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Sleeping Maidens: A New Project

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Up until now, my photo shoots have always been one-off ideas, rather than ongoing projects, but lately, rather than having 1000 individual ideas bouncing around in my head, I’ve had 1000 intertwined ideas filling my head, and stories to accompany them.

This is where my ‘Sleeping Maidens’ project comes in. Over the next several months, I’ll be creating a series of images with a whimsical, romantic, Sleeping Beauty-esque feel to them, inspired by Ophelia, to the Romanticism movement, to fairy tales and folklore. I’m so excited to put my these ideas into motion, and to see what I create at the end of these next months – perhaps a book?

Of course, every step of the project will be documented on this project, including behind the scenes images – perhaps even a video or two.

If you’re a model, makeup artist, hair stylist, wardrobe stylist, fashion, jewellery or accessories designer, if you’re a retoucher, a videographer who’s happy to step in and film some BTS footage for us, or a photography assistant, or anyone who feels that that have something to offer and wishes to collaborate with me, please, feel free to get in touch at:

emmastylesphotography@gmail.com

There is a moodboard available on my Pinterest account for anyone who is interested, and I shall be updating it frequently.

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Rhea Clements

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Earlier this spring, I was asked by the extremely talented Rhea Clements to photograph her latest collection of knitted jewellery and accessories for her website. I have been fortunate to work Rhea multiple times in the past, and we have collaborated often; sometimes she is willing to provide me with items for a personal project of mine, and sometimes I step in, as I did in this instance, to help to photograph a new collection.

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Somewhere along the line, what began as a simple catalogue shoot developed something of a vintage, Mad Men-esque quality, which I now adore. It just goes to show how easily influenced we all are by the things around us. Though I would not describe Rhea’s work as vintage in style or reminscent of Mad Men, it works, regardless. Slightly muted colours finish the look, and I can only hope that Rhea is pleased with the results. She certainly claims to be, and that’s good enough for me._MG_0434

Our lighting was a simple set up so as not to distract from the items in anyway, providing a literal blank canvas from which Rhea’s bold colour pallets and the bright wardrobe could shine out. Our model was the wonderful Oona Elizabeth, while hair and makeup were both provided by Razwana Kausar.

I can’t wait until the next opportunity for Rhea and I to experiment and be creative with our collaborations.

_MG_0445 _MG_0512Model: Oona Elizabeth

MUA/Hair: Razwana Kausar

Styling: Emma Styles

Jewellery/Accessories: Rhea Clements

Studio: Pixel Pals Studio, Derby

The full collection can be viewed and purchased here.

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Meg’s Collection

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It’s that time of year, when students are struggling with repeated all-nighters to meet their big deadlines. No, we weren’t all like that, some of us spent the entire semester pulling all-nighters purely because we wanted our final work to be perfect. Meg, a University of Derby fashion student, is one of those students. Just look at the detail that has gone into these laser-cut designs… beautiful!

I was the lucky photographer who she selected to photograph her collection. It was a beautiful day for a photo shoot, and as we had chosen Wollaton Hall, a stately home in Nottinghamshire that is open to the public (and a spot where I have worked before with a University of Derby fashion student, as well as for one of my own personal shoots), we had quite an audience, members of the public lining the various benches that surrounded the greenhouse, watching us work, complimenting our gorgeous model sisters. The sun was shining, perhaps a little too harshly, but we made do. Thank god for reflectors.

Besides a small incident with a bee somehow getting trapped in our model’s trousers (all was well – none of us have ever laughed so much in our lives!), everything went without a hitch. A shout out has to go not only to my lovely assistant, Gem, but also to Meg’s boyfriend, her chauffeur who stepped in as a second assistant when we were experimenting with spontaneous ideas. It was such a great team to work with.

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Katie Stainer Jewellery

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I really enjoy collaborating with talented individuals; designers, makeup artists, models. I love to see how others look at the world, and to be inspired by them, and hopefully, I inspire them in turn, and if I see evidence of that, it’s just the best feeling.

This particular shoot was focused around the jewellery and accessories of the amazingly talented Katie Stainer, whose portfolio and online shop can be found here. I’ve always adored origami, though my skills in that area are limited to cranes and boxes, and the occasional fox, so you can imagine my envy to see Katie’s beautifully folded, waterproof jewellery, all made from vintage books and decorative paper. After far too long admiring her collection, we turned our attention to the task at hand.

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Katie is a very down-to-earth character, the sort of person who nonchalantly folds a book into a headpiece as a spontaneous photograph idea that one of us threw out there, chatting about her favourite novels and TV shows as she did so. Therefore, she wanted equally down-to-earth images, free of over-edited, perfected models who had been pinched in, smoothed out, polished and slicked to perfection. Therefore, we chose to work with Tasha, a girl who is naturally stunning in her own right.

Tasha 3#

 

Our studio was makeshift, but wonderful, consisting of draped fabric pinned to the wall, alongside a wall of glass that allowed plenty of natural sunlight. While lately I have found that I spend more and more time in a studio space, I always try to find a space with large windows such as this one; I will always prefer the use of natural sunlight over makeshift lighting any day, and even when I do find myself turning to Profoto or Lasolite or Bowens for a helping hand, I try my best to recreate sunlight as closely as possible… unless I’m going for something completely dramatic, of course, such as during this shoot.

To top off the shoot, Katie was kind enough to give both myself and our team a necklace each from her collection, which I took as a sign that she was definitely happy with how our shoot turned out in the end.

Tasha 5#

Tasha 6#

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Hannah & Dan

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Recently I was lucky enough to be asked to photograph the wedding of Hannah and Dan in Lichfield. The weather was, as you can see, typically British, and we spent the day sheltering indoors from the rainstorm to end all rainstorm, thus putting an end to our plans to take some beautiful photographs in the small park across the road from the Registry Office. It was a shame, but luckily, we had a backup plan in place, because of course, no wedding photographer should ever step outdoors without a backup plan. You can’t rearrange for next time, after all.

After handing my umbrella over to a little girl who’s Dad’s coat over her head was not doing much to protect her dress from the rain (it’s not like I can hold an umbrella and a camera with particular ease anyway), I spent the first hour drenched, until I finally found my way during a scheduled break to the ladies, to freshen up. Drowned rat is an understatement.

The beautiful bride, Hannah, however, looked incredible.  She was glowing. I just wanted to share a few images from the day. I had such a fun time shooting this wedding, and I was welcomed into the day with open arms by the entire wedding party, feeling like I was a part of their group rather than simply the wedding photographer. There was such a special atmosphere that day. Thank you, Hannah and Dan, for choosing me to document your day.

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Oh, and a special mention has to go out to these two… they were hilarious!

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Preview from a recent shoot. How amazing is this makeup? Time and time again, I am blown away by Emma’s amazing skills. She even admitted to me pre-shoot that she was a little worried, for she had not learnt how to air-brush with makeup yet on her college course, and felt that this would be the most successful technique needed for our shoot… well, it just goes to show that whatever you throw at this girl, she can blow you away with her abilities. I know that she is already in high demand, but I’ll say it anyway: I strongly recommend that every photographer, designer and stylist in Derby, send her an email, give her a call, organise a shoot together. She won’t let you down.

She’s also the cheeriest person I know, which is a definite bonus!

Model: Fiona

MUA: Emma Grant

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Galaxy Beauty

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