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Announcing the Green Rider Soundtrack Artwork Contributors!

When Kristen Britain announced on June 30th that an official soundtrack for her novel Green Rider was being created, my first thought was something along the lines of “oh, how exciting!”

My second thought was something more like “wouldn’t that just be a DREAM if I could do the artwork for it?”

Almost three months later, I am so, SO grateful I decided to reach out to the composer, Kristina A Bishoff and offer my photoartistry for the album artwork. Now I find myself just three days away from fulfilling that dream I had. I have spent almost every second of free time since reaching out to Kristina completely devoted to giving as much as I possibly could to this project (and I promise that is no exaggeration)!

Truly, just the other day, my mom called me wondering if I was still alive. I suppose I had been so busy that I had forgotten to call my family for weeks at a time (sorry mom)! I’m sure my friends all think that maybe I moved away without telling them.

(I’m still here, friends! Just… being a hermit surrounded by lots and lots of fabric and props!)

Of course, all of this hard work would not have come even close to helping me be ready for this shoot without the work of the incredible contributors who are lending so much to this project! So today, I wanted to recognize all of the people who deserve the credit.

 

 

The largest number of contributors lies in the modeling category, given the sheer number of characters we’re hoping to bring to life in this project! A HUGE thank you to all of the models who will be joining us this weekend!

 

Karigan

Valerie Erb

 

King Zachary

Skipper Plowman

 

The Gray One

Mounted: Noah Clewley

Non-mounted/Shawdell: Brian Mann

 

Captain Mapstone

Kimberly White

 

Immerez

Jeremy McGhee

 

The Green Riders

Corinne

 

Phoebe Clewley

 

Sam  Clewley

 

Noah Clewley

 

PC: Salvato Collection

Katharine Work

 

Katie Shernan

 

The Elts

 

Franziska Drummond

 

 

Brian Mann

 

Kari Tanner

 

Abigail Rose

 

* I will also be creating a photo of the weapons, however the models for this have not been finalized just yet, so that announcement will come later!

 

And now for those who contributed costumes and props for this project:

 

1. Kelsey Krohn, for creating such a wonderful version of the Green Rider great coat! When I asked Kelsey if she had an Instagram or a Facebook account she wanted me to link to when crediting her work, she responded that she just made the costume and wanted to loan it out simply because of her love for the books and wanting to be a part of this project! I love that!

 

2. Gems and Bones for creating some absolutely enchanting crowns I will be using on the Eletian (elven) characters. I’ve worked with this designer before, and have absolutely loved her work. I’ll also be using one of the pieces she is sending me in a very secretive bonus photo I’ll be creating for Kristina’s Kickstarter!

 

 

3. Shelby Robinson and Alice Corsets for one of the most elegant gowns I have ever seen! When my fellow photographer and friend Shelby offered to let me use a gown she purchased from Alice Corsets, I could NOT refuse. This dress will also be for the special bonus image I will be creating, so you’ll have to check out the Kickstarter once it launches to find out how I’m using it!

 

PC: Shelby Robinson Artistry

 

4. Kimberly White of Twist’d Parody for making Captain Mapstone’s uniform (and modeling it), as well as a few of the other pieces you’ll be seeing throughout the images!

 

 

 

The last thing I wanted to share with you guys is the locations for these shoots. Originally I had wanted to do some of the photos up in Acadia National Park, which the world of Sacoridia is strongly based off of. Unfortunately a trip up to Acadia (before the leaves changed) was not in the books this year, so I am a little sad that I won’t get to shoot any of the artwork there.

(Maybe Kristina just needs to compose more soundtracks for the books so I can go up there for the next soundtrack? What do you think, Kristina? *Nudge, nudge*).

However, Massachusetts is close enough to Maine that there are quite a few places that resemble Acadia National Park and therefore Sacoridia near where I live. One such place is the Middlesex Fells Reservation in Stoneham, MA. Just 20 minutes from my house, its one of my favorite places to explore, so I felt it was the perfect spot to shoot some of our Sacoridian scenes.

 

 

 

Of course, one of the biggest hurdles about this project was the number of absolutely crucial pieces that had to come together for this shoot to all work out, so when I say multiple time that “I couldn’t have done this without [fill in the blank]”, I really do mean it. While I couldn’t have done it without all these costume designers and models, I also could NOT have done it without my friend, Katie Shernan.

I have never worked with horses before, despite the fact that they may be one of my favorite animals. I took a few riding lessons when I was… oh, five? And then a few pony rides here and there. So the thought of reaching out to stables, a world SO completely foreign to myself, to convince them to allow me to use their grounds and horses was intimidating to say the least.

