Heather

“In a world that grows more and more rigid, industrialised and concrete-paved every day, the sight of a sunny field teeming with wildflowers can almost feel like something from a fairy tale.”

These are the words that introduce my fashion story “Heather”, published on Whim Online Magazine, and that entirely describe what I felt that day in August, while shooting in those beautiful summer fields in Buckinghamshire. It seemed like to be back in a glorious romantic past and so far from the modern world that for a moment being lost sounded like a new exciting adventure.

Thanks a lot to my beautiful model/stylist and make up artist Martina Sukupova Davidson, and again to Whim Magazine! Here is the published photo-shoot: http://www.whimmagazine.com/2017/10/photoshoot-heather-flavia-catena/

©2017 Flavia Catena

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Anna

Today, while saving some new photo in my hard drive, I found these pictures taken last year to the beautiful model Anna Cernohorska, and I realized I have not published them! So here I am, making amends, and bringing you to some of the most elegant streets in London. I hope you’ll enjoy it!

©2016 Flavia Catena

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Japan – Colours of happiness

“La campana del tempio tace,
ma il suono continua
ad uscire dai fiori.” Matsuo Bashō

A few photos from my amazing trip to Japan!

©2017 Flavia Catena

Tokyo

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Kyoto – Nara

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Secret garden

“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in – what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.” Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
From a visit to the Botanic gardens of Oxford with my Lomo Instant.

©2017 Flavia Catena

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Graduation portraits – Oxford

No, this is not a dream: the best season of the year has finally started, with lots of interesting events and great people to photograph. I could not be more happy! Only a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure to work with Asuka, a lovely japanese girl and a very talented student who successfully graduated from the Oxford University. Here are a few photos I took to her and her husband Sigfrid in a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Congratulations again, and “ad maiora”, as ancient romans used to say!

©2017 Flavia Catena

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Shepherds Bookbinders – The beauty of paper

At the beginning of this year, I had the chance – a very lucky one – to visit Shepherds Sangorski & Sutcliffe’s bindery. Thinking about my craft project, a few weeks before, I was looking for interesting places where to photograph artisans working with paper and books, so you can imagine my joy when I found a few articles speaking about one of the oldest bookbinding companies in England. For a woman, and before that, for a child who believed that books, especially the antique ones, smell even better than flowers, having the opportunity to access to a similar place was already a small exciting miracle. Everyone at the bindery welcomed me with an happy smile. I spent a few hours (more than planned) looking at the craftsmen working. While I was not taking photos, I simply enjoyed listening to their stories. Some of them where in the middle of restoring an old book, some where carving and decorating precious leather covers, some other were hand sewing pages and bringing ancient maps to life. I believe that the images below will give you an idea of what I briefly but happily took part into: art, in another of its form, art shining through layers of delicate paper.

I really suggest you to pay a visit to Shepherds Bookinders’ shop, whether possible, or to look at their website: http://www.bookbinding.co.uk/

©2017 Flavia Catena

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Comfort Station – Looking at the stars

Another chapter about my craft project is going to be open. Today I want to tell you a bit about Comfort Station, a jewellery brand I have discovered a few years ago, while I was visiting Shoreditch as one of those turists that always make the city of London crowded, noisy and happy. As soon as I noticed the shop’s window, I knew I had found something special. I immediately fell in love with all those necklaces and rings inspired by the constellations and the grandness of the universe. Being a real “vintage girl”, I was close to scream of joy seeing how old maps had been used on beautiful pendants, and how books had been hung on the wall to display the jewels. Not to mention the antique instruments, the suitcases, the music paper that were murmuring, together with the bracelets and earrings, words about love and beauty. Since that day I was waiting for the opportunity to photograph the person who was behind that work. And late in January this year I had that opportunity. I was very happy when Amy Anderson, the British fine artist who is the creator and designer of Comfort Station, replied to the email I had sent her saying she was interested in having me in her studio. When the day arrived, and I was friendly welcomed in her own little world (just in the basement of the shop), I was really excited and curious to see her at work. My camera was ready, so my eyes! I always find “behind the scenes” interesting. What can be better than photographing an artist who creates something in front of you? That’s why I want to thank Amy, once again, and leave you with the photo I took that magic afternoon!

Don’t miss to visit Comfort Station website: https://www.comfortstation.co.uk

©2017 Flavia Catena

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British artists

As you may know already, craftsmanship and art are a real passion of mine. Since the beginning of my path as a photographer I enjoyed taking photos of people at work. Last summer, with the idea to build a proper series on British creators, I started to contact artists in Oxford and having the pleasure to have them in front of my camera.

In the photos below you can see the work of Itsuko Doherty, a great painter originally from Japan, who studied in Tokyo, at Cornell University and at the Sorbonne, and whose work has been internationally exhibited. It was such an amazing experience to see her painting and to chat in front of a cup of coffee while the neighbours’ cat was snooping around the garden!

A few days earlier, I had the joy to visit and photograph Gabriella Blakey, a lovely lady, originally from Rome, who paints elegant furnitures and works on intaglio, appliqué and inlay using coloured veneers on wood. Mainly speaking about our native country and about art, we spent a really beautiful morning together!

After a few months when I mainly did research for the project, I went back to work on it and I discovered Hannah Shipway’s creations. She is a pround pottery maker, whose beautiful tableware will make you think: “I want one!”. She has her own studio in Oxford, where I was welcomed and where I photographed one of her tipical morning at work, blessed by the sun and fascinated by the shape of the bowls coming up from the wheel.

To know more of these artists, that I dearly thank, I suggest you to visit their website:  https://sites.google.com/site/itsukodoherty/home; https://www.gabriellablakey.co.uk; https://www.jerichostudiopottery.com/

©2016-2017 Flavia Catena

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Sophia’s Christening

A new year has just started, and I am already filling my diary with ideas for upcoming photo shoots and little dreams I would like to become reality. But before dedicating my all free time to future projects, I still have some old work I would love to share with you. Among these, a christening I had the pleasure to photograph last November in the Holy Trinity Church (Oxford). Sophia was lovely in her white dress. She smiled and looked at everything with curious and shiny eyes. It was a joy to watch her and to photograph such precious moments. I believe the first post of the year could not be anything less merry than this.

©2016 Flavia Catena

Amanda & Billy – A countryside wedding

Amanda and Billy got married last summer in the lovely village of Wytham (Oxfordshire). I had the pleasure to work and collaborate with Amanda the year before, and I was very happy when she asked me to photograph her wedding, treating me as a friend and really trusting my vision and style! The ceremony, celebrated at All Saints church, was a very heartwarming one, and it was followed by a reception in the Wytham Town Hall. Everything, from the cake to the decorations and the childrens’ games, was handmade (families and friends worked hard on that) and beautiful. Speeches were hilarious, funny and moving. I could not expect anything better from a couple in love! Everytime I photograph a wedding like this, I feel blessed to work with such lovely people. So, thanks again Amanda and Billy, and all the best in life!

©2016 Flavia Catena