morning glory

I had come across a stand of bamboo over a year ago and finally asked permission to shoot on location.  The timing was perfect with the maple leaves bursting with color behind the bamboo!  Thankfully, Tim from Canton Clay Works said yes.  His gardens are delightful and most of his plants are staked with bamboo from his grove.  It's quite lovely and inspiring, thus this shoot came to fruition, again, nature's inspiration.

It's always a treat to work with my beautiful and creative friend, Natasha Rethke.  She has the most incredible, well-curated wardrobe and collectibles.  Her love of history and fine art is more than apparent.  Everything she is wearing has been acquired over the years, from the ancient scroll to the obi belt and head piece and more.  It had been quite some time since I've worked with Natasha and my soul was needing to create something beautiful.  We both took time out of our full schedules to make this morning possible and for that I am grateful.

I had recently taken a day-long CTPPA workshop with Craig LaMere and he said something that I know deep down and it reminded me to go out and do what I love, that is create.  He said, if you don't shoot what you love, then that fire will dissipate and then it becomes a job.  He is right and he just confirmed that inner-knowing I already believed to be true.  In his workshop he went over lighting and posing.  I'm very comfortable with posing and my lighting is pretty good, but it's always refreshing to learn from the masters and practice.  So that's what I did with my friend, Natasha.  Most of the photos are natural light and I used speedlites for a more dramatic effect.  I turned a few images black and white and really focused on the patterns of the leaves that created a striking shadow across Natasha's face.

That would be my advice to any budding photographer out there, photograph what you love and practice, practice, practice.  Shoot every day or sign up for a 52-week photo challenge or 365 self portrait group on FLICKR.  There are so many options and opportunities out there.  Have fun!

Thanks to Timothy J. Siwy for assisting me.
Model, Make-up + Wardrobe ~ Natasha Rethke

Chinese Opera Headdress - Asian Culture Shop
Luxor Theme Necklace - Lanvin
Fan - Eastern Accents/Treasures from Asia
Obi belt - Bottica
Kimonos - JUN Japanese Gifts and Souvenirs


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