Behind the Scenes: The Call of Patient Spring

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Originally my idea was to build a dress using dozens of individual flower pedals that I shot with Steph for about an hour, only to stop mid-way through my first edit/build of the image to start over from scratch with a more simplistic idea. I liked the concept, but I just wasn't executing my idea properly in photoshop and had to take a step back. Upon revisiting the image, I cropped in a bit more, made the image softer, and built a more simplistic dress that better fit the mood I was looking for in this photograph. All in all, I'm so happy with how it turned out! 

It was one of those days where I needed to create something new. I grabbed my friend Steph on her day off from work one morning and visited Shofuso, a neat little Japanese house and garden nestled in the heart of West Fairmount Park, near the Please Touch Museum.  If you didn't know me, or what I do, you'd easily think I'm a packrat for vintage and interesting things that I carry around with me. I'm always traveling with my car filled to the brim with old outfits, photo props, bird wings, anchors, clocks, books, teapots, etc. 

I don't usually do this much, but on this day I walked out the door completely open minded to the shoot; I just wanted to have fun and be inspired by the day. It was a sunny day near the end of April; still cold enough to wear a nice sweat shirt. We apparently arrived about 45 minutes earlier than the Japanese garden opened, so we explored the area on foot in the park.

On our way to the parking lot, we passed the cherry blossom tress in full bloom down the street. We walked over to one nearby and gears in my head started turning. The year before, I was fixated on doing some type of shoot with these trees, and there is such a small window of opportunity to use them. Probably in mid-conversation with Steph, I paused and told her about the lightbulb that just lit in my head. She was excited and I was excited. It was go time... but first the Japanese Garden!

Inside the garden it was peaceful and surreal. Trapped within Philadelphia lays a small Japanese oasis. We had to remove our foot ware to enter inside of the property, but that made the experience that much more fun. As we sat in the sun, we found a turtle on one of the rocks, sunbathing with a smile. We wished we were that turtle, for at least a day. 

Once we exited the garden, I grabbed a plastic bag from my car and Steph helped me collect around 100 pink flower pedals littering the park grounds beneath the trees. There was a dogwood tree nearby with its flowers in bloom as well. I picked off a small branch with white flowers on it for Steph to use an accessory in her hair. I looked around the area, we were directly next to a road and the museum's back parking lot. Examining my surroundings, I tried out a few spots at the location to see what would work best. It was an hour before noon, the wind was blowing, and there wasn't a cloud in sight. 

After sicking Steph up in a tree and playing with two other spots, I found the perfect angle. Background and flowers brightly lit from the sun, Steph standing in the foreground shadow of the tree overhead. The branches rustled in the wind, giving me unique lighting on Steph. I used a shot i particularly liked for the spotlighting that was casted on her face. This was a fun morning.