I. Love. This. Photo. It might be one that I’m the most proud of.

Yes, because it’s beautiful, and because it’s a big pile of books. (I love books.) But the thing about this photo is that I really had to fight to create it. I had the idea for it almost three years before, when I was brainstorming creative ways to photograph Abbi, who is a wordsmith. I made a list of fun ideas to play with books and photos, and I wrote down, a book bath.

But of course, it never happened. I mean, how do you even make a book bath happen? I don’t have a gorgeous bathtub lying around. Even if I did, how would I photograph the whole thing–ladders don’t fit into bathrooms! So…I just gave up and let the vision wither in the back of my brain.

Then, over two years later, I noticed that Cobalt Studios, an amazing photo studio here in Portland, had a bathtub. I reached out with my idea and they thought it was amazing and were ready for it. I hired the super-talented Tracy Schulz for hair and makeup. And of course, Abbi was my muse and model! (She seems like a regular person, but she’s a secret supermodel!)

At Cobalt, on the day of the shoot, the owner helped me with the logistics of a book bath. I had a huge stack of books I’d been collecting. They had pillows and blankets to fill up the space underneath the top level of books, and they helped me arrange it all around Abbi (who was semi-dressed under there, but happily the pile of books kept her warm), and helped arrange the lighting. Most importantly, they have a loft you can shoot down from, so I could get the entire tub in frame! That was the key to the whole thing!

When I called a wrap on the book bath, we did a few other quick photos. I found this cool gold and black fabric, and we made a few gorgeous portraits with it. One shooting through it so the light caught the gold, and one with it draped around Abbi. Then we went outside and shot a couple natural-light portraits in the golden hour.

It was an incredible day, full of hard work from several people, and I was so so grateful to everyone who helped me make it happen. I was also really proud of myself for finally making the vision come to life!