in character | elyse as calypso

Two weeks ago, I wrote about finding inspiration and creating it purposefully in your life. Frustrated from the lack of new ideas that were coming my way, I've been setting out to do so.

Once I made this decision, I opened up my sketchbook and started writing. Somewhere amongst the scribbles, my creative blocks started to break apart. Thoughts started bubbling through the cracks, and gradually these thoughts joined together to form some new ideas. I started to get excited.

The idea for my new personal series, the In Character project, has been on my mind for a while. For a long time I didn't know how to begin, but I decided to do a few test shoots and get started. Basically, the idea is that I do a series of photographs inspired by characters in my favourite novels. I know it sounds simple and may have been done many times before, but there's something about it I really love.

As a devoted bookworm, I always feel a sense of loss when I finish a great book and say goodbye to the characters. I feel so connected to the stories and the people, and often find myself thinking about them long after the book has begun collecting dust on my shelf. This project is my way of bringing these characters back into my life.

Of course, the best thing about being a people photographer is how different every single shoot is, depending on who you're photographing. I live for the differences, and for the way in which peoples' unique traits and personalities become indelibly embedded in a series of photos. I was excited to collaborate with new people, and to see what ideas they would bring. I put out a call for volunteers on my Facebook page. Elyse was one of the first people to get in touch. I suggested a few characters, she chose one, and we started planning.

Elyse chose to portray Calypso, a character from The Odyssey, the epic poem that I've been in love with since high school. In the story, Calypso (also known as Circe) is a sea witch who detains Odysseus on her island for a year, promising to make him her immortal husband. Despite the love and lust he feels for her, he eventually convinces her to let him leave, to return to his wife, Penelope.

Here's the series of test photos I did, with the help of the beautiful Elyse. Thank you so much for taking a chance on this project, and for being willing to swim in the pond in Parc Lafontaine!



















These last two are definitely out of character, but 100% Elyse, which I love!

Dress and accessories from Forever 21. Hair and Makeup by me.