Whisper ~ Phantasmagoria
“The heart whispers so listen closely” ~ The Land Before Time
When I first decided that I wanted to rename this series, I don’t think even I realized how big my vision truly was. Originally I had chosen the name Candyland, but that name never felt right. It matched up well with the first shoot, but it didn’t fit where I wanted to go, the places I wanted to create. The name Phantasmagoria first came to me as I was waking up one morning. You know that hazy place where you are caught struggling between dreams and reality. As the sunlight softly filtered through my window, I just knew, I wanted to create something full of magic and wonder like those first waking moments when your dreams still feel so real. “Whisper” is my visual portrayal of that moment of half-waking/half-dreaming, the moment Phantasmagoria was truly born.
Once Phantasmagoria started to really take form in my head, I knew what I wanted for the next shot, I wanted to shoot in a field of flowers… but I had a problem. It was early April in Cleveland, and winter hand lingered longer than usual. I had a few days off work so I got in my car determined to find the perfect spot. This trip took me all the way to the Pennsylvania border and back, and I found some truly wonderful locations, but no flowers. April 18th arrived, and I had plans to spend the day with Jeni. It was her birthday, and she was recovering from back surgery, so I wasn’t sure if she would be up to doing a shoot, but I had this overwhelming need to free some of the ideas in my head. Jeni was more than willing to get out of her house for a while (Thank you Jeni!), so we started discussing possible locations while I did her makeup. To counteract with the first shoot “Sweet Dreams”, I kept her makeup soft and natural and we decided on a simple black dress. It didn’t take very long to get her ready and off we went to Stinchcomb Memorial.
Back in December I had attended the Winter Solstice Sunrise Gathering at Stinchcomb Memorial. Remembering that the view from the overlook was breathtaking, I was hoping to be inspired. When we arrived I could still feel the magic hanging in the air. It was a beautiful windy day, so I gave Jeni a simple piece of white tulle as her only prop, picked up my camera and said a prayer. Jeni began to play with the tulle with what I can only describe as a child like glee. The way it danced in the wind was mesmerizing, but I am going to wait and talk more about that in a future post. When we took a break I looked over the edge of the overlook, and saw it! Blankets of yellow covering the forest floor, illuminated by the late afternoon sun filtering through the trees. I felt like I was transported back to that moment, caught back in my dream. We made our way down to the base of the overlook and began walking through the forest surrounded by these patches of yellow flowers. Jeni laid down in the flowers. Once she covered herself with the tulle, she took on this otherworldly quality. That is when I heard it, my heart whispered “This is your moment.”
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