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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
This last month has been hectic for me, hence the scarce (or rather, unexisting!) updates to the blog. Hopefully this will change a bit as I have a stream of finished projects to finally show off.
I’ve been wanting to shoot Cleo Viper, Christopher Wonder and their cadre of pets for some time, and during the course of a rather taxing day we managed to squeeze in several sets. These are the first two, while others more focused on miss Cleo herself will be coming up in the near future.
First in line, a sort of formal portrait of the whole group -got to love that American Gothic vibe!
A couple of monochrome shots of Christopher and Sir Dante, dog extraordinaire.
Some more old timey shots. All of these were taken in their Cabinet of Wonders and I must say, the amount of awesome props in that place could keep me busy for months.
I have been working on my second installment of anthropomorphic fonts for what seems to be ages. Finally, I was able to find the time to pull a weekender and finish writing, editing and assembling everything! So without further ado, here’s what I think Zapfino looks like, if it was a human!
The model I chose for this is lovely Roberta Pazzesque, who also assembled the outfit. What can I say… got to love a jack of all trades!
As per usual, click on the images to see them full size! 🙂