The Maine landscape has been a muse for countless artists over hundreds of years. As I walk the streets of the small towns that sit properly along the coast, I can imagine those who came, and stayed, to paint or photograph its beauty. I imagine they did just as we do today, meet over coffee to discuss the latest success or failure or talk of how they sailed to Monehegan and hiked to the ridge on the other side of the island.
This idyllic coastal Maine has inspired so many. And myself as well.
June is the most beautiful of all. Cool evenings and warm days create a morning mist that rises over lakes and coastal waters, leaving you breathless, unable to describe its beauty. The atmosphere is both light and heavy. You simply must stop and stare into that mist that takes you to a dream-like state of being. All at once, you are a character in a fairytale, set in a time long ago.
I began this fairytale photo shoot project with a search for idyllic settings that were easy to access. Early April I began exploring trails of the Coastal Mountain Land Trust and asking local intrepid souls where I might find a most perfect spot. To my delight, I found places I had never seen or experienced in the 25 years I have lived here, perfect hidden coves to write or picnic or just sit.
My plan was starting to take shape. But I wanted to showcase the inherent beauty of Maine’s most precious asset, it’s people. I posted to our Midcoast message board on Facebook asking for models. I met with several women and specifically chose persons without any previous modeling experience. These are hard-working Maine women who enjoyed the idea of dressing up, playing with flowers, simply reacting to the environment. We collaborated on clothing and style and I tried to accommodate any desire they may have had or their own personal vision for the shoot. The location for this shoot is Lily Pond, Rockport, Maine on the property of Aldermere Farm.
The images were first edited in Lightroom. A preset was applied to change the coloring and tone and then further adjusted for exposure. I then brought the images into Photoshop to remove any unwanted tree branches or distracting elements. I employed several layers of radial blur to give the background an even more dreamy effect. I digitally painted over several areas to calm contrasting areas or cover over spots that were too dark or too light in the background. Some of the images are a composite of two or three versions in order to place trees or leaves for a pleasing composition. Very little retouching was done on the model’s skin or clothing. Last minute edits were done back in Lightroom with clarity and exposure.
Below are before and after shots.
To see all 10 images included in this series click here.
Model: Kendra Young
Flowers courtesy of On the Mountain Farm.
Shawls courtesy of JademBir.
Assisted by Rachel Libby
Be Art Fashion Lightroom Presets were used in the editing process.
To learn more about Lightroom take a class.
To book a fairytale photo session click here.
Thanks so much for joining me today! More to come.