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INSPIRED BY SAINT LUCIA | Scandinavian Christmas is my favorite Christmas

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INSPIRED BY SAINT LUCIA | Scandinavian Christmas is my favorite Christmas

I can’t claim any Scandinavian heritage of my own, but that doesn’t stop me from loving so much of the art, culture, design, and history from that part of the globe. Especially at Christmastime! Who doesn’t love a good Scandinavian Christmas? This shoot was inspired by Saint Lucia and the December 13th holiday that honors her. I MAY OR MAY NOT have first learned about this tradition from Kirsten, my Swedish immigrant American Girl Doll. Anyways.

Lucia was a young girl who helped persecuted Christians in Rome around 300 AD. As they hid below in the catacombs of the city, Lucia would secretly bring food for them. She wore candles on her head so that both of her hands would be free to carry as much as she could. Lucia was martyred for her efforts in 304 AD. St. Lucia's Day is now celebrated by a girl wearing in a white dress with a red sash round her waist and a crown of candles on her head on December 13. This Scandinavian holiday coincides with Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, so her feast day has become a festival of light. 

I put together this Saint Lucia inspired shoot and loved learning all about her story along the way. I loved spending the afternoon with my former bride, Leanna, as my Scandinavian model. When you see artistic depictions of Saint Lucia, you see why Leanna was obviously the model I picked! Another lovely former bride of mine, Jana, lent me her vintage stole for the shoot. The tulle skirt was a originally a wedding dress from a thrift store (my sister and I chopped the top!). I crafted the wreath of candles and I’m actually kinda bummed I didn’t keep it to be a part of my holiday decor.

Happy Saint Lucia's Day! 

SEE ALSO
INSPIRED BY GRANDMA | Grandma Kaiser and the nudists
INSPIRED BY THE TETONS | a wind-swept periwinkle bridal wonderland thanks to our gal Faith Hill

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INSPIRED BY THE TETONS | a wind-swept periwinkle bridal wonderland thanks to our gal Faith Hill

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INSPIRED BY THE TETONS | a wind-swept periwinkle bridal wonderland thanks to our gal Faith Hill

With big grey storm clouds hovering over the horizon, the Tetons turned to shades of hazy blue and periwinkle. The wind picked up, throwing dust and sagebrush scent through the air. Our periwinkle chiffon dress twisted in the gusty weather and I wish I could say...... YEP. TOTALLY PLANNED IT THIS WAY.

In reality, this should have been a sunrise or sunset shoot. You know, those times of day that photogs love and gush over non-stop when they can't think of any other Instagram captions. It wasn't realistic for us to get out to the Tetons at that time because myself, my sister (pictured here), my dad (our personal location guide and driver who knew the way to all these spots), my husband (reluctant camera bag carrier) drove about two and half hours to get here from our place in Yellowstone AND we had gotten home at nearly midnight the night before from a much anticipated concert in Bozeman, Montana to see Tim McGraw(!!!) and Faith Hill(!!!) perform together. 

That concert was our main event and putting together this Teton shoot was merely an afterthought, to be honest. We planned for literally months in advance to get those tickets and coordinate schedules, all for the sake of surprising our dad with a visit and fulfilling some dreams. (I'll put our video in the bottom!)

But my sister MADE THIS DRESS BY HAND and stuffed it in her luggage so we could do this, too. We had a groggy drive down, she did her makeup in the truck, we got there in the middle of the day (notoriously a terrible time of day for portraits) and the stars aligned with THE most grand, photogenic, epic clouds you could possibly ask for.

I look back at these pictures and think, "We could not have planned this any better" when really the truth is, "We did not really plan this at all and got freaking LUCKY". 

Insert pun about Faith (((Hill))) here. Wink. Praying hands emoji.

And here's that vid! Like I said, planning this Teton inspired shoot and making it happen was amazing. But 'amazing' doesn't even come close to how it felt to TOUCH. FAITH. HILL.

Floral hairpiece designed by Sheer Rose.

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