I first met Kari at the start of the year…she was one of my most favorite Pure Barre instructors…she was funny, down-to-earth, had a very unique look (something I’m always drawn to as a photographer) and most of all, she did a phenomenal job of encouraging me to believe in myself and gently pushing me beyond my limits at Pure Barre. I’ve had this need pulling at my soul for quite sometime to do something creative and different…fine art photography…reaching above what is typically “my day job.” It sounds so silly to me now, but I really wanted to work with Kari on this project and I was so afraid to approach her about the idea.

When we first started discussing our goals for this collaboration, we tossed out words that were inspiring to us at the time. I have lately been drawn to watercolors and the desert. Kari was inspired by her time at Burning Man and the need to show her strength and independence, but softer side at the same time. Slowly the ideas started forming and it was then I decided to invite my dear friend Katie (Modern Muse Beauty) to work with us–there was no one else I would trust to be able to follow our creative vision for this project, but to be able to have her own take as well.

I wish I could describe this night so you could understand how it felt. How was it possible for three very different women with very different backgrounds and points of view to work so perfectly together??? The hair and makeup, the costuming, the location, the photo session itself…everything was so organic…not forced…it just happened. It was like we all had the same need to tell the same story. Kari and Katie: I cannot thank you two enough. I am seriously so grateful to know you both and to have had the honor of working with you as artists.

While I was able to get very creative with the actual photo shoot, I also wanted to experiment with the image editing in post. I struggled for a long time to be able to translate what I was seeing in my mind’s eye to the images on my screen, but finally, I landed on these “watercolors.” I’m almost embarrassed to say that I have twice as many images as shown here. I will probably have to come back and blog the non-watercolor images, too, because there are some super cool shots! And, this is only the first of what I hope to be several more photo shoots in this series. Meanwhile, please enjoy the first installment of Firebird Rising: Cracked Earth in Watercolor.

Oh, and do not miss my personal favorite from this segment HERE.