I had this shoot planned for months. Months because we just moved from PA to TN. Months because we live in a tiny town now and models are not the easiest to come by. Months because the dress the model wore took forever to make. But all good things come to those who wait, right?
I found this amazing vintage wedding dress at a local thrift store. It said $5 on the tag. $5! And as if that wasn't cheap enough, when I was going through the checkout, the lady said "Oh, all red tags are half off", so I ended up paying $2.50. I was floating on a cloud the rest of the day. You'd never find a deal like that back in PA, that's for sure! You couldn't even make a dress for that much nowadays.
So my idea was to attach flowers all along the bottom of the gown, a kind of cascading effect. I know you're not into hearing every single detail about a dress so I'll just skip to the near-death part. Since the gown I bought had a long train, I needed to hang it up high, so I did a really intelligent thing and hooked it onto a spear I had brought back from Africa which hangs above a doorway in my parent's house. It was perfect because I could turn the dress as I worked and not kill my aching back. Everything was going smoothly. I spent a week tacking on flowers one by one along the bottom. What I didn't realize was that the dress was getting heavier as I was adding more flowers. One evening I stepped away for a moment to let my dogs in the house and one of them brushed against the dress - the spear came crashing to the ground... along with the dress. I might have screamed a little, I don't remember. I picked up the dress to see the damage and sure enough, the spear had gone through the dress. Not just in one place, but in several. In fact, one of the holes was staring back at me as if to mock me... right in the front of the dress. I swear it sneered at me. And I'm not gonna lie, I teared up. OK, I cried. I'd put so much time into this stupid thing. I hated it now. Yeah, I knew I should have been grateful I wasn't killed instantly by a huge African spear severing my skull or throat or something, but I was devastated none the less. Had I been sitting there when the spear fell, I may not be alive to tell you this story today. God works in mysterious ways. I didn't even look at the dress again for one week. I was so over it. I began questioning why I was even doing this photography thing anyway. It really shouldn't be this complicated to do ONE photo shoot... right? I finally found a model I loved and she was gracious enough to drive to my teensy town all the way from Knoxville (thanks Maegan!) so the shoot was finally back on. I finished the dress with no other near death experience to tell of. And although, as an artist I am never 100% satisfied with ANY of my shoots and am my own worst critic... I think the shoot turned out beautifully... and so did the dress that almost killed me. ~ Cora
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