“Madeline has great flexibility and expert editing skills, so I did not hesitate to purchase. Her pricing and product offerings were reasonable, which allowed us not to feel like we had to compromise on a beautiful memory and moment. She got the perfect unique shots and listened to what we wanted. I would recommend Madeline to anyone.”
Daughter featured in “She Was a Tribe”
I’m feeling a bit… timid… today. Mostly because of this blog post, which I am both nervous and excited to share.
Excited because I am announcing a new chapter in my creative journey, but also nervous, because with this announcement comes a favor I would like to ask of you.
So without keeping you in the dark too much longer:
Of course, when I first heard of Patreon, I also had no idea what it was. What’s more, when I did found out, my initial thought was to inwardly groan (maybe outwardly a bit too…) and think to myself “not ANOTHER social media platform!”
But I started researching.
And as I researched, my opinion changed. I began to realize that Patreon is a lot more than just “another social media platform.” Because what makes it really special is the fact I get to reward you, my follower, with exclusive gifts. And they’re not just the typical “you get to see my work first” kind of gifts. No… with Patreon, I can send you real, tangible gifts. And so in joining this platform, I realized that I finally had a way to sincerely and genuinely thank you for the support you have given me these past few years.
And THAT is why I chose to commit to another platform. To Patreon.
So now for the favor: while the possibilities of this new chapter of my creative journey seem infinite right now, they also depend upon you in some part. If I have learned anything over the last year, it is that I cannot do everything alone (although I have a hard time admitting that sometimes). By investing at least $1 a month and becoming one of my patrons, you will, of course, be given access to exclusive looks at my artwork, but what I am more excited about is being able to share more than that with you. Starting today, in exchange for your investment in my dream, I can share things like cards, prints, and thank you packages. Take a look at everything I am giving, below:
A pledge of $1 or more per month
- Access to patron-only content, including:
- Exclusive vlog updates
- Before and after images
- WIP images
A pledge of $5 or more per month
- Everything in Tier 1, plus:
- Greeting cards in the mail every other month
- Access to new desktop wallpapers each month
- One coupon per month to receive 10% discount off your entire purchase
A pledge of $10 or more per month
- Everything in previous tiers, plus:
- A 4 x 6 print in the mail every other month
- Access to monthly Q&A sessions
A pledge of $20 or more per month
- Everything in previous tiers, plus:
- An 8 x 12 print in the mail every other month
- A yearly thank you package
A pledge of $50 or more per month
- Everything in previous tiers, plus:
- A 50% discount coupon to be used during the first week of a new product release
This is a really cheesy statement, and probably entirely overused, but I will say it anyway (because it is true): in supporting my work through the Patreon platform, you won’t just be getting some fun treats for yourself. You will be helping me to make my dreams a reality: my dream of creating stories with my photography and sharing this in a real and tangible way with my followers. A way that goes beyond a Facebook post or an image shared on Instagram. A way that can be held and read in the rocking chair before bedtime or admired as you snuggle into the sofa for a cozy night of reading. Magic belongs in your home, and I want my stories to help you invite the elves and faeries inside.
I already know I love my art. It is my passion, and I often joke that it has literally become the thing that gets me out of bed each morning (because the quiet hours of the morning, before all my roommates are awake, really are the best time to get my creative work done). It is the one thing in my life that inspires a level of confidence in myself that the shy 18 year old with her first DSLR (the girl that I used to be) would NEVER have even hoped to become.
And so I am humbly asking, if you have ever looked at my pieces in admiration, or have felt a connection or some amount of the love that I feel for my art, consider becoming a patron of mine. Even if it is just $1 a month (which after a year is still less than a two-month’s subscription to Netflix, or even one month to Audible!), you have my sincere thanks. I have thought long about how I could repay your investment and believe I have done my best to come close to returning the favor. To read more about the rewards you could receive and more about this new step in my creative journey, please click the link below:
I look forward to continuing to share my creative journey with you here on my blog, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and now Patreon. It’s already been quite the adventure and I am excited to see where it continues to lead you and me!
Last month, I found perhaps the most surreal location I have ever been able to shoot at.
And while its name, Purgatory Chasm, may sound rather ominous, my recent trip to this state park in southern Massachusetts actually proved to be anything but.
In fact, after spending the day there with my friend and fellow photographer Aleah, climbing through forests and incredible rock formations, I believe I’ve actually found a new favorite location! As we climbed over huge boulders dotted with ferns, beneath broadly rooted trees, and over bubbling streams that wound through mossy stepping stones, I felt like I was walking in some fantasy world that I had only ever read about before. It is still beyond me as to why such a magical place would have such a bleak name!
I think my favorite part about Purgatory Chasm was the secrets it had hidden everywhere you dared to explore. In the image above, this location was actually tucked unassumingly up the side of the cliff faces we hiked past. It was so well concealed, in fact, that I almost dismissed it entirely. Thankfully, while Aleah and her husband paused to scope out a nearby location, my eyes were drawn to the solitary tree trunk, standing against the tall chasm walls. Deciding to explore the area, as I ventured up the short rise and noticed the most vibrant green moss covering the trunk and a garden of ferns surrounding it below, I immediately changed my mind about the tree trunk’s unassuming nature. Remembering a simple (but elegant, of course) nightgown I had brought with me, I pulled it out of my bag and set to taking the above shot with Aleah as my model.
