope you all find them interesting too :)

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