The Nutcracker Photo And My Thoughts Behind Creating It

This is the first time I placed myself in a fantasy type photo.

It wasn’t easy.

I was at work one day when I had the thought of making a Christmas picture. I remembered my mom having this old nutcracker ( it isn’t a real nutcracker, just a display piece ) that she usually puts somewhere in her house for decoration. I allowed my imagination take me elsewhere with what I could possibly do with it. I love fairytales and classic stories, which is one reason why I enjoy creating fantasy photo’s. I know there is so much I could have done having a nutcracker as the center piece of a photoshoot, but this was very short notice and had no preparation.

This is the one and only photo from this shoot.

I’ll begin with my thought process: I own a wedding dress. It’s actually the one I used for my Cinderella Theme Shoot back in late October. I was happy that it fit me almost just right. I walked around my tiny house wearing it the night before planning this photo, imaging how it feels to wear one of these things. Anyways, I had no idea just how heavy this dress was to wear until I took it in the woods and had to walk back and forth from my camera to my focus spot. It honestly wore me out. And when I had finally gotten the pose I was seeing in my mind, I remember unzipping the back part with an instant sign of relief with  terrible posture shortly behind it. I was seriously slouching and kinda had to pause for a moment to catch my breath. I am almost positive that I didn’t breathe most of the time I was running back and forth wearing this thing. Also, I was wearing a pair of blue jeans and lime green converse underneath this dress. I had to cheat somewhere, and getting dressed and undressed in the middle of the woods gives me a creepy feeling. My original shirt was hanging on a tree limb right in front of me out of view too.  I must also add, this wedding dress has a train, however, there was no way I was able to stretch it out as I would have liked. A partner would have been helpful, or somebody else to model for me so this kind of element would have been taken cared of. Why don’t I just buy a camera remote already? I don’t know. I procrastinate buying things I need: I save more money that way.

As I said, this is a wedding dress. So originally it is white. I had three colors in mind when coming up with this photo: Wine Red, Emerald Green, or Lavender. Wine Red was my first choice, obviously because red is my favorite color. But when playing with this photo, I had to admit, that I wear too much red sometimes. My hair is already red. Do something different. My second choice was green. But I believe the emerald green would have clashed with the background, and when testing it, decided that it didn’t look good at all on the screen as it did in my mind. So lavender was left, but testing light shades compared to darker shades of purple, I think darker is rich and more moody. I love moody photo’s and my style often reflects that.

Altogether, this photo took four hours to make. Thats mostly because there is another version of this photo, which I promise never to share, existing on my desktop, never to see the light of day.  My first draft of this photo I did not like and had already spent close to two hours on creating, only to strip it back bare and return back to the Raw file and start from scratch. It’s rare that I ever do that. I generally know what I want to do with most of the photo’s I take, then just do it. Also, it doesn’t take hours to do either!  But with this photo, I did not know exactly what I wanted. Deciding the tone and feel of this image took a lot of playing around before I was satisfied with this final version.

So for the short amount of time that I had in making this, I wanted this to be my way of wishing everyone a Merry Christmas! I hope it’s awesome, actually, it already is because of why we celebrate it. All because of Jesus being born to later give His life as a ransom for many for all to be saved and have eternal life in Him. It’s the greatest gift to receive, and it has always been free. Know you are greatly loved by God.

Merry Christmas!

Erin G. Parker