Monday, May 20, 2019

Ciella's Pre-debut Session: Colors of Coming-of-Age { General Santos City }

The winds rustled the tops of trees in Woodbreeze, the first location of our pre-debut session with Ciella, an aspiring psychologist from Koronadal City. Ciella was leaning on the massive trunk of a tree. She was in her element. In her blue-washed dress with floral details, she almost looked like a fairy relaxing in the woods.

Ciella has always loved nature, which is why she chose an outdoor shoot for her pre-debut session. We spent a few hours photographing her in Woodbreeze in daylight, and ended our session from dusk to early evening in the grassland of the Diversion Road in GenSan.

In Woodbreeze, we wanted the mood to be playful. We mounted a floral swing in the middle of the woods for Ciella to sit on. If a fairy had a throne, the floral swing would be it, and Ciella looked right on it.

Ciella's petite frame was highlighted with her blue-washed dress with over-the-top pleats. The white colored pleats also provided the stark contrast needed for her presence to jump out of the frame, with a background filled with green and brown hues.

The colors of Ciella's dress reflects her personality. The blue reflects her calm. Her ease shows in the photos. The blue washes over the white of her dress. Perhaps, it is her turning into a woman, more mature - no longer innocent, but wiser. When asked what important lessons she learned from her childhood and early teenage years did she want to carry into adulthood, she answered: “Better to learn from your mistakes but it’s best to learn from other’s mistake.”

The most important thing about this dress is that Ciella made it herself. This is how she shows how she wants to be the author or the seamstress of her destiny, threading her own future. How admirable!

Nearing dusk, we moved to our final location. The recent hot weather had caused some grassfires in the grassland of Diversion Road. We thought the yellowed landscape was a perfect backdrop for Ciella's second and last location. Ciella dressed down to more comfortable, off-shoulder white maxi-dress. Carrying her favorite instrument, the ukulele, she strummed a few tunes while we photographed her. She was very at ease that some of the images seem candid.

We waited for the dark to shoot Ciella with lights. We set up a cloth for Ciella to sit on the sand, and threw flowers on the mat. We set up lights in front of and behind Ciella to highlight her frame. Holding her ukulele, Ciella looks at the camera, and her lips break into a smile. Her white dress now reflecting the integrity she's building as a young woman ready to face the world. She is a picture not of vulnerability but a quiet strength that will take her far into life.


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