In the Studio…The Secret Garden

It is actually a rather long convoluted story as to how I ended up spending a very long day, with two women I have never met, working on what turned out to be quite an extraordinary and unique shoot; but I’ll try to condense it.

I was asked as a favor (friend of a friend type scenario) to do a portfolio shoot for a new model. My hat was thrown in (so to speak) as she wanted some fantasy elements. She was bringing her own makeup artist and it was pretty much another Forest Fairies like I did with Jess and Mel a few weeks ago. She ended up canceling, but the HUMA was still booked, I said I was still happy to work with her, as I had nothing else planned; we just needed a model……..oh and a new concept. Allison (HUMA) said she had a friend who was a model and was happy to help…so Allison Nicole and Jayde Helena entered my life.

I had been working on a new concept for something else entirely, working off something I did with Ally Xu a few weeks ago, a story slowly started to form, very loosely inspired by The Secret Garden. The crux of it all was, I wanted to do something a little more goth, a little more creepy. Many images, discussions and mood boards later we come up with Lilly and the Secret Garden.


All looks quite pretty and sweet and soft doesn’t it, lots of flowers and bright colours? It may have started out that way, but this is what we ended up with 🙂

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Don’t you wish you had a wardrobe like in Narnia, a magic mirror like Alice or even Terisa (Mordant’s Need and A Man Rides Through)? Lilly had none of these things either, but she had her secret garden. She herself named after her Mother’s favourite flower. Lilly was the shy, inquisitive child of the Professor, an only child, she lost her Mother at birth. Her Father, it is said is not the same man, but the only one Lilly knows. Seldom brought to smile, he loves her dearly and makes sure she wants for nothing, but he says she looks just like her mother and that makes him sad. Lilly often sees her Father with tears in his eyes when he looks at her.

Now as a young woman herself, Lilly’s Father has taken to even longer trips away, teaching and researching at distant universities and frequently is out of the country. Lilly fears the very sight of her upsets him, the painting in the hallway above the stairs, may as well be a mirror, Father never even uses these stairs and keeps to the small room near the servants quarters, most of which stand empty these days. Apart from a few staff; the cook and housekeeper, Lilly is mostly left to her own devices. Spending countless hours in the enormous library on a cold or rainy day, lost in tales of adventure and heroism. But when the sun is shining she is outdoors, and most frequently found in the secret garden, well she calls it her secret garden, it once belonged to her Mother. She felt akin to the Children in the Book The Secret Garden, this was once abandoned through lack of care once too. Through the years Lilly cares and tendered to it, as she believes her Mother may have too.

Behind the Scenes

Here are a few pics from behind the scenes, including my own traitorous dog Chloe, sitting with the girls’ own ‘watch dog’, don’t blame them, can’t be too careful these days…

I hope you enjoyed our Studio Shoot this week…

~ Julz