I’ve always grown up around swords, moreso than any other weapon. Sometimes that comes in handy when I get to model with props I’m actually familiar with! My mother was an incredibly talented fencer who trained under Ralph Faulkner (some of you might know him as the master who trained Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone). Alas a nasty injury kept her from ever fencing again right before training for the 1984 Olympics. Even though that happened before I was born, swords still had a strong place in my household.
I picked up my first epee in my college’s fencing club, then dabbled in foil and saber overseas where I competed in the New Zealand Uni Games (Boy was that a humbling experience…this padawan still had much to learn). Then, in 2007, I was trained in SAFD (Society of American Fight Directors) stage combat with rapier, whip, and various props. Alas, I gave up fencing due to it being one seriously expensive hobby and a wish to return to my first love (and better skillset) – Kung Fu. There are times where I can be a paradox with the body of a dancer, the mind of a martial artist, and the heart of a fencer. Certainly makes workouts interesting!
This was a test shoot with local Georgia photographer, Bang Nguyen, who’s gone on to become quite the professional fashion photographer (and now budding fashion film videographer). Rather than do just straight-up portraiture, we decided to add in a little edginess with expensive fashion (the black leather jacket alone was $1,000, though the brand name escapes me) and a sharpened katana. The real trick was trying to keep the look fashion and not costumer-y. There is still some debate whether or not I succeeded in doing that. But if nothing else, it was definitely a fun learning experience!
Skirt: Forever 21
Leggings: Forever 21
Boots: Guess Maeve boots via Ebay
Katana: Borrowed from a friend