Celebrate LENA's 2nd Birthday with our Summer of Freedom Photoshoot

It's our birthday and we're celebrating with a super-summery period proud pool party, photographed by Ashley Armitage.

Sun's out, school's out, and the news is out – it's LENA Cup's second birthday! To celebrate, we asked the period proud photographer Ashley Armitage (aka @Ladyist) to throw us a pool party to embrace summer, friends and what LENA is all about: Freedom. Freedom to swim, chill, laugh, dance, dress up, dress down and party all day long...even on our periods.

Hear about the influences, inspiration, and unique styling and models behind Ashley's shoot, and stay tuned for more ways to celebrate your Summer of Freedom with LENA.

What were your main influences for this shoot?

For this shoot, I really wanted to focus on friendship and the bonding that can happen over menstruation. I was envisioning this shoot as "a day at the pool with friends in the summertime." This shoot feels especially intimate and nostalgic for me because we shot it at my childhood swimming pool that I grew up going to in the summers. I also hired my friends for this, so although it was a day of work, it felt like we were all just hanging out at the pool.

How is your photography process different when shooting outside or in the summer? Were there elements you wanted to capture to embody summer?
Shooting outside feels a lot more intrinsic than studio shoots to me because I don't really need a lot of equipment. Unfortunately, in Seattle, it's grey and rainy 7 months of the year so I always look forward to summers when I can finally shoot outside in the sun again. In this shoot I just really wanted to capture the carefree, laid-back, and feel-good vibes that summer brings.
Who did the styling and what was the inspiration behind the clothes?
Keara Matthiesen is the wonderful stylist for this! I first met her on a Nordstrom shoot in December and her and I really clicked in terms of visions. Initially, I gave her some color palettes and designer names that I wanted like Molly Goddard and Simone Rocha, and then I let her run with it! I love the vibrant colors, girly ruffles, and cutesy frills that she brought onto this shoot.
Can you talk a bit about the models you chose for this shoot? Why was it important to you to show the diversity of body shapes?
The models on this shoot are all actually friends of mine, and they're people I collaborate with all the time. That intimacy that comes from friendship is actually the most important part. I think it's so important to have a bond with models and be able to have fun and communicate easily on set. Since they're all friends of mine I think they really understand my vision, so it all works out beautifully. Diversity is so important. I try to do my best to not just shoot the same cookie-cutter skinny, white, model-type that we see in media most of the time.
Finally, what are three things you can't live without during the summer?
DEODERANT, rose water spray, and sunscreen.



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