For this project, I had the incredible experience of working with Rachel of Styled by Rachel Griffith. Who, lucky for me, is also my sister. Rachel lives in San Diego, CA and I live in Bradenton, FL, so this collaboration was truly a unique opportunity for us and one that we dreamed of and planned for quite some time.
Rachel is often inspired by themes in children’s classic literature, and she had a vision for The Lost Boys that would highlight the darker, more mischievous side of the story – exploring the transformation of good English boy to wild animal and the implications of the animal nature in us all. She discovered the perfect way to represent these concepts when she came across a Latvian Etsy seller, Krista Argale of Miesmesa Berni and her eerie animal masks.
During the time that Rachel first began sharing her ideas with me, I had begun working closely with So Staged Events and Rentals. As soon as I saw the little old boat, vintage chest, and weathered doors, I knew we had to expand the project to include those scenes as well. Ever the feminine romantic, I was determined to have a precocious and pretty Wendy in the mix and model, Savannah was perfection in the role.
Despite rainy weather, we had a total blast creating these images at nature preserve, Emerson Point in Palmetto, Florida. The boys were so full of energy and really seemed to enjoy pretending to push the boat onto the beach and “discover” the treasure. Their facial expressions were priceless. My favorite part of the day was capturing the dark wooded walk, lit with real candle lanterns.
In the end, I feel that the project was a success – accomplishing the task of drawing the viewer in for a few moments of reliving magical childhood fantasies. I can’t emphasize enough how important the art of collaboration is in conceptual photography projects. It is rare (if not impossible!) for a lone photographer to accomplish something of this magnitude. It’s all about the teamwork, which not only has practical benefits, but also brings the project to life as each person shares their creative ideas and passions. Don’t try to do it all alone – work together!