Watch the video to see an AJBC fairytale unfold- 

Photographer- AJBC Photography
Poem- Autumn Carufel
Assistant 1- Taylor Walsh
Assistant 2- Jake Carufel
Model- Lauren Cross
Wardrobe and Props- Lauren Cross Designs

Belle Isle Conservatory, Detroit Michigan

(Below: Poem written out, followed by individual portraits found in the above film.)



There is a truth in this world that I refuse to believe. 

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The truth that everything has to be exactly as it seems.

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Because, you see, I am a dreamer, and I am a collector. 

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I am a believer and I am a fairytale wrecker.

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But not in the way that you probably think I am.
I don’t sit down and destroy books of fiction. 

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I sit down and give those books vision.

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I open the pages and give them eyes.
I open suitcases and watch as hopes come alive. 

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Because when I was a kid I was told fairytales aren’t real.

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You can’t blame my parents, it’s just how the rest of the world feels.

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But me, I knew different.

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Me, I knew more. 

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Me I knew wanting something that was impossible was just through a hidden door. 

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A door I would find eventually in my life.

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Where plays and toys and make believe...

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Would slowly show itself to me.

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But as something new. Something real.
Something I could touch
and something I could feel. 

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And no I’m not too old to feel this way. 

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I say you’re too old, for taking my dreams away.

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So go back to a time where all you wanted was to be free.

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And start realizing your head is the only thing that makes it so it can’t be.

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Photographer- AJBC Photography
Poem- Autumn Carufel
Assistant 1- Taylor Walsh
Assistant 2- Jake Carufel
Model- Lauren Cross
Wardrobe and Props- Lauren Cross Designs

Belle Isle Conservatory, Detroit Michigan

The back story:

2 years ago I posted on facebook that I wanted to do a creative shoot. That's how I met Lauren. She said she might be interested so I quickly stalked her on facebook. Her look was unique and gorgeous, so I knew she would fit the part. But then I started realizing she was also an artist, a maker, and a collector. We had similar loves for old and grungy things, so we decided to meet. I drove to her house in Marysville where she showed me room after room after room full of beautifully old and rough pretties! 
And then she took me to the back corner of the basement to show me The Door, and an idea was born. We spent the next hour developing the story- a girl playing make believe finds a door, enters it, and then finds herself transported in to this land where her daydreams are now her reality. 
I think I secretly live through my photography, because that's all I want out of life- magic, all the time. 
We kept in touch, passing back and forth ideas and photos. My schedule FINALLY allowed for me to fit the shoot in! My husband Jake, my assistant Taylor, and myself drove to Marysville where Lauren allowed us to gather up her precious treasures and take them to our first location. The sun was shining, the weather was perfect, and right away I KNEW, I just knew, this was going to be one of my favorite things I had ever shot. 
We filmed, photographed, laughed, and left with plans to meet again a week later, when we would haul the heavy antique door down the road, down a hill at 8 am, balance it on the roots of an old tree sticking out above the water, and then drive to Detroit. 
Because we had photographed at what looked to be a more modern conservatory for our "make believe in real life" scene  I wanted to go to a much older, much more original concept of a conservatory for our "entering the fairytale world" scene, and so it came that we traveled an hour + together to The Belle Isle Conservatory in Detroit. Belle Isle is beautiful and not only was it a wonderful place to end our shoot and tell our story perfectly, it allowed us a day to just enjoy something new and unique together, which is becoming more and more important to me with every shoot I do. 
It used to be just about the photos for me, because that was what I was taught portrait photography was. Now it's about the whole experience. Because if not for the experience, then for what?
Afterwards we shopped in Ferndale and got some tasty sushi and quietly drove back home after a long and creative day. 
It took me another year to sort through it all, find the time, and get to a place where I could properly put it all together. 
Our video we filmed is still not done, but I am ecstatic to release these images accompanied by a poem I wrote for it. 
And to think, it all started with an old door.  

If you loved the Concept of "The Door" then you should also check out "The Pillow and The Pond" and The Burning Shack- they are some of my favorite projects to date!


Check out the full beauty gallery here