This project was all about pushing myself to my limits, though, so I was completely ready to step out of my comfort zone and contact as many stables in the area as needed to find my equine models. On the afternoon I was writing up my proposal, though, and mentally preparing myself for what would have probably been quite a few rejections, my friend Katie sent me one of the most fortuitously timed messages I have ever received. In the middle of proofreading my proposal for the stables, a notification popped up on my Facebook feed, catching my attention. Katie had send me a message, offering to connect me with some stables and horses she worked with. You just cannot make these kinds of coincidences up! Ultimately, Katie played a HUGE role in finding the location and the equine models needed for the shoot!

The sigh of relief I felt leaving my body after finalizing the location and the horses a few days later was absolutely monumental!  Thank you, Katie, so, SO deeply, for reaching out and offering to be such an integral part of the success of this project!

 

So for all of the equestrian scenes, we will be shooting at Chuck Patti Training Center in Merrimac, Ma! Lying in northern Massachusetts, the facilities at these stables are casual and comfortable, which I love. A shoot can be a little stressful, so I feel very fortunate that Katie was able to connect me with a location where everyone can feel relaxed the day of. I think this will hugely help everything run as smoothly as possible! Surrounded by beautiful pastures and forests, I really do feel like I lucked out with being able to shoot here!

 

 

 

Of course, while I feel like this is a pretty good summary of the amount of effort everyone has been putting into this project, there is even more that I haven’t mentioned here (if I did, this blog post might end up being the size of one of Kristen Britain’s novels)! So throughout all of this I’ve also been recording vlog footage and will continue to do so throughout the course of this project. These vlog updates will include details like the making of the costumes, footage from the day of the shoot, and my thoughts on the progress of the project (I might even include a few speed edit videos of some of the images)! Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date on that!

 

There are a TON of moving parts to this, which has seemed very overwhelming at times. I have never been more immersed in a fantasy novel than I have with Green Rider, but throughout all of this and despite all of the stress, I have had SO much fun. I absolutely would not change one aspect of it all! So to all my amazing contributors, to all the Green Rider fans, and to Kristina and Kristen most especially, thank you for letting me be a part of this! Saturday can’t come soon enough!

 

(P.S. On Saturday and Sunday, I am planning on going live on Facebook and Instagram during the shoot periodically throughout the day. Be sure to be following me on Facebook (Madeline Shayne Photography) and Instagram (@madelineshaynephoto) to know when I go live!)

By | 2017-09-22T12:10:13+00:00 September 20th, 2017|Announcement, Green Rider|0 Comments

I’d Like To Introduce Myself

While I was home in Arkansas, I finally did something that I’ve been very much wanting to do for quite some time:

I filmed an “about me” video.

This may seem like a strange thing to be wanting as badly as I did, but each time I looked at my About Me page on my Patreon, it just felt so… stationary. I wanted something that was more alive and could give you a better idea of who I am and why I create the way I do.

So, while doing a shoot I had planned to do while back in Arkansas, I had my brother film some footage and (combined with other snips and clippings of my life) began to compile a video that would give you some sort of an idea of who I am.

In this video, there is footage of me in some of my very favorite places back home in Arkansas, at work in my new studio space (which I’ll be sharing more of once everything is all settled), and of my shoots. I’ll let the video do the rest of the talking:

 

Watch my “about me” video here on my Patreon profile!

 

This video is honest. It’s me, and that’s what I love most about it. What do you think? Leave a comment below and let me know!

By | 2017-09-12T21:20:23+00:00 September 13th, 2017|Announcement, Behind the Scenes, Personal Thoughts|0 Comments

I’m FINALLY Sharing the Next Scene of “Passages”! Come Look!

It’s been awhile since I talked about Passages, mostly because of the Green Rider project that I currently have in the works, but today I finally have the next set of images from Passages to share with you!

 

 

While I won’t always be shooting these photos chronologically (as far as the storyline goes), I did just so happen to shoot the Prologue and Scene one back to back, which was kind of nice. It helped me carry over the theme and mood from the first scene into these new images quite well.

In the last scene (the Prologue) Chloë hasn’t set off on her adventure yet, but she wonders what lies outside her little world. Scene one truly begins the adventure, as we see Chloë walking down the path through her forest, cloaked and ready to see what’s out there.

 

 

In some of the images Chloë is holding a bag of seeds, cupping a few of them in her hands as she looks at how very different they each are. I explained the symbolism behind the seeds in the email I sent out to my friends on my mailing list (you can view that by signing up here), but as she holds them in her hand she thinks about what to do with them. Should she plant them? Or should she put them back in her bag and save them for later?

I guess we’ll find out in later images…. For now I’ll leave it a little bit of a mystery. 😉

 

Of course, I have several people to thank for helping with this image, and so I wanted to briefly recognize them here. Without them, my job would have been much more difficult, so thank you guys for making my second Passages shoot such a fun one!

