The summer solstice is the longest day of the year. It’s as rare as the winter solstice and just as slow to fade away, but it seems so much more difficult to hold onto.
White cedar swamps are also a rare find, at least in New England, and their dense canopies and lush forest floors of green mosses and gigantic ferns can make you wonder if you accidentally somehow stepped back into the Mesozoic period. They too seem to be slipping away, lost to both new growth forests and new paved shopping malls.
The unique and fragile appeal of all this inspired me to wake up very early on the morning of the summer solstice and drive north to New Hampshire in what was destined to be a photoshoot resulting in massive mosquito bites.
After pinning model Mercedes into a somewhat cobbled-together dress, we set to work, sloshing through peat bog, moving trees and trying very hard not to fall into the murky water.
That she wound up looking like she was floating in most of these photos is no trick of Photoshop.
I hadn’t noticed while I was photographing her, but I think she really was. I’ve heard that bathing in springs and rivers on the summer solstice brings protection and luck. Maybe wading through a swamp bestows magical powers.
At the very least, it makes for some beautiful images.
- Date: June 20th, 2014
- Location: Manchester Cedar Swamp, New Hampshire
- Photography, wardrobe, hair: Kayt Silvers
- Model/MUA: Mercedes
- Assistant: Dory’s Historicals