This small group of photos was from the first day of my workshop photo sessions with Three Nails Photography. It was a beautiful session, and I felt inspired and challenged again. It was a small area to work with, little control and made me truly test the elements. Each photo spoke to me individually, and I found it hard to process them all similar, as I found each stood on it’s own. I found each individually powerful, meaningful and strong. So I did what felt right, and processed each image a little bit different. For the purpose of the blog I have paired them with what I felt was their ‘match’.
As I shot the session I had my own story unfolding in my head, and tried to photograph the couple as if they were truly in a dream. From horse back, to using an Aboriginal head dress the story line seemed to have an air of magic involved. I loved that the photos came through my camera as if you truly were dreaming one night, in some images searching for the face that belongs to the familiarity, or just the hint of a smile or the slight glance. It felt like I was photographing shape shifters. The mood changed with ever new piece of the story.
Again these sessions were absolutely inspirational – and I loved them.
One thing however, was that I did receive a bit of feed back about the use of the Aboriginal head dress…I want to apologize to anyone in advance, and place a small disclaimer that it was in now way intended to cause hurt or harm, and was used purely as a prop. However, I learnt in the process of what a head dress truly means to the Aboriginal culture. So although this particular head dress is just a replica, I wanted to share what I found to be the definition of a head dress, and hopefully more people, like myself, who maybe were unaware now know.
Aboriginal Headdress: The Native American headdress can be many colors at once, or can consist of several feathers of one singular color. This often depends on what birds were indigenous to the area in which the tribe lived. For example, those living in the desert may only have feathers of one or two particular species of bird, while those living in the forests would have several colors. The strap that held the Native American headdress stationary on the head was usually made of leather or deer sinew. Sometimes cloth would be used to improvise, but typically leather was the material of choice.
When many of us picture Native Americans, we see a stately chief, standing tall wearing a large feathered headdress. The headdress is a very important part of Native American culture. Typically made of beautiful bird feathers, it is more symbolic than anything else. The Sioux were thought to be one of the first Native American tribes to use these head pieces. Not everyone among the tribe could wear one, however. The Native American headdress was reserved for the most powerful and influential among the tribe.
Perhaps there is meaning then as to why we usually picture the chief wearing one. It is a little known fact that Native American headdresses were not made completely in one sitting. In fact, each time the chief, warrior, or other important tribe member committed a brave act, a feather was added. Therefore, the more feathers in the headdress, the braver…the wearer was. In certain tribes, the brave act itself was not enough. The warrior would have to provide [prepare] himself by fasting for several days and meditating the entire time to show his steadfastness. This fact alone makes the significance of the Native American headdress very important.
Three Nails Workshop – Louisiana, USA
Bride – Brytny Marquez
Groom – Kiley Grant
Dress – Miss Tashina
Hair & Makeup – Ashleigh Runge at Total Changes Hair Salon
Photo Styling – Three Nails Workshop