First, my sister McKenna, for saving me from having to do the makeup. Funnily enough, I love doing my own makeup… but I do not like doing it for other people. That extends to my photo projects. It’s the only part of my process that I don’t enjoy. I always say that people have superpowers… I think one of McKenna’s (because she has many) is gorgeous makeup.

(Mine is getting a ton of stuff done in a limited amount of time, in case you were curious).

 

 

Second, my sister’s friend, Annabella. She acted as my tripod throughout the shoot, holding my phone flashlight to illuminate my sister’s face. It may seem trivial, but it makes a HUGE difference when faces are properly lit in an image. Not only does it look better (no black sockets where your eye should be because of the sun’s harsh light), but it also helps the camera to be able to focus on the parts that it should. A small thing to help with, but very important,  nonetheless!

 

 

Third, my brother. Who deserves some sort of special reward. If everyone has a superpower, than everyone has their own version of kryptonite, and small insects are my brother’s. Since he was little, anytime he goes outside, ticks, mosquitoes, and whatever else lives out there swarm to him like honey bees to a garden in the height of spring. I lost track of how many bites he  had after spending the shoot getting video for me, but I think it was in the 100s. So when you see my next video edit, just think of Rob and his sacrifices for the perfect shot.

 

 

Finally, my youngest sister, miss Chloë, who yes, carries the same name as the protagonist of Passages. Surprisingly I actually researched which name to choose, and for very purposeful and symbolic reasons, I chose the same name… Did you know that Chloë means “green shoot” or “fresh bloom”. The coincidence seems to be almost spiritual in its perfection. Is that a strange thing to say?

Anyway, thank you Chloë, for wearing a full length gown, 22-inch wig, and thick velvet cloak in JULY, in ARKANSAS. I was hot in my shorts and t-shirt and she did not even break a sweat. She’s wonderful, she’s perfect, and I can’t wait to shoot the rest of this series with her and the countless other people I know will be a part of this project.

 

Want to read about the symbolism behind these images? Such as why I chose the color I did, or why she’s carrying a bag of seeds? Just fill out this form to be added to my mailing list, and I’ll share all of that with you!

 

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By | 2017-09-06T14:34:23+00:00 September 6th, 2017|Passages|0 Comments

Losing My Faith During the Climb

I had a completely different post written for today.

But yesterday, something told me to write this instead.

I kept telling myself that it wasn’t relevant to the news I have to share. I’ve also told myself that I’ve already discussed my frustrations and whined more than enough on this blog. Neither of these arguments, however, could prevent me from feeling like what I had originally prepared was not what I should be sharing today.

Recognizing that these promptings to change course have often led to good places, I guess I will stop fighting it. So here I am, 100% honest and (quite possibly) ready to embarrass myself entirely with my exaggerated whining.

 

 

At the beginning of the month, I spent some much needed time back home in Arkansas with my family. While I had planned this trip months in advance, I had no idea how much I would have needed this trip when I booked the flights.

As it turns out, in the weeks leading up to my trip, I was not in the best of places. Ever since I moved to Boston, I have struggled with purpose. That’s not to say I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I knew that and I still do. I just didn’t know how to get there. After being led so unwaveringly towards Boston prior to my move in June of 2015, at the time I felt that this move was the first of what would be many steps on the path to what I wanted. When I arrived in this city, however, I suddenly found that all of the guidance I had  previously depended on had unexplainably vanished.

I prayed a lot about this… and my prayers often sounded like “I’m here… what’s next?”

But I didn’t get any answers. I even tried making my own decisions, rather than waiting for answers, knowing that often Heavenly Father wants us to decide. But every step I took, every decision I tried to make felt wrong. Leaving Boston felt wrong. Looking for a new job felt wrong. Moving back home felt wrong. And with every new direction I faced feeling wrong, still I fought the only option left to me: keeping the course and continuing to do what I was doing. That couldn’t be the answer… to just keep going? Could it? My life is one that has been built on constant change. On constantly taking a step forward and upward, and I knew my answer would resemble that trajectory. And yet, despite how much I prayed… still I got no answer. By the time my two year anniversary of life in Boston arrived, I was angry.

I was angry with God.

I refused to pray.

I was giving up.

 

 

Ooof, that’s dramatic.

But it’s the truth. Never in my life have I been angry with God. I’ve been angry with people many times in my life… but never with my Heavenly Father. And NEVER have I decided to take my anger out by refusing to pray to him.

But I had had enough.

You know how they always say at church that you should have faith during your hard times, not just when life is great? Well, in that moment, I was the worst offender. In my depression, I was absolutely certain that Heavenly Father was purposefully ignoring me.

