In early December I had the chance to get together with photographer Justin (aka @marralicious), who has been a friend since before my modeling days and before his photography days. We had been going back and forth about ideas, but he was only in town for a short time. So we somehow fit what easily could have been multiple sets into a single day!
Warming up to Christmas
Our first set was indoors, the setting warm and cozy with a Christmas tree in the background and a hot cup of coffee in hand – real props are the best props! It was easy to create the feeling of Holiday cheer within a homey setting when the very location we were shooting at held such warm memories of sitting on that same couch with a coffee in hand years ago.
Waiting for Santa
We followed that set up with one by the kitchen door, utilizing the natural light reflecting off the snow outside to create a contrast of color and “Baby it’s cold outside” emotions. It never ceases to amaze me how subtle lighting differences can bring across such a dramatic change in the tone of a picture.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Next, I threw on the ever popular for New England, flannel top, and took a few shots with some matching green evergreens. You can never go wrong with nature as your backdrop.
From there we made our way further out into the snow and cold, now armed with hats and coats-oh wait, that was the photographer! At least fleece-lined leggings exist for under dresses and skirts! We walked around the frozen pond and stone wall nearby and created some of my favorite pictures from the entire shoot. I’ve learned that sometimes being uncomfortable can push you to create something amazing. If for no other reason, the motivating desire to go inside and get warm can create some very strong images!
My favorite shot was one of the most uncomfortable of the day for me and involved laying across snow-covered stones, trying to look elegant and not like the rock I had positioned the majority of my torso on was in no way stable. Not to mention it moved with every subtle shift I made while posing. If it looks like I’m mimicking sleeping beauty, it’s because I was holding my breath in hopes I wouldn’t fall off the wall into the thorny bushes below. But it worked! Cold and stiff as I was, Justin captured a stunning image that looks like I adore sleeping on snow-covered rocks and recommend it to all my friends.
And then we came in, warmed up, and ventured into the world to attempt some fashion shots on location. Our local Walmart. Because why not?
This proved to be quite a successful adventure considering we weren’t expecting to get great results. It seemed the shoppers of Walmart thought we were out of place. But the fabric and flower aisles proved to be such beautiful backdrops. So we ignored the annoyed looks from each passerby as I walked down the runway- I mean, aisle. Don’t worry, we didn’t make too much of a disturbance and always moved out of the way for shoppers. I wouldn’t be surprised if I helped sell some fabric swatches that day. You’re welcome!
We ended our session with one final look of color contrasts in front of the house. By this point both the sun and I were losing warmth, so we called it a Day. I happily curled up in a blanket with my second cup of coffee and reminisced before we parted ways.
It’s hard to choose a favorite set from the day, especially after doing so many. That being said, the coffee cup photos bring back so many memories for me. I can’t help but smile when I look at them. And the image taken outside on the stone wall is as breathtaking to view as it was to experience. But I have no regrets and would do it all again in a heartbeat. Make sure to check out more of Justin’s work @marralicious on Instagram!
Which was your favorite set?