One afternoon in spring while picking up flowers from Night Heron Farm in Carpinteria I noticed a beautiful open field full of wild radish flowers behind their flower field. Immediately I knew I had to shoot there and based on the fields orientation I thought that the sunrise would be an ideal time to capture its charm.
When my friend and model Sonya Barriere agreed to the super early call time I was ecstatic. I began work on a simple cotton night dress I had used on a previous shoot. First, I shortened and distressed some areas of the dress fabric. This was to give the impression that this little fairy has worn this dress for some time and liked to play and explore. I made some small details on the side as if the fairy had taken to braiding and knotting her tattered bits of dress. Next, it got a nice forresty green dye bath. I wanted Sonya to blend in with the plants as if she belonged there. A few days after the dress was ready I picked up flowers to make her a flower crown. The crown had a base of honeywort herbs and rose geranium leaves with radish flowers and statice botanicals weaved throughout.
On the morning of the shoot we had a pre dawn wake up call but managed to make it in the car on time with costume, flower crown and camera essentials but of course there was a huge slow up on the 101. As we were sitting in traffic I could see it starting to get lighter outside with every passing minute. I was so worried we would miss the golden hour sunrise but we pulled in before it rose above the mountain. Sonya quickly got dressed and we started shooting just as the sun was making this beautiful pop along the tree line. We focused on poses that incorporated the flowers and seed pods of the plant. They are both edible and she enjoyed snacking on them throughout the shoot. Sonya is such a natural flower fairy that most of the shoot was just her in her element, blissfully playing as well as peacefully taking in the surroundings.
Model: Sonya Barriere @bornformorefamily
With many of my shoots there is a story telling element that is usually only seen through the images. This time I wanted to expand my creative limits further by writing a short piece of fiction to go along with the photo series. You can find my vignette The Radish Flower Fairy in the summer issue of Botanical Anthology (their first fictional piece to date!). Botanical Anthology is a seasonal, plant focused publication that brings together 42 contributors with over 55 articles on how to integrate herbs/flowers into your kitchen, celebrations and crafts as well as explore summer foraging and gardening. Now alongside all this amazing content you will get to follow a magical being as she delights in the beautiful and edible wild radish flower.
Click below to purchase your summer issue of Botanical Anthology to see the exclusive images and read the story of The Radish Flower Fairy along with so many great articles, tips and recipes