the feeling of fragrance

With great excitement, I'm ready to share the images from my "The Feeling of Fragrance" project!

After being invited to show some work at Full Spectrum Gallery, I decided to create a collection of new work for the occasion. I began planning this project last fall while living in Madison, Wisconsin and spent hours sketching and brainstorming in coffee shops. I compiled a long list of my very favourite scents and decided to begin with 12 portraits that represented them. Once I moved back to Canada, I began the process of casting the models, scheduling the shoots, location scouting, wardrobe shopping, and makeup/hair conceptualizing. I shot the images between May and September this year.

Here's my artist statement

I recently moved back to Toronto after eight years of living away from home. While residing in different places (and moving eight times in the last 18 months alone) I discovered one simple thing that could make each new place I lived feel a little more like home: fragrance. Lighting scented candles, spritzing perfume, steeping teas and baking my favourite dishes were a way to personalize each space. Each scent reminded me of a fond memory or a dear friend, and it helped me from feeling too homesick. 

Scent is the sense most intimately tied to memory, and when we breathe in a familiar scent, it can evoke powerful ties to our past, instil a sense of calm in the present, and stir excitement and hope for our futures. I decided to create this series of portraits as a tribute to my favourite fragrances and the memories that accompany them. In many cases, I returned to the actual place where a distinct scent formed a cherished memory. 

The "Mint" portrait, for example, was shot in the back creek on my relatives' property where wild mint grows in the water. My cousins and I used to pull on our rubber boots and trek through the creek, and I'd pick the mint as I walked upstream. For this reason, two of those cousins donned their rubber boots and walked that very creek for the portrait. 

This collection of images represents some of my favourite scents and depicts both specific memories and the elevated sensations and momentary fantasies that fragrance can conjure. It is a salute to some of my life's most treasured moments and an expression of the gratitude I feel to have returned home. 

Today, I'd like to share the final images followed by some photos from the launch party I hosted last night. Later, I'll share a series of posts with more images from each individual shoot, as well as a glimpse into the planning process.

Model: Meredith Sherlock

Model: Ida Althini

Model: Tara Lloyd

Models: Elise and Deanna Lloyd

Model: Vicky Q/Orange Models

Model: Courtney Shurgold

"Ocean Air"
Model: Carolyn Fauteux

Model: Jada M

Model: Paige Dzenis

"Spring Blossoms"
Model: Shannon Sprung

Model: Rozlyn Burns

"Fresh Linen"
Models: Lindsay and Grace Hampson


And now, a bit about the show!

I wanted to throw a party to thank all the models who participated in this project, and since most of don't live close to the gallery where they'll be showing, I thought it would be cool to have a one night only show in Toronto. I enlisted the help of Jenna and Jennifer from The Event Room to help me pull it off. They planned everything so wonderfully, from finding a gallery (MJG Gallery) to walking me through event logistics. They even provided custom calligraphy for some of the signage.

From left to right: Jenna, Rozlyn (one of my best friends and model for the project), Jennifer and me.

The beautiful printed paper goods were created by Jordan Puopolo, who does all my design work and is just generally an awesome guy.

The florals were done by Jill Galucci of The Rose Mint. She made six separate arrangements inspired by the scents featured in the portraits. I was astounded by her artistry and creativity.

I tried to get photos of all the models who were able to attend with their portraits.

The cupcakes were provided by Sarah Burns, my first ever engagement session client from 2007!

My sweet parents-in-law stood in for my sister-in-law, Carolyn, who posed for "Ocean Air."

Lindsay, one of my oldest friends, her adorable daughter and her soon-to-be born second daughter posed for "Fresh Linen." 

In addition to Jenna, Jennifer, Jill and Jordan and their wonderful contributions, more thanks go out to: my brother Jeremy, for bartending and filming the event; my brother Jonathan for spending his whole day off running errands before the show with me; my mom for helping out with every little thing I needed on the day of the show, and also for helping with the printing and framing of the images; my best gal Rozlyn for not only modelling, but helping set up the event, bringing the cupcakes and just being a wonderful friend in general; every single guest who attended, with extra gratitude to those who travelled from afar; every friend who sent me an email, text, facebook message or post on my facebook page with words of encouragement; Foto Art for printing the images; Al Lipske for building the custom frames, and of course Mark from MJG Gallery for hosting the whole event.

I wish I could have gotten way more photos of everyone who attended, but I was too busy talking to you all! Thank you so much for being there, and for all your support!