Monday, February 25, 2008

Grace Notes Photography

The other day, a friend sent me a link to a stunning photograph inspired by Rossetti. I was blown away by this photographer's work, and I had to share it here! Her work is all absolutely amazing, and she does portrait sessions for a very affordable fee! Grace Notes Photography

I asked her to say a few words about her interest in Pre-Raphaelites, and so I'll let her speak for herself from here on :)

I fell in love with the Pre-Raphaelites the first time I was exposed to their art, back in the late 80's, so when I started doing photography, about 4 years ago, it was only natural that the art that I'd loved for so long would provide the inspiration for my work.

I soon realized, though, that what I was doing with the camera wasn't what was expected! Photographers seeing my work for the first time would comment on how unusual it was--not like photography at all--and would ask me what photographers I admired. I quickly grew quite sensitive on the subject--because I didn't KNOW of any photographers--I was just making photos that reminded me of the paintings I loved! In attempting to find some photographic role models, however, I discovered Julia Margaret Cameron, Lady Hawarden, and the Allen Sisters--all of whom were doing very much what I was attempting to do--only a century or so before me. Cameron, in particular appealed to me, with her sophisticated combination of drama, literature, and subtle flattery to the model, all wrapped up in a dreamlike mist, due to her unusual use of depth of field!

Left: photo by Cameron. Right: Photo by Aurora

The Pre-Raphaelites, Cameron, and the Allen Sisters understood the need for ideals in a time where morality seemed to be in disfavor; the need for peace, in a time when life seemed to be moving along so quickly that people barely had time to catch their breath; and the need for a grand, timeless, romanticized beauty, in a time when ugliness was all too easy to find. While I am, obviously, creating art in a different time, for a different audience, I believe that the parallels between their society and our own are many, and that people today are just as hungry for art that is beautiful, graceful, passionate and gentle. Art that reminds you to step back, and take a deep breath, and invites you to step into another world, where emotions run deep, but appear simpler. Art that celebrates the best that human beings can be, rather than wallowing in depravity.

I believe that however modern they might be, there's a part of almost every woman or man that wishes they were a princess or prince in a fairy tale, where the decisions they make are on a grand, heroic scale, and making the right decision can guarantee them eternal happiness...and I hope that, like my illustrious inspirations, my art can provide a resting place for people in a world that is all too often, noisy, overwhelming, and morally ambiguous.


Amanda Gibson said...

Hi Grace! I just recently heard of your blog through The Costumer's Guide and I just want to say Thank You SO Much for this wonderful page! I have always been a passionate admirer of pre-raphaelite art and poetry and your write-ups are so informative and inspiring!

I'm going to be a bridesmaid in a renaissance/medieval wedding this summer and we're making our gowns in a very pre-raphaelite style, which I am absolutely thrilled about. Going to have to send your site to my friend! Keep up the great work!

-Amanda Flynn

Aurora said...

Thanks for the wonderful feature, Grace--I couldn't be more pleased with it! (And would you believe I've never sat down and compared my work with JMC's, side by side, as you did? I'm amazed at the similarities between the images you posted! Especially when my image--"Spirits of the Glen"--was taken at the very beginning of my photographic journey...when I'd never even heard of Cameron!)

(The little girls in that image, btw, are as lovely in spirit, as they are in fact. I met Becca, the one in moss green, at my church...she was homeschooled, and had just self-published her first novel, when I met her; the other girls are sisters, both with wonderful singing voices, and accomplished performers...and the youngest--the one with the gorgeous long blond hair, cut it all off, the next year, to donate it to Locks of Love. We hear so much about how awful the youth of today is...but there are also some pretty amazing ones! :))

Kimber An said...

Wow! Absolutely stunning.