On the first day of August 2015, I did something that I have been wanting to do for a few years.
It was wonderful, painful, scary, a dream come true and tiring. But I loved every minute of it.
It all started back in 2008 when I woke up from a nightmare and wrote it down. I was terrified as a crimson haired, crazy girl shouted at me in an alleyway before she cursed me and then kissed my cheek. Black lines moved in my veins, like worms moving through the dirt. I awoke, scratching at my arms and my heart pounding in my chest.
Thankfully, Cody didn’t think anything odd of it – he was use to my wild, vivid dreams. But I couldn’t get it out of my mind. After that, dreams I had started playing together and I filled in the blanks.
I continued writing this story, shelving it for a year or so and dusting it back off again to only shelve it again. But it was my baby. And I couldn’t just let it go.
Fast-forward to now and I am querying the first manuscript, the second one going through a few beta readers before some major editing and the third one outlined in the trilogy I call The Halves of Us. My first manuscript has officially gone through twenty-one drafts (okay much, much more that, but I have saved only twenty-one of them). Numerous beta readers. Partial requests. Editing. Rejections. Editing. Full requests. Waiting. Waiting. More editing. Waiting…
A few years back I made it known I wanted to do a conceptual piece around this book. My search began by looking for a model to portray these characters.
Little did I know I was such a picky person…but I wanted someone I could see as the characters and I wanted a natural red head.
Earlier this year I found her. All because of a new co-worker I decided to share my story with. She was like I know a red-head who models.
I mean really? What are the odds? I was hesitant to get excited…but when I saw her pictures I thought yes! This is what I was looking for!
And then emailed her. How weird right? To email someone – hey I have this book and I want to do a conceptual piece around it. Will you pose for me?
Surprisingly, Emily said yes. My dear friend Bethany gave her expertise on hair and make-up. My best friend Samantha helped design the wardrobe and assisted me in bringing my props to life. And my talented, understanding and inspiring photographer friend Nico Nordstrom provided me with her expertise, knowledge of new equipment I had never used before and advice for my first large conceptual piece.
Texas weather was rather angry this spring part of the summer and our shoot date got rescheduled to August 1.
But we persevered. We moved through. I was out of my comfort zone for sure. And who knew generators were so loud?
It was an all-day process. Two looks. Six shots I wanted to capture. [Plus who knows what would inspire us once we got there].
My feet ached at the end of the day. I was sweating in places that I won’t mention. Exhaustion doesn’t cover it.
But I was happy. So very happy.
Now I am not going to post any of the photos just yet… just wanted to show you some behind the scenes! Tease you a little… : ]
I want to say a giant thank you to Samantha Casper – thanks for dealing with all my crazy ideas and shopping with me. Nico Nordstrom, thank you for helping me understand my vision clearer and for helping me through my first big shoot. Bethany Poortenga – my gosh where would I be without you!? I am grateful more than you will ever know! Emily Paige Wedgeworth – I am so glad I found you. Thanks for dealing with us during multiple fittings and make-up/hair trials, plus all day long during the shoot – the heat, the wardrobe and EVERYTHING.
Shout out to my younger sister, Olivia, and Bethany’s friend, Angelica, for help with the morning shoot. You guys are amazing!
Hair & Make-up by Bethany Poortenga
Props and Wardrobe/Styling by Samantha (Sam) Casper
Photography by Sydney Paige Richardson
[I am only in one of the pictures [can you find me? I only realized it was me because of my tattoo!] – I am mostly behind the camera – but I promise to have some portraits soon! I am super excited about getting shot (bahahaa) by the fabulous Nico Nordstrom!]
This here is Nico – most of us were all smiles before we got started… lol
My younger sister, Olivia. It was too early on a Saturday for her to be up!
But she quickly decided to model for us herself to test the lighting…
Doesn’t this photo just scream behind the scenes? I laughed so hard when I first saw it – but that might have been the exhaustion kicking in!
The many faces of Olivia…
Oh Sam – she wanted to help test the lighting too!
I think here is when Emily started actually cursing us, definitely channeling the character there… 😛 [This photo was taken by Nico – see I sneaked in one photograph!]
All around it was definitely a learning experience and gave me such a thrill! I finally got to cross off one of my long term goals and I cannot wait to share the finished product with you all! : ]