Behind My Pictures…. Behind The Masks

Just found out I have been awarded 3 Golds and 2 HC’s for 5 images this month, in the SWPP Monthly Competitions and I really could not be happier!

I use my image making as a way of telling a story, and this month the 5 images selected all have a story to tell …so in this blog I thought I’d give you an insight into the things that go on in my head and a brief description of the images which have been given awards.

‘Be Still My Beating Heart’ – Gold Award ‘Pictorial’

A couple of weeks ago sitting on the number 32 bus coming back from the studio; I was sat behind two old ladies talking about the refugee crisis. Their take on the situation was very different to my own but never the less very interesting to hear! One of them mentioned something she had heard about which had happened off of the cost of Kos, and made reference to a Greek woman who took out her fishing boat every evening in the hope of saving any refugees who may be too weak to swim to shore… ‘silly bugger, she’ll get herself killed!’ (Her words not mine). The way the Greek lady was described by the woman on the bus was very different to how I was imagining this person. A selfless woman, with a big heart, risking her own life in a beaten up boat to save the lives of others… hero’s come in all forms… what a wonderful woman, and far from a silly old bugger as far as I’m concerned!

‘I’m Fine’ – Highly Commended ‘Portrait Avant Garde’

I'm Fine

This image is of a very dear friend of mine, who is struggling with illness at the moment. I asked him to describe to me how he was feeling and the answer was mostly frustration…. If he could only find the key to his medical condition to unlock the answer to restoring his health again, he would not feel so heart broken. I called this image ‘I’m Fine’ because this is someone who puts on a brave face on the outside, and for that I admire him (being the whinging drama queen that I am myself!)

‘Shiner’ – Gold Award ‘Open Avant Garde’

This image is a conceptual image to illustrate domestic abuse. It is in no way an image relevant to the model in the picture who is in a very happy relationship!

I have wanted to put this picture together for a while. The expression ‘Give someone a shiner’ revolts me. It refers to giving a person a black eye – i.e. hitting them so hard that their eyes turn black and blue. We refer to stars and gold and silver and the treasures that Magpies collect as shiny. Abuse is not shiny – abuse is dull, dark and there is nothing shiny about it.

‘Crystals’ – Gold Award ‘Digital Art’

Paige – the model in my image ‘Crystals’ came to me to pose for a Christmas editorial project I am working on. I had no intention of doing an Avant Garde Portrait of this kind. But having chatted to her for a while during the shoot I really wanted to capture her personality in an image – and this was what I came up with messing around in Photoshop.

I admired Paige  greatly. She has an absolutely stunning face and it radiates from every single capture I took of her. I wanted Paige to look like a Sci-Fi style Queen because that is just how I see her! Sci-fi because Paige is young and very modern with her blue dread-locked hair, and a queen because she has powerful and strong personality traits which I admire massively in any female I meet. Paige loves modelling and is ambitious along with it, but what I love about Paige is her self respect, her high standards, she will not be talked in to shooting any kind of images she is not comfortable with, and I wish all young female models were more like Paige… she is a role model to young models everywhere.

Thank you to Estelle Cole who created the make-up and hair for this shoot. Another female with great talent just like Paige… this shoot was certainly a ‘Girl Power’ day!

‘Paige’ – Highly Commended

I had no intention of entering this image in to the competition, but another photographer pointed out to me, that the black and white version of the image used for ‘Crystals’ really brings out the emotion of Paige’s eyes. And though I see her as a strong queen like force to be reckoned with… her eyes tell a much more gentle story, the loving, gentle caring side….

Thanks to the SWPP and thanks to everyone in the pictures!

Vicki x