Photographer: Colette Waters (@colettewaters; www.colettewaters.com)
Hair and Makeup: Jami Roth (@mua_jamiroth)
Model: Jo-Lynn with Hoffman International Model and Talent Agency (@hoffmanmodels; www.hoffmanmodels.com)
Corset and Floral Dress: Vintage pieces via Etsy
Leotard, Heels: Zara
As I stepped into the lush land of South Africa with my husband, I was in awe of the natural beauty surrounding us. In an unexpected whirlwind, I was introduced to a culture full of vibrant colors and booming life. For miles upon miles in every direction, there was an abundance of dense mini-forests as we explored the city of Johannesburg—simply amazed at the wave of green in an urban setting.
Further inland, the streets turned to dirt and the terrain became rougher. As we bumped along the country lanes with monkeys wandering on the sides of the road, I was engulfed in the natural, raw state of Africa. The smell of the red dirt still fills my nostrils as I envision the twisting trees and shrubbery that zoomed past us as we rode in an airy jeep to see elephants, giraffes, and lions.
We then made our way to Cape Town where the air quickly turned salty as the vast ocean came into view and the roaring waves filled our ears. With the breathtaking mountains in the background and the wind flowing through my hair, I was quickly falling in love with the diverse allurement of Africa. As we delved even deeper into the everyday life of South Africans, we experienced art and music that can only be described as bright and full of life. The sky was a radiant blue and the sun shines warm on our faces as we drove to varying wineries and chocolatier shops scattered throughout the rolling hills of the African countryside. Even though we were not in the stereotypical “safari” area of Africa now, the wildlife was still rich with native penguins and ostriches roaming freely.
All of the charm I encountered in South Africa is what inspired this photo shoot with hair and makeup stylist Jami Roth and model Jo-Lynn with Hoffman International Model and Talent Agency. I wanted to bring some of the colors and vibe of South Africa to Kansas City. I searched for the perfect outfit and fell in love with this vintage green floral dress I found on Etsy. I knew it would be perfect with the colors I wanted to portray to the viewer. I added the vintage corset to break up the long dress and add some compelling texture to the photographs. I decided to put a leotard under the dress and keep it unbuttoned so the fabric would have more movement, adding to the vibrant, airy feel of South Africa.
For the location, I wanted to shoot in a place with an abundance of natural green colors. Thus, we shot in a little park outside of Kansas City that is typically very quiet, so I knew we’d be able to shoot wherever the natural light was best. We shot in a few shaded areas because I wanted to portray the lush trees we experienced in Johannesburg. Then I wanted to shoot in full sun because the rest of our time in South Africa was full of bright colors, blue skies, and the sunshine. We shot around noon, so the sun was high and blazing. As I scouted the area where we were shooting, I found an orange flower growing that matched the floral details on the dress. So I picked it and put it in Jo-Lynn’s hair for a perfect pop of color. My goal of this photo shoot and editorial was to portray a slice of the South African essence we were fortunate enough to experience, which I believe was accomplished with a Midwest flair.
FASHION EDITORIAL – Midtown Safari
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