When Winter arrives and the cold drives me inside instead of out with my camera it is an automatic time for a lot of reflecting. Not only on how I want to continue to grow my business for the following new year but for my artwork as a whole. December rolls around and to be honest i’m usually so tapped out creatively that I actually really look forward to the few months of quiet. My creative brain doesn’t usually re-awake until about February but this past year has been SO different. I don’t know if it’s since becoming a Mom and my brain makeup has changed, or that I feel more inspired than ever but I just can’t keep the creative juices from flowing.
I love that I have the ability to play and create out of my own desire during the winter, and not that I can’t do that during the spring/summer/fall. But busy schedules with weddings and portraits leaves me little time to really just create for the sake of it. And that is where The Rembrandt Series was born. Before I even picked up a camera I had a love for drawing and painting, although nothing to the extent of Rembrandt I feel like creating these painting like photographs is a little like revisiting childhood memories. It’s comfortable and nostalgic, and most of all it’s so DIFFERENT from what i’ve been doing so it’s incredibly exciting.
I’ve found that as an artist sometimes we can try to push ourselves too hard to be creative, try too hard to be either different or the same and I fell into that path for a while. I think I had to really take a step back and let my inner artist recalibrate and figure out what she was really made of. These past two years have held such incredible growth for me as an artist, sometimes it actually knocks the breath right out of me to see how much i’ve changed. But in a GOOD way, it’s exciting, it’s scary but it’s also so freeing.
This series first started out in my house, it started off simple, no real props just a photo of myself, then of myself with my son. One morning it just hit me like “EUREKA!”, when this happens there is no stopping me, i’m literally like a tornado. My brain is going a million miles per minute and I feel like I turn into some mad scientist. My poor husband came downstairs to the love seat pulled out from the wall and across the room, clothes all over the floor , a half naked baby running free and a big piece of black paper tapped to the wall. He’s such a good sport, knowing that I was creating a brain child he immediately comes in and asks how he can help. I set the focal points on my camera and tell him exactly what I wanted in the frame. My heart was POUNDING, I was so excited. I mean do you ever feel this way when you do something you love? It’s an intense adrenaline rush! SO, A few snaps later what seemed to be a dauntingly long import into LightRoom a quick edit in Photoshop and boom! MAGNIFICO!! The Rembrandt Series was born!
I then decided to incorporate my dog and then my Sisters, which was the first of the propped photos “The Pie”. OH THE PIE, so dreamy and real! I felt like I was in that old cottage kitchen and I could feel the breeze brisk through my hair and I could smell the dough rising in the oven. With each image I created I felt more and more inspired and the ideas just kept coming. We then created the next few photos of the series with my Sister Holleigh at a friends sheep barn, filled with beautiful Mama sheep and baby lambs, rustic patina colored walls and hazy sunshine flooding through the windows I felt like I was transported back to the Renaissance days. This is exactly what I wanted to portray and evoke, I wanted people to feel as if they were transported back into time.
I just adventured to a local spot called The Hildene for my next additions to the series, and it was divine. Each room was a perfect stage, each pose telling it’s own story, I left with the feeling that my cup overflowith. I’m going to share the newest photos here before anywhere else because it’s more fun that way. I’m hoping that once i’m finished with the series I can hang them in a gallery for a bit, or do something unique with them! Do you have any suggestions for what I can incorporate for my NEXT addition? I’m all ears!
Much Love, Celia
#2 Our Father
#3 The Pie
#4 The Companion
#6 At Morning’s Light
I haven’t named this one yet or released it aside from here! 🙂
#7 Pine and Parchment
#8 The Kitchen (NEWLY released only on the blog!)
A quick little selfie at the end of my latest session, sometimes it’s important to get in front of the camera too 🙂
This is not the first chapter that I appeared in Meghan’s story, nor her’s in mine. Last year I had put together a photographic series called “Postpartum Awareness” where I encouraged women to share stories of their postpartum experiences. I wanted to reach out to other mothers by saying ” Hey you, beautiful woman over there, you are not different and you are NOT alone!” Meghan’s story was one of immense strength, boundless love and immeasurable bravery. So to capture this little snippet in time for her was something I felt so honored to do.
