This past week has been pretty inspirational for me. The fall always brings it on, I think that is why it is my favorite season. Personally, with the Zu, it has kept me wrapped up for most of the Summer which, I cannot be more thankful for! It is almost surreal however, having been in a constant state of GO GO GO! I was finding less and less time to enjoy and pursue my joy, my photography. So, when I started amping up and planning for the Femme Frames event in November I was swimming in this sea of questioning about “What can I bring to the table beyond my photography skills and art?” That may sound silly, “Isn’t that WHY people pay you Cat? For just that?” That’s it though, it IS ‘Just that’!” How can I show my clients that their own light is special? That they aren’t just a number in my cash flow projections?
There is an international photographer that teaches pretty regularly on creativeLive, Sue Bryce. I’ve been following and taking her courses for some time now. A bit of a virtual mentor if you will. Her photography is beautiful and the way she shares is incredibly honest and transparent and inspirational…
At any rate, I was day dreaming about shooting women in these amazing dresses and gowns and…even from thrift stores were waaaay outside of my price range. I wanted my clients to feel like Hollywood. To feel like they could be on the cover of magazines…but I couldn’t quite put it together. I haven’t filled all of my appointments for this event so, my budget for provisionals FOR my sets and clients is less than I was hoping for, to really bring something great to the proverbial table, to go above and beyond. How can I accomplish this? How can I do what I do, to help you feel safe and vulnerable at the same time, to give you beautiful imagery in showing you your very own beauty? How can I do this any better than another photographer might?
Then I happened upon Sue’s blog post about her session dresses, and how she cannot afford to shoot her girls in the dresses that she wants too, so she makes her own. BLAMO! Why didn’t I think of that? Oh, because I sew like a 2nd grader might attempt drawing architecture…but, I have a sewing machine and Sue delivered a seemingly simple tutorial on how to make her dresses so, I’m giving it a shot!
I think I’m on the right path. As I walked in to Joann Fabrics on Monday I had a simple budget for one dress’s worth of material…Thank you bank holiday! Everything was 50% off! So, I started perusing the tulle section scavenging through available colors with enough material (20 yards btw) and came to the decision that if I was going to go for it, I mean really GO FOR IT! I would make two dresses. Go big or go home ya know? Then, my crafty girl side started looking at flowers for hair pieces, patterns to make the dresses adjustable in size (6-10 and 10-14), hot glue, ribbon…and I still walked out of that fabric store with material for both dresses, a little bling and supplies to make hair pieces for less than I was planning to make one simple dress. I was pretty proud of myself, I must say. Then I got to thinking, was that the Universe letting me know something?
I’ve been using all of my free time this week hand sewing these dresses. “But Cat, you have a sewing machine. Why are you hand sewing?” Well, I’ll probably use the sewing machine for the finishing touches but, as I was totally engulfed in 50 yards of tulle I realized that if these dresses are going to be these special gifts FOR my client’s sessions, then I really need to put raw energy and love into them. I needed to use my hands to sew them. I know, it is silly and inefficient at best and maybe I’m just being hopeful, but it is more than just having a rack of beautiful finds for my clients to wear at their session (though, I’m building that rack too), it is having something with my own energy and passion that is not something they’d find in any store, it was made just FOR them. Is that silly? Maybe…but it is honest, it is true and I hope that it inspires at least one of my clients to be Cinderella, even if only for 20 minutes.
Are you considering a Femme Frames session? Appointments are available November 9 & 10. A little bubbly, professional hair and makeup and some Cinderelly go a long way. Contact Cat@Studio-828.com or call 828-275-9932 with inquiries, I’d love to shoot for you!