Kay Alexander, Richmond, Virginia. Daughter: Pearl, 3.
I was a photographer before I met my daughter, at heart more so than on paper. I never needed to dig around for inspiration; a spider's web, a blade of grass, anything that the light touches made me feel. But when I met Pearl it felt different to want to capture something so raw and fleeting as childhood. Children's emotions are so pure and extreme that capturing real smiles and real tears can happen seconds apart. The beauty of unpredictability and innocent insubordination, mixed with the realization of, “you're going to blink and this will be over” gave me a drive to expand my interest and skills as a photographer, which led me to stumbling across the Traveling Dress Collective. I immediately knew I wanted to take this project on and shoot my favorite subject, the girl that I made. I feel so strongly about her influence of my profession that I decided that I would find a group of photographers that would agree to only shoot their daughters as well. My passion for teaching her love and equality brought me to this amazing, diverse group of photographers starting in Canada, traveling around the states and finishing in Ireland. At the end of our project I sat down with Pearl and showed her the photos of little girls wearing "her red dress." Seeing her eyes light up as overflowed compliments of how beautiful they are and begged me to go meet them gave me this damn near unattainable feeling of "I'm doing a good job.” I hope you enjoy our daughters collection.
Amy Marquardt. Sweetwater, Eagle County, Colorado. Daughter: Clover, 9.
I started my photography journey 2 years ago. My daughter, Clover, 9, wants to be a photographer when she grows up, that and a doctor! Clover and I were equally excited to be a part of something beautiful. My husband, Justin, 4 year old sister, Violet and 6 month old sister, Olive, and THE dress set out for an adventure one Monday after school. The dress traveled along the Colorado River, and ended up on the mountain tops of Sweetwater, a small mountain community where we live. Many bugs, rolled eyes and nursing happened within the 2 hours of shooting. It was an honor to be a part of this collective. I've looked up to these fellow photographer mamas for inspiration, and have found life long friends!
Kerry Peterson. Alberta, Canada. Daughter: McKenna, 1.
I have always loved and appreciated photography. Growing up on a farm and being a dog trainer for 12 years shaped me and my business to be what it is today. It wasn’t until I had my children that I really began to follow the path of photography. For this session I really wanted to incorporate the things the tell who I am as a photographer. My oldest baby my 12 year old golden retriever and my youngest baby girl, doing things they love to do. It was fairly tough because my daughter wasn't quite two and so the dress was huge, and she already didn't like dresses. So that also played a role in the session trying to include everything she loved the most, especially her beloved stuffed lamb and skittles may have also been involved. I also had to time the session to be at a time of day she is usually happiest which didn't quite coincide with my favourite time of day for lighting. But regardless of the challenges I loved doing the session and in the end so did she.
Erica Nino. Enchanted Rock, Fredericksburg Tx. Daughter: Eisley, 5
My daughter Eisley, and her baby sister, Ellie, have played the key roles of inspiration and determination behind everything I do. They are my source of strength and joy and have helped me grow in my journey as a photographer. I see so much of who I want to be through my daughters. My career as a photographer has given me the opportunity to document their growth and capture their blossoming personalities and traits first hand. As a business owner, but most importantly, as a mother, I want to be the example to show my girls that no dream is too big and that anything and everything is possible through hardworking, determination and faith.
Laurie Lyng. Padre Island National Seashore, North Padre Island, Texas. Daughter: Lyla, 3.
Hello there! I captured my daughter, Lyla- 3, in the Catrin dress on the beaches of our home at North Padre Island. I was immediately drawn to the TDC when I learned of it and because both of my daughters are my favorite subjects to photograph, I instantly wanted to be apart of the Catrin dress group! I was so excited to be selected to participate with some amazingly talented mothers, photographers, & women around the world!
Our home and island community on the gulf coast is a big part of who we are and where my husband and I want to raise our children so I knew without a doubt I wanted my images to represent that. My first thought when I saw the red Catrin dress was how beautiful it would look contrasted against white sand. My second thought was but how am I going to wash it! (I'm pretty sure some Texas sand traveled with the dress to the locations after me).
