One of my latest shoots was taking photographs of the lovely best friends, Charlotte and Harriet. There were two parts to the shoot and for the first part, which I am showing today, we had the most hilarious time lugging sofas and heaven knows what else into a kitchen to create a set I had been imagining since I knew Harriet had red hair. Peacock feathers, jewels, black fur, velvet. The resulting images can’t help but make you wonder and dream up stories of who these girls, in amongst all the sumptuousness, might be.
The shoot was about opulence and isolation. The black void behind the girls is disorienting yet we are familiar with it if we have seen old portrait paintings created by the likes of Titian and Vermeer. The girls in the photographs are in an unknown place yet they sit so comfortably with the extravagance around them.
It was a strange place to shoot in. Through the lens I saw this empty perfection and then in between shots I looked up and saw a very alive kitchen. I can only compare it to putting your head underwater and feeling everything go silent, like you have entered another world, then coming up for air again.
Preparing for the shoot I decided we could do without dresses, much to the girls horror, but they relaxed very quickly and it wasn’t for the purpose of showing anything usually kept private, more to keep the colour scheme simple as there were peacock feathers, purple cushions, embroidered flower cushions, fur, velvet… Yes. We could do without a dress as well. It was all about the colour scheme (darling) and I’m very pleased with it: muted tones with touches of jewel colour.
I kept the makeup structured and very neat. And the jewels from hoard were the show piece.
I hope you enjoy the hollow beauty and the promise of a story in these pictures. See if you can guess what thoughts run behind those perfect faces. Faces of Persian princesses, or Parisian courtesans? Of young Russian girls on their wedding day or artists’ muses? Where are they from? What are their names? Where have they been?
Create your own world…
I hope you enjoyed this mini post. I wanted to do one before I go to Paris. I hope the images pulled you into a little story and world of your own creation even for a few seconds.
It’s amazing what you can do with a sofa in a kitchen and a little imagination.
Let me know all about your musings…
All images copyright of Diana Patient.