Sunday Business Post Feature


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Photographer: Suzy McCanny
Make Up Artist: Michelle Anderson
Models: Arita Stan & Meriel Campbell-Lloyd
Fashion Styling: Suzy McCanny & Sinead O’Hanlon
Hair: Lydia at Rossanos Hair & Beauty

The story of this shoot

Michelle, the make up artist, approached me with the idea of doing a photo-story with multiple models and a gothic victorian theme. Michelle had worked with all the collaborators in different groupings in the past so it was she who brought us together on this project. The approach to these type of projects is somewhat experimental, each person brings their own creative element to the shoot and we create it together on the day working from each others ideas as they emerge. It’s really a very organic way to collaborate.
I talked with Michelle about the concept she had been imagining and she described how she wanted it to be vintage but also wanted to portray innocence, passion and power together. We were doing the shoot as an art concept piece simply for our own enjoyment and to create the beautiful imagery we envisioned together, because of this approach Sinead and I pulled clothing from our own stocks. I have an ever expanding collection studio wardrobe with pieces I’ve picked up for different editorials and pieces I’ve discovered travelling. When most people bring home scarves or trinkets from holidays I’ve travelled home with my suitcase filled with First World War eye glasses and boxes of feather lashes. Sinead has her own clothing line and brought some of her own pieces as well as some of her own favourites from her wardrobe.
Sinead and I individually chose our selections of clothes and brought them to the studio on the day. Michelle incorporated glitters and lace to the makeup designs to give it a modern avant-garde feel, almost hunger games-esque. She created very powerful and confident styles individually tailored to each models features but also making sure to keep up with modern trends within the fashion scene. As the hair and make up looks were created I built the set in my basement with bags of dried leaves I had gathered and dripping candles. Then Sinead and I dressed each girl from our mutual clothing collections. When the models walked into the set it looked very eerie and haunting but also magically beautiful. They really brought it to life.
It was quite challenging to light the set as the ceilings are very low and I wanted to keep the ambiance of the candle light. Modelling for a shoot like this is as much about being a skilled actor as looking beautiful. Arita and Meriel are very strong models and thankfully were able to stay in character as I made small lighting adjustments. We wanted to portray the innocence and restrained sexuality of the era. To portray this through body language I directed the girls from poses embracing to Meriel lying in the leaves looking like a fallen angel. In the fashion styling the latex, lace & semi-sheer fabrics with conservative shapes brought this mood into textural form. Latex feels like a second skin and so feels risqué but it is also tight and restrictive like the victorian corset in a modern fabric. We styled these elements with vintage gloves, a hoop skirt, feather cape, cameo broaches and modern designers’ clothing like Natalie B Coleman.
While processing the images I used digital techniques to simulate vintage films with colour toning and contrast to carry the concept through to the final element. They were featured in the Sunday Business Post in August with an article written by Lilly Killeen.
Suzy
About me

My life and studies have been intertwined with art, fashion, photography and graphic design. These disciplines have created the artist/person I am today. All my studies and experience developed in me an understanding for fashion styling, creating images for publication and advertising as well as conveying meaning through visual media. If you want to create unique imagery for your brand, if you are proud of what you do and would like me to help you share it with the world, then get in touch :-)

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