And yet, despite my anger, I decided to give it one more try. Before flying home, I said one more prayer. And it was a simple one:

“When I go back to Arkansas, tell me, even if it’s with just the slightest of an impression, whether or not I should move back to Arkansas.”

I just needed some sort of guidance. With low expectations, I kept my prayer simple.

Miraculously, the weekend before I flew back, I received word that a potential project I had been exploring had been given the green light. Maybe God was listening… but I wasn’t willing to bet on it, just yet. And yet, when I flew home, I had the faintest of hopes that perhaps Heavenly Father wasn’t ignoring me… and that maybe… just maybe… he would actually answer this one small prayer.

 

 

 

One of the central themes of Passages is the acorn, and I feel this symbol is entirely applicable in this situation. I clung to that little seed of faith, hoping that at the end of my trip, I would come back with something

 

And while I was home, I actually received my answer.

It wasn’t earth-shattering… no one screamed it in my ear. But I had a feeling, and when I boarded my flight back to Boston, I found that I once again had hope. I also found that I had come to a few realizations:

The prayers I had been saying, never actually went unanswered. Rather, they were being answered just a tiny bit, every single day. So tiny, that I never even saw it happening. The fact that I have a job that allows me to leave work physically AND mentally at 5 pm every day has been part of the answer. The fact that I have friends who are always willing to model for me whenever I need to create something has been part of the answer. The fact that I, the antithesis of a morning person, have somehow had the energy to wake up at 5 am every morning to work on my photography has been part of the answer. Every choice presented to me, every friendship made, and every new creative habit formed have been part of the answer.

I was just too blinded by my impatience to see it.

While I was back in Arkansas, I shot the next scene of Passages, and it’s funny how much of a “coincidence” it was that I shot the particular scene I did: the very beginning of Chloë’s grand adventure. Thinking back on where I was, and on where I am now, I can’t help but feel that Passages really has become much like a diary for me. Like Chloë in this scene, I am once again filled with hope and ready to see what lies ahead of me on my journey.

 

A preview of one of the images from Scene 1, which I will be sharing next week!

 

I’m no longer angry at Heavenly Father, thankfully. Recent events have convinced me that He was never actually ignoring me… that he has been answering my prayers all along. Passages and the Green Rider project aren’t just something that Heavenly Father handed me after I threw a temper tantrum and decided to stop talking to Him. They are two projects that He has been guiding me towards one tiny and seemingly unimportant decision at a time. How wrong I was to assume that He has stopped guiding me, caring about me, or answering me.

As a friend recently told me, we often mark our successes and triumphs by reaching the pinnacle of the mountain. What we often forget, though, is that every step up that mountain are just as important as that last step to the top. Every step are individual moments of success that lead us to the ultimate achievement. Every step should be celebrated just as much as our final climb.

 

Like Chloë in the first scene, I didn’t come back from Arkansas to start this next adventure with an undeniably concrete path or some grand answer to my prayers. But I came back full of hope and happiness. I came back ready to start the adventure.

And so, it is on that note, that I want to share a small something I have been working on over the past few weeks: my first ever vlog update! All the work I have put into this image has been my release from all these frustrating feelings I have had lately, and I have found that it has been fun to talk through my ideas with someone (even if it was just the camera). So if you want to see how I created the costume for the Passages scene I discussed in this post, as well as some footage from the day I shot this back in Arkansas, come check it out. I’ll share a little preview here, but you’ll want to visit my Patreon to see the full patron-only exclusive vlog update!

 

 

See the full video here!

By | 2017-08-31T07:01:21+00:00 August 31st, 2017|Announcement, Passages, Personal Thoughts|0 Comments

Thoughts & Sketches from the Green Rider Soundtrack Artwork

Just ONE WEEK! That’s all that’s left in Kristina A Bishoff’s and my contest!

(ENTER YOUR CREATIONS HERE!)

Needless to say, the images I am planning for the Green Rider book soundtrack artwork have been on my mind quite a bit lately.  And given how much mind space they’ve been taking up, and how very surreal this is all beginning to feel, I thought that perhaps I needed to get my thoughts out onto the page (or the computer screen) and share with you what I am planning!

The Green Rider books have been a very large presence in my life. They were the comfort I sought whenever I moved to a new home (which was often) and the escape I looked to when I needed to remove myself from the stress of perfectionism (my greatest weakness). More than anything else, though, one of the most important things these books have taught me about is courage. Because of these books, I came to realize that courage isn’t an absence of fear, but the act of doing, in spite of (and perhaps because of) that fear. That just because I have always been scared of so many things, doesn’t mean that those things could prevent me from being brave.

And because of this lesson, I am where I am today, working on this particular project: the Green Rider book soundtrack artwork! Because of one action, one decision to ask one simple question, I got in contact with a composer, Kristina A Bishoff, and now have the chance to work on a project that I couldn’t have even guessed would be in my future. Two months later, I often find myself thinking about the amazing places one small act of courage can lead to.

