Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Fateful Return

    Every time Brittany comes to town, we create something new! It started in the Summer of '12, and since then we've created seven photo-shoot series together.  Most of our shoots together have had a very soft and dreamy atmosphere, this one included.  We didn't really know what we were going to shoot this day, but when she showed up the first outfit in hand, we kind of went from there to create something that felt as though it had a story to it.
    We created the shoot quickly, in a couple of hours while the sun was waning in the sky.  I made the decision to make the photographs hazy in-camera to do something a little different than all of the sharp, precise studio photos that I've been creating
    For a very long time I've wanted to create a shoot revolving around the myth of Persephone.  For those not familiar with the myth, Persephone's story is rather bittersweet.  As a young maiden, she's abducted by Hades, the god of the Underworld and taken back to his kingdom. Her mother, Demeter, goddess of fertility and the harvest is distraught at losing her daughter, and casts a famine on the Earth in her grief. While Persephone is in the Underworld, she is tricked by Hades into eating six pomegranate seeds, which will forever tie her to Hades' kingdom.  Zeus makes a deal with Hades that Persephone is allowed to go back to her mother for 6 months out of the year (she must stay with Hades as his Queen for 6 months out of a year as well, one month for every seed she partook in). For every Spring and Summer while Persephone is with her mother, we are brought bounty in the harvest and lush, beautiful flowers.  However, when she goes back to the Underworld, we are left with the sadness of Demeter that translates into Autumn and Winter.
   While not intended, I see a lot of the myth in this photo series.  I was always the most intrigued by Persephone's evolution from innocent floral maiden to losing her innocence at the taste of a forbidden fruit to becoming the willing Queen of the Underworld. At first, she is desperate to get home, but I'd imagine after falling in love with Hades that there is a certain sadness to her when she returns to her mother. The innocent maiden that used to shower flowers in her path turns into someone who dwells in the darkness instead.  She's fated to return every year, but sometimes I wonder if the brightness of the summer sun is too much for her after living in the dark kingdom, and perhaps she's grown to prefer the darkness.

Fateful Return, featured in Whim Online Magazine July 2015

You can see it in their issue, and read an interview with me here: http://issuu.com/whimonlinemagazine/docs/whim_issue_10

Model: Brittany Heuser
Photographed by Ashley Holloway

fp3000b film, shot with Polaroid 420

Impossible 600 film, shot with Polaroid Impulse

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