Blue velvet – Portraits of Emelia

One month has passed since I did my first photo-shoot post lockdown. I was excited and worried at the same time, as working at a safe distance and yet dedicating the same amount of attention to the details seemed not as easy as it may sound. Yet, I faced the challenge and the outdoor world, certain that having someone again in front of my camera, someone to share ideas and to create with would have made the job pleasant in the end.

I had met Emelia, the lovely young lady I photographed, last winter. We went to a photography exhibition, in Oxford, and started discussing about how to collaborate (she is a great photographer as well and a writer, so we have many interests in common). At the time, I still had not bought the velvet fabric used for the shoot; after testing it first at home, I knew I wanted Emelia’s beautiful face captured in front of it. I did not know then that she had the perfect vintage dress – from the 70s – that would match its colour.

It was somehow like swimming in the sea staring at all that blue through my lens, and taking photos came to me as the most natural thing. Despite the distancing, the face mask, and some funny moments (the wind knocked down the backdrop a few times), I felt alive again and happy. I have never taken for granted what I do and what I have, but I believe I will cherish times like this even more from now on.

Model: Emelia Mac (https://www.poetryofthecity.co.uk/)

©2020 Flavia Catena

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Leonie

“We cast a shadow on something wherever we stand, and it is no good moving from place to place to save things; because the shadow always follows. Choose a place where you won’t do harm – yes, choose a place where you won’t do very much harm, and stand in it for all you are worth, facing the sunshine.” E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

©2019 Flavia Catena

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Beate – Bianca Elgar’s Collection

“Whatever circumstances arise, do not plunge into either elation or misery, but stay free and comfortable in unshakeable serenity… and just as the sun shines freely through space, your compassion cannot fail to shine on all beings.”, a Tibetan saying, from the memoir of Beate Howitt, the beautiful, inspiring lady you can see in the photos below (I will probably dedicate another post to her amazing life, so stay tuned!). I had the big pleasure to know her and photograph her as muse of Bianca Elgar, a talented fashion and home designer based in Oxford (we recently found out we are also neighbours!). The cheerfulness of Beate, on set, was contagious, and the all team had so much fun while taking these photos that I will remember the day as one of the best of my photography year. Note: all the smiles and laughs you’ll see were totally spontaneous!

Model: Beate Howitt; Designer: Bianca Elgar (www.biancaelgar.com)

©2018 Flavia Catena

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End of summer

She walks in the wood, bare feet and her hands open to capture the shadows of the hours which are fading away. So, like the summer, and its memories, young and cheerful. Light seems to lift her soul; her eyes rest on a far away lake, and the day is already close to its end.

My last fashion story of the summer, in collaboration with model Morgan Black, stylist Bethany Anne Kelsey and make up artist Francesca Quagliatti.

©2018 Flavia Catena

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The sky’s daughter

“They say the sky is the same everywhere. Travellers, the shipwrecked, exiles, and the dying draw comfort from the thought, and no doubt if you are of a mystical tendency, consolation, and even explanation, shower down from the unbroken surface.” Virginia Woolf, Jacob’s Room

A fashion story I have worked on in collaboration with model Natasha Samsara, stylist LadyHunterxo and hair and make up artist Laura Onea. Really in love with these photos!

©2018 Flavia Catena

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Emma

“We see in order to move; we move in order to see.” William Gibson

Photographs from a test shoot – planned in less than a week – with model and dancer Emma Holt; a very talent and outgoing girl I thank again for working with me!

©2018 Flavia Catena

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Here come the colours

Back to the first days of spring, with this series about colours, youth, joy. I believe this sentence by Kahlil Gibran describes very well the idea behind it: “Let me, O let me bathe my soul in colours; let me swallow the sunset and drink the rainbow”.

A big thank to my talented and patient girls (you could not see that from the pictures, but it was extremely cold!), Marianna Saver (model), Anne Aurelie Pillet (stylist), Kayleigh Keen (make up artist).

©2018 Flavia Catena

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Autumn as a second spring

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” Albert Camus

Model: Virginia Tozzi

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