As a teenager, I did as most teens do and took on the responsibilities of babysitting neighbourhood children. Katie was one of them.
Almost at an age where she could stay home on her own, but too young to be left with her little brother, Katie was fascinated with teenage life. To her we were young women – intriging and free. Dismissing the traditional storybook-reading before lights out, Katie would beg me to tell her about my life. I suppose she expected it would be as exciting and dramatic as an episode of Degrassi High or maybe even 90210. Sadly (…or thankfully), this wasn’t really the case in the small town of Osgoode; or perhaps just not in MY life. I would oblidge her request and spice it up by placing a fantasy twist on it. My friends and myself all had storybook sounding names, the crush of the week was a prince, minor tiffs and rumours where exaggerated dramas, and grumpy teachers were evil trolls and beasts. My ‘adult-like’ life was played out as a Princess in fantasy, reflective of our imaginations. Katie would keep me going on as long as she possibly could, pleading for me to tell her more, often resulting in “OH, NO! Your parents are home, you were supposed to be asleep over an hour ago. Close your eyes and pretend!”. Katie quickly mastered the ‘fake sleep’.
Fast Forward a decade or so and Katie and I met each other again as adults. She is a lovely young woman, smart, kind, fun, and still always ready to play. I asked her if she would like to do a shoot with me, to which she enthusiastically replied with glee. After chatting about a look and feel and collaborating on the outfit, I couldn’t have been happier with how the shoot turned out. Despite the bitter cold that day offered, and the distance we drove for such a short finger-freezing session, there was only one place it could be done.
Growing up in Osgoode we lived near a dirt road which lead into what is locally referred to as “The Pines”. This was a favourite place to play in my youth. A dirt road leading to trails, forest, and even an old abandoned Go-Kart track. It was a place of play and fantasy for many if not all of the neighbourhood children. This was the spot.
A beautiful tunnel of trees into a dreamland with endless possibilities seemed like the perfect backdrop. This time Katie is the young woman. The Princess. It is now her story to tell.
-April Anne Hewens ~ Associate Photographer