When I first saw this photo shoot from the ladies over at Gypsy Stone, I thought I might have to justify how it’s plant related. But after I read what photographer Lizz Pennings wrote about the shoot, I knew that wouldn’t be the case:
I’ve always been fascinated by trees. For even longer than I have been fascinated by the ocean. I love their height, the way they tower over you but are never intimidating. Their lushness, the shapes of the branches and how they remind me of the silliest things like ballerinas and witches.
Looking at the photos, which were shot in a retired palm tree farm, it’s easy to see how Pennings incorporates these sentiments. The way she positions the models in front of and behind the fronds, she conjures images of props like surfboards, umbrella, ropes, wings, a veil or a fanciful wig. The intimate relationship she has with this environment is clear:
[It] reminded me of the time I was so blessed to have spent some time in the threatened rainforests of Borneo, where I got to help replant some trees for WWF and their rainforest rejuvenation project. One of the things said by another volunteer when I was there that I will never forget are the words [...] “I know I most likely will never be able to return to see the orangutans swinging from the trees that I have planted today… but nothing makes me happier to know that one day my grandchildren will be able to return, and because we all helped them and the forest today, they can still see the orangutans swinging in the trees”. This is why it is our duty, in this vital time, to preserve what we have been so blessed to receive.
And to add an even deeper meaning to the images, Pennings has shot model Elke Kahler wearing bellbottoms made from modal, a fabric created using the cellulose of sustainably grown beech trees. These trees do not require the use of pesticides or traditional irrigation, nor are their fibers processed using harsh chemicals, which makes them an eco-friendly alternative to synthetic materials. Not only does Jennings talk the talk, but she walks the walk – and I think I know just where she’s headed!
Photos © Gypsy Stone