the feeling of fragrance | forest

It's time for the next edition of my The Feeling of Fragrance series, where I show you the final image that was included in my collection, then share some of the other options and talk about the stories behind the images. Today I'd like to talk about the "Forest" portrait. Here is the image that I selected:


This portrait was a special one, because it features the very person who inspired the entire project. Courtney is a fellow photographer, and the woman behind Full Spectrum Gallery. I've worked with her before, for this shoot. Last year, she invited me to show my work in the space. I knew I was really into the idea of creating all new work for the show, rather than just showing a bunch of stuff I'd already done. I wanted the collection to have a theme, and I wanted it to be, you know, really fun to conceptualize and shoot. Courtney, thank you for being the driving force behind this photographic adventure!


Two behind the scenes snaps from Instagram

This photo was taken during the summer of 2014 in Owen Sound, Ontario. The town has many waterfalls, and this one is my favourite because it's small and accessible. Yes, the walk to approach it can be a bit muddy, but it's much less hazardous than some of the other waterfalls. On the day of our shoot, nature threw us a bit of a curveball in the sense that it wasn't calling for much rain, but it definitely poured. I had just spent nearly an hour arranging Courtney's hair into the most perfect curls when we arrived at the site and were ambushed by a sudden downpour. We stood beside the creek and shielded ourselves below the trees (and under shirts and jackets - see below) and watched the prettiest thing begin to happen. As soon as the rain dissipated, a mist began rising from the water. Soon the whole forest was filled with a pretty magical looking mist. We decided to start shooting immediately to take advantage of this natural effect.

Part of the reason I wanted to include a forest portrait in my collection is because of my many memories traipsing through the woods around my cottage near Owen Sound. My family has had the cottage since the year I was born, and much of my life has been spent up there, going on adventures with family and friends. I love that earthy, mossy, misty scent of the forest. I love dipping my toes in fresh water until they freeze, and breathing in the fresh air while feeling all my worries float away. In order to illustrate this feeling for the portrait, Courtney was brave enough to wade barefoot into the river and let the rush of the waterfalls chill her skin. We were cold, but we had so much fun.

For her makeup, I wanted the look to be as natural as possible. I focused on contouring and highlighting her skin, and did a sculpted bronze eye with no mascara or liner. I've always thought blue eyes look amazing with just eyeshadow, so that's what I wanted to go with. I finished the look with a nude balm on her lips with just enough sheen to reflect the light but not so much that it looked glossy. For her outfit, I wanted something that would blend seamlessly with the woods in forest green. If you can believe it, the dress she is wearing was my grade eight graduation dress, which was still kicking around at my parents' house. Thank you, mom, for holding on to it!

Here are a few of the other images from the "Forest" shoot. 

After we wrapped our shoot, I did a few casual photos of Courtney in her own clothes for fun. Courtney, thank you so much for your instrumental role in this project, and for lending me your time as a model as well!