I’m not sure how else to describe Dawndra but to call her an “Image Witch.” I mean, she gets me! I love everything that she creates. So much so, that I feel intimidated by her magnificent magic. And it IS magic. With a single image, Dawndra coveys so much. Seriously, how the heck does she do that? How do I duplicate that magic and make it my own without becoming a copycat?
What Can I Learn From This Image Witch?
Like I did a couple of weeks ago, I’m going to break down the elements in each image that bring it together. But I’ll be focusing on three images of hers that I just really love.
This image brings you right into the story and makes you feel like you are witnessing something meaningful. Strong focus is placed on the ethereal woman centred in the frame. Contrasting dark and light emphasize not only her importance but her mysteriousness. Do I even need to mention the dreamy light coming in to highlight her? Orange smoke, the only pop of colour, provides a sense of atmosphere. Did you know that orange is linked to creativity and sensuality? I’m not sure if the colour choice was intentional, but I think it works really well.
Only after you have taken her in and noticed the smoke do you notice she is not alone. This is when you really start to pay attention to the story. The man gazes up at her while grasping her dress. I’m sure each of us may interpret this in a different way. That, to me, is a mark of excellent storytelling. It lets you be a part of the story! One last thing to mention is the sense of movement created at the bottom of the dress. As if her dress was caught midflight. Such a small detail, but it adds so much!
This might be my favourite image of hers. She talks about what it means to be a witch in this post. I know I’m referring to her as an Image Witch but that doesn’t mean she calls herself a witch. The word means different things to different people. For me, it means a person who feels deeply connected and uses their magic to make the world a better place. I believe Dawndra fits that description.
Again, this image is centre-framed, but this time we have the dramatic mountain framing her within its triangle. Dramatic skies with the subtle feeling of sunrise or sunset about to occur set the atmosphere. The mood is dramatic and wild, which I deeply love! The staff, which is a tree branch, lends itself support for her magic working. While this image has more colours in it. The pop of colour is a lush red. Red is associated with life, vitality, and passion. And again we have a sense of movement delivered by the bird flying in the background. Altogether, the image invites you to wonder what the woman is doing. Magnificent.
I chose this image because back in 2018, before I began taking photography seriously, I had created a very similar image for an Instagram Yoga Challenge. Maybe I should have realized then that I was meant to be a photographer, but more on that later.
What has the Image Witch created here? Magic, I tell you! That is absolutely the story in this image. Setting a circle is important for protecting you when you work your magic, but it also symbolizes cycles. The cycle of life-death-rebirth, the cycles of the moon, and the cycles of change. Circles are a powerful shape. Setting one with candles (fire) outdoors (earth) is just so beautiful because it invites warmth, connectedness and knowledge. This message is doubly made by the candle, the lantern and the book (air). Magic is very much about learning and I love that she reveals that message this way. Vessels (water) such as the one in front of the witch are the container for our emotions, for life’s blood, and for the knowledge we keep.
I formerly had a business named Ivalaine Oracles and Adventures where I taught yoga and read tarot cards. While I have since closed that business to focus on photography, I still love them and cherish the lessons both tools have taught me.
I remember when I created this image for the “Puppy Pose” day of a yoga challenge, I was so excited and focused. It allowed me to bridge so many of my loves: tarot, magic, yoga, and storytelling. Maybe I was always headed this way? Actually, of all the yoga challenges I participated in, this one was my favourite. Every image was exciting for me to create.
Going forward, I will think more about the story I want to tell, and what elements to include to support that story. Colour can tell you so much. So, I might spend more time thinking about what colours I would like to use. I love deep teals, rich reds, mesmerizing greens, and bright blues but don’t limit me!
I created this particular image for my Self-Portrait Project but used a slightly different version. This one tells a bit quieter story than that one, which I will talk about in next week’s Self-Portrait wrap up.
Note a lot of similar elements to Dawndra’s image and my Puppy Pose image. Circle of candles, vessel, open-air, and earth. Circles and life’s elements!