Aloha! My name is Steph! I I live in a small beach town in Southern California. I am a wife to my best friend and mother to three beautiful little girls. All of my life, I have been surrounded by a big family of mostly women. My grandmother, my mother, my sisters, my aunts, my cousins. I come from a chain of islands in the South Pacific Sea, my mother was 1 out of 9 children. When my chance came with the emerald dress I wanted to draw inspiration from my family of matriarchs. The beautiful resilient fighter, the passionate lover, the doting mother, or the loving daughter.
Initially, I had planned for this beautiful outdoor photo shoot with the dress, but the weather turned for the worse that week, so I had to improvise and make use of the cave lighting in my living room. It was important to me to take the dress “traveling” back into time. I made good use of the limited lighting and had this idea of re-creating a portrait of my grandmother. I had this vision of her coming home after walking the path to the market to sell fruit from her farm & embracing her daughters after their long day.
I learned of the Traveling Dress Collective through a Twyla Jones post on her Facebook page one Fall afternoon. I was SO excited and SO eager to find a team that would have me & to be honest, I had a hard time finding a team to be apart of! SO, I made a post myself, put it out into the world, asking others if they would like to form a team and seven complete strangers joined to make the commitment together for this amazing concept. The 4 month journey was interesting, needless to say it had its hiccups, it was a challenge for some of the team to shoot this time of year due to winter climate- but we were determined to pull this off!
What made the group of ladies so special is we each had a unique story to tell. One of a stranger, a woman fighting for her health, a mother, a sister, a friend, a forest queen all coming together from across the country, under many different walks of life to collaborate for this incredible project. We bonded and a strong sisterhood formed. We may not have not met if it hadn't been for this project to bring us together. I guess you can say the power of the Emerald dress, stirred our souls, like the heart of spring, symbolizing hope and the future, renewal and growth for each of us. I later learned that the emerald color is a Seeker of Love and a Revealer of Truth, inspiring an ongoing search for meaning, justice, compassion and harmony. That was befitting of this group women and our journey together with the traveling emerald dress. The friendships made and the gallery of photos for this project will be something I will forever treasure. I look forward to many more of these in the seasons to come and making many more connections with others in our world.
Go check out the Traveling Dress Collective Blog