Inspirations for my concept shoots can come from a piece of clothing, a word, an emotion or a location. This particular shoot was from the latter. While visiting a very good friend on the East Coast of Tasmania we were doing the tourist thing and taking in the sights, she mentioned this fantastic place where the kids could let loose and have a little fun sliding down the sand banks. After a dirt road and a hike up some dunes the view became this....
As I stood up the top (while the kids and hubby were trying to slide down the dunes) I got a rush of excitement, with visions of a beautiful girl wearing a hoop skirt who was stuck in time. My friend who is also a photographer and has been the victim of more than one of my experimental shoots, just looked at me and said "crap, you want to shoot here" (well she was a little more explicit).
Creating the Dress
After searching pinterest for instructions on how to make a hoop skirt, I decided on using irrigation pipe, it was readily available, would be light to wear and could be pulled apart for storage. Once the hoops were in made I sewed tubes of calico to cover them and used a soft cotton rope for the waist so it would be adjustable. For the fabric of the skirt I coffee dyed muslin for the lining and an old curtain for the top layer. It didn't look aged enough though, not for a girl who had been wondering through the desert lost in time. My Model suggested using incense sticks to burn holes in the fabric, which was perfect.
The corset was a plain white one which I had found in an op shop, once it had been dyed in coffee, I added extra details with lace, pearls and made some fabric rosettes.
Day of the Shoot
A little over a month from when I had first seen the location we were ready to shoot, My model Alex and I traveled the 3hrs to the East Coast to bring reality to the image in my head. Photographing on location presents its own unique challenges, although the day had perfect, blue sky and sunshine...the wind was a killer. Sand Sand and more Sand blowing everywhere, trying to keep a large hoop skirt, metres of fabric and a hairstyle in place was almost impossible. Rather than postponing, as Tassie weather can be really unpredictable, we rolled with it...a can of hairspray later and making the most of the wind for movement in the image we were able to create some fantastic imagery.