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.
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!
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.
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.
What can I say…there’s something about a woman with a uniform that just gets me. :-)
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
I whipped out the smoke machine for a couple of shoots towards the end.
And this is a little backstage video of the bodypainting process.
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
And to close things up, a little black and white portrait.
During the past year or so I had the pleasure to work on both the art direction and the photography of Mystical Fullmoon’s new release.
While I still can’t showcase the booklet’s artwork, I got the green light to post the promotional shoot.
Intended both for press purposes and for the cd booklet, the shoot was supposed to be a progression from their old look: to go with the rest of the artwork, I had them covered in layers of clay, dirt and metallic powders.
Models: Mystical Fullmoon
Make up artist: Arianna Arcelli.
Below is a short backstage video of both the make up process and the different stages of editing done to the main group photo.
Last year I had the pleasure to photograph the two minds behind Ricette Rock, an italian based food & music resource website geared towards people who like their music loud and their burgers as tall as the stack of Marshalls at a Spinal Tap gig.
Now they have branched out into merchandise (with illustrations by Lele Lutteri) and have a nifty array of products combining their two main features in a tongue in cheek way that I found adorable. I spent a rather busy day assembling all the visuals needed for their e-shop and I’m happy to say they’re now online so have a peek at the results and happy shopping! ^_^
First of all, some of the product shots… got to love that knife and fork skull.
We had two models for the apparel catalogue, Stefano and Valentina, who bravely put up with me constantly bitching about the curtains that we were using as a background: I can’t stand wonky lines, so guess who spent most of the time rearranging the damn things trying to get them straight? Make up was handled by my usual go-to girl, miss Arianna Arcelli.
We also shot a couple with a busier setting, to use as presentation material and general eyecandy.