 

 

Sometimes I get caught up in the logistics, panicked that I won’t be able to do Kristen Britain’s stories justice. The comfort, the emotional strength, and the motivating words contained within the pages she has shared make me want to be a better person. And they make me want to be a part of something important, to have a meaning and a purpose to my life. How can I create something that can add to that?

And then other times I can hardly sleep from the excitement of it all. Last night… I never fell asleep, despite some arduous tossing and turning. I just could not divert my brain from thinking about all the images I wanted to create!

I suppose all the tossing and turning has had some benefit, though, and so today I wanted to share some of the fruit of my endless researching, thinking, mulling, and contemplating. I have decided on eight images I want to create, and so I thought I would talk about it a bit:

 

1. Karigan G’ladheon – Karigan is the protagonist of this book (and series) and is, by far, my favorite character. Despite being just 16-17 years old, she has the sort of bravery and spunk that the 14-year-old me wished, more than anything, I could have (seriously, WELL into my teens (like… driving age), I was too scared to even order my own food in the drive-through… and forget calling someone I didn’t know on the phone)!

In this series, the King’s messengers, known as Green Riders, have magical abilities, like telekenesis, creating fire, and knowing when someone speaks truth. Unwittingly, Karigan becomes a member of the King’s messenger service after promising a dying messenger she encounters on the road to deliver his life and death message to the king. While being pursued by men intent on intercepting her and the message, Karigan quickly discovers her own ability: invisibility. I can already tell this will be a fun image to create!

 

 

2. King Zachary – Closely behind Karigan falls Zachary in my list of favorite characters, so I’m just about as excited to create this image. I mean… who wouldn’t be excited to create an image of the young (attractive) king, who rules with strength and compassion over his realm. Also… the costume. Not sure just yet what his costume will be, but I can guarantee that anything fit for a king is going to be a LOT of fun to photograph!

 

3. Captain Laren Mapstone – Everyone’s favorite fiery-headed Captain of the King’s Messenger Service. Stubborn, loving, and commanding, she is a formidable woman and one that will be immensely gratifying to create an image of. Also: I. LOVE. RED. HEADS. Seriously… I have dreams of having red-headed children and photographing them to the end of my days. Whoever gets cast as Captain Laren Mapstone is PROBABLY going to be my favorite person to work with.

 

4. The Gray One – An evil Eletian (like the elves of Lord of the Rings), intent on tracking Karigan down and stopping her message from reaching the King. Cloaked and clothed entirely in gray and armed with black arrows meant to steal the souls of his enemies, how could this character NOT be a fun character (albeit a bit creepy) to bring to life?

 

5. Immerez – A member of the party hunting Karigan down, Captain Immerez is… well, the epitome of a rough around the edges, battle-trained soldier. This isn’t the sort of character I’ve ever tried to create before, so I am excited for the challenge creating this image will bring.

 

 

I also wanted to do a few images depicting some of the groups in this book that play an important role:

 

6. The Green Riders – as I mentioned before, the Green Riders each have their own unique magical ability. I think it’ll be a LOT of fun to bring all of their various magical abilities to play in one image (ok… maybe multiple images… I probably won’t be able to contain myself to just ONE image!)

 

7. The Black Shields – When I was younger, whenever I wasn’t daydreaming of being like Karigan, I wanted to be like the Black Shields. Members of the Black Shields, or Weapons, as they’re often referred to, are the kingdom’s most fearsome warriors, swearing an oath to protect their king (and queen) and realm. Thinking back on it, this is probably why, outside of my day dreams of being a fictitious character, I wanted to work for the CIA or the Foreign Service for many, MANY years. Dreams and goals may change, but in my daydreams, I still wish I could be a Black Shield…

 

8. The Elts – Much like the elves found in the Lord of the Rings, the Elts of Kristen Britain’s world are an enigmatic people. I don’t think it needs much explaining why I’m excited to create these characters in my images, but just in case: long hair, beautiful, flowy gowns, and legit armor.

 

 

I have quite a bit of planning left to do before the contest ends in ONE week, so for now, I’m leaving it up to your imagination on how I’ll actually be creating these images. Come August 30th, I’m hitting the ground running, and while I may be exhausted by the time Autumn reaches us here in New England… I think I’ll be immensely satisfied in what Kristina and I have been able to accomplish, with the help of each other, our fellow Green Rider fans, and, most importantly, Kristen Britain.

 

P.S. Are you a costume designer, prop-maker, model, HMU stylist or ANY sort of creative? I would love to have your work included in the soundtrack artwork. CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT AN ENTRY BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE! Deadline is NEXT WEEK, August 30th at 11:59 pm EDT!

