I am a fashion and art photographer, who prefers bringing to life creative, imaginative and crazy ideas. I want my photographs to bring artistic exaltation to their viewer and this photo project – Queen of the Forest – is no exception.
Every one of my fashion photo shoots are planned from A to Z, but this time it took much longer time to put it all together. I researched other similar photo shoots that not only helped me understand how to bring my idea to life but also was a great inspiration. For this particular photo shoot it was very important to find the perfect location – forest, that wasn’t too dense, but would create the right settings – magical and mysterious. I wanted these photos to capture contemporary interpretation of a forest deity as a mystical creature. A character that was airy and sensual, and also gracious and aristocratic at the same time. A character that would draw parallels with mystical forest creatures and royal poise. Because the photo shoot was planned to take place in the winter months, the last snow added a little bit sad and melancholic nuance to it, but it also was the combining element between the environment and the dress.
For every project I put together the best team possible. I love to work with new designers as much as I do with the ones who have already made names for themselves, which includes creative make-up artists and interesting models. This time addition to the team was artist Laura Blumberga – who is author of the crown. We have been acquainted for the longest time and I have always admired her work. This time it was exquisitely created forest queen’s crown, which was one of the main accessories. Nature in itself is colorful and sparkling. It is mystical and miraculous, elusive and effervescent. For those reasons Laura’s materials of choice was branch – as a root; bird – as a flight and sparkles that, from her point of view, highlights natures ethereal charm and are just right for forest queen’s dreamy nature.
Main criteria, while looking for the fashion designer was to choose someone who sews rich and full dresses and Agnese Eiduka does just that. Since her childhood she has been fascinated with everything that has something to do with princesses and luxurious dresses. Agnese loved my idea and she was ready to collaborate. As designer says, there’s no more feminine piece of clothing as is a dress and exactly that was one of the main focuses in this photo shoot. The dress is made out of tulle and is 100% handmade and it’s long cut was perfect for the photo shoot’s concept. And this time I myself added two accessories – my grandmother’s crocheted gloves, which complimented the crown, and artificial fur boa.
I couldn’t have done this without great input from the makeup artists Mārīte Mazlovska, who is my go to person when I work on difficult and artistically profuse projects. I have collaborated with Mārīte on all my biggest and most creative projects. Artist used highlighter to give the character radiance and freshness, applying it to all face, to emphasize softness and femininity – she chose cool pink tones for cheeks, lips and eyes. Mārīte chose blue eyelashes to add to character’s mystery and grace. For hair – broken curls to show power without losing femininity.
Choosing model was also more difficult, because I wanted very specific look that would complement the character and would fit in with whole concept. Fortunately, professional model Agate Muzikante agreed to participate in the photo shoot, who not long ago had been part of photographer’s Mihaela Noroc project “The Atlas of Beauty” as most beautiful representative from Latvia. She was very interested from the very beginning. Before that I haven’t had the chance to work with Agate and first time always is an adventure in a way, because you never know how will the communication turn out and how well will we be able to work together. This time everything turned out great and we got along right away. Agnese admits, in the beginning there was little uncertainty, but seeing how everything falls into its place with the character, location, look and dress, she felt enthusiastic and could completely embody queen of the forest and enjoy every moment, even forgetting that it was freezing cold.
Big help was my husband and artistic assistant Toms. As art director by profession, he is always very interested to participate in this type of artistic photo shoots. His input was helping with various technical tasks, photo selection and retouching which in this case was done very little. Thanks to his pyrotechnical experiments with smoke, it was possible to achieve necessary mood in some of the frames.
It was a real joy to work with all these people and to be able to create this visually rich material. I hope it will bring the viewers as much emotions and satisfaction as it brought to me for making it happen.
Photographer and style: Elina Meijere
Assistant: Toms Meijers
Model: Agate Muzikante
MUAH: Marite Mazlovska
Dress by Agnese Eiduka
Crown design by Laura Blumberga