Ophelia - art shoot

As a photographer I am so lucky to be able to have a passion that allows me to provide for my family, but at the same time, photography is an art and sometimes it can become mentally draining to devote all your energy to client projects.

I have been itching to do some creative projects of my own this summer and one of the projects on my list was a John Waterhouse inspired Ophelia shoot.

Fun fact about me, I am a theater and art nerd. Like, huge nerd. I absolutely adore the works of John Waterhouse and fell in love with his Ophelia art in elementary school.


 Ophelia - John William Waterhouse

Ophelia - John William Waterhouse

Creating a photograph from a painting is a such a challenging experience. Often a painting is not lit or posed in a way that is easily replicated in real life and creating the same feel and texture is so difficult to do. At least for me.

I knew while I wanted to take inspiration from Waterhouse I could never do the original work justice so instead I decided to take the idea and make it modern and my own.

My first goal was to find the perfect subject. I wanted someone unexpected looking for a piece based off of Shakespearean art and Jennifer, with all her beautiful tattoos and gorgeous looks jumped out at me from the first time I saw her. Its actually quite embarrassing how she came to model for me. I stalked her on Instagram for about a week before getting the courage to ask if she would let me photograph her. Luckily she was more than on board.

I also needed to find the perfect dress. I planned to get Jen in water at some point during the shoot so I wanted something that fit her well and would flow beautifully once wet. I ended up commissioning a gorgeous goddess style gown from a local seamstress, Marcy.
We collaborated back and forth to get everything just right for this gown and I could not have done it without her!


The next big goal was to find the perfect location. I was hoping to find a spot that offered some fields with flowers, a creek with an overhead view and a forest all within a short walk since it is getting hot out even in the evenings.

In the end we settled on Beckley Creek park however the day of the shoot Jen suggested we check out a different trail than the one I had chosen and I am so lucky she did as it was absolutely perfect. We never would have been able to get our dramatic overhead shots at the other trail!

The creek portion also offered some amazing water foliage to play around in, I seriously could not have asked for a better location!

By the end of the shoot the lighting was getting super dark and moody and we decided to just throw it all out there and go for some more "weird" shots, I headed up to the bridge to shoot down directly above Jen while my amazing assistant Brittani stayed below to help position Jen where I needed her. I am so thankful for the amazing team I have working with me. I could not have done this shoot without Brittani and her confidence in my crazy requests is always mind blowing, she never questions my ideas even when they require her to get just as wet as the model is!

I just know she is really going to appreciate being featured here!

That same unwavering willingness to get crazy with me goes for Jen too...seriously...she did not even flinch when I asked her to dunk her beautiful face into gross, muddy creek water.

She just seemed to know exactly what I needed of her expression wise as well and she pulled off the serene look I was seeking perfectly.

Wrapping this up with one of my favorite shots of the night. I am just so excited to do more of these Shakespearean inspired shoots this summer!



Thanks for reading!