As much as I loved this tree trunk though, my very favorite location was much more difficult to find, but well worth the effort. Towards the end of the day, as the soft golden light of late afternoon began to filter through the trees, my ever curious mind felt compelled to cross a stream we were shooting by. I think perhaps there needs to be a saying that opposes the idea of curiosity killing the cat, because in this instance, much like with my exploration of the tree trunk, my curiosity was rewarded quite handsomely. In fact, where my curiosity led me was to one of the most magical locations I have ever photographed, and I mean every bit of that statement.
As I forded the small river and worked my way upstream through the undergrowth, I stepped around the riverbend and immediately felt as if I had stepped into another world. Peering through the low-hanging branches blocking my way, I glimpsed a small, moss-covered island with giant trees rising in the middle, surrounded by a gently flowing stream. In the afternoon light, it all seemed so incredibly magical that I half expected elves to come gliding in from behind the trees. I felt like somehow I had stumbled inside the pages of my favorite fantasy novels. If it wasn’t for the swarms of mosquitoes (and our unfortunate lack of bug repellent), I could have stayed there for hours on end!
One of the joys of working with other self-portrait photographers is how well they can model. They know, for example, what you mean when you need movement in the pose or when you ask them to give you soft hands. Working with Aleah was an absolute dream, because she just got it. Combined with the dream-worthy location we shot in, once I sat down to edit the photos from this wonderful day of shooting, the photos practically created themselves.
With a model so ethereal, and a location so wonderfully enchanting, I’m not surprised that not much editing was needed to make the images come alive. After such a wonderful day, I think it won’t be long before I return to tell more stories in Purgatory Chasm!
On the morning of June 22nd, I sat in the middle of the living room floor with my youngest sister, Chloë, getting ready for the most meaningful (and exciting) shoot I had ever done. As I dropped the soft green gown I had spent weeks creating over her head, I felt as if the story I had been waiting to tell had finally begun to come to life. The beginning of Passages was standing in my living room, and for the very first time, I began to feel like all my hard work had been worth it.
Once my sister was ready, my mother, sister, and I loaded up the car and drove to the location I had picked out almost two years prior on my very first location scouting trip in Boston. As I led my mom and sister to the small forest glade within the Middlesex Fells Reservation, I gazed at the creeping myrtle-covered ground, the soft sunbeams peeking through the bright green canopy above as it cast dappled shadows on the undergrowth. The location had felt magical from the very first time I laid eyes on it in August of 2015, and I knew this was the spot where I wanted my story to begin.
Leaving the paved pathway through the woods behind us, I guided my sister through the undergrowth to where I had always imagined this scene taking place. I carefully guided my sister into the correct pose, adjusting a strand of hair here, and a fold of fabric there as I picked up my camera. As she lay there in the undergrowth, looking perfectly young and peaceful, everything began to fall into place. And although there were, of course, some hiccups throughout the day (I’m sharing those rather comical details with my mailing list), what resulted from this long awaited shoot are images that turned out far better than I had even hoped.
When I planned out the story line for Passages I had always wanted to begin the story with a sort of prologue of sorts. I wanted to provide a peek into Chloë’s life before she set out on her adventure. I wanted to show the young, carefree girl she is at the beginning so that the woman who emerged at the end of the adventure seemed that much more real and powerful. No one starts fearless and strong, but rather innocent and perhaps a little fearful.
These images are meant to convey these first few moments of young Chloë’s story… the Prologue, if you will. With an air of youth and naivety, they are meant to feel as if we have just found her relaxing in the woods, content in the life she knows, but pondering on what, perhaps, lies in the grand world outside her place of comfort. She knows she can’t stay there forever, her curiosity would never allow that, so for now she is content to enjoy her last few moments in the quiet forest grove.
In life… in reality, I think we often find that it is easy to stay in the places we know best. To cling to our innocence and our places of comfort, because we really are content there. But that is all we are. Content. Great lives were never lived by merely content people, though. Great lives are lived by those who are truly happy, and as we have all learned, true happiness must be found through the adventures of trials, errors, mistakes, triumphs, and successes. As we ventured from childhood into adult life, our own adventures and trials took us to the place we find ourselves in right now.
That is the story I want Passages to tell, and this is the beginning. It feels wonderful to truly, finally… excitingly be starting this adventure with you.
P.S. As I mentioned above, if you want to see all the behind the scenes details (like the one mistake I didn’t take into account when planning this shoot) sign up for my mailing list! To see and admire an image for its surface value is one thing. To know its story, how it was created and why it was created, is another thing entirely. Since you, like me, are a lover of stories, I know you will not want to miss out on this.
Fill out the form below to join, and to really, truly see.
My journey as a photographer started at the age of 17, when I moved to New Delhi, India with my family. Given a hand-me down Kodak camera by my mom as a way of documenting my experiences, I learned the importance of remembering the extraordinary moments in our life’s story.
Before moving to India, I spent much of my childhood in the enchanted Arkansan Ozarks, painting with my artist grandmother in her cabin in the woods. Having a solid foundation of artistic ability, the blend of experiences in my life has fostered my unique talent for combining the artistry of traditional forms of painting with the documentary nature that photography has to offer. At the heart of every piece I create is an image that is not only beautiful but invites the viewer to visit my captivating world filled with magic, elegance, and every day experiences turned whimsical.
“The photos Madeline took of me were gorgeous. I never thought I could look that good! I also loved how she took something so personal and sentimental (my grandma’s vintage clothes and letters) and made the experience fun and honoring. I also really loved how fun and comfortable shooting with Madeline was. I had never been in front of the camera, so it was great that she made me feel relaxed. And because of our shoot together, other photographers even asked if I could be in some of their shoots!“