Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Kirsty Mitchell

Kirsty Mitchell is a fashion photographer whose work heavily relates to the idea of fairytales. The photograph above is from a collection titled 'Wonderland' and the photographs were taken from 2009-2012. I particularly like the image above as the purple of the outfit stands out strongly against the green of the setting. A lot of her photographs from this collection seem to have a strong purple tone to them, whether it's in the outfits, the use of coloured smoke or props such as balloons. The use of the floral umbrella/parasol is interesting as it adds to the theme of the image.

There is a 'glow' coming from the wings of the outfit, which I would imagine would be from the use of back lighting - this is an interesting technique to add effect and makes the image more 'magical', which is something to think about with my own photographs. I like how there is a slight vignette effect to this photograph - this is exaggerated on the left hand side of the photograph, which makes the viewer think that they are peering to see the "fairy".  Where the image is darker, the plants seem to be dead (this is difficult to see however you can see that the plants are browner, whereas the plants where the model is are bright and vibrant). This could be symbolising that the part where the model is is a more positive place, showing that the clothes could make you feel more positive about yourself, perhaps.

I like how the outfit is extravagant and attention grabbing, whilst the background is simple yet defined. This makes the viewer automatically look straight at the model, rather than the background or the photograph as a whole being the main attention, which is particularly important in fashion photography as you want the focus to be on the clothes and the detail within them. The photograph as a whole seems to all be in focus, which is interesting as some of her other photographs from this collection have the model just in focus. This could be saying that everything in the photograph is important, but because the outfit is more colourful, it attracts more attention.

Also, I think the styling for the photograph works well with the theme - with the use of the parasol made out of flowers, and the dress almost looking too big for the model - is this a subtle way of referencing to Alice in Wonderland? Attached to the model there appear to be wings, however it could just be purple light to make the image seem more mystical. I think that every viewer could interpret it differently, which is something that I really like about this piece and also this artist.  

This reminds me a little bit of Alice in Wonderland, as the dress looks too big for the model (purposely) and so it looks like she is trying to hold it up. This reminds me of Alice in Wonderland as Alice changes sizes throughout the story, yet her dress doesn't. The model also looks small in comparison to the background if you look closely and so this could also be suggesting that the model is supposed to be a fairy, or something similar.

Going back to the lighting, not only do the wings seem to be lit up, but the umbrella made of flowers seems to be lit up slightly as well. This gives a 'magical' feel to the photograph and in relation to fairytales could be suggesting that the model in the photograph is a 'good' fairy rather than an evil character. Although this doesn't look like it's inspired by one particular fairytale, there are elements of several different fairytales, which is something to think about when I create my final outcome.

The wings almost look like smoke, which is a technique that Kirsty Mitchell uses in a lot of her other photographs from the collection, as shown below. I think that she does this because it makes the photograph seem 'dreamier' and more 'mystical', especially as it is coloured smoke. In the photographs from the collection, the models are always surrounded by nature - trees, fields, plants etc... This also makes the fairytale theme stand out as often fairytales are set around a forest, or in a garden.

Purple is a recurring colour in this collection. I think that it is particularly effective as it makes Kirsty Mitchell stand out as the photograph/artist, even though she is not in the photograph as it is her 'signature' technique throughout these photographs. Overall, I really like this artists work, and I find it very inspiring. She uses some interesting techniques which I think will inspire me in my future work.

Some more of Kirsty Mitchell's fashion photography:

Check out her website here.

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