P.P.S. Tomorrow I’m hopping on Facebook Live again to talk about this project. Come join my on my Facebook page at 9pm EST!

By | 2017-08-23T14:38:53+00:00 August 23rd, 2017|Behind the Scenes, Green Rider|0 Comments

Contest Now Open! The Green Rider Soundtrack Artwork

On June 30th, my favorite author, Kristen Britain announced that a musician, Kristina A Bishoff, was beginning a project to create a soundtrack for my all-time favorite novel, The Green Rider. I first discovered this book when I was fourteen, and thirteen years later, it’s still my favorite book (and series) ever.

So when Kristen stated in her announcement: “if you’re interested in being involved, feel free to contact her,” that’s exactly what I did.

 

 

While my style of photography is not your typical portraiture (I often have people tell me “I’ve never seen anything like your work!”), I knew that this was exactly the sort of thing I had been working towards. I immediately clicked through to the musician’s page and began to draft a message. I was going to do the artwork for this album… I just needed to (politely) convince Kristina of this fact.

A few weeks later, and several emails down the line, I received the news I had been hoping to hear:  Kristen, the author, had given us the go ahead to begin creating the artwork!

 

 

As Kristina and I began planning, and the excitement began to build, we realized something: we weren’t the only ones that were passionate about this series, and we think we aren’t the only ones passionate about this project. So we decided that we don’t want this to be just between me and Kristina, because we know there are so many more of you out there who love this series just as much as we do.

So today, Kristina A Bishoff and I are (being completely honest) beyond excited to be opening up submissions for contributions to our Green Rider Soundtrack Artwork contest!

Now, what does this mean? In a few short weeks, I will be shooting the images that Kristina will be using to promote her soundtrack album and we want your talents, skills, and passion to be just as much a part of this as ours have been.

 

 

So if you feel you have something to contribute to the artwork, we want to see what you have to offer! Whether that’s costume design, makeup/hairstyling prowess, cosplaying expertise, or any talent you feel would be a valuable contribution to Kristina’s soundtrack, my photography, and (most importantly) this wonderful world Kristen Britain has created, send us your work! Check out the rules and guidelines, as well as the link to submit below!


Rules and Guidelines:

What we’re looking for:

  1. Costume designers
  2. Props
    1. Swords, weapons, armor, etc.
    2. Golden brooches and metal work
    3. Crowns and jewelry
    4. Elven accessories
    5. Cartography
    6. Medieval lifestyle items
    7. Leather work
    8. Etc.
  3. Cosplayers
  4. We will also need creatives who will need to be physically present the day of the shoot (ie. models and HMU Stylists)
    1. All images will be photographed in the New England Area (Maine and Massachusetts coastal area), therefore any contributors needing to be physically present will need to be located within this region.
    2. If, however, the contributor is willing to provide for their own travel and accommodation to the region, they are welcome to apply.

*We would love to see anything you feel might be a valuable contribution to this project, however if you need further suggestions on what is needed, please see the following inspiration boards for the sort of props/costumes/and styling we are looking for:

The prize:

  1. The opportunity to participate in the artwork for the official book soundtrack inspired by the novel “Green Rider” by Kristen Britain.
  2. A free digital download of the soundtrack album upon the album release.
  3. A free photographic print of any one image of your choosing from the soundtrack artwork, signed by Madeline Shayne.

Credit:

  1. Credit will be given to contributors in all uses of artwork, including but not limited to the physical and digital album, art books, online promotions, and other uses of art for this music project.

How to submit:

  1. Entries must be submitted by 11:59 pm EST on August 23rd to be considered.
  2. Entries MUST be submitted via the form below. Any entries submitted by email or private/direct message on Instagram/Facebook will not be considered a valid entry.
  3. Please submit JPEG images that clearly depict what it is you are submitting.
    1. For costume designers, it would be helpful if you include multiple images of different angles of the costumes you are submitting as this allows us to get an accurate idea of how the costume will look and fit when on the model.
    2. For MUH stylists, please provide images of at least three different looks so that we have an accurate idea for your capabilities.
    3. Entries must be submitted in gallery/album format. Please do not include multiple links to individual images randomly posted on your Facebook/Instagram as this makes it very hard for us to get a cohesive understanding both of what you are submitting and what you are capable of producing.
      1. We recommend using Google Drive, Dropbox, Flickr or some other portfolio website (this can also be a portfolio on your personal website). Please ensure that the privacy setting is set to public so that we may view the portfolios.
  4. All contributions must be fully completed and ready to ship (HMU and other day-of contributions excluded). Costumes must be completed and able to be worn by 11:59 pm EST on August 23rd.
  5. Where applicable, all contributions must be able to be shipped to the New England area by Wednesday, August 30, and must arrive by Wednesday, September 6th.
  6. Images will be photographed in the New England area. All contributors must be willing to ship their contributions to this area, or be willing to travel to this area the day of the shoot if active participation the day of the shoot is necessary (ie. MUH stylists, models, etc.).
    1. If physical participation is required, the contributor must be available the second and third weekends of September (with the third weekend as back-up, in the event of inclement weather).
    2. All contributions sent via mail will be returned to the contributor within one week after the shoot in which it is featured takes place. Shoots are currently tentatively scheduled to take place the second and third weekend of September, however these dates may shift, depending on weather, availability of location, and availability of participants.

