Vantaa, JUNE 2020
Midsummer night magic
What does Scandinavian Midsummer feel like?
In Scandinavia Midsummer, also known in Finnish as Juhannus or Midsommar in Swedish, is like summer Christmas. After the shortest and the lightest night of solstice the summer season officially begins. While Midsummer has its roots from Christianity and is connected with the birth of John the Baptist, the saint who baptized Jesus, Midsummer is more like a mixture of pagan and Christian traditions.
Most of people escape from the city to their summer cottages, make sauna, go swimming, sailing, boating, fishing, grilling and staying up short night long. For many people in the north midsummer night is associated with a bonfire and festivals, singing, dancing and also a lot of drinking.
While it's a festival of the summer beginning, the celebration of Midsummer involves a lot of superstitious believes and rituals. Especially this is connected with fears of the evil roaming around the night and thus many ceremonies are aimed to fight against the dark spirits and to seek a fortune or secure a good health.
One of the most popular rites on Midsummer involves young girls (or boys) traditionally performing fortune-telling to predict their fiancée or even a possible marriage.
The main idea of the work was to create a story about the vibes of Midsummer night through an image of a young maiden merged in a dance with the Finnish nature, wearing a floral wreath in her head and dreaming about her fiancée. She is fearing the evil spirits roaming around, but she is a pure soul who believes in magic of the forest.
As I live in the area surrounded by beautiful dark forests, I've been scouting the locations long ago, even before the idea of Midsummer fairytale popped in my mind. I knew I will carry out a photoshoot here, and I already saw a young girl dancing between the trees in my head, but I wasn't quite sure what would be the final idea. The forest is so magical in any time of the year, there are many fallen trees, vivid flow of Vantaa river with rocky banks and old trees fallen aside, giant birch trees and the most mystic is the alley with a straight cut down path, which creates a perfect pattern for the great composition. As we approached the summertime and I've been walking in the forest every single day, my head was blown away with the idea to create some beautiful story here, I could not wait, I was bursting with excitement.
I think my inspiration and creative mind was heard somewhere in the universe so I was given a great team to realize my exciting idea. My old friend apparently just graduated as make-up artist and another one was a talented florist. They liked the idea and as it was close to Midsummer, our florist suggested to make a floral wreath for the model symbolizing Midsummer. So all pieces of puzzle magically fall into place. We made up a team and they introduced me to a young model Erika. It was the first professional photoshoot for her and it was even a better fit for young Midsummer maiden image, which Erika fabulously performed with her authentic and bit shy posing.
This teamwork was one of my best experiences in the past summer, my team did excellent job and the result was way above the expectations. I hope you enjoy the outcome as much as we did.
Make-up artist: @irensolo.makeup
Photo and idea: @tanyastarlingphoto
Film lab: @lighthousefilmlab
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