I was thrilled to receive this submission by Seattle photographer Sarah Vasquez, of Hope & Memory Photography.
Don’t forget to submit your concept shoot to Reverie. Information can be found by clicking here.
Please join me as I chat with Sarah about her shoot below.
skye | Tell us about the inspiration behind this shoot?
About 9 months ago I was watching Queen Elizabeth: The Golden Age and my imagination was totally captured by the fleshing out of this major historical figure. I wanted to know what she was like as a child, and I could find nothing beyond mere facts about her childhood. However, seeing this movie and knowing about her life gave me an idea of what she must have been like as a woman and this began the formulation of a character in my head (I come from an acting background and this is how most of my concept shoots begin.) and it just kept snowballing up until the actual shoot.
skye | Okay, the outfit is perfect for the shoot – tell us how you put this together?
My daughter has modeled for my fine art photographer friend and I knew she used a woman that goes by the business name SINched for some of her sessions. I contacted SINched, knowing that she wanted to branch out into a children’s line, and asked her if she would be interested in creating an Elizabethan gown for me and she totally and completely knocked it out of the park. She even included a lovely necklace and headdress. I was stumped on shoes, so we just went with sparkly gold shoes from Target, which seems to be a go-to for me since they have so many colors and are just really simple shoes that are quite popular with little girls.
skye | How did you choose the small details to include with the shoot (books, candles, etc.)?
Once I realized that this was going to happen in a forest-like setting, I knew I had to have something for her to sit on so she wouldn’t damage the dress. I originally had an old wooden chair that I planned to use even though it didn’t fit the period because I knew it would be covered by the dress; unfortunately, that chair broke so I went thrift store hunting to find a replacement. Luckily, I stumbled upon this bench and it fits the theme so much better! I also knew I needed books for the story I was going to tell. Antique books just felt right and it added to the feel of actually learning instead of just reading for fun (although I don’t imagine that children of that era did a lot of reading for fun so it may be a moot point). Once those things were in place, the candles just made sense. Of course you need light in a dark forest, right?! I looked at local antique stores trying to find candle stick holders first and there were none to be had so I headed back to the thrift stores and found these 3 beauties on my first trip. The actual candles are just from the local big-box store and I felt like they needed to be white in order to be realistic (something I strive for in all my concept shoots). I feel like it is also important to mention that the photos with lit candles are a composite and I did not actually have flames around old books, elaborate dresses, and children.
skye | Like the dress, the location sets the mood for the shoot – tells us more on the location:
Originally I had envisioned this in a castle like setting, which Seattle has no shortage of, but every location I checked ended up having elements that gave it away as being very urban. I finally found a castle replica which would have been PERFECT, but they wanted to charge me over $800 an hour just to be on the grounds with my camera. Obviously this meant I needed to take a different direction. I began to think about this character I had created in my head and I imagined her traipsing through the forest, all her servants in hand, with a governess trying to maintain her royal appearance and attitude while Elizabeth clearly would rather daydream or play. It just kind of all fell into place from there. And I knew this spot (across from a dog park!) was going to give me the perfect isolated feel that I wanted (which, by the way, it is totally NOT isolated).
skye | What inspires you these days?
History, theatre, foreign cultures, music, literature, movies, television shows, and languages are my typical inspiration sources and I definitely drew off of that for this shoot, but lately I’ve been working on advanced compositional techniques and incorporating traditional art composition lines into my work so I am finding paintings and art to be inspiring of late.
Until next time!
- Skye, xoxo
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