I also do aerial photography so I knew I wanted to contribute a bird's eye view shot of the vision I had- the red dress against the white sand. My inspirations as a photographer range from beautiful natural landscape to capturing individual personalities to telling a story and although it was very difficult choosing only 3 images, I feel like the 3 I submitted represent exactly that. One view from above, one capturing my daughter's personality and how the dress made her feel like a princess frolicking down the beach, and one showing off mother nature's simple and raw beauty allowing footprints to lead the viewers eye exactly to the red dress like a map.
I love the idea behind TDC and being able to make connections with other photographers around the world. It's been fun following the travels of the dress before and after it spent it's time with us on the coast and I look forward to learning more about the Catrin dress's adventures!
Katie Gleeson. Tipperary, Ireland. Faye, 2.
What inspires me to photograph images is to capture little pockets of life as I see them ; the magic of childhood, the beauty of nature, the perfect imperfections of life. My daughter Faye inspires me everyday to document her little world of wonder and I hope one day she will get as much joy looking at these moments as I have had capturing them. When I had the opportunity to participate in the red dress group, I was aiming to capture the soft rural landscape of our dairy farm, the intense beauty of our autumn sunsets and the joy my daughter has in being able to experience life in this environment. I feel very privileged in being able to connect with the wonderful group of photographers and I have found them to be very inspiring, supportive and positive. I love that the traveling red dress has connected us on an epic journey from one side of the Atlantic ocean to the other.
Emily Brock. Huntsville State Park, Texas. Daughter: Harper, 3.
My Harper Joy is 3 years old and a free spirit to the core. A beautiful mess that we mostly just refer to as Hurricane Harper 😏 My inspiration came from just that... her spirit, her strong sense of self and her love for adventure. I chose the Huntsville State Park bc it is absolutely stunning, and there are so many parts to appreciate and explore. I ultimately wanted to just go get lost in the wild and capture the magic. We took hidden, over grown paths, ran across old bridges (bc she said she heard the trolls below 😂) and chased the light all the way into the deepest parts of the forest. And of course my Hurricane didn’t want to stop. She held that dress up like the reckless princess that she is It was an experience I hope she will always remember. It was such an honor to be a part of this collective and I encourage anyone who has the chance to participate in one to do so!!!
Rakhi Datta. Laguna Beach, CA. Daughter: Lily, 5.
I was so excited to be able to participate in the Traveling Dress Collective. As soon as I saw the beautiful red dress, all I could think about is how I would love to see Lily (age 5) wear it. Red is also an important color in our Indian heritage. It represents passion, power and strength, and is often worn to special occasions. My goal with this collaboration was to unite my heritage with the scenic surroundings of beautiful California.
Olesya Redina. Corpus Christi, Texas. Daughter: Sophia, 4
Motherhood is beautiful, complicated, passionate and full of color. All of these I can say about red….red dress to be exact. When I saw this Traveling red dress project, I had to participate! I envisioned right away sun shining thru red fabric, light sand as a background, so not to distract from the main subject, and the twirling motion of the skirt. My daughter twirling. My middle daughter, who is the epitome of femininity, beauty and passion since the day she was born. She is full of color, as we joke in our house. She is equally passionate about her daily breakfast choice, as she is about her friendships. Her name is Sophia and she is 5. She is my inspiration to stay true to myself, to find my own voice in photography!
Joni Burtt. New Brunswick, Canada. Daughter: Rosemary, 6.
There are a lot of things that inspire me to take photos. Dark clouds. Weak-tea November light. Those orange fingers of sun at 8:45pm on an August night. Fog. Apples. But nothing makes me grab my camera faster than my children. Their expressions, freckles, missing teeth, laughter, ruffled hair, all of it. It means the world to me to be able to return to those things in my memories, reminded by images in front of me, over and over. Priceless.
Tayla Hunt. Gainsville, Florida. Daughter: Allison, 4
I’m Tayla, my daughter Allison, photographed here, is my inspiration and one day she wants to be a photographer just like me.
I have always love photography, and the way an image can make you feel. My daughter sits with me and looks at photos, expressing how they make her feel. At 5, she understands more about feelings than most. We bond over reading images together the way some families bond over books. I’ve taught her to read photos and express feelings through them, and I have no doubt she’ll be an amazing photographer one day, as that’s what she aspires to be.
When I heard of the chance to be a part of a photography project that I could share with Allison, I was thrilled. I wanted to capture the warmth she brings me everyday. I wanted to show her she is beautiful. Here are our images, that we worked on and hand picked together.
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.