Brooklyn was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 2, and she wears a continuous glucose (blood sugar) monitor and an insulin pump attached to her body, 24/7. Diabetes is an exhausting disease that requires constant attention. Modern technology has eased that slightly by shifting from dozens of daily finger pricks and injections, to these more continuous solutions.
When I learned that Brooklyn describes herself as “girlie girl”, I immediately began imagining a princess-themed shoot. My sister has T1D, so I am familiar with some of the medical tools. “Sleeping Beauty” pricking her finger seemed like a perfect theme for our shoot!
Behind the Scenes
I was able to track down an actual antique spinning wheel on Craigslist. The intention was to sell it again after, but I don’t know now – it’s pretty cool! My sister gave me one of her hypodermic needles, and I attached it to the wheel.
The bucket and wool are from my collection of newborn props. The wool is actually a small blanket, handmade in Australia from a rare breed of Merino sheep, by Little Vintage Fox. I ordered it right before the pandemic, and sadly have not gotten to use it with a newborn yet! I was thrilled to put it to use in this shoot.
The gorgeous circlet and necklace were created by RoseMoonBoutique on Etsy.
The dress was handmade by Sarah Henry Suemnig. I had searched and searched for just the right gown that would feel old-fashioned and luxurious, but also show off Brooklyn’s CGM on her arm. I finally decided the perfect dress did not (yet) exist, and I turned to Sarah. With just the vaguest of descriptions from me and a pic of a similar dress concept, she sketched a gorgeous design and brought it to life in just a few weeks. There was even a pocket for the insulin pump!
Hair and makeup were done by Hollie Wilson Streater, a hero who stepped in last-minute to save the shoot when our scheduled HMU artist had to cancel. Luckily, she does beautiful work.
Creating more complex portraits like this was a wonderful experience, and I look forward to making more! Stay tuned for more images of Brooklyn and meet her sister, Bailey.