The metal of keys clinked together, a soft jingling on an otherwise fairly silent street. Somewhere a pair of birds were sharing secrets. Wind was rustling through the green leaves, a gentle whisper “wake up, you’ll have to rise soon.” Every motion and distant sound seemed to be on the cusp of something. The sun wasn’t even near the horizon as I turned the lock on my studio door. A chorus of sweeping metal against metal climaxed as the lock gave to it’s mechanics followed just as swiftly by the soft, nervous echos of metallic laughter as I returned the keys to my pocket. Stepping through the sheer white curtains, not yet tied to frame the door, I was greeted with a peaceful darkness. It’s moments like these where the atmosphere of my studio reminds me of a woman sitting blanket clad in a cozy chair, sipping hot chocolate, a puppy cuddled at her side, her hair cascading freely down her frame watching out the window for the sun to rise - not a care about anything other than the quiet moment she’s existing in. The morning was raw and fresh in its infancy; a perfect forecast for the session to come.
I quietly began my preparations. The gentle orange glow of pink salt rock lamps and string lights lit the quiet morning as Kirby and I set up for Robyn’s session. It was early and we were tired but we were buzzing with eagerness, making certain everything was set and welcoming.
Robyn stepped into the cozy glow of the studio with nervous laughter, slightly tousled hair and a warm smile - anticipation in her every step. The sun was still resting just below the horizon leaving a deep navy behind the windows lining the entrance. Over her arms were a pile of garment bags, a suitcase in tow in her opposite hand. With a quick side hug, I scooped her belongings from her arms. Billowing blacks and soft golds unfurled as we hung her garments with the gowns and dresses I selected for her glamour session. Her meticulous gaze studied each piece as we set her shoes in order. Once resolved in her silent thought, she made her way to the salon where Kirby had laid out her freshly washed brushes and makeup in front of a row of various warm-toned lipsticks. I paused by the dresses situated just outside the salon entrance. Kirby ushered Robyn into the salon chair and a flutter of conversation began. We once again discussed her goals for her session as I brought out the gowns one by one to pair shades of blush and lip color, ensuring a seamless transition between looks.
Robyn shared her stories over a communion of fresh brewed coffee and warm flaky pastries while having her hair and makeup styled. A combination of excitement and nerves brought bouts of jingling laughter and animated conversation. In her kindness and candor, her walls came down. The significance of the day settled amongst the three of us as the sun began to peak over horizon and vivid golden light flooded into the treeline and down the street towards my studio door. Hair and makeup styling approached an end and a gentle quiet found its way into our exchange. Not wanting to see how she looked just yet, Robyn took a quick assured breath and abruptly stood up from the chair at Kirby’s finishing touches. It was time.
Sunlight crept over the long low windowsill, spilling fresh morning light onto the floorboards and across the smooth grey walls on the far corners of the studio. Robyn was putting on her first dress as Kirby and I waited to do last minute adjustments. In perfect sync, Robyn stepped out just as the light began to rest in it's perfect position. The shimmer of the soft gold dress flittered in the new light as Robyn took steps forward, managing her butterflies. Working in unison, Kirby and I made slight adjustments, positioned straps, tailoring waistlines and putting every hair in its place. With a deep breath and a confident nod, we began. Assuring comfort and attentiveness, by the third outfit, Robyn stepped fully into her confidence. Her laughter grew, her eyes continued to warm, and her bravery to try new colors - a brilliant red - emerged. Her portrait session flew by and, before we knew it, there was one final outfit to go - a sharp black cocktail dress with a flowing chiffon cape. We posed her to accentuate her confidence and with five closings of the camera shutter, we were done.
Changing into her everyday clothing and packing her belongings, Robyn managed to not see what she looked like. In fact, she wouldn’t see how she looked that day until her Reveal & Order session. With a pair of hugs, butterflies dispelled and Robyn beaming, she stepped through the studio door into the now bustling street corner. All the leaves were awake and waving. The pair of birds now sharing their secrets with everyone who listened. Full of jovial brightness, the day was fresh and new. I took a moment to soak it all in. My own thoughts resolved and I left the curtains open letting the brilliant sunlight flow in.