When Helena contacted me, I saw her lovely red hair and facial features and immediately knew she'd make a great Victorian lady. I had the perfect blouse and skirt in my studio wardrobe for the look. Helena created a fantastic Victorian updo for herself and applied just the right amount of makeup for the era.
Posing proved to be tricky. The blouse is fantastic, but puffy. In order to not make Helena's slim figure look bulky, we played with a few different poses. She tried a few fashion poses, but those didn't work with the period garb. I asked her to stand arms akimbo (magazine cover style), but the sleeves were too puffy. Finally, I suggested keeping it demure, like the time period. Helena elegantly clasped her hands in front of her and created a nice "v", tapering her figure and solving our puffy blouse dilemma.
Because most of the Currier and Ives images I grew up with were in the Winter, I wanted to place this Victorian portrait in a cool, Winter scene. We did not have enough snow on the ground this early in the season. So, we kept it in the studio and faked it.