When a young lady is standing on the threshold of her teenage years and her sense of self-worth is forming, she is acutely aware of the opinions of others–especially those of her closest role model: her mother. Photographer Erika Masterson, of Melbourne, Florida, wanted to urge other women to actively encourage their female offspring during this crucial time. She came up with a concept that uses her skills behind the lens for a project she called “A Message for My Daughter.”
“Having a 9-year-old, I could see the fragility of that age, when a girl starts to identify who she is,” Erika explains. “I wanted to find a way to inspire moms to give their daughters a positive and loving identity with words–and the appropriate flower.” To that end, Erika recruited several dozen 9- and 10-year-olds and asked each one’s mother to list five words that best describe her own little miss. She then gathered fresh flowers or locally grown plants that have meanings similar to those of the chosen words and fashioned floral crowns and scarves. For the photo shoot, each girl selected a dress from a collection of white vintage Victorian-era frocks, donned their special flowers, and then posed individually as the photographer captured these meaningful moments with sweet images. Erika’s wish is simple but powerful: “I hope that people will see the innocence and fragility of these young ladies,” she says. “Negative criticisms do harm, but encouragement will last a lifetime.”
Text Karen Callaway
Photography Erika Masterson and Mac Jamieson
Styling Yukie McLean
To view more of Erika Masterson’s photography, see “Lasting Impressions,” on page 59 of the January/February 2016 issue of Victoria.