Tattoos and silk

A little bit of mid-week eyecandy. Despite apparently continuing the Japanese inspired trend that my latest post started, these were shot quite some time before -the last from my daylong session with miss Cleo Viper before her leaving Italy.

Model: Cleo Viper
(with a special cameo of Sir Dante Balzac in the last photo)
Make up: Please Kill Anita

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Silent devotion

After a week of being buried in kleenexes and aspirines thanks to a bout of the flu, here I am with another update. I have several sets to publish and I am so hideously behind schedule, oh my!

I love shibari photos that take it up a notch and aren’t just snapshots of people tied up like quarts of meat: there’s a poetry and beauty to the act that sadly is lost in many of the shoots I see, so when I had a chance to work with talented rope master Andrea and with my friend and muse of many years Ilaria I was determined to do the medium justice.

My first thought was to use the ropes as metaphor of the ties binding a woman to her loved one in a difficult relationship, but I also wanted to use either flowers or plants to soften the scene and give it visual depth. Ajisai (hydrangeas) have a special meaning in Japanese culture: their everchanging colour represents an unquiet spirit and to me was a perfect counterpart to the shibari.

Photographer: Anna Lucylle Taschini
Model: Ilaria Sea of Sin
Makeup: Sabrina Alberio
Shibari & vintage kimono: Andrea Ropes

More from this set can be found on ArtAbout Magazine.

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A little background story about the flowers and the lenghts you sometimes have to go in order to create the vision you have in mind. I live in Milan, so there’s a distinct shortage of green spaces. However, I am lucky to live in a residential area where most of the condos have gardens with flowering plants, including my coveted hydrangeas.

Of course, while technically not illegal, being seen picking flowers is a big social no-no, so this meant that the day of the shoot I woke up at 4:45 am, armed myself with a pair of heavy duty scissors and an Ikea bag and slinked away through the neighbourhood on a mission to get as much flowers I could without defacing the bushes by overpicking: this meant getting 3-4 flowers max from each and then moving on to the next. After two hours and several trips around the block without a problem (other than when I decided that the plants in the middle of a busy roundabout where the perfect shape to complement the hydrangeas so I had to jump in plain sight for a while and got honked to death by each passing car) I had enough material to fill the set -or at least, the bathtub while I waited for everyone to show up!

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Sicilian mood

Recently, I spent some time with lovely Titì la Noire, who wanted some classic black and white portraits to showcase her mediterranean beauty at best.

After a pizzica-filled afternoon, this was the result… a transformation from sicilian tomboy to a Bellucci-inspired bombshell.

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Updates and a couple of questions for you!

Today marks the end of my summer holidays so I thought it would be fitting to give a little facelift to my online presence -getting ready for the fall season so to speak. As far as the blog goes, I am quite happy with my WordPress arrangement so the only novelty here is the updated signature logo on the header.

I revamped the logo a couple of months ago, making it more similar in style to my actual handwriting (though still keeping it different from my proper signature, I really don’t think that 100% accurate signature logos should exist online!), so here it is in all its curlicued glory.

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The rest of the novelties here are more content-driven and here’s where the question to you reader come out: right now, I am posting only completed photography shoots that I think are portfolio worthy: the downside is that updates are rather slow to come by.
Starting from september, I am implementing a weekly posting schedule with the goal to post twice a week by the end of the year, so I would like to have some feedback on the type of non properly photographic updates.

What would you like to see me writing about?

A) Do it yourself/backstage posts (such as the making of costumes and props, but also more personal ones detailing what goes on in my mind during the process).
B) More technical aspects such as shooting and editing
(kind of like this post about shooting non caucasian people)
C) Lifestyle/object related post that deal with my materialistic cravings (such as this post about CMYK designer goodies) or with particular exhibitions/events I attended (like this Mi Art fair post)

Let me know what you think! :-)

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Mitzi von Wolfgang

Today I decided to post a little throwback mix… I am probably influenced by the passing away of Lauren Bacall, one of the big film noir stars that sadly is little remembered despite starring in movies with iconic actors such as Bogart or Brando.

These are excerpts from two sets I shot with lovely Mitzi von Wolfgang, headmistress of the Milan Burlesque School and the very definition of class: within five minutes of meeting her, I realized she had more elegance in her little finger than I have in my (rather substantial) body so I was quite glad I had the occasion to shoot her more than once. Make up was done by Arianna Arcelli for the fan shoot, while Olga Bordoni was the make up artist in the uniform shoot.

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What can I say…there’s something about a woman with a uniform that just gets me. :-)

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The nameless one

Usually when I get commissions it’s more along the lines of the client wanting something similar to a previous shoot of mine, or to build a shoot around a very specific item/outfit. This time it was a bit different as lovely Ilaria caught me by surprise with a bona fide case study, complete with illustrations and moodboards. With a start like that, it took little time to put together the rest of the team/logistics… and despite the fact that by shooting this concept I broke one of my self-appointed rules (never shoot a calavera, hehehe!) I was quite pleased of how these show Ilaria’s personality despite the makeup.

Model and concept: Ilaria Iacoviello
Stylist: Monica Moretti
Body painting: Francesco Di Santo

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I whipped out the smoke machine for a couple of shoots towards the end.

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And this is a little backstage video of the bodypainting process.

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Ahoy, sailor!

As I mentioned in the past, Cleo and I managed to squeeze an incredible amount of looks in just one helluva workday, right before she went on a globe-hopping, ass-shimmying tour from place to place.

I posted the circus portraits, these on the other hand are more straightforward shots geared for flyers and promotional material, taken with her sailor outfit.

Model: Cleo Viper
Make up: Anita Alberti
Outfit: Sara Skull

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And to close things up, a little black and white portrait.

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