A Summer Siren

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One may think of summer and only think about the sweltering heat. But let’s not forget the fun things summertime brings. Summer hangouts, warm evenings, dips in pools of water, fireflies, and vacations or sometimes just “staycations” from work or school. This summer has brought new acquaintances for me. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some new folks and photographing them.

Early in the summer I had the pleasure of meeting a lovely lady named Haley. Haley goes to school with my gal pal, lovely photo assistant and main muse, Lashon. Lashon made the connection for Haley and me and we scheduled a photo shoot. Haley does modeling as well. It was a delight to photograph her and the three of us had so much fun! We shot for a long time and actually ended up doing about five portrait sessions in one with so many location and wardrobe changes. So I’ll kick off Haley’s photo series with one that made Haley look like a siren coming out of a beautiful pond. We even joked it reminded us of the sirens from the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?

So get yourself mesmerized by these enchanting photos from part one of Haley’s photo series.
Model: Haley Weathers
MUAH: Georgia Myrick
Assistant: Lashon Miller

“The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact.”

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 “I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.”

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“Love’s stories written in love’s richest books.
To fan the moonbeams from his sleeping eyes.”

 

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“Shall we their fond pageant see?
Lord, what fools these mortals be!”

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“Four days will quickly steep themselves in nights; Four nights will quickly dream away the time;
And then the moon, like to a silver bow new bent in heaven, shall behold the night of our solemnities.”

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“Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”

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After the Party: Photo shoot with Lashon

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This set of portraits were done along with another set on the same day with my model, Lashon. We couldn’t decided on dresses, so you know what you do to solve that? Capture photos in both!

These photos were taken around historic downtown Murfreesboro, Tenn. I love historic downtowns and think they are great places to take photographs. So much character and nostalgia. Of course we also got to stop in our favorite boutique on the square in Murfreesboro, Sugaree’s. Lashon and I are both devoted customers of this fine little shop. The dress Lashon wore in this set and the one in the blog prior to this are both from Sugaree’s.

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“Have I gone mad? I’m afraid so, but let me tell you something, the best people usually are.”

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“Alice:How long is forever? White Rabbit:Sometimes, just one second.”

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“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

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“Little Alice fell
d
o
w
n
the hole,
bumped her head
and bruised her soul”

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The Victorian with an X-Factor

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When it comes to style in today’s world, there’s not too much that shocks us to our core that we’d banish anyone from our sight. Just recall how we’ve reacted to celebrities and entertainers and their choice of garments in just the last 20 years. Sure we are sometimes in awe (good and bad) by the choice of style that someone may wear but it’s not too often an outfit sends us into a tailspin.

Unfortunately, this non-nonchalant attitude towards fashion wasn’t the same during the Victorian Era. This was put to the test when John Singer Sargent, an American Artist, decided to capture the beauty of socialite, Virginie Avegno Gautreau, in 1800s Paris, France.

You may have seen this painting before in an art or history class:

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The famous painting received it’s notoriety because of the brazen way the artist painted his subject by showing so much skin (something we’re definitely not shocked by in today’s age). Both the artist and the model did not receive the reception they were hoping. The painting was debuted in 1884 under the title Portrait de Mme *** at the Paris Salon.  Viewers were shocked by the “distastefulness” this portrait portrayed of a beautiful married socialite. Sargent was asked by her mother to withdraw the exhibition but he refused by saying he painted her, “exactly as she was dressed, that nothing could be said of the canvas worse than had been said in print of her appearance.”  He later altered the painting by raising the shoulder strap up to make it seem more securely fastened as opposed to practically falling off her body; which apparently must have sent many people into fainting spells. He also changed the title from Portrait de Mme *** to what it is known as today, Madame X.

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The model and muse, Gautreau, was humiliated by the ordeal and Sargent permanently moved to London. Sargent remained proud of his work as he displayed it in his studio and later sold it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Gautreau did not allow the humiliation to linger too many years as she posed for another artist,  Gustave Courtois, in another setting in a similar dress that revealed a bit more skin. She rounded out her modeling career by posing for Antonio de la Gandara in the late 1800s.

So as you can see, art and fashion have come a long way throughout the 20th century and “Madame X” may have started it all with her Victorian x-factor.