When I saw Carol Merriman's traveling dress post last year, I had to see if I could be part of it. Her group's images were gorgeous.
It took our dress about six months to travel around the world. Our dress started in France and then traveled through the USA (Texas, New Jersey, Ohio, and Michigan). This project has allowed us see how a single dress is interpreted by six different photographers, with six different models, in six different locations.
I want to thank the participants in this incredible team for their creativity, tremendous artistry and our “sisterhood of the traveling dress”. I am honored to have been part of a collaboration with the amazing talents of Jillian Baudry, Eileen Critchley, Elizabeth Roy, Kaela Elliott, and Eve Tuft.
We chose our beautiful tie-dyed dress from VICI Collection.
– Ann Jeske (Group Leaders)
Jillian Baudry (Languedoc, France)
“The dress began its travels with me in the south of France in February. Expecting to take advantage of the mild Mediterranean climate, we weren't prepared for storms and flooding! The weather kept us housebound for the first 10 days. When the skies finally cleared, I and my photographic assistant (my hurriedly-trained husband) spied our chance and set off for our shoot.
Arriving late after a lengthy traffic diversion, we reached our destination just as the sun was setting. We were able to snap a few quick backlight images by the side of the car park, before taking advantage of the beautiful blue-hour reflections on the still-flooded beach. Delighted that everything had worked out well in the end, I sent the dress on the next stage of its journey, across the ocean to Texas.”
"After its European vacation, the dress found its way to me in San Antonio, Texas in April. I was thankful to get the dress relatively early in the year, as south Texas can get awfully hot and humid and I planned to take the photos outside. My first thought was to use my 9-year-old daughter as a model, however the dress was much too big for her. I didn't really know anyone in the area, so I decided to do some self portraits.
Self portraiture does not come easily to me. It is an exercise in patience and self-acceptance, and requires a certain level of confidence (more on that in a moment). I knew I would have to take hundreds of images to get a handful that I liked.
The confidence came into play when I took my tripod and camera to the San Antonio Botanical Garden one Monday morning. Being your own model in a public place can feel a little awkward! Fortunately, I got to the gardens right when they opened and there weren't many people there. The weather was also decent, although it certainly warmed up as I was leaving a few hours later. I used my 35mm prime and Lensbaby Edge 80 for these images.
The San Antonio Botanical Gardens are one of my favorite places in the city. I have since moved out of Texas, so I am happy to have these images of myself in a place that holds many fond memories for my family and me. ”
"The dress arrived in New Jersey in the beginning of spring. The leaves were on the trees and the weather was turning warmer. My daughter loves the water so we got her in the dress and drove to the Manasquan Reservoir. The Reservoir has a beautiful beach area with old dried trees in the water. It was a nice day, the dress looked so beautiful fluttering in the breeze. The temperature was nice enough that my daughter put her feet in the water! The dress made a beautiful compliment to the environment and my daughter enjoyed exploring the area! "
"After New Jersey the dress made it’s way to me in Ohio. I was so happy that one of my best friends was willing to be my model for these photos. The day we chose ended up being a very hot and sunny day in Ohio, but we decided to go ahead and do the photos anyway. We did the photo session downtown where there are some neat brick buildings and then at a local bike trail that has some really nice nature trails. I used only Lensbaby lenses for these. I don't normally use these lenses for photos of people so it was a fun challenge. We had so much fun with this project!”
Eve Tuft (Midland, Michigan)
"As soon as I saw what dress we were going to get, I knew that I wanted a red-head and that I wanted to take pictures on the beach. I thought that red hair would be simply stunning with the cool pastels of the dress. I also wanted a senior girl so I could add some photos to my portfolio for my business. Since I didn't know any red-headed teens, I asked around and found one. Thankfully, she was happy to help me out with this project by being my model.
We only had one day to shoot, and I have to admit that I was very disappointed by the weather. It was completely overcast, and the clouds weren't at all dramatic or stormy. I wanted sun on that red hair! But I think that the location still worked out, and if anything, the gray of the sky and the lake made her red hair stand out even more. I was also able to use other areas around the beach such as paths, walkways, and tall reeds.
I also really enjoyed being able to freelens on this shoot and pull out my edge 50. I don't normally freelens or use my Lensbaby, so it was fun for me to have a little more creative freedom on this shoot.”
"For its final photo shoot, the dress headed east to Michigan's Port Crescent State Park with my beautiful sister-in-law and model, Beth. Beth and I started our girls-day-out by getting our hair cut and styled by the talented Lindsay Mader and then drove about two hours to “The Thumb”. It was a chilly on the shore of Lake Huron, so we decided to shoot midday and armed ourselves with hot coffee.
I'm so glad that I packed my Lensbaby Edge 80. The lens was perfect for emphasizing the flowy, feminine dress. ."