I've always enjoyed shooting people, much more so than shooting objects or landscapes. I think there's more a challenge to shooting a person in such a way as to not only capture the look I want to convey, but also to pull in the model's own personality and look into the final image. Shooting at fairs and festivals, though, is more of capturing people candidly as they go about the events. What posing is done is quick and just for a few shots, as the people are there to enjoy the event, not to pose for random photographers.
There was not, however, a consistent feel or look to my images. By that I mean, I couldn't identify any recurring elements or themes that helped to define my "style" of photography and set it apart from the work of any other photographer. So with that in mind, I decided to begin work on a series of images that reflected my interests in mythical creatures and glamour/figure photography. This project was intended as well to challenge me to further develop my photographic skills and to refine my style.
The project I decided to do I call The Fae in Us All. Although I don't believe in real magic, I do think there is something magical about the human spirit . I find the idea that there is a little bit of the Fae (creatures of the Fairy World) in every human spirit most intiguing, I imagine that it exhibits itself in small ways such as in the love of gardening, a love of the woods, the joy we find in a particular season or location, or even in how we dress and what events we like to attend.
So, I have been gathering costume materials, make-up, jewelry, and talking to friends and strangers about participating in my project. Essentially, I'm trying to pair up each model with a specific concept that we both agree matches their affinities and their looks. Additionally, I'm not set on any particular concept for particular shoot, and I've very open to suggestions and collaboration from the models that I use for my images. In fact, I expect the model to be very much a part of the creative process.
There are some basic concepts I do expect to shoot during the project. These include Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit Fairies. I also intend to shoot the seasons, and Autumn is complete. But the field is open and I've had many ideas about other fae aspects that can be shot, and I have been offered suggestions for many more. Some of those include Garden Fairy, Woodland Fairy, Combat Fairy, Urban Fairy, and even the Dish Fairy (you know her, don't you - she the one you hope will come and take care of that big pile of dishes in your sink when you got to bed after a late party).
So far the planning for the shoots has been great fun. I've got to meet lots of interesting people and to discuss some very creative ideas with them. I've taken their inputs and incorporated their ideas into my overall concept of the project, and most of the folks I've talked to have been eager to help and very open with their suggestions. And, of course, I've had lots of offers from some of my friends to assist me by either letting me use their property for a shoot, or to be my assistant during the shoot. I certainly try to accommodate them whenever possible, but keeping in mind the social and physical comfort of the model during the shoot.
I designed this page to share information about the concept and what I hope to achieve during the project with potential models and friends. If you've been given the link to this page via an e-mail, IM or one of my cards, then we've probably already had a short discussion about the project and how you can be a part of it.
If you've come across this page via my web site or my blog, and you're interested in participating, please don't hesitate to contact me. There aren't any specific age, height, weight or body type requirements that you need to meet to be a part of this on-going and long term project. If you want to model, that's great. I'd love to work with new and experienced models that want to add something different to their portfolio or who are looking for a bit of paid work (provide the rates are reasonable and fit within my budget). I'm also always looking for new places to shoot, so if you've got a bit of property you think would make a good location and you'd like to allow the use of it for a shoot, let me know. If you're a Make-up Artist or a hairdresser with some ideas you'd like to try out - let me know. It can be great fun to experiment.
The only caveat I have for working in or with my project is that you be wiling to share your ideas and collaborate with me in the creative process and that you not be afraid of tasteful nudity, for after all, faries are elemental creatures of nature and they have little use for lots of clothing. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me for answers and you can see more example images below. Just click on them so see a larger version.
Concepts currently in production:
Other Fae Examples
©2006 Mark Cohran, All Rights Reserved
Latest Revision: November 19, 2009