• Mae

The Taiga: Snow Witch

The Taiga continues through the winter months with the Snow Witch, a creature of my creation. As I work on this series I am more and more feeling connected to the world around me and very inspired by nature. I wanted to not only represent each season in these photos but actually go out and shoot in every season to show the beauty that is New England.

Model: Carter Pierre
“Snow Witch” ©Mae Horak, Model: Carter Pierre

The kernel of inspiration that brought this snow character to life was the idea of creating someone frosted over with snow. I found some spray-on snow, which is basically a can of foam that shoots out to add smocking to Christmas trees and similar things for holiday indoor decorations. I experimented with covering fabric and designed the costume with a large train in the back in order to have a large canvas to play with the fake snow “frosting” on! I wanted to experiment with fake snow as well as I saw an example and loved the glittery look to it. But I was told that many varieties are made from thin shards of plastic and I am always very conscious that I do not bring anything harmful into nature when I do these photos. All of the colored powders I use is biodegradable and I never leave anything behind in the woods. So that idea was nixed, and I decided to go with smoke bombs instead.

Costume in Progress

The costume is a robe of sorts, not from any specific time period but large and dramatic. I love working with dramatic silhouettes and combining natural elements with more structured garments. Honestly I also wanted to make something with a high neck so whoever I picked to model would be able to wear warm clothing underneath, as I knew I wanted to shoot in the wintery woods.

The model I chose, Carter Pierre is an amazing local model who I met at a fashion show a few years back and always meant to work with, but hadn’t had a chance until now! She was such a good sport about venturing into the snowy woods, and I am grateful to her and Zach for agreeing to go out to the Medford Fells on this snowy morning!

"Winter" ©Mae Horak, Model: Carter Pierre