While planning the mermaid indoor photoshoot, my mind would wander to thinking about the famous swimmer and actress Esther Williams who reigned as queen of the 1940 and '50s aqua spectacular films featuring elaborate synchronized swimming extravaganzas, such as Million Dollar Mermaid and Jupiter's Darling.
I wanted to invoke a vintage Hollywood vibe to the set and adorn both mother and daughter with elaborate handmade crowns.
As I shared my ideas with my family and with my models, Lindsey and Campbell, the various pieces of the project started to fall into place. For instance, I found the fabrics for the tails sitting side-by-side as if they were made to be found together.
With a keen eye, my niece spotted the necklace that Campbell is wearing in the case at a Goodwill thrift store. She saw that there were tiny starfish and sea horses dangling on the strands of pearls. The necklace is beautiful on its own but didn't look so hotsy-totsy in the overcrowded case.
My sister loaned to me her extensive collection of shells that she has been collecting for more than twenty years. To add to the decorative shells, I dug through my costume jewelry and pulled out every pearl necklace to drape into the abalone dish.
Lindsey found tops for herself and Campbell while thrifting. The amazing blue bra features Swarovski crystals. At the last minute Lindsey added the blue seahorses for some extra mermaid bling.
I found the second hand backdrop on eBay and Juliette brought the blue velvet fabric and complementary sequins to create the artificial shoreline. I purchased the netting at the beginning of the summer when home stores were featuring beach-style accessories.
Slowly but surely over the year we pulled everything together for a unique, stylized look. The final touch was making the crowns. Many of the materials we used for the crowns we sourced at the annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show back in February. Good things come to those that visualize and plan!
If you have always dreamed of being a mermaid, I can make your dream come true—at least for a day. The beautiful keepsake images that you will receive as a result of the photoshoot will last a lifetime and beyond.
Ocean Green Backdrop | Studio Lighting
Studio wardrobe, jewelry and crowns.
Location: Tucson, Arizona.