 

Winners will be contacted following the end of the contest with further instructions for participation. We are looking forward to your submissions and to making this dream project come to life with you!

 


 

Having created many images and knowing the amount of work that can go into each aspect of a creation, I know the amount of effort and time that each of these pieces takes to bring to life. So Kristina and I know how much we are asking from you in these next two weeks. But we also know we are not the only ones who are passionate about this story and are passionate about what we do. So we are beyond excited to see what each and every one of you has to offer!

 

 

May the next two weeks see you busy, but also fulfilled in knowing that your hard work, effort, and passion could be a valuable part of bringing to life this wonderful world Kristen Britain has created for us!

And without further ado, the contest for contributions to the Green Rider Soundtrack artwork is now, officially, open!

SUBMIT YOUR WORK RIGHT HERE!

 

By | 2017-08-09T13:29:52+00:00 August 9th, 2017|Announcement, Green Rider|0 Comments

A New Project: The Green Rider Soundtrack Artwork!

Today, I have some news that is filling my heart with a tremendous amount of giddiness!

(Which, I know, sounds a little bit… twitter-pated, but truly.. I feel as if all the happy memories I have are about to come spilling out in one big gush of excitement!)

This is news I would have never anticipated sharing as a young, 14 year old girl, opening up the pages of a book entitled the Green Rider for the very first time. A book that, 13 years later, still finds me up at 2 or 3 AM some mornings, unable to put the book down as I desperately turn the pages, trying to find out what happens next (even if I may have found out ten reading’s ago).  

Needless to say, this series has long ranked at the top of my list of absolute favorite novels. Through the years, each time I have read the adventures of young Karigan G’ladheon in the enchanting world Kristen Britain has created, I have fallen more and more in love with a fantasy world I could only ever dream about visiting. But today, those dreams seem a little bit closer to reality, because today I get to to tell you that:

I will be creating the artwork for the Green Rider album soundtrack, composed by Kristina A Bishoff and inspired by this heartwarming and enchanting novel written by Kristen Britain!

 

 

But I can’t do it alone, and so Kristen, Kristina, and I want you to be a part of this as well!

As with every project and series of artwork I create, there is much that goes into each and every one of my images: costumes, props,  hair & makeup, and models, just to name a few. In undertaking such a large project, perhaps among the biggest so far, there is obviously an even greater need for help in bringing these many, many pieces together! With the completion of this album fast approaching, we have decided that the best way to accomplish this is to ask for your help to make the album artwork as heartfelt and magical as possible!

So next week, we’ll be opening a contest for contributions! Whether you’re a costume designer, cosplayer, model, HMU artist, lover of fantasy or someone who feels they have something to contribute to this project, we want to see it!

Sound intriguing? Be sure to check back in here at 12 noon on August 9th for the official contest opening, rules, and guidelines… and in the meantime, brainstorm, brainstorm, brainstorm! Entries will be accepted until 11:59 pm August 23rd, so make sure to get your design, talent, and skills entered by the deadline for a chance to be a part of this one-of-a-kind project!

Until next week!

By | 2017-08-05T13:49:35+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|Announcement, Green Rider|0 Comments

On Indeterminate Growers and a Delayed Realization

Over the past year, I’ve been learning perhaps one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learned about growing my photography business. And it was the LAST lesson I, as the introverted artist that I am, EVER wanted to take to heart:

Networking isn’t just a good business practice, IT. IS. ESSENTIAL.

I cannot do it alone.

And of course, I may find “success”… but can I really call it that if I don’t have anyone helping me out, cheering me on along the way, and celebrating with me when I finally “make it”?

(Other than my family and friends, of course, who I know will always be there.)

In my opinion, reaching the “top” alone is not success.

 

 

This vein of thought all stems from a couple weeks ago, when April Bowles Olin, the mastermind behind Blacksburg Belle published a case study of my business on her blog. The intent of the case study was to share with her followers how successful her membership program, Sunday Society, has been in helping its members grow their businesses.