I approached the bank of the river, thinking how special it was that Meghan wanted to be by the water for her session.The river is my sanctuary, as my eyes close and I lift my face towards the sky, it ripples past my toes like icy ribbons of silk. The air is cool with the smell of stone and earth. The river is so symbolic for the passage of time and how we navigate through this momentous journey, and how we find pauses in our life to look back and reflect on the past. As the mid afternoon sun started to sink in the sky, soft and hazy it blanketed the tops of the maples with it’s rich golden rays, the kids threw rocks into the river. Watching intently as tiny ripples become big ripples that then turned back into the rushing ribbons of the current. After a short while we walked up the hill they unfolded a small blanket, unpacked their market basket and broke bread together, laughing, eating and enjoying the company of each others arms.
Blowing bubbles into the wind the kids frolicked and danced, evoking memories of my own childhood, wind in my hair and sun drenched skin and without a care in the world. As we finished our time together we returned to the river, as if it was calling for us, to say goodbye, to say thank you, to remind us to bask in the small moments and memories we make with our families each day. As I drove off I felt an immense feeling of peace, of serenity, of newness. My spirit had been renewed.
Shannon had messaged me a few months back about wanting to do a maternity and newborn session, already having three year old twins she like the idea of a lifestyle session, more of a little glimpse into everyday life with her family, and a little less structure and more real life. I couldn’t have been more on board with the idea especially with where my style has been shifting, this is exactly where I want to see more of my work going.
We started our adventure in the kitchen, where they baked homemade millet rolls. Little bare feet adorned the clean kitchen counter and melodic squeals danced through to the top of the ceiling as the twins stuck their hands into the cold and gooey dough. After they put the baking sheet into the oven they all jumped up onto the couch (ok maybe just the kiddos jumped onto the couch) to snuggle up to a favorite story…or two. I love that no matter how many times kids hear their favorite stories their eyes still light up for every page, it’s literally like magic to them.
As soon as story time was over we leaped and skipped through the dining room and out the door. I had a hard time keeping up with their fast little legs, as they so effortlessly ran and twirled and summersaulted around as the air danced through their hair. The smell of fresh cut grass and the feeling of late afternoon sunshine was the only thing on their minds…and chasing the chickens.
After a good half hour of play, we ended our day with a picnic underneath the pines in the soft moss. The smell of fresh baked rolls filled the air, the cracking of hard boiled eggs and soft clanking of water glasses embraced the sounds of giddy laughs and fruit kisses. With dirt on their clothes and a little mischief in their eyes truly childhood is magic.
As I waved goodbye as they saw me off from their porch, I was in an almost dream like state. I felt like I captured some of the most special and intimate moments for this family, a peek into their life before baby. I felt, with each photo that I edited that it spoke to me, whispering that these will be moments looked back upon for ages to come. That as the children grow older and the sounds of little ones becomes softer in the air, that they will be able to look at these photos and still remember the sounds of squeals echoing through the living room. They’ll remember the smell of fresh cut grass and warm millet rolls, and they’ll remember the feeling of the wind dancing through their hair. Remembering their childhood, from this one small glimpse of time.
And in that very moment, I fell in love with my craft all over again .
There is something inside of me that has awakened.
Sure, it could be the hormones from having a baby or maybe, it is just part of me changing and blossoming naturally. Between raising my 10 month-old son, owning a business, buying our first home, chasing after my three year-old puppy, and trying to find some down time to spend with my husband, life has been spinning me around in circles. Days turn to weeks and weeks turn to months and well, you know how the rest goes. I realized it has been eight years since I last updated my website and I cannot remember the last time I have sat down to write and reflect about my photography, so I figure now is as good a time as any.
As I sit here, I gaze out into the woods and I realize that my photography style is starting to slowly shift in a direction that has been calling to me for years. For some reason, I have always been too afraid to hear, but now I am listening, hoping to be more like the trees nestled in the backyard of my new (to me) farmhouse, the trees that make it seem effortless to bow with the wind. It has been a difficult path to this point, filled with both ups and downs, self doubts and creative blocks. There have been times when I have doubted my choices and the journey I have chosen but, here I still stand, my heart rooted in each photograph I have taken.
I hope you will join me as I share my work and bear a small piece of my soul with every image. I am forever grateful to have your company as I travel down this imperfect path that we call life.