After living in a cold, dark country for a few years, I have a ginormous appreciation for the sun. In Denmark, in the chance that the sun did come out, you never knew how long it would stay so you would get your hiney outside and soak in the vitamin D as long as you could. I find myself reverting to those patterns here in Utah though I don’t really need to because default weather is good weather. Sun = happy me. Thus, Midsummer is my new favorite holiday. We don’t celebrate it as much in America, but that’s ending today.
Midsummer is the longest day of the year (and Scandinavians like to point out that the days only get shorter from here on out, but I cringe at that thought), so celebrations are in order. Up in the north at this time of the year, the sun hardly goes down, so you get pretty much 24 hours of sunshine. The Danes celebrate with Sankt Hans, where they burn effigies of witches, but I didn’t think that would be the prettiest shoot, so we celebrated with more of a Swedish midsummer. I’m told that Swedish midsummer is mostly about drinking, so as a non-drinker that’s not an option, so we’re going back to the classic midsummer.
I called upon some great talents for this shoot who luckily said yes to the last minute collaboration: Ciara Richardson
, the fantastic photographer and Ashley Beyer of Tinge Floral
who did the lovely flowers. I was also lucky enough to have all my interns come be models. Aren’t they gorgeous? I couldn’t have asked for better magic makers.
First thing to celebrate the Swedish midsummer, floral wreaths. These are essential. Ashley made some beautifully simple headpieces for everyone.
Then we brought in the maypole that I made (DIY right here
) with Ashley’s beautiful flowers on top.
Midsummer, or summer solstice, is an ancient paga ritual that often started with fertility dances around the pole. SO, ummm, we did some fertility dances. Because that’s what grown ladies do.
Then we started the weaving of the ribbons. I don’t know why, but for some reason I was afraid that all the beautiful images I saw on Google in my research wouldn’t come true for ours, but it did. It works!
In and out, in and out. Every other person goes the opposite way to create the weave.
If you take it off the pole, does it form a Chinese finger trap?
Then Ciara worked her magic and somehow made me look presentable, which is quite the feat because well, I’ve never seen my skin so broken out before. Eeeek.
Channeling Kate Moss’ wedding.
I’m so lucky to have such wonderful interns. Besides being helpful and willing, they are kind and good people. And gorgeous, sheesh! Audrey even had her 14 year old sister, Jenny, visiting from Texas so she came too. Thank you Jenny!
And I mentioned it earlier this week, but by the end of Midsummer, if you haven’t found someone to hook up with (not my words), then you collect 7 flowers and put them under your pillow. Then you dream about your future husband. Does it work? You tell me!
If you want to learn more about midsummer, watch this video. The humor is so dead on.
If you want to make the maypole, step-by-step instructions here.
THANK YOU to the ladies who made this collaboration possible. Let’s do it again!
photography by Ciara Richardson
flowers by Ashley Beyer of Tinge Florals
maypole and concept by me, Brittany Watson Jepsen
models: Ashley Ellsworth, Jenny Ellsworth, Carla da Silva, Maude Lee, Maurine Anderson