Inspired by creepy films, fantasy novels, and greats like Neil Gaiman, Hayao Miyazaki, Kurt Vonnegut, and Lewis Carroll, Seattle-based photographer Kindra Nikole takes empowering images of women imbued with Photoshop magic. She turns the damp wilderness of the Northwest into dreamy forest settings where her subjects sip tea from floating teapots, munch on clouds, and meet mystical creatures. One series features badass ladies wielding swords and wearing armor, while others seem to profile notable medieval ladies with the independence to safely journey into mysterious woods. All of her shots drip with a Lord of the Rings-y sense of adventure.
After sketching a concept in her idea journal, Nikole designs the props and costumes before planning a two to eight-hour shoot. Proofing the selects takes a couple more hours, and editing can take days, or even weeks.
"Sometimes it's hard to know when to stop work on a piece, and it almost never feels 'done,'" she tells The Creators Project. "That's the artist's challenge, I suppose! Knowing when to walk away and say, 'That's well enough.'" Her intense production creates a unified atmosphere in her body of work, which feels like it all takes place in another world just through the looking glass.
Nikole has tranferred that style into a short film called Hælestre, and just moved into her first studio space in Seattle where she plans to make more. "Right now I'm in an intake phase," she explains. "I'm taking in new sights and art, reading loads of books, and allowing myself time and space to play with my art rather than taking it too seriously. I think this is crucial for artists who are looking to always grow, which, I imagine, is every artist out there."