Model: Danielle Gaskins – Bringing regality to it’s knees with her poise. IG: danielleybird
Hair: Elizabeth McHenry – The glorious un-tamer of hair. ermchairstylist.com IG: ermc_hairstylist
Makeup: Oneika Caché – Her mastery of color is magic. IG: oniekacache FB: OniekaCacheSpaNest
Accessories: Jeweled Sash by Ambur Rose Designs – Over 1000 hand-worked beads and crystals. Check it and more out at amburrose.com IG: ambur_rose_designs FB: amburrosepaa
Gown: Emily Kramer Designs – Woven jute corset with inlaid antique lace, ball-gown skirt in light coral with antique lace overlay. emilykramerdesigns.com IG: ekfashiondesign FB: emilykramerdesigns
Photography: Emily Kramer
Video: Ryan Neisler
Assistants: Topper Wallace, Carla Smallridge
As a fashion designer, I participate in many photo shoots and projects. The photo shoot experience is like Christmas to me, and I get a tremendous thrill from it. Getting ready, meeting new people, taking it all in, making sure everything looks right, and then I hold my breath while I steal a peek at the back of the camera – the end result held in one phenomenal frame.
That’s it for me. It’s the Moment. The Moment is the culmination of the long hours of training, mastery, knowledge, and immense talent of a team of people to create this image. It’s a silent intangible thing. Goosebumps.
The Moment is the model, who did the right thing at the right time – intuitive and emotive. It’s the hair and makeup team, who took the vision and made it polished and dimensional. It’s the photographer, who claimed the perfect eye-glint, who really reached in to seize an emotion. It’s the designers, who enrobed the model in the magic their imaginations brought forth, and breathed into it; life.
Yet, I’ve been a bystander. While being so completely enamored with these projects, they weren’t mine. When a photographer has a vision for one of my gowns, I’m elated to participate in their project – it typically turns out incredible. I’m always floored by the talented people who wish to work with me. At the same time, it is their project, not mine. I also dream my own dreams. My visions run rampant, and I’ve only toyed at the idea of taking them further.
What held me back? For awhile it was equipment, knowledge, time, practice… there was always something. It was always really just me.
So, I decided to dive in. After a couple of difficult years due to family losses, I was seeing time tick at an uncomfortable pace. Early in 2017, I had coffee with a friend who happily and thankfully turned my creative world upside down, making me realize this was the right decision. After that, I had lunch with Ambur from Ambur Rose designs, and I had no idea she believed in me with the fervor she did. We planned it that day. A date was set. Here we go!
The photo story itself is a reflection of the escape I regularly need in life. Creatives tend to keep a full plate, and to stay inspired and motivated, we need balance. So to keep that balance, I look to nature. At times when it’s too busy for much down time, I find myself longing for some quiet decompression time away from the pressures and rigors of societal demands.
We shot at one of my favorite places on earth – Landsford Canal State Park in South Carolina. Situated along the Catawba River, the park is home to the ruins of old canal locks. This place is magical, and that’s why I chose it.
The team consisted of the following incredible people who took a chance, on my vision, on me. They may never know how much I appreciate that. I am beyond grateful.