As the opening of my show gets closer, I think about all the wonderful people who helped me make this happen, all my fabulous clients, all the ladies who agreed to be part of my project for the show, my incredible hair and makeup artist Keira, my husband for enduring all the craziness, and Emma.
I met Emma through a friend who suggested she would be a great model. We just clicked! She loves wigs, makeup, costumes and is ready to do ANYTHING. An artist through and through, she is fearless!!! Since Emma knows costumes and makeup, she can become any person. I know this sounds melodramatic, but I don't know how else to say it; I get visions. Something will pop in my head and it won't go away until I photograph it. The longer I ignore it, the stronger and more colorful it becomes. Any crazy idea I have, Emma embraces. She doesn't ask why, she just jumps into the vision, blends in and brings it to life.
For the MacArthur Park photoshoot, I had envisioned just what the lyrics said, "MacArthur's Park is melting, in the dark all the sweet green icing flowing down. Someone left the cake out in the rain..." (let me be clear, this is the long version of Donna Summer's MacArthur's Park) I wanted to photograph a woman, broken by something that happened in MacArthur's Park. I ordered a cake from the Chilhowie Food City and was particular about the color green. Not grass green, not hunter green but it had to be MacArthur's Park green with a little sparkle. I also found authentic 70s clothes on Ebay for Emma to wear for the session. The only non-70s item was her white blouse.
At first we photographed Emma near the woods at my house. The girl in my vision had been pushed down in the dirt and on top of her green cake. Emma did not hesitate! She rolled in a pile of dirt and squashed the cake just right. We then went back to the studio, where I ended up getting the final image I used in the show. It's not just anyone who would roll in dirt and on a green cake. I told her why this song is so personal to me, and she kept that mood through the whole session. I just had to thank her for really going out on a limp with this photoshoot and becoming that girl in my head.