We must allow our yesterdays to die to ensure tomorrow’s transformation……Livonne
I’ve wanted to shoot a mermaid for a while now. I have created a few mermaids but I haven’t shot them specifically to be a mermaid. I have taken photos that I’ve eventually made into one, but haven’t specifically had the vision of one when shooting. So I began to plan one.
I found a pink mermaid tail on Ebay a while ago and then a few weeks ago started looking for a mermaid. A friend gave me the number of someone who might be interested and I was thrilled when she said yes. I was very lucky that this particular lady also creates costumes so she set to work making a matching top while I worked on a head dress.
I knew I wanted her in water but how to do that when you live in a place that can turn very cold, very quickly. Planning an outdoor shoot is always precarious, so I had to think outside the square. I was walking through a department store when I saw a cheap blow up pool and grabbed it. Trouble was, it was bigger than what I was planning but that didn’t cross my mind when I walked out with my purchase.
It was only when I got it home that I thought about the logistics. Not just blowing it up but also finding where to put it. I decided I wasn’t going to let small details get in the way of this, so I borrowed a electric pump and set it up in my lounge. I placed a tarp and a thick blanket underneath and set it up near the back door, so if I needed to drag it out quickly in case it leaked, I could.
The lovely Kirsty from KLB Images came and helped me set it up, fill it and be my eyes and ears (assistant) for the shoot. She notices details I don’t always see which is great. I get so into the story that I miss things that matter, like hair across a face or a crooked headdress. I worked on my beautiful model’s make up and hair while the pool was filling (courtesy of a hose from the hardware store, attached to the kitchen sink) and eventually we were ready to go.
My lovely mermaid Lenore was an absolute natural. I could tell she’d done dance by her movements. The way a person positions their hands can make or break a photo and she had the perfect hands. She got in the pool (thankfully filled with warm water) and away we went.
With all the things happening in my life at the moment, I knew I wanted to portray the message that keeps appearing at the moment. That is that if you really want a new life, you have to be prepared for the death of an old one, or at least parts of it.
My mermaid looks beautiful but tragic, caught in a fisherman’s net and seaweed, unable to save herself. However if you look closely, she is beginning to transform into a human with her tail splitting open to reveal legs. Just as the caterpillar appears to die before transforming into a butterfly, so the mermaid has to say goodbye to the ocean to become a beautiful young woman, walking upon the earth.
Of course, I watched The Little Mermaid as I was organising it all. I love Ariel and while her story was a happily ever after, she had to give up a lot to gain the love and life she wanted.. It’s all about priorities and compromise.