Wild Purple Dress + Courtney Hupp

I have wanted to participate in a Traveling Dress Collective since the very moment I first heard about the project. The sense of creative sisterhood the project stimulates absolutely inspired me. So, when someone mentioned putting together a group, I jumped at the idea. We decided to have The Wild Purple create a one of a kind dress for our group out of vintage linens. We saw glimpses of the dress during creation, but nothing prepared me for how beautiful it would be when it arrived on my doorstep.

My daughter, Emery, and I opened the box together and we both gasped out loud. "OH my gosh, mommy! It's so beautiful! I actually get to wear that?!" She screamed.

I have to tell you a bit about my Emery. She's quirky and a little awkward and very much dances to the beat of her own drum. If you watched her stumble (literally) through everyday life, "model" is not necessarily the word that might come to mind. She's 7 now and in 1st grade and I can see in her eyes sometimes that she's noticing that she's a little different and maybe she doesn't quite fit in. So, when we opened that box with the dress and I saw her inner fire shine, I knew this project was going to be special for her; for us.

We live in Kansas and I knew that the vintage prairie feel of this dress would be perfect to show off all that our home has to offer. It arrived here in July which was perfect timing for open golden fields, warm sunsets and, of course, sunflowers. We're very lucky that we live right across the street from most of those things. We were able to walk down the road and spend a couple hours together, creating.

The moment she put on this dress and started twirling in that field, I wanted to cry. That inner fire she carries, that strength of pure carefree beauty was shinning bright. I could see the confidence and happiness all over her face. She was letting go of any hesitation and the Emery I know and see was coming to life. You see, she is the most selfless person I've ever met. Her heart is pure and kind. She makes me want to be a better person.

As an artist, I try my best to capture life, as real and honestly as possible. I tend to photograph more from a documentary perspective capturing our everyday life. I thought this project would be something a little different for me. Something creative and styled and more traditional portraiture. Standing there with her in that field, though, it couldn't get more real. I will forever be grateful for our time with this dress; for our time together those days. This experience allowed my sweet girl to shine and find her inner strength. Now I have these images for all the world to see her beautiful spirit. I just hope that when she looks back on this experience she can always remember how she felt twirling in that field and know she has the power to change the world because, she does. -Courtney


Graphic Designer since 2005 and natural light photographer producing mostly black and white images, some color, with a fine art style, located in Vancouver, WA, USA.

I love creating. I love finding beauty in the mundane and seemingly trivial. I love being a part of creating beautiful things. 

I tend to be an over-sharer. So here goes. Music, movies, and imagery are God's gifts to me. I'm convinced these are the tools He chooses to communicate with me. I make mistakes everyday, try to clean up the mess alone, make it worse, then finally, as a last resort call on the One I should have in the first place. I'm desperately searching to fill the hole that only He can fill and everyday I become more convinced that it won't be filled here... and I can't wait to meet Him face to face. To finally meet who I was created for. To finally understand.