I had the incredible experience of collaborating with a few different artists to create this series, Grown. The idea of exploring a relationship between human and plant-life had been rolling around my head for a while, but I knew it wouldn’t happen unless I pushed for it. As a freelancer, it’s usually difficult to find time for personal work. It’s a lot of extra hours and late evenings to put together a styled shoot on your own. Luckily, I was able to collaborate with some extremely talented people to make this project happen. Floral designer, Suphoj Chancheaw, and hair & makeup stylist, Molly Leahy, were key in bringing this idea to life.
The first step to putting together a styled shoot is having a vision. It’s really hard to get people on board if you don’t have a plan. This plan started as many do, with a lot of brainstorming and an inspiration board. Once I had a goal in mind for the project, I started the recruiting process. Some of this involved reaching out to friends, other artists in my network and even cold calls. I sought artists I knew I wanted to work with and whose styles I admired. With so many specificities, I cast my net wide in hopes of creating a strong team who could be completely committed to the work, the necessary time and effort and most importantly, the vision.
I was excited about my idea, but was also willing to share that vision. I learned that collaboration means allowing your idea to grow with the creative investment of others. Throughout the planning process, our group of artists brought ideas and expertise to the table that stepped the project up to a whole new level. I wasn’t expecting to give up control during this project, but I’m glad I did. Assembling the right team meant I could step back and watch the magic happen. Grown grew to places I could have never gone on my own.
The day of the shoot was a blast. It was time for all the artists and models to be creative and help make some incredible images. The day was hardly without unexpected challenges, but everyone was flexible. I want to give an especially big thanks to my producer, Raquel Ross, for her help. There were a lot of moving parts and she helped make sure they kept moving without smashing into each other.
I’m so grateful for this talented team that helped turn my vision into reality. Sometimes our ideas are too big for us to realize on our own. But that doesn’t mean that with a little help they can’t be accomplished and grow beyond our wildest expectations.
Many organic forms compose this ground that you and I occupy. The two most prominent of these are human beings and plants. Inseparably symbiotic, plant life has sustained us from the dawn of time. As we have cultivated its growth, nature has nourished ours. We have worn it, eaten it, built with it. We have planted and transplanted it. We crave it. Some of civilization’s most heart-stirring sonnets and breathtaking compositions have been inspired by nature’s rapturous beauty. Yet, our modern context has separated a union we once shared. What was an entangled unity has now been unraveled and interrupted. Grown seeks to restore the nature of what once was, to remind man of his impact on vine, and to revive an understanding of our dependence on one another.
Models: Romá Gia , Garth Miriyoga, Charlene Dee
Hair/Makeup: Molly Leahy
Stylist: Suphoj Chancheaw
Producer: Raquel Ross
Photographer/Director: Joshua Duttweiler
View the whole set here.
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