There is something about the steampunk aesthetic that will always be timeless. The accents, the details, and the highlights present in the theme will always be around, and will always be just strange enough to stand out yet belong to an idea at the same time. I enjoy capturing timelessness in my work, and in such alternative and edge atmospheres I play with the many ways to bring that concept to life in a time of its own. This series focuses on the softer edges of what is considered an abrasive style. Its sensual, its delicate, yet it simultaneously exonerates strength and power.
Title: Hazy Leather
Photographer – Emily Gualdoni
Makeup and Hair – Kate Johnson
Prop Stylist – Adriana Amarei Soleim
Wadrobe/Accessory Designer – Rachel Frank
Models – Nasreen with Agency Galatea
“Hazy Leather” was published in Dark Beauty Magazine. To view the issue, please visit this link: http://bit.ly/DBM_31
With a creative dream team, I joined Rachel Goldberg of Thanatos Courture to shoot her garments about the original Cinderella story. With poise and grace, the beautiful models emphasized the visceral and dramatic real story that varies greatly from a Disney fairytale. Using subtle hints to reference bold moments in the story, the garments offer a unique aesthetic on a seductive interpretation of the tale. Keep reading for more details!
Rachel Goldberg, an independent Chicago designer now living in California was the talent that gave birth to this amazing garment collection. They are one-of-a-kind masterpieces based on the original Cinderella story. The series is named “True Cinderella” to reflect how the collection aims to expose the traditional, cruel, gruesome story of Cinderella in contrast to Disney’s happily-ever-after interpretation. With grace and elegance, I tried to emphasize the hints Rachel put in her design to the original story. The best example of this can be found in the stepsisters’ details. Their shoes are adorned with concentrated red rhinestones to reference how the sisters mutilated their feet to fit the slipper, and there are black birds tangled in their hair to illustrate how birds came during Cinderella’s wedding to punish them with blindness (also shown with their red velvet eye patches).
I feel that this series offers a unique aesthetic on not only a “well known” story, but it uses my personal style to deliver a visual treat. All of the models were stunningly gorgeous (yes, even the prince was pretty) and carried themselves with such poise. It fit the vibe given off by the stylized garments flawlessly. The overall look strives to be daring yet seductive while exposing the world to something it’s never seen before.
The shoot itself was a great all day affair. My team came together like a well oiled machine, touching up makeup, making sure the garments were intact, blasting the smoke machine to add a soft haze to a whole section of photos, lighting tweaks, and endless collaboration. A great addition to the atmosphere was how much everyone enjoyed being there. Even when the first two models (Cinderella and the Prince) were done, they stuck around for a while to watch what happened next. The hard work paid off, and the shoot was featured by several magazines and blogs (Unfolded, Glassbook, Dark Beauty, Trend Hunter). Check out some of my favorite shots below the credits to see how the shoot turned out for yourself.
I absolutely loved photographing gorgeous and unique faced, Clara Rae in this futuristic/retro Chicago fashion editorial shoot. The whole creative team had such great chemistry and a strong vision. The end result was published in two well-known fashion magazines. Keep reading to find out about all the details.
Back in September I worked on a shoot that I designed to challenge myself into going farther than I normally do. My aesthetic goal was incorporate both retro and futuristic themes without them contradicting each other. The makeup, the hats, the hair, it all alludes to the 1920’s while rocketing the look into the future with the use of edgy color, heavily textured and metallic backgrounds, dynamic lighting, alternative shooting, all with an overall gist of beauty, darkness, and strength. My model for the shoot, Clara, emotionally expressed these themes flawlessly. It was the first time I worked with her, and the way she moves was so fitting. Towards the bottom of this post I have a video that was filmed that day to give you a look of what it was like to be there. You can see for yourself this way just how well the atmosphere came together.
This was also the first time I collaborated with a nail artist. Ashley Crowe aka “Astrowifey” went above and beyond my expectations. She designed the most beautiful nails on the spot that perfectly matched our theme. Sharp, holographic, and exploding out of the box. I think this was one of the details that really helped rocket the shoot further. This was also the first time I built as many extravagant sets as I did. Using primarily metal and plastic materials, I had a blast mounting, hanging, collaging, and putting together these tiny worlds. I made 6 sets in total.
One of the best parts of this shoot was how it all came together after it was over. I enjoyed the editing process on such a dynamic look. I used a lot of alternative shooting methods so almost all of the crazy things you see in the photos are actually done in person using only in-camera editing. The biggest challenge here was balancing the light sources from a projector and standard strobes. On top of that it was published by two magazines. Glassbook featured it as one of their online editorials and Ashley Crowe had it published in Tipsy Magazine, a nail art mag that gave it a huge spread. I can’t thank my team enough for making this one such a good experience.