From Fairy Dust to Cowboys and Indians – All in a photography day’s work!
Oct 14, 2020 | By: Tracy Williams Photography (TWSP)
Themed photography natural light shoots
Once upon a time there lived a little girl called Cally who got to go on an enchanted fairy adventure………………
Here’s the story of how it all began
My love of natural light photography means that I like shooting outside in different locations as well as indoors. Whenever we go out, I am looking around for different backdrops that might be suitable for images. Many the time I have seen a gorgeous doorway or window in someone’s house or garden and wanted to ask them if I could just use it for a shoot!!! Not many people are really up for that, so I have to get creative.
Many of our local parks and woodlands lend themselves to themes although unfortunately in some, Professional Photographers have to pay to use them – sometimes large fees which does limit some choices unless the client is willing to carry the additional cost (ie National Trust venues).
My first ‘themed’ shoot arose when the village created a nature reserve. We had taken the dog down for a walk and my attention was caught by some tree trunks covered with ivy and moss. The light was beautiful that day and the trees allowed some blue sky to show through whilst providing shade so no hot spots in terms of light. Our daughter then was about 2 and as with most mums I loved it when she dressed up in pretty costumes – the current favourite of hers was a little fairy costume. On a whim I suggested we pop back with her dressed up in it and I could take her photograph.
She was only young, and I did not get many shots that day, but I was very pleased with one of them and the seeds of an idea were born!
What if I could find her some wings and butterflies and decorate the tree? Creating a properly enchanted wood where fairies might play in that beautiful light?
Hubbie on this occasion was not sure and humoured me but I did ask in a networking group I had just joined as to what other people thought. A few of my fellow networkers were mums of little girls and they and the group leader were very encouraging. Okay I was going to try it – my main aim was that everything was as natural as possible but magical at the same time.
Research for props lead me to the USA as not much was available here back then. Luckily my American aunt was happy to let me buy bits over there and then she posted them over to me. I managed to source some beautiful fairy wings, a matt of moss, delicate butterflies and dragonflies. Next the costume….. nothing mass manufactured appealed as I wanted this shoot to be bespoke and enchanting. A chat with a good friend who is a whiz at anything textile/clothes based and she agreed to make me a bespoke costume with beads and a fairy skirt of petals layered for that floating look. The last touch was a hand made silver tiara with tendrils that another supplier friend created just for me – beautifully delicate. At this point if I am honest Hubbie was not impressed at the cost of the various pieces but this far in I was determined to make it work.
After sourcing a couple of models, I managed to create some images to use for advertising and I started getting enquiries for my ‘Enchanted Fairy’ shoots.
Over 10 years later enchanted fairy is my most popular themed shoot still and I treasure the images I have of our daughter as one – hers was in the bluebells with a new blue and purple costume and accessories and I have increased the costumes to 4 colours now including a pink and white and also an autumnal browns, and green.
There is something rather special and unique with these shoots as the light and settings change each time, I do these, so each fairy gets their own experience. I have even had a couple of mother and daughter shoots – the mums had to source their fairy outfits – as well as groups of sisters and groups of friends.
It so lovely to see their little faces light up when we get to the woodland fairy setting (I prepare the scene before they arrive) and they can see butterflies and dragonflies and imagine who else may live there. We talk about fairies and magic and when we leave we make sure to say good bye so they can remember their adventure in the fairy woods!
Here is a review from my most recent fairy shoot
"Hi Tracy Just wanted to say thank you so much for making the enchanted fairy experience so magical for Megan. She loved the fact she could choose her dress, fairy wings & tiara and had the glitter butterflies & dragonfly’s to make her fairy experience even more memorable. We love the pictures. Fantastic job!!! xx"
After the success of these shoots I loved the feeling of creating something different and now have other themed shoots that I offer. To name a few – Little Madam, Cowboys and Indians, Tea Party, but I will save those for another blog!
Please do contact me if you have a little fairy who would like one of these shoots!!