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Germination

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Cassie graciously created a stunning short behind-the-scenes video of the shoot! Check it out here:

The process for this dreamscapes shot was much less involved than my previous shots, which I found to be like a breath of fresh air. Cassie had told me of a particular tree with exposed roots that made for stellar shots, and I knew this was the location I needed for Germination. The only trouble being that it just so happens to be located in Portland. So I decided to consolidate and drive down for the weekend along with my good pal Austin.

Austin, Cassie, and I shacked up in a simple hotel Friday evening, not ten minutes away from the tree location for the following morning’s shoot with Meredith. I’d picked up some gold fabric, gold acrylic paint, and borrowed an insanely long blonde wig for the shoot. Prior to heading to Portland, Austin helped me out during my jam-packed week by scavenging ivy and spray-painting it gold for me, which we also brought along to Portland.

Austin with the golden ivy. Photo by Cassie.

Austin with the golden ivy. Photo by Cassie.

The following morning, we headed to the nearby location, driving through windy roads lined with scads of lush green trees covered in moss and ivy. There’s nothing I love quite so much as the Pacific Northwest. The landscape here is beyond breathtaking—I’ve spent the majority of my life living in this area, and I’ve never grown tired of it.

Walking through the forest to the location. Photo by Austin.

Walking through the forest to the location. Photo by Austin.

It was a brisk morning out but not at all unbearable, thankfully. The roots of the tree were closer to vertical than lying flat as I'd imagined, so Meredith had to very uncomfortably prop herself up and support her weight by defying gravity a bit... At the end of the shoot, she couldn't feel her right leg at all, having the circulation cut off so long... I tried to make up for it by rubbing her leg a bit and getting the blood circulating. I swear, the things I put my models through. They're all champions. They really, really are.

Adding finishing touches to Meredith prior to shooting. Photo by Cassie.

Adding finishing touches to Meredith prior to shooting. Photo by Cassie.

I had Meredith curl into position while I figured out the shot, and then I quickly went to work wrapping her in the gold fabric and painting her on the spot. Cassie assisted while I prepped the shot, painting Mer's face. The wig in the image is borrowed from a colleague who graciously loaned it to me. I was concerned when I pulled it out of the bag, seeing how tangled and matted it was, but Austin helped to detangle it, and once it was on Mer and positioned properly, it photographed beautifully! After piecing apart the wig to my liking and weighting parts of it down with small pebbles, I had Austin hand me the gold ivy, which I quickly entwined around Meredith. I hopped down from the roots, clambered onto the ladder Meredith had brought along, and there was the shot. The very first frame I snapped, I knew I had it. It looked just exactly as I'd imagined and as I'd sketched it. The colors, her expression and pose, the roots of the tree. I felt both excitement and relief as I quickly snapped the shots before calling it good. Short and sweet, to say the least.

Balancing on a ladder while capturing the shot. Photo by Cassie.

Balancing on a ladder while capturing the shot. Photo by Cassie.

With this image, I wanted to continue the substory of The Forest’s Secret within dreamscapes, illustrating the evolution of the guardian alongside the egg. The gold is indicative of the germination of both the seed and its guardian. She gently clutches the egg of the forest, protecting it in the deep roots of this shadowy tree, hidden away in safety during such a vulnerable period. This is the second image in a three-part series within dreamscapes.

Model: Meredith Adelaide
Assistant, videographer, and bts photographer: Cassie Meder
Assistant: Austin Tott Photography
MUA & photography: Kindra Nikole Photography