The Disney Project

I have been wanting to do a Disney photoshoot for years. Finally, it happened with the help of seven beautiful models. Everyone in this photoshoot was transformed into a Disney character that they most resembled. As it turned out they all had their unique look but at the same time it was as if they stepped out of the animated film into real life.


Jane came to life while I was living in Florida. There happened to be amazing jungle-like trees with long vines, not too far from my house. They inspired me to start the Disney Project with me as Jane. However, if you look closely at the video you can tell that the trees were in someone’s backyard. Thankfully, my neighbor allowed me to film and take pictures in his yard. As it turned out I wasn’t the first person to ask him. A few people have had their wedding pictures taken there.

The skirt I wore in the second part of the video was actually a table cloth.


The second character in this photoshoot was Maleficent. At first we were having trouble figuring out who this girl most resembled. Then we came across the Disney movie, Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie. They both had high cheek bones. So that’s how she became Maleficent!

This photoshoot called for a road trip to Squires Castle in Cleveland, Ohio. Built in the 1800’s, this castle was going to be a gatehouse but along with the mansion was never completed. I was drawn to it because it looked like a castle and since it was unfinished it gave an eerie effect that I thought would be a perfect place for a Disney villain.

Her costume was a black dress, which I’ve had forever. I borrowed the cape and the horns from a local dance company and the headpiece was a necklace.

I wanted her hair to be black for this shoot so she was willing to temporarily dye her hair for the photos. What a trooper!


Wendy’s costume along with her hair and makeup was the easiest of all my Disney characters. I had only one location in mind for her photos. An old 19th century mansion in Akron, Ohio which was purchased by a church to be converted into office space made the perfect location for Wendy. In the photo, where Wendy was looking out the window, I had to climb out that third story window to get the shot. We had a short amount of time to finish the photoshoot but with faith, trust, and pixie dust they turned out really well!


Esmeralda’s costume was so much fun to put together! She actually had three dresses layered over each other. The top part of her dress was from one of my old pirate halloween costumes. The purple skirt and the lace dress, an amazing find, was found at a thrift store.

In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, many scenes were set in the Cathedral of Notre Dame. So of course, I wanted to find a location that resembled that magnificent cathedral. I came across St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Canton, Ohio and thought it would be perfect for Esmeralda. Half way to the church we realized we forgot the hoop earrings and it was too late to turn around. (You can’t have a gypsy costume without hoop earrings.) So we found the nearest Walmart, ran in and got the cheapest hoop earrings we could find. Then I had to catch the priest to get his permission to photograph in the church. I’m so glad he didn’t say no because I didn’t have a back up plan.


The girl who was Merida, has been in my photoshoots from the beginning! She was in my first movie inspired photoshoot, which was Alice in Wonderland, back in 2014.

For her costume, I used a velvet green dress that I’ve had ever since I can remember, but never actually used it for anything. I think it was my aunt’s dress back in the 70’s. It worked perfectly for Merida. The quiver was a brown bag rolled up and pinned on the sides so it would look long and skinny. I borrowed the bow from a friend and made the arrows.

Finding a location for this photoshoot was easy. We went to Sand Run Park in Akron, Ohio. The only thing I really had to edit was her hair. She already had soft red hair but for the sake of the photos I decided to enhance it a lot more.


Belle’s costume was a bit tricky to find. Once I found it I had to cut off the sleeves and the bottom of the dress to fit the length that I wanted.

We ended up going to Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron, Ohio for the photoshoot. This beautiful old mansion was built in the early 1900’s and I thought the gate house on the property would make a perfect backdrop for Belle.

I couldn’t find a ballroom to shoot Belle in her famous yellow dress. Instead, I took some closeups of her in my backyard holding the iconic red rose.


The makeup, costumes, and locations for the villains were so fun to create. The costume for The Evil Queen was not the original costume. I had a navy and black vintage lace pattern dress that I wanted her to wear but it ended up being too short. So she ended up layering 3 dresses plus a corset to create this look. She has been in 2 of my movie inspired photoshoots and ended up wearing the same black corset for both costumes.

For her makeup, I wanted something dark and bold. To get her hair to stand up on her head we used a foam cup and wrapped her hair around it.

I was not planning on waiting to do her photos during the winter, but I was out of town and that was the only time I had to take them. As it turned out it worked for the better. The day we took her photos it was only 15 degrees outside. Good thing she had three layers on! I brought hand and foot warmers, hoping it would help a bit. We were only outside for about 30 minutes before we couldn’t take the cold anymore. Still, her photos are some of my favorites!


For Snow White it was also around 15 degrees during this photoshoot. We went to a park not far from my house. I originally wanted to go to a tiny abandoned cabin in the woods. I thought it would be perfect for Snow White because it looked like the dwarves’ cottage. However, I wasn’t sure which park the cabin was at and I couldn’t find it for the life of me. I don’t know if they tore it down or I was looking in the wrong places. So I had to go to plan B.

Snow White’s dress was her old prom dress. I thought it was perfect for her costume because it was very princess-like. Since it was so cold out and there was snow on the ground I wanted to give her a cape. So the night before the shoot I ran to Walmart and grabbed a navy blue bed sheet and some yellow ribbon. I wanted to incorporate Snow White’s colors into the cape. I don’t think it looks like a bed sheet in the photos.

She was willing to do anything for these photos with no complaints. It was even her idea to lay down in the snow for some of the shots. I didn’t have the heart to ask her because saying it was cold that day would be an understatement.

Watch the behind the scenes videos!

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