Behind the scenes: Werifesteria – a personal project
Today I want to show you how my last personal project was born, a little behind the scenes of Werifesteria.
I can’t remember the precise moment when I decided to translate in photography my love for illustrated books.
It was probably last year, but I was overwhelmed by the wedding season so I hadn’t time to think seriously about it.
Then, with the coming of Winter when everything calms down in the life of a wedding photographer, I started to imagine a serie of photos in an editorial style that reflects my love for fairytales and dreams.
Inspiration: where everything started
Three years ago I bought a fairytales illustrated book by Brian Froud and I fell in love with his drawings.
I immediately understand that his work would had a great influence in my photography.
Illustrated books and fairytales in general are a strong component in my personal view and photography, as I’m always looking for the magic-component to enhance my shoots.
At the time I was pretty sure that I would love to shoot a personal project with this mood but I’ve never had the courage to try, to do.
I was afraid of the results, what if it wouldn’t be as I imagined?
Unfortunately, do a creative job and being a creative doesn’t automatically make you to create.
At the end of 2016 I found a great help in the book ‘The War of Art’ by Steven Pressfield that literally pushed me to go.
At the beginning of the year Pressfield’s book and a combination of things convinced me to start planning and, finally, to take the risk.
First of all the complete absence of a personal photography project since 2011, second a sort of nostalgia of Scotland and its incontaminate nature.
Until the beginning I was pretty sure about the mood of the project and its key-words: mystery, nature, magic.
My research started directly from the book ‘Good Faeries / Bad Faeries’ plus ‘The Moon Spun Round’, an illustrated collection of Yeats poems that I bought in Dublin last November.
Another aspect about this project was the desire to include something different from my style.
My type of photography is basically the reason why my clients choose me for collecting their memories. My shoots are known to be luminous, spontaneous and candid.
During the definition of the concept I felt free to experiment, to try something different. I planned to include some blurry and out-of-focus images to enhance the feeling of magic and unpredictability of Nature, to play with shadows and darkness.
Concept and the story behind
I immediately decided to give a narrative sense to the serie, something more than a bunch of images.
Starting from Froud’s fairytales books I’ve readjusted some texts that impressed me to be translate into photos. I’ve planned to write down the text in calligraphy (I’ve attended a calligraphy class last Winter and now I’m addicted). I wrote every page to be like hand-written notes of someone lost in the wood.
I imagined a serie of diptychs with text and portraits, with some landscape images to complete the story.
Scouting locations: the enchanted wood
In February I started to visit some woods but I didn’t find the perfect one for my project. I went in the mountains over my hometown but the forests were too much empty and uncomfortable to setting a shoot. After a lot of search, one of my dearest friends Chiara (who’s also passionate in fairytales) talked me about an enchanted wood, just 40 minutes away from Verona.
She had understood perfectly what I was looking for: a thick green forest with ponds and rocks full of moss.
It definitely reminds me Scotland and its forests. We’ve been in Scotland last August and the trip influenced a lot this project.
The amazing team
Thinking about the gown I dreamed an ethereal long dress and when I saw this one from Nadia Manzato collection I immediately understand that it would be perfect.
The long tulle skirt would allow me to play with the lightness and what about the color? Just perfect!
During those days I didn’t know how the perfect model would be so I started my research on Instagram. When I saw Veronica Merlo‘s photos I decided to contact her because of her beauty and her long red hair but also because she’s a talented artist and illustrator. It seemed a sign to me, the confirm that she was the perfect one for my project.
I asked her to partecipate posing for me but also with her drawings that I would have included with the text in the project.
For the make up I had no dubt asking to the amazing Monica Chicconi and she realized the perfect smokey eyes ever!
When I was planning and defining the concept I was sure about one thing: a big floral or wood crown on the head of my fairy.
So I asked to the lovely Benedetta from I Fiori di San Lorenzo to do a crown, letting her free to compose it.
She did a majestic work.
To complete the look the beautiful handmade jewels from Giulia of Ribes Nero, a precious amazing touch.
During this shooting I had the opportunity to test the new Fujifilm medium format camera GFX with the 120mm.
My expectations about this camera were high and they weren’t disappointed. I love the depth of field of the 120mm as the sharpness and the versatility of the files.
The light conditions allowed me to test it in high ISO and the results are simply perfect.
I used my loyal xPro2 with the 23mm as wide-angle (I’m not particularly fan of the pushed wide angles and the 23mm is one of my favorite) and a Polaroid Land Camera with Fujifilm FP100 to include some analog-magic in the project.
Finally: what about the result?
Now it’s time for a final consideration, the most important on all: am I happy with the result?
The answer is absolutely yes because of the combination of people that I enjoyed to work with, yes for the photos too BUT (there’s always a but) I know that I can do better.
As always I’m not 100% satisfied of my work and I think that this is the real fuel that pushes me to keep doing, to study everyday, to challenge myself.
So I’m going to spend more time planning and doing something really mine. I enjoyed very much the freedom to create, trying to tell something with my photography.
See the whole project here.