26 November - Head in the Clouds

So the last Sunday, I had a test organised for a new face with Viviens Models - Ella.
She's 13 years old, freckle faced and braces and simply beautiful. Often when I have
model test shoots, I let myself get inspired by the model to create something
for myself, to test a concept out mostly. So once I shoot the planned images
that I know the model's agency will be happy with for their books, I then discuss
with the model my inspirations and then the real fun begins.

So two days before the scheduled shoot, I just got hit with inspiration. I can't
remember exactly how I got inspired by clouds, but I started plotting in my
head how could I conceptualise "Head in the Clouds", the idea of the dreamer.
Maybe it was because it was a cloudy day that day, haha, come to think of it
I think that is what made me start thinking of clouds and one thing led to the
other and next thing I'm drawing out a cloud and sticking foam to it to make
a prop that I could use to conceptualise this idea.

Then the morning of the shoot, I had another idea, to then immerse her head
completely in the cloud and stick stickers on her face and have a rainbow
liquorice stick shooting out from her mouth, like if she was spewing rainbows.

So here are the photos from the day, a bit more surrealistic portraits.



Lately I've been beginning more and more to find my voice as an artist
by the realisation that everything I create, everthing I have ever photographed
has been a reflection of who I am as a being. We are all present in what we do,
speak and create. I never noticed that connection before but I'm starting to
"find myself" in my photos more and more and so I thought this conceptualisation
of Head in the Clouds, a good representation of me as those who know me best,
know how much of a dreamer I am, always in "La La Land" and yes some days
I feel under the weather and there is a cloud literally over my head, blocking
the light, but like everything, there is no permanence, but constant change.
That we can be sure of.

Here is a little sneak peek of what else we got up to for shots for Ella's
portfolio. This was Ella's first photoshoot and she impressed me with
her natural talent, ease at taking direction and showed me how her
dance background has influenced her as a model. She is definitely
one to watch.

Thank you to Jane Carroll (Ella's Mom) for being my cloud bearer on the day
and overall helping me along with the props and styling the hair for the shoot.

#surreal #surrealism #modeltest #portraiture #beautyphotography #freckles #KatrienaEmmanuel


11 November - Couple's Therapy

So I'm going to keep this blog short and sweet. A few weeks ago, while
working on another project with Viviens Models Ingrid Williams and Jonas Nutter,
who also happen to be a real life couple, it turned into something a bit experimental.

I have a tendancy to really like to push my models out of their comfort zones
and I am very appreciative of models letting me do that with them. You see
I consider modelling very much like silent acting, I think I've said it tons of times
before. So on this shoot I thought it might be interesting to explore their emotions,
and one of the first things I got them to do in the studio was stand behind one another
and with their hands on the other one's face, push and pull and basically contort the
other's face. Much like we sometimes do in our relationships, be them romantic or

A little while ago I noticed something about human relationships, that a lot of the
disappointment and failures in relationships were a result of "expectations. I kind of
compare it to a movie, that you are about to see but you've build up this huge
expectation of what it would be like, and then you watch it and it doesn't match up
to the idea or expectation you had for it. Similarly, when you know nothing about
a movie but it surprises you and you really enjoyed it, because you didn't create
an expectation in your mind, you just let it unfold before you.

Sometimes in life, we just got to be patient and let things unfold before us.
Not weigh things or people down with expectations, because it is nearly impossible
to live up to someone's expecations of you, which often morph into some fantasy
rather than reality of who you are, composed instead of what they want
rather than what they see before them.

Perhaps that's why for emotive portrait photography a lot of photographers
love the monochromatic format of the black and white image. The lack of
colour takes away the distractions or misperceptions and instead you focus
on the raw emotion before you. So lets do an experiment here, I've mixed
into this series, some coloured images with mostly black and white imagery.
Think about it afterwards, which images you connected with instantly in terms of the emotion.






Thank you to Ingrid and Jonas for being such great sports, for their kindess and their
creativity. You guys are so talented and amazing souls! I had seriously so much fun shooting you both.

#portraiture #couplestherapy #modeltest #photography #katrienaemmanuel #rawbeauty #emotive





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