Category Archives: PERSONAL

Golden haze

When springtime comes round the corner, I have this little tradition of doing “spontaneous” outdoor portraits… it usually goes like this: days get longer, I start seeing the sun firsthand and not through an office window and I get location wanderlust. These searches always end up with somewhere I just got to shoot but due to the short lifespan of springtime locations, it must be executed in record time. Cue me doing the rounds of social media asking for guinea pigs willing subjects, something I usually don’t like to do as I always dread what is going to pop up from my inbox.

This year was no different, but it sure was easier to organise as I had the perfect spot right on my doorstep: the garden in my apartment complex has three huge Forsythia (always have to Google the spelling on that one!) bushes and they were just about to go in to full bloom… I just needed to find the perfect girl to fill the tangerine yellow wig lying around my house from another shoot and got lucky on day one of my search when Miss Sorry volunteered.

Obligatory plug: Miss Sorry is also a fab photographer, so if you like tongue in cheek photos of lovely ladies with lots of tattoes and not that many clothes, be sure to check her out!

IMG_5068

IMG_5038

IMG_4899

IMG_4932

I also took the time to finally test properly the Lens Baby Composer I got for Christmas -yes, I took my sweet time, I know! It’s a nice trick lens if you like the soft focus effect and the mad blurring, but it takes a hell of a time to get used to and to focus properly!

01

Leave a comment

Filed under PERSONAL, PHOTOGRAPHY, Uncategorized

Creature II – Goddess

IMG_3171-mini

The second creature of my triptych was actually the last one I shot chronologically… but I posted “Wraith” at a time when I was experiencing creative setbacks and was both mentally and physically drained, so I find it fitting to showcase “Goddess” when things are slowly beginning to look up again.

I was looking to portray a kind of beauty that was classical in movement and posture but had somewhat of a feral quality: lucky for me, I knew just the girl… I shot lovely Sara in the past and she was the perfect fit!
Another major inspiration for this is the work of Italian painter Saturno Buttò: I’ve always loved his use of dramatic light and rich colour palettes, but I find even more interesting how his paintings have always a time dichotomy, showcasing modern concepts/feelings in a baroque framework.

Model: Sara Briar Rose
Horns & headdress: Resplendor Atelier

IMG_2945(1)

IMG_2978

IMG_3056

Leave a comment

Filed under PERSONAL, PHOTOGRAPHY, Uncategorized

Creature I – Wraith

header

It’s been a difficult, tiring period for me and the escapism that I usually seek elsewhere sneaked into my photography… an initial project of taking “just a couple of beauty shots” morphed along the way into something else entirely. When I finished editing, instead of cleancut glamour what was looking at me from the other side of the screen were three creatures from another time, more myths than women.

I am happy to start the new year with Wraith, the first instalment of the project born through the collaboration with make up artist Archa Make up as well as italian designers Videnoir and Resplendor Atelier.

Model: TanyaBat
Make-up: Archa Make up
Styling: Videnoir

IMG_2347

IMG_2361

IMG_2301

IMG_2379

Leave a comment

Filed under PERSONAL, PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

IMG_9414

IMG_9401

IMG_9495

IMG_9496

IMG_9504

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!

image

4 Comments

Filed under PERSONAL, PHOTOGRAPHY

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.

beige-paper-texture

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! :-)

7 Comments

Filed under DESIGN, PERSONAL

Female chauvinist pigs

It’s been a while since I did a Book & Nail post: the constant diy that a new home brings forth has reduced my nails to stubs and frankly, I’ve been neglecting the poor things too long! It’s also ironic that I’m giving in to “girly girl” urges immediately after finishing this particular book, but hey… that’s life.

This time I’m going for Ghetto barbie nails
Fake glue-ons with minimal square cut, hand drawn and with a matte topcoat.

Also, a minor disclaimer: the sort-of-feminist musings that follow should be taken just like that… I’m not denouncing anything or pointing fingers here: as a matter of fact, I am probably planted firmly in the chauvinist pig category myself.

IMG_6861

I picked up Female Chauvinist Pigs during my last trip to the USA in a small bookstore that was basically the living room of a private house, with floors bent by the weight of books stacked everywhere. Used bookstores in holiday spots are strange places and they often surprise me with what people choose to read on their vacation. This particular store was indeed a gem… the memories of an englishmen in Florence during the times of the “Mostro di Firenze” case? Rare occult books? One on insects in criminology? Best of all, not a single Dan Brown or Sophie Kinsella book in sight… who knew that a two-road-town could attract readers like these?

Going back to Ariel Levy’s book, I picked it up from the shelf just to have a good laugh at the cover: unassuming clipart design coupled with Impact title and a 100% magenta background? What was the designer thinking? It looks more like a mockup than a final draft.

IMG_6873

Amused by the title and the blurb on the back, I decided to pinch my snobby designer nose and buy it. A winning idea, as it turned out that the standardized bimbo clipart and blaring “meme” font were particularly well chosen to fit the content, an intriguing analisys of how raunch culture and porno-isation are getting more and more popular with women of the western world, flattening alternative avenues of expression. I won’t review it in depth but this Guardian article sums it up quite nicely.

IMG_6891

Female Chauvinist Pigs deals mainly with the current situation in the USA, but considering that mass culture and the internet have made Italy little more than a dumping ground for trends, I believe that it applies very well to our situation…. in example, you can see Sex & the City mentality in the spending habits and in the proliferation of fashionista blogs that are little more than cries for attention.

IMG_6881

The cult of pornstars-as-mainstream-stars is taking hold here as well: I heard more women than men fawning about Sasha Grey’s visit in Italy and I strongly doubt that all of these were fans of her career. Rather, it’s just another facet of a trend that sees women capitalizing on raunchiness in order to be placed on the same plane as their male counterparts: “I like tits & ass just like you, therefore I am cool and interesting, I am one of the guys”.

IMG_6903

It’s interesting to note that, the more women are acting like men, the more they mimick and idolise an extreme form of female sexuality that is mainly man-driven… and while Levy focuses or porn stars and strippers, in Italy we have only to look at the current events to see the bunga bunga girls in action -in a minor way, one could also make a case for the proliferation of the met-art / nude model scene too.
In my work in advertising and in photography, I have been very lucky with my collaborations and have generally met incredible girls, but there have been times when I came in contact with people of that ilk and I am reminded of how certain subcultures (especially when social media is concerned) thrive on raunch and are used by women as a way to feel empowered and exercise an amount of superiority that wouldn’t be possible if the sexual element was removed from the equation… and that, in my opinion, is something that makes it hard to be taken seriously in any other way.

Leave a comment

Filed under BOOKS & NAILS, PERSONAL

Back on the saddle!

Getting back into blogging after a break partially due to several vacations, a broken cellphone and most of all the mother of all moves… now that I’ve stopped being surrounded by boxes and I am finally down to the last stages (putting drapes and shelves is downright light compared to all the heavy lifting stuff I had to endure all August!) I can finally focus on something other than the Ikea catalogue.

Before getting into full speed I got to start slow, so here are a couple of commissioned shots that were actually taken in July, but were edited in the new house -when I finally had the time to unbox the computers! A couple of simple promotional portraits of the two lovely Femmes Fatales sisters, in their Sweet Candy burlesque outfits.

IMG_3604

IMG_3629

IMG_4234

IMG_4256

1 Comment

Filed under PERSONAL, PHOTOGRAPHY