Castles In The Sky, Miss Aniela.
Carnival Magazine talks to the incredibly talented fine-art photographer Miss Aniela about her featured editorial, Castles In The Sky. Interweaving fashion, landscape, animals and drama - Miss Aniela creates compelling and often surreal compositions...
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in the north of England and I now live in the south. I am a photographer working as a team with my partner Matthew. Photography takes us all round the world and back again to our home in the Kent countryside to our cats, where we enjoy good food and cooking, walks in nature and planning the next adventure. I also enjoy reading upon spiritual topics, learning about natural holistic health and enjoying the simple pleasures of editing a new photo or story with a good cup of tea.
Did you study photography or a related course?
Photography emerged for me as an interest outside of studies, though I had always enjoyed Art at college. I chose English & Media at University of Sussex and photography became a side curiosity that I taught myself. My passion in photography grew from my own efforts to share my work with the world through the internet, and propel a career from there.
Tell us about your work.
My specialism is what I call 'fine-art fashion'. I like to interweave fashion, landscape, animals and drama into compelling, often surreal compositions. The main series I am working on currently is 'Surreal Fashion' which brings together beauty and absurdity, couture and chaos, often fusing photos and paintings. I exhibit and sell the series as limited edition prints. Outside of fine art I also shoot advertising and fashion, aiming to maintain a striking and evocative mood even in the simpler stories.
What do you love about photography?
I love to make something that delivers a 'wow', whether that wow comes from hours creatively compositing in Photoshop, or from high production value and amazing mood caught purely in camera. Photography is painting with reality: using real things to position and manipulate into a vision you would otherwise paint or sculpt or draw, if you were a different genre of artist. Photography is a more social art medium because you have to get the models, the team, the location etc, in order to make the art. Because of this, it becomes more than just an art form, but the essence of the working relationship with my partner Matthew, our friends, our travel, and our whole existence. Therefore, I love photography because it's my life.
Which photographers inspire your practice?
I am inspired by a lot outside of photography. Many kinds of painting (one example, Dutch still life masters), by cinema (an example would be the films of Hitchcock) and even by dreams. Specifically in photography, I admire the production value in the work of Tim Walker, his cerebral fusion of fine art and fashion; his successful delivery of 'story' as well as selling clothes. His portfolio is prolific. I also enjoy the work of Gregory Crewdson, Guy Bourdin, Julia Fullerton-Batten, and Steven Meisel.
Tell us about the featured editorial, Castles In The Sky.
The story was shot in Greystone Court in New York, a 19th-century castle overlooking the Hudson River. The castle is a surreal showcase of a series of diverse flavours, from a bohemian front lounge with four-poster bed, to a 'Turkish room', to a Gothic chapel, and all furnished with decorative trappings flown from all over the world. We shot a large-scale production over 3 days here with multiple photographers, six models and a team of hair and make-up directed by stylist Leonid Gurevich. The theme was 'opulent elegance' to suit the setting, and my favourite looks were those in my favourite rooms: the 'Marie Antoinette bedroom' and the nostalgic, Games of Thrones vibe of the Observatory. In this story I present my favourite looks from the overall European elegance of the shoot. Ivanka became Parisienne, in a boudoir reminiscent of a French chateau. Annabelle took on a tone of English nostalgia, standing like a mirage amongst antique props and sepia-toned furnishings flooded with the light of golden hour. These are the two scenes that captivated me the most, without a great deal of post-production. I very purposefully wanted these two looks to stand by themselves.
CASTLES IN THE SKY
PHOTOGRAPHY / Miss Aniela
MODELS / Annabelle Lyttle & Ivanka
FASHION STYLIST / Leonid Gurevich
STYLIST ASSISTANTS / Janna Temkins & Jenneka Temkins
HAIR STYLING / Mann Morgan-Nance
MUA / Eric Vosburg
HAIR STYLING / Lorenzo Diaz
MUA / Aya Kudo
See more of Miss Aniela's work in Carnival Magazine Issue 02 and on her portfolio website.