efflorescence Kathryn Weeks

When I first began this project, I was not entirely comfortable with my skills or my ability to creatively design a project I could be proud of. When seeking inspiration, I often came across wedding photographers who had made a name for themselves via social media. They were able to capture these beautiful intimate moments between their subjects, and while I liked this idea I was not in love with the idea of photographing couples. I began shooting portraits in the studio, which felt successful for my first attempt at portraiture, and I was pleased with the results.

Quickly I realized that although I admired my studio portraits, it was not what I was aiming to base my book upon. As I began to wander back onto social media for inspiration, I discovered that I was finding myself drawn to a variety of photos that all shared a similar concept, the intimacy of people and the natural world surrounding them. I enjoyed the way photographers would explore the sensations that nature made for them and decided to experiment further. This created my second shoot, which consisted of my model in a milk bath surrounded by flowers.

As I examined both of my first shoots I simultaneously felt accomplished and disappointed. While I liked both of them separately, nothing about them seemed cohesive. Additionally, they didn't feel like what I was hoping to portray for my project. I decided to feed off of the milk bath idea - the sensations that surrounded me as I was shooting with my model like the scent of fresh flowers and the feeling of the water against her skin. It was then that I decided it was time to get outside and test the waters.


For this shoot I wanted to capture the first glimpse of sunlight peeking through the trees of the forest. I wanted to capture the feeling of the sun on my models skin, the wind running through their hair and clothes, and caressing their skin. The goosebumps from the slight chill in the air, or the warmth of the sun. The crunch of the leaves against their bare feet.

My first shoot outside now felt like my biggest photographic accomplishment yet. I decided to go yet again to the same spot as before, at the same time. My model requested that she wear the same white dress as the first had. The next morning her and I headed back out to the forest, but this time I chose to explore a different area.

I started posting the turnout of the first two shoots in the forest on my social media pages. Soon after I began to get inquiries from my friends and my followers about if I needed any more models, or asking if I could have a similar styled shoot with them.

The white dress soon had become a staple in my outdoor shoots. It finally felt like a cohesive piece that I had put my own touch and creativity into. I continued to do shoots with people wearing the dress.

I began to play around with the natural light. Some days when I would go it was cloudy while others it was beaming with sunlight. Temperatures also fluctuated, but my models adapted to them quickly during our shoots. As I started to play with light and differing times of day, I also decided to explore new locations that could offer me a similar idea in a varied setting.

I started to attempt sunset shoots, instead of sunrise. I also explored a variety of places that seemed to be right in my own backyard. I enjoyed playing with the way the light came through the trees in these locations.

My models began to vary, and as I continued to spend countless hours with them in these remote locations I began to learn more about them individually. Many shared childhood memories with me, or things that made them happy. As they did this I began to capture genuine moments with them.

Watching the project blossom into something amazing has been the most exhilarating and exciting feeling. It gives me a sense of accomplishment and allows me to share something I am proud of, in doing something that I love.

You can follow the remainder of my photographic journey and upcoming projects on Instagram @kbwphotog.

Efflorescence: The state or period of flowering, blooming, or blossoming. An example or result of growth.

This project is my efflorescence. A reminder to myself, as both an artist and a human, that nothing in nature blooms all year yet it does not take away the beauty of progress. A reminder to be patient with myself, because everything in nature eventually blossoms.

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