the feeling of fragrance | spring blossoms

This post is the next edition of my The Feeling of Fragrance series, where I show you the final image that was chosen for my collection, then share some of the other options and talk about the stories behind the images. Today we're looking at my "Spring Blossoms" portrait featuring my wonderful model, Shannon. Here is the image that was included in the collection:

This image was shot earlier this past spring in Owen Sound, Ontario. Both my birthday and wedding anniversary are in May, and I've always loved the pastel tones of blossoming trees at this time of year. I wanted to create a portrait that captured the dreamy and fresh feeling of waking up after a long winter and the promise of warmer days to come. This was one of the first shoots I did for the project and the one that really got my momentum going.

When it came to choosing a model for this portrait, I immediately thought of Shannon. We'd worked together before for these portraits and I knew she would have the perfect look and personality for this project. I thought her freckles and blue eyes would look so pretty alongside the pink shades of the flowers, and they sure did. I kept her makeup very natural and dewy by using a very sheer foundation and a bit of highlighter and some cream blush. I gave her bold brows but made sure they matched her auburn hair. For her lips, I pressed on a pink lipstick then blotted most of it away to leave just a stain of colour. On her eyes I blended together a handful of shimmery brown and nude shades to create depth without hard definition. I finished the look with a hit of crisp liquid liner on her top lashline and a few coats of mascara. We left her hair in relaxed waves and pinned part of it away from her face.

The light blue dress is vintage Michael Kors, which I picked up at a charity shop for a cool $15. I was so pleased to find it as the subtle but graphic flower embroidery in pastel blue was exactly what I had in mind. I also loved how its colour matched the sky perfectly that day. The white dress you'll see further below belongs to Shannon, and she kindly brought it along for the shoot.

My brother, Jeremy, and I did the location scouting the morning of the shoot. We drove all around town looking for trees in bloom and we found a few different spots that we thought would work well. The pink tree you see above was on an industrial street between a partially demolished building and what I think was a livestock feed supplier. Lovely locations can be anywhere; you just have to know how to isolate the details from their surroundings!

The tree below was on a main thoroughfare beside a coffee bean shop. Shannon quickly became a pro at ignoring the stares of many curious drivers.

The final location, and home to these pretty pale pink blossoms, was in the quiet residential neighbourhood where my parents live.

Shannon, thank you for being such a patient and sweet model, as always. It was great to spend time with you. I look forward to sharing a glass of champagne with you when we see the exhibit up in Owen Sound together over the holidays!