"Puppet Breaking Loose" and a morning in the forest

Puppet Breaking Loose

Oh boy, this image was too much trial and error! I shot the components twice and I lost count on the edits I tried to do. A few days ago I started from scratch and voilà it finally came together the way i imagined it! My first shoot took place in the big hallway of my house and I used the head, body and dress from this shoot (sounds weird, I know). Because I was shooting by myself, I had no way of attaching the rope to my arms in a believable way. So, I recruited my best assistant (and all around favorite person ) - my mom. :)

I had to take a few headshots as well for upcoming projects so it was kind of a "two flies with one stone" thing. We packed everything up and drove to a place where we had peace and quiet and good backgrounds. We took my portrait shots and then ventured into the forest. Originally, I wanted to put the "puppet" in a forest setting but in post I saw that it just wouldn't work out. The background was simply far too busy and the ropes didn't stand out anymore.

Eventually, I used a stock photo as my background and I'm quite happy with the result. It's not my best work but I learned a lot from it! Plus - the hours in the forest with my mom were extremely awesome! Below you see three behind the scenes shots - the forest as my dressing room, the two of us, and my style mix match before i decided to just run around barefoot. And, no, walking barefoot in a forest doesn't hurt. It really doesn't! It's soft and nice. It did take a while, however, to get the tree sap off my feet...... :)

Thinking about the image and its theme throughout the process of shooting and editing made me aware of how many of these ropes I have been able to cut throughout this year and of how much freedom this gave me. When we really think about it, we have too many ropes in our lives. Most of them were tied by nobody else but ourselves. What are the ropes you want to cut? What are the things in your life that you want to break free from?

 One of my favorite places and power spots - the forest!

One of my favorite places and power spots - the forest!

Dance Without the Devil on your Back

I shot this image two weeks ago and finished editing the night before my birthday last week. It is a very simple image but holds a lot of meaning for me. Letting go and living freely from all ones demons has been something I thought a lot in the past months and I have actively worked towards that freedom. The night before my personal new year started I made the decision that it's time to shake things of and "dance freely". I wanted to remember this feeling with this image and published it that night.

"Of Hope and Despair"

On a freezing cold November afternoon in 2014, my good friend and I took a very uninviting dirt road halfway up a mountain to an old, old house. The house belonged to the ancestors of one her family members and we were allowed to shoot there. Back then I was brand new to the area of fine art portraiture and for her it was the second shoot with me, but definitely the first one where she was required to put on dresses, float through a room and be barefoot and freezing the whole time (I still feel bad for her...).

We set out to tell a story - that of a girl, living alone in a far-off place, of how she is fighting her fears, her despair, and finding her strength. After the shoot, I started editing that same night, massively big mug of hot tea next to me. The edit didn't work and after several attempts, I had to accept that it just wouldn't click. Either I didn't fully connect with the material or my techniques were still too lousy - probably a combination of both. After having gone back to editing repeatedly for a few months, I accepted that these images were just not going to see the light of day.

Then, rather recently, something changed. Our friendship got deeper, we shared many of our sorrows and joys that are all so much part of everyone's life and we got a better understanding of one another's personalities, hopes, dreams, worries and happiness. I think understanding my friend better, seeing her struggles and her joys and strengths drove me back to these images. Within two days the edit was complete!

 Behind the scenes - oh the fun!

Behind the scenes - oh the fun!

 Of Hope and Despair - One

Of Hope and Despair - One

 Of Hope and Despair - Two

Of Hope and Despair - Two

 Of Hope and Despair - Three

Of Hope and Despair - Three

Breaking Habits"

Breaking Habits

There is nothing more important in our personal development than taking the time to review ourselves and our life. Reviewing our habits, our relationships, the status quo of our way of life helps us determine what we need to get let go of, what is good and bad, and what we are happy with. An honest look at ourselves allows us to take the steps necessary that eventually (and hopefully) will lead to a life that truly makes us happy. Sometimes minor changes are necessary, often bigger ones and every once in a while you just got to cut the rope.

I have big plans for 2016 and I try to see clearly what needs to happen to achieve my goals - personal and professional. I try to see as clearly as possible what i want my professional life and my life together with my husband to look like one day. For me, the image "Breaking Habits" expresses this strong and positive feeling you have when you "let go" for all the right reasons because you know deep down that only letting go first will lead you one step closer to the life you truly want.

Here are some behind-the-scenes snapshots of the shoot. Biggest thing I learned from this image? Get a better remote release! Jumping from my position to the camera and back with tied legs was....a bit of a challenge (but also a good workout ;) )