A simple game of dress-up has earned an Okanagan woman some high profile media attention.
Photographer Camillia Courts’s Disney inspired photos were profiled this week by Cosmopolitan magazine and the Huffington Post and now her work is going “semi viral” with millions of hits logged.
“It’s pretty exciting,” she said. “The Huffington Post contacted me last week, and Cosmo pulled from that. We’ve gone semi-viral a few times before and I kind of knew that people like what we’re doing. This is by far the biggest exposure we’ve had.”
While she’s experiencing new found success with her family cosplay, there’s more than enough evidence to indicate that people have liked what Courts, her daughter Layla and makeup artist Missy MacKintosh have been doing for awhile.
Courts’ photos —which feature every Disney character from Frozen’s Elsa to the Little Mermaid’s sea witch —have a following on Instagram nearly a million strong. More impressive, perhaps, is that a simple Google search of her name yields roughly 800 news stories, written in just about every language from points all across the globe.
Her growth into all corners of the internet started in August when her work was featured in Hello Giggles, a webpage that actress Zooey Deschanel founded.
“Once that took off, my Facebook page had about 105,000 shares,” she said. “Now my phone is ringing off the hook. You want people to see your photos, and we’re very flattered that people seem to care, but it’s intimidating and exciting.”
The value as Courts sees it, however, has less to do with numbers and more to do with creating a unique way to document her daughter growing up.
It’s also provided welcome and unexpected side-effect.
They had their first photoshoot in 2014 after the perfect family trip to Disneyland with Layla and her older brother Aiden. There, she picked up an Elsa dress for Layla, and decided to take photos before it wore the marks of a beloved play-thing.
The photos were a hit, so she kept shooting new Disney scenes and the costumes got more and more intricate.
“She is a shy kid and I see a change for the better with her when I put on the costumes,” said Courts. “She’s different — she comes up with more ideas and she’s more chatty. She becomes a little performer.”
The photos have become a bit more intricate since those early days, as well.
Now she’s working with MacKintosh who raises the bar on the makeup.
Mackintosh who does work for Opera Kelowna, was trained at high-end makeup schools in Vancouver and Paris, was asked to help out in 2015. Since then they’ve come up with new ways to bring beloved Disney characters to life.
“It’s been amazing to work with (Courts),” she said. “We push each other in different directions and the results are amazing.”
To see MacKintosh’s work check it out @MissyMacKintosh on Instagram.