When Dreams Come True

This past year has taught me a lot about dreams. Not the kind that you have when you’re sleeping. The kind that keep you up at night. The dreams that make your heart race and make you jump out of bed in the morning. The dreams that are pulled into reality with a big vision, a great support system and hard work.

I’ve learned that those dreams can be as real as ever, just as soon as you stop dreaming and start doing. That’s the scary part. The doing. The taking of the action. The “What if I fail?” moments. It’s during this time that you start wondering if the Big Vision is a silly vision. The Great Support System starts to wonder if they are ever going to see your face again… if dinner will be on the table…if the house will be clean. The Hard Work becomes so exhausting that you are reduce to tears. But you keep going. It’s the passion that drove that dream into your heart in the first place that keeps you going even in those horrible moments of self-doubt. 

Rust Belt Lifestyle is one of those dreams. A concept that Tami Weingartner and I have talked about for years. Taking action and making it happen was a leap of faith for us. Our Vision is still BIG! These humble beginnings are just the start for us! The hard work will never end. We are up for the challenge. But since the launch of our inaugural issue one thing has change…our support system grew. The amount of support from friends and family and our community has been AMAZING! We are so thankful for your words of encouragement and willingness to share Rust Belt Lifestyle with everyone you know! 

So today I’m going to share with you a little back story about one of the styled shoots you can find in Rust Belt Lifestyle. It’s a story about a dream as well. The dream of an 11 year old.

Anyone who personally knows my daughter Sophia, knows she has a personality that’s hard to come by in a small child. One of her many quirks is her obsession with Audrey Hepburn. While most young girls would twirl around in Disney Princess costumes, you would find Sophia dressed in a sleek black dress wearing pearls, or roaming about the house in a babushka singing Moon River. 

Now, for anyone who knows Tami Weingartner, you know she has a deep love for all things Ralph Lauren.
But what most people don’t know is how these two obsessions could possibly come together.

You see there’s this book. Simply called, Ralph Lauren. As it happens with most friends who spend A LOT of time together, Tami got me hooked on the book as well. We both own a copy and have spent hours upon hours studying and discussing the imagery in the book. I’ll stop here before I spin off into a tangent about all the glorious things you will find within it’s pages and suffice to say that Audrey Hepburn wrote the forward to Ralph’s book.

Wedding season is a bit stressful for Sophia. I’m gone, more than I’m home. Tami has bore witness to the pitiful late night phone calls from Sophia as we drive home from weddings near midnight. Her little voice on the other end “Mommy are you almost home, I miss you.” Week after week of these sad calls were enough to spark the vision. Tami promised Sophia her very own personal Audrey Hepburn photo shoot for her birthday. 

In Tami’s words ” You give a nod to archives of Slim Aaron and a wink to the iconic vision & storytelling of the one and only Mr. Ralph Lauren. And you pull out all the stops to create something unique and fun.”

We made it happen. We had so much fun scouring thrift stores and vintage boutiques coming up with the most perfect wardrobe to pay tribute to the iconic photos of Audrey leaving Rome in 1960. The story transitions into what Tami saw as “the modern day Audrey” wearing none other than Ralph Lauren.

 We knew we had something special. We decided to save them for the Magazine. The hardest part was sitting on them for so long. The shoot took place back in August, just 10 days before Sophia’s 12 birthday.

So here you have it. Just a few of the many shots I took along side Tami that evening. A dream come true as Sophia took on the persona of Audrey Hepburn herself. And let’s not forget Sophia’s Yorkie, Lilly as she plays the part of Audrey Hepburn’s Yorkie, Mr. Famous.

I’ll be rolling out more images on my Instagram throughout the week. Be sure to follow me @NICOLECASSANOPHOTO

But most importantly be sure to see the compilation of mine and Tami’s work on this shoot in Rust Belt Lifestyle Magazine. We hope you love what you see and the best way to show your support is to share the link and spread the word about the magazine!

Location: New Castle Airport

Wardrobe: Ralph Lauren | Three Rivers Vintage | Daniel Wellington | Kiel James Patrick

Concept: Tami Weingartner

Photography: Nicole Cassano

Model: Sophia, better known professionally as Josephine.

Published in: Rust Belt Lifestyle

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