Legends and fairy tales. The appeal to this genre may seem strange to some, but for me this has been a theme I’ve visited many times with my art and photography. For me fairytales hold appeal because they represent a break from the hum-drum many of us experience with our daily lives. When we were young fairytales seemed to be within easy reach and becoming a princess or astronaut seemed as sure as our morning cereal. As we get older the reality sits in and those childhood dreams seem about as possible as pole vaulting to the moon. This is why I always seek to break away from traditional photography and use different techniques and products that will give my clients a piece of fairytale they can have forever.
I draw inspiration for my fairytale images from many different places. The largest being the work of other great artist such as Natalie Shau in Lithuania, Dorian Cleavenger in Pennsylvania, Lindsay Adler, (with whom I just finished a very awesome class over at creativeLIVE) and many more I’d love to list, but don’t think I’d have the room!
Another reason for fairytale type photography was to set ourselves apart. When we first started Oni Studio we had no idea how many of other photographers there were in the area, and how much competition there was in this industry. Although at that time we were so amateur we couldn’t really call ourselves competition, lol! Once we really got to looking, we found seven other photographers in five mile radius of us. Many of these photographers had been in business for quite a while, were very established and producing very good quality images. It was an intimidating prospect and for a long time we just practiced with our camera trying to see if this was something we really wanted to get heavily invested in. We realized very early in the game that if we wanted to stand out amongst our peers and become successful in the photography industry we would have to produce not only high quality images, but images that would instantly be recognized as our style. Since I had always been interested in dark fantasy and fairytales I wanted to incorporate it into my photography. I want people to look at a photograph and right away recognize it and say, “that’s Oni Studio’s work!”.
One of the things I have always been interested in is incorporating fantastic props into our pictures. I didn’t want it to come across as tacky or gimmicky, I wanted the props to add to the image, not be the focus of it, and this is always tricky to pull off. One day while I was browsing Etsy I came across a seller named “Posh Fairytale Couture”, which featured some of the most beautiful photo props I have ever seen. I spent about thirty minutes on her page just in awe of her work. After talking with Rachel, the owner of the company, I discovered she was not only a talented creator, but a very beautiful and nice person, and she was also a military spouse like me! I cannot recommend Rachel and her company enough. When I was buying the props from her she kept me updated throughout the construction and sent me instragrams of my head dress. Now I know where I’m getting my props from for the next couple of years!
It’s strange, but during the edit the piece began looking familiar to me, and then I realized what I was doing, making it look like “Lily” from the movie “Legend”, (at least subconsciously). I’m sure many of you have never seen this 1986 sleeper film starring Tom Cruise and directed by Ridley Scott, but if you have kids or you like fantasy film it’s a great one to pick up.
The last, (and maybe most exciting!) bit we would like to share with you is the publication of one of my favorite images I did in Essere Magazine! Although the image is one of our older ones it’s still one of my favorites.
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