I love my clients! But I'm a fine artist, first and foremost. And if I don't allow myself time to "play", then I can get very frustrated. As a creative, I have a lot of conceptual ideas that need just as much attention as my client work. So here is a study of day and night that I recently did with two former clients.
Thanks to my dear friend, Lisa, for coming out to lend her creative styling and help hold my lights.
This session with Lindsay has a very different mood because I shot it first (by about 3 weeks. And it's shot at sunset, which makes a difference. Lindsay is a former bride (and her husband, Ben, who is off-camera tagged along, so I put him to work ;) lol But he was a great help with my lights).
I have started a series of photographs based on my wild imagination. I typically keep my imagination locked away, only for my amusement... because I feel like it's too outrageous for the typical adult. (My imagination rivals that of a 5 year old - because they are fearless in how big they allow themselves to dream.) However, I decided that I wanted, no - needed, to pursue this outlet for the seek of my sanity. So I found a hair & make-up business owner who shared my love for fairytales - Kat Epneris, owner of Always Elegant, LLC. Kat was more than eager to help me achieve my crazy ideas of changing the traditional fairytale characters into lady bosses. Thus the collaboration began.
We figured if we are going to do this... let's really do this!! So instead of doing just one or two, we are taking on 9 or 10. And instead of finding career models, I am selecting everyday girls, because diversity is very important to me. I want these characters to represent REAL girls - short hair, long hair, short girls, tall girls, dark skin, light skin, curvy girls, thin girls. All girls can be lady bosses!
So I went to my FB friend list and picked out girls that I thought would represent the characters well; and those that had big enough personalities and imaginations to keep up (or better yet - get lost) in my world that I was creating. In my Wonderland, I don't believe in the average damsel in distress.
I often get the question as to "Why"... why am I doing this project? What's it's final purpose? But I'd rather say "Why Not?" I've been dreaming of doing a series like this for years. People often forget that photography is a fine art. And fine art doesn't have to a have a purpose. As a fine artist, I create just to get it out of my head. I create to challenge myself and my skills. And those are my "whys".
We decided to start with the Mad Hatter (MH) and the White Rabbit (WR). We planned out MH first, but we happened to shoot WR first. So posting them at the same time seems appropriate. I've debated as to whether of not, I'm going to share the stories that I created to get these girls into the characters that I wanted to portray. At first I didn't want to, because I wanted you to create your own stories... but then I've gone so far off of the traditional path - while maintaining motifs - that I guess I'll give snippets. It's up to you to fill in the blanks (yes, this requires your imagination... I believe you are capable of handling this task if you really want to!!).
White Rabbit - The Grandfather Clock Shop
So what do we know about the White Rabbit? In the story Alice in Wonderful, the White Rabbit is a "he"... but all of my characters are female. We also know the WR to be very skittish and nervous about what the Queen of Hearts will do. Well, I want all of my characters to be fearless and bold!! So, I decided to change her story, and thus made the White Rabbit the Creator of Time.
When a friend and I stumbled upon the Grandfather Clock Shop in Uptown Westerville, it made perfect sense that this was where my White Rabbit would work.
Kat and I both wanted to find a way to incorporate cogs into WR's outfit... we thought about adding it to her face, but we felt that would cheapen the overall aesthetic. I had white gloves for her, but they didn't look right with the outfit - thus the idea was born of creating white gloves with the cogs.
Of course she takes breaks for tea, while remaining studious of her trade.
She was but a lass when she inherited the responsibility of time... though the masses clock in and out, and their days drone on, she remains timeless.
"There shall be no more beheadings on my watch... You must not think of me as a mere white rabbit, for my destiny is to be the diligent hands that create the one thing you take for granted until your hourglass runs low."
I was the stylist for this shoot. I dressed her in all black and white because that's how she sees life - that's how time exists. It either is, or it isn't.
H&MU: Kat Epneris - Always Elegant LLC
Location: Grandfather Clock Shop, Uptown Westerville
Photography & Stylist: Sarah Elizabeth Photography
Mad Hatter: The Pub at Polaris
I reached out to a group of photographers when looking for a bar for the Mad Hatter. I wanted a very distinct bar with old world characteristics... when the Pub at Polaris was recommend and I saw this chair (below) in one of their photos, I knew this was my place!!
The new Mad Hatter - she is part of the long legacy of royal hatters - 17th generation and a direct decedent of THE Mad Hatter to be exact. This lovely Hatter didn't have a hearts for hats like her family, so much to everyone's disappointment, she left the family hatting business to start her own business.
She opened a bar, so she could mix drinks and listen to the woes of those drowning their sorrows into the bottom of a glass - hoping to save them one by one. But she's entered a "man's world" - where business is cut-throat... and although she was trying to escape her maddening family, she is learning that owning a business still makes you crazy.
Her family, seeing her struggle but proud of her efforts, tries to help by sending her hats. They fear that she will not have time to make a hat for every occasion, event or the random Tuesday that may happen upon her. So they take it upon themselves to send her plenty of choices. She knows of their mental limitations, and remains grateful for their well-intended gifts.
She is the original Lady Boss... learning to thrive and survive, just as any good hatter would.
I've labeled this section of the website: TogBlog... but what exactly does that mean? Because I know that most of you that will be reading this are not familiar with the slang that photographers use, I am here to inform you!!
TOG - is slang for photographer. Originally, the society of photographers, shortened "Photographer" this word to "Photog" - which is where my website and social media names come from, but now "photographer" has been shortened down to just "Tog".
And because, Tog, rhymes with Blog, I thought it was most appropriate to sandwich them together.
Also, as I am gearing up to go back to photography full-time - like no safety net, full-time. It's both scary and thrilling at the same time. Of course I can always take on freelance jobs if things are slow, but the ultimate purpose is to have more time to do the life that I know I am suppose to be living.
So with that, you'll need to know that I will share more than just my photography on this page. I want to start sharing my LIFE with you too. After being in business for over 6 years, I've decided that sharing the little personal nuggets of me, intertwined with my talent for photographer IS my brand. If you look at my Pinterest boards or my Instagram, you'll see my life (my family, my workouts & healthy eating habits, my faith, as well as anything else that strikes my fancy) right along side of my love of weddings, babies, high-fashion lighting, natural textures, and my lovely clients. So, why not share it verbally & visually on my blog as well.... welcome to my Neverland! (You'll understand this reference the more you get to know me :) ).
(Haha, this will probably be the ONLY blog without photos).
A girl with a camera, trying to be creative out loud. I keep my clients as friends; believe in endless possibilities. and have decided that 2018 is a year to spread my wings.