Primal Civility (& How to Bounce Without an Assistant or Gear)

One thing that might be kind of interesting about the way I shoot is that I shoot very minimally - carrying hardly any gear and mostly just using natural or found light. My additional, or "fill" light comes from my giant bounce/reflector. Manipulating this and shooting without an assistant can be QUITE challenging. I pull out my amateur yoga prowess every time I shoot.

One of my favorite shoots where I used this strange skill was Primal Civility with Victoria Florenc! You can find her work HERE!

Shooting with Victoria Florenc was a magical dream. She showed up with a giant bag full of clothing options, jewelry, and make up. Together we easily crafted three outfits and compiled complimenting accessories. Victoria showed up bare faced but quickly and beautifully crafted this makeup using lipstick and - get this! - SHARPIE!

Our three looks were meant to grow in order of "civility." The first outfit being the most primal. But we still used chunky "pearls" and large diamond earrings to bring that classiness. My grandmother's vintage ring even made the cut.

In this image above, you can see the sunlight on the right side of her face, and fill light on the left side of her face around her eye. This spot was highly shaded but the beautiful creek behind her HAD to be captured. This spot required the craziest of yoga poses. (I wish I had a behind-the-scenes picture to show you.)

imagine this, but 4ft wide

I had to figure out what framing I wanted and find my focus before I could settle into position to hold the reflector. Wrapping my shooting arm over the top of the shiny fabric circle, I lifted my right foot to brace the bottom of it, angling my body like a light stand to catch the sun's reflection. Now that I've made myself into a human flamingo - the wind comes, and I am a perfectly sail. Let's end this by saying it was challenging, so I'm very proud of this shot haha.

Our second outfit was a nod to the changing times - evolution, civil rights, the future, slow and quick changes of ourselves, of nature, and of society. We've used animal skin and furs since we started dressing ourselves, out of necessity, and now they're used purely for fashion. How interesting the ways we've changed and the ways we've stayed the same.

Victoria did this beautiful wrapping with four different fabrics - most of them material of Shavanthe . These earrings were made by her friend - Ayana of Dovies Divine - and worked perfectly as a more boho dangling earring.

And in the end, we pare down. We harken to mother earth. We call upon the calm serenity of the wind, of the grass, of the water. We simply are. And we pray.

To see more of Victoria, follow her on Instagram!

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