I've been meaning to take this photograph for a very long time. We bought these beautiful vintage ball gowns and I wanted my daughter to pose for me in one of them but she was a little hesitant. She used to be pretty bold about pictures but they were mostly candids during her adventures on road trips or in Mexico, Ecuador or Katrina Relief Work in New Orleans looking grungy in Tyvek suits or overalls and kerchiefs. I wanted to capture her beautiful face dressed up in an exquisite gown lost in thought. She has made the same face when she is lost in thought all her life, her eyes look almost a little sad...I think the word I am looking for is wistful. She has always dreamed big, we have told our children their dreams are possible if they work hard and stick with those dreams despite the obstacles. She has definitely had more than her share of obstacles and she has come through them with a strength and determination I admire.
So she tried on a couple of the ball gowns and they fit perfectly. She was thinking about how they could be made up as tea length gowns as bridesmaids dresses for her sister's possible wedding. (I have 3 girls and between them, their friends as well as the event planning/photography we are involved in...there is always alot of wedding talk!) Of course it must be said that Anthropologie just introduced their new wedding line (see it here and just die!)well, that would get any girl swooning over a beautiful gown. I pestered her to pose for me in the red gown for a portrait idea I have had for years, I begged, cajoled and just plain wore her down. She was having a bad day and after a heart to heart to boost her self confidence about her own beauty, she agreed to let me take her photograph. She got ready for work and put on the dress with only a short time for a portrait session.
I posed her next to a window on a cloudy afternoon against a metallic glazed wall behind her murphy bed. The light was just so perfect and moody to create the old masters oil painting type portrait I was after, I only needed a little fill light reflected off a white matboard. I aimed to use a wider aperture which creates such a beautiful effect with a slightly darker exposure and with just about 10 frames shot...nailed it. The only criticism I have for myself is that her hand on the left side of the portrait disappears into the darkness too much. I could play around with this in photoshop, add a texture...some brushstroking, print it on canvas but straight out of the camera is an effort I am proud of. What do you think?