(PS…. it’s been very successful)

Prior to publishing the case study, April took the time to sit down with me and go over my answers to the questions she had sent me several weeks prior, when I first expressed interest in participating in her case study. As we talked, she asked me what had been the best part of Sunday Society in helping me grow my business.

Now, when I had first answered her questions, my answer to this particular question had been different. However, in the time between my initial responses and our phone call several weeks later, a new month came, and with it, a new monthly challenge within Sunday Society: improving our networking.

 

Uh… hold up. I work alone. My art is myself and I don’t need OR want anyone else involved.

And I stubbornly stuck to that story through the entirety of that monthly challenge.

 

 

However, as the month began to wrap up, I began to have two realizations:

1.  I realized just how frustrated I was with my current situation, of the almost stagnant growth I was seeing with my business

– and –

2.  I realized this situation was never going to be fixed by stubbornly telling myself I would be able to do it all on my own (I guess I have control issues…)

 

Metaphorically speaking, before this networking challenge, I felt as if I was a tiny fish convincing myself not to make the leap from the comfort of my goldfish bowl to the enormity of the ocean. I told myself that I was either going to be eaten alive, or lose myself and what made my art my own in the vastness of what was out there.

But in continuing with this metaphor, here is a very interesting fact about fish: they are indeterminate growers. This means that as long as the quality of their environment is good they will keep growing. They can even outgrow their living conditions, if their water is clean and the food they eat is healthy.

 

 

When our month of networking was up (and I still had not reached out to a single person), I began to realize something: sure, making that leap may have felt like I was dooming myself to failure in such a massive way, or that I was departing from what made my art unique to myself. But if I didn’t make that leap, even if I was doing everything right… even if I was consistently  creating new work, writing a blog post every week, and using all the right hashtags in my social media posts, eventually I was going to outgrow the tank of my own capabilities.

I would have felt as if my talents, although well practiced and honed to what I wanted them to be, would be stuck in that tiny bowl, unable to reach out to the wider ocean, to the audience I longed to reach.

 

You can’t do it alone. I can’t do it alone. We were not put on this earth to wander through our lives by ourselves. We are meant to interact with and connect to the thousands upon thousands of people we cross paths with throughout the course of our lives. Why on earth was I so caught up in the notion that my business, my art, would be any different?

 

 

And suddenly I realized, the one thing that was holding me back was the fact that I had tried so hard to do it all alone.

 

Last month I reached out to twenty fellow creatives. Costume makers, prop makers, and even a musician.  Five of them got back to me. The first one wrote an almost scathing letter in return, telling me how little financial sense it made for him to work with me.

I was humiliated. I could feel my cheeks warming by degrees with each word I read of his response. I wanted to write back and say “I’m sorry, that was stupid of me. Forget I ever asked!” But I refused to allow myself to be defeated by that.

And then I got another response from another creative.

And do you know what she said? “I would be honored to have my work in your photos.”

 

“I would be honored.”

 

That creative is the maker of the headpieces you see in the images I am sharing today.

 

 

I have since emailed many more designers and makers and am in talks with several of them about future collaborations. My follower counts have been increasing ever since, and I finally, FINALLY, feel like I’m no longer screaming for attention.

Am I 100% where I want to be yet? No. I still have a long way to go before I can make the leap to a full-time artist. But I’m getting there.

As I sat there and talked to April, telling her how my answers had changed and about the things I had learned, I began to realize something important: the world in which I wanted to live, the world where I did it all myself and was independent of any one else, is no longer the world in which I want to stay. I don’t want to stay in the goldfish bowl, left to swim in circles endlessly in my own space. In making the leap into the ocean, I may feel completely overwhelmed at times and may lose my direction, but in reaching out to others, I have learned that I can indeterminately grow. I can keep learning as long as I keep seeking out those around me.

I have learned that I don’t need to do it by myself and suddenly, I don’t feel so alone anymore. And that brings me so much joy.

By | 2017-08-05T13:49:45+00:00 July 25th, 2017|Personal Thoughts|3 Comments

A Special Announcement: I’m Taking the Next Step

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:

I wanted you to know that I am starting a Patreon!

 

 

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:

 

Tier 1

A pledge of $1 or more per month

  • Access to patron-only content, including:
    • Exclusive vlog updates
    • Before and after images
    • WIP images

GET $1 REWARD

 

Tier 2

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

GET $5 REWARD

 

Tier 3

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

GET $10 REWARD

 

Tier 4

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

GET $20 REWARD

 

Tier 5

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

GET $50 REWARD

 

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:

https://www.patreon.com/madelineshayne

 

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!

By | 2017-07-19T10:59:30+00:00 July 19th, 2017|Announcement, Patreon|0 Comments

An Ominous Name for an Enchanting Location

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!

By | 2017-07-12T09:41:44+00:00 July 12th, 2017|New Piece|2 Comments