This Image, named ‘The Ghost Swift’ 2012, comes from Kirsty Mitchell’s Wonderland Book, a project she worked on for 5 years as a tribute to her mother who sadly passed away in 2008. She was inspired by the fairytale stories she used to tell her as a child and with her background in Arts & Fashion she was able to hand-make all the elaborate outfits and create the scenes for each shot.
The time involved was immense, sometimes taking up to 5 months of preparation making everything ready for just one shot. Some of the images were shot in a studio, this one was put together in a forest at the end of an uprooted tree and shot with a Nikon D800 and some extra lighting.
It is very surreal and dream-like, a woman sat almost intwined in the roots holding oversized keys, almost like she is the soul of the tree and covered in books and butterflies, immersed in nature and knowledge. If it wasn’t for the little splash of colour and the butterflies it would be dark and moody but they somewhat add a gentleness to the eerie surroundings.
The photo is extremely sharp, by using a small aperture she has captured every little detail, there is so much going on with intricate perfection. The vibrant colours draw your eyes to the centre of the image and they contrast against dark on everything surrounding. Her work really stands out against anything I have seen before and I think it’s amazing, she says it lies somewhere between fantasy and the journey through her grief which together have created these surreal images that you can draw your own meaning from.
I find her images a mixture of fantasy and surrealism with similarites to Alice In Wonderland. She inspires me not just as a photographer but to create something so individual and to stand out from anything that has been done before. I would like to apply a similar approach to my newborn photography, not as in-depth but I like the idea of creating bespoke photographs that are individual to each client…and their fantasies.