If we're going to be completely honest with each other, I should tell you that photoshoots and the fashion world in general totally freak me out. As a curvaceous woman who prefers history to publicity and making over social media, I sometimes find it odd that I run a fashion brand. Still, I need photos to show how amazing you can look and FEEL in our creations but I tend to find the whole thing from model selection, styling, outfits etc totally overwhelming. My inner third grader emerges and wants to hide - you know what it's like to feel out of your comfort zone. My dear friend and colleague from my women business owners collective (The Creative Pursuit Collective), Kyla from Impressed by Nature (beautiful pressed flower jewelry), recommended a stellar photography to help me get over my photoshoot phobia.
Arabela Espinoza and model/stylist Chelsea met me at the Queen Wilhelmina Garden in Golden Gate Park. It's been raining on and off for days but the weather blessed us with a patchy fog and even some sunlight. When Arabela suggested the windmill, I jumped. My mom emigrated from the Netherlands in 1953 as a six year old. When they became American citizens, my Oma wept over having to give up her Queen, Juliana, who was Wilhelmina's daughter. I moved back to the Netherlands to go to graduate school in Amsterdam and came home with a fiery tulip tattoo on my hip. Tulips are personal and I can't see a windmill without thinking of the one I passed on my daily commute down the Amstel River, where I later got engaged to Johnny over a picnic lunch. I was in my element.
Plus, it's tulip time, and while the windmill garden is no Keukenhof, it's tulip season and the blooms were gorgeous. I also love seeing tourists and being human in public space together. I took 5 group photos for people from 5 different countries and delighted in it.
The shoot itself was magic. A dance. Alchemy. Chelsea looked like she felt GOOD - even Goddess-like in our jewelry - metal shimmering in the sun, layers of sparkle and story. The story of human adornment. Unlocking some deeper powerful beauty. And good lord modeling is not easy work. Looking comfortable and beautiful in 59 degree weather pretending it's a warm spring and you're in love with the world and everything is comfortable while people poke and prod and style you. It's an intimate trusting interaction and requires great strength and vulnerability.
Arabela was a magician of style and light and detail, always a step ahead adjusting the jewelry to be ideally lit while beckoning to Chelsea's confidence and beauty to move and emerge in a myriad of ways. Chelsea blossomed and swayed and there would be these electric moments where everything lines up and is perfect. The alchemy of light, movement, body and empowered spirit. My role was to clutch my heart and spin circles with joy. Thank you Kyla and Arabela and Chelsea for helping me through my fear and reminding me about the joys of trusting yourself outside your comfort zone. Great things happen when talented women collaborate. It can be beautiful. Ladies and gents stay tuned for photos forthcoming!!