Project: South for Winter
Brittany McLaren at her home in California. APA Member since 2011.
With a background in writing and film, Brittany McLaren's photography has always been informed by both cinema and narrative storytelling. Having always loved the aesthetic of the 1950s and 1960s, she wanted to pay homage to one of her favorite film directors from that era – Alfred Hitchcock. She created the personal series “South for Winter,” a bittersweet love story that is sad, lonely, and beautiful all at once.
Her storyboards included inspiration words like “moody,” “cinematic,” and “melancholy.” While viewers appreciated the polished styling, what struck her most was the emotional connection people felt with the story's protagonists. Almost everybody has been a failed relationship, or had moments where they are next to someone but feel utterly alone. When conceptualizing the narrative, Brittany wanted to tell the story of a couple that wants to be together but can't for whatever reason, whether that be emotionally or physically. The two models did a compelling job of bringing to life mixed emotions of love, longing, and loss.
The entire series was shot over the course of one day, which was both a logistical challenge and exhilarating experience. In order to ensure a seamless shoot, Brittany took on the role of producer as well – scouting locations in advance, storyboarding, and putting together a tightly regimented shoot schedule. The talent, crew, and photographer hauled gear and caravanned from location to location up and down Northern California's coast. Despite early calltimes, long hours, and unpredictable weather – it was an unforgettable shoot day where everyone's positive energy and creativity came together perfectly.
“South for Winter” remains one of Brittany's favorite recent personal projects. Her next series she's tackling this year will be revisiting the same era with an equally cinematic and melancholy mood, but moving the setting into the home space and looking at family and relationships in 1960s suburbia.