The Travelling Dress - Part 1

February 27, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

I wasn't living on Vancouver Island long before I started seeing photos of beautiful Boho lace gowns made by a local designer. I felt they were something I would love to photograph but purchasing one was just not in the budget. I randomly came across another BC based photographer in my Instagram feed that was putting together a group for a travelling dress collective. She would be using the same dresses I had been wanting to photograph! 

I joined the group along with many other photographers and plans got under way to purchase a dress. There were approximately 20 of us from BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. We all pitched in to purchase a custom dress and signed up for dates to use it. The organizer started the shoots off and then sent it off to the next photographer...and so began the Travelling Dress. 

I knew that if I was going to be a part of this I wanted to do something meaningful for myself. One of my cousins and mentioned to me that I should be doing more work with Indigenous girls and women and tried to talk me into starting a model agency. While I know that an agency is not the way for me to go it did inspire me to think that I should incorporate my heritage into this session. 

I wanted to be able to fuse a modern Boho vibe and a bit of traditional culture. I started by putting out calls for an Indigenous Model and other artists. I already knew a hair stylist and of course my own Metis daughter is a makeup artist! 

I ended up hearing from a beautiful model and a friend of mine suggested a jewelry maker. We originally had a shoe designer on board but the timeline didn't end up working out for her to participate. We chatted about incorporating some traditional things into the shoot and I quickly realized that because our origins were from different parts of the country all of our traditions were not the same. Even my thoughts on using the traditional colours of the medicine wheel did not apply to all of us. I decided going with something a little more generic that applied to all of us would be more suitable. 

After deciding that I needed to have a teepee I realized that transporting it would be challenging since we drive a Fiat. My husband helped me by making poles that could be screwed together on site to make the full length needed. I had purchased a large piece of fabric for $1 at the Langham Court Theatre sale the spring before. What a deal and it was perfect. It was the exact amount I needed without sewing or cutting it in any way. What are the odds? I had fun crafting the props and pulling it all together! 

I chose one of my favourite locations; Cattle Point because it has multiple backdrops to offer. I knew I wanted long grass and of course an ocean view! 

It was beautiful to look at, beautiful to shoot, a pleasure to share our stories as we got the shoot ready and one I will always remember. 









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