Celebrating who we are NOW and creating our timeless LEGACY In Photos.
Our LEGACY is built on lifelong journeys and experiences
From a struggling childhood in Romania to a season's ski pass in the USA
Romana Fedasiuk "The Story Behind The Photo Shoot"
I met Romana Fedasiuk when she was 83. I had photographed her grandson years before for his senior pictures and a special 'FenceOgraphy' photo session (a photo biography of fencing athletes).
Years later, her daughter Lana wanted to do something special to show her love and appreciation for all that grandma meant to the family. Lana called me and said, "I want to gift my mother a special photo session with you. I warn you though, My mom won't want to do this ...but I know she will LOVE it in the end! She is the most incredible, amazing woman and I want to show her how beautiful she still is at this age and how special we all think she is!"
Skiing represented a turning point of 'freedom' to Romana, so we wanted to capture her love & connection to skiing.
Romana said, "I was once beautiful when I was young."
I said, "You still are... Let me show you what I see through my camera lens"
At first, Romana was reluctant and in question of how a photo shoot would do an old lady, any good.
She was under the same notion that so many of us think and feel. As if photo shoots are only for the young with flawlessly beautiful skin. But to me, a photo shoot is about capturing WHO you are at this very moment. It's about revealing the CHARACTER of who you've become and showing proudly the person you are today. It's about wearing the clothes and colors that distinctly represent your style and your persona. Sometimes even pairing special items, accessories, or props that are personal to your life. Portraits taken throughout your life should represent a 'photo biography' of who you were, are, and have become. And if you're going to recount your story, why not look gorgeous in each image?
HOW WE CHOSE HER WARDROBE
I wanted her wardrobe to reflect the most important parts of her life.
Once we started our Wardrobe & Styling Call, Romana started opening up; recounting the beautiful dresses and outfits she had once worn and loved. Our conversations flowed into our photo shoot where she shared stories of her life filled with struggle, heartache, and sacrifice but a triumphant independence in the end surrounded by love and gratefulness.
She was proud to say that she was one of the first corporate women in management in her day, so we decided to represent that side of her life in a feminine suit.
She had a lifelong love of skiing. It was something she picked up after she left a burdening and restricting marriage. Skiing marked a moment when she was able take on the passions that SHE wanted. It represented freedom and independence. So we outfitted her in a playful ski bunny fur hat with her ski poles and her favorite ski boots for a few shots.
Ultimately, the essence of Romana was a strong, independent, well postured statuesque woman who imbibed the meaning of Grace, Elegance and Beauty... So we outfitted her in an old elegant skirt of hers, gave it a bit of old Hollywood elegance with a fur wrap. I photographed her till she felt like the young beautiful woman she remembered vividly in her mind.
At the end of her photo shoot session, she said...
"Monica, that was the most fun I've had in years!
I would have been sitting on the couch watching t.V. today, but instead you made me feel incredible and beautiful today! Thank you for this day I will always remember!"
HER MAKOVER: CREATING THE LOOK
A good makeover shouldn't change how you look.
For Romana's makeover, I wanted clean, fresh, vibrant skin with an emphasis on her beautiful eyes. EYESHADOW: Because her eyes are so deep-set, it was important to keep her eyeshadow light with rich champagne tones (instead of dark smoky tones). FOUNDATION: At 83, it was important not to use foundation that would be too thick and cakey, and we also avoided using powders (as powders tend to emphasize wrinkles in dryer older skin). LIPS: We kept it in a soft rose color. It was dark enough to add definition to her lips with a lip brush but soft enough in color that it complimented her milky white skin tone. HAIR: Her hair was fine and thin, so adding volume with a little bounce gave her a fullness. We added a touch of root lifting hair powder (and teased it at the roots only ) to add volume and lift for a more full thick look.
Romana with her daughter Lana in their traditional Ukrainian blouses.
The Final Chapter Of Her Legacy...
Her Final Honor Was Being Published in a Magazine Editorial Spread.
Two days before Romana's passing, the magazine editor of GOOD LIGHT MAGAZINE reached out to our studio and asked to feature Romana's photos and story in their 85th issue entitled "Classic Elegance". This was the last tribute to Romana's Legacy told in photos.
Born in war torn Romania (now part of the Ukraine) , Romana came to America with hopes for a better future. She was bright and ambitious for her generation. At a time when women mostly fell into the stay at home housewife role, Romana headed to a desk as a secretary and worked her way up to a high level managerial position in corporate America. She did this at a time when women were few in management, but she was independent and driven.
Married at a young age, she had two children but felt stifled, restricted and burndened in her marital relationship. Once her children had grown, she divorced and decided that after a lifetime of doing what was necessary, this was now her time to do as she wished finally! She decided to try skiing and that led into a lifelong love of the sport. Romana held her season's ski pass till she was 84 years old.
Romana reflected back at her life with me. She had as many hardship stories as most immigrants do. She had struggles but many triumphs that brought her great joy in life. Her classic beauty and inner confidence made her the admiration of many. Surrounded by friends, family and adoring gentlemen suiters. Most of all her most precious gifts was the admiration and adoring love from her daughter Lana and her grandchildren.
How We Shot Romana's Portfolio
Shooting different ages, genres, and genders all have certain challenges to overcome. Knowing what techniques to use for each model/subject is key.
Find out more about how we shot Romana's portfolio in the tabs to the right and inquire about our PHOTO EDUCATION classes to learn behind the scenes of how we shoot all of our portfolios.