Portraits at Oxford University parks – Tobi

August is here already, but despite the heat, the bright days and a closet full of linen dresses, I keep fighting against that feeling you get when missing something. And I miss summer. I need to wake up and be greeted by the sea, I need to smell orange blossoms and jasmine’s flowers, to pick some fresh sweet fruit from a tree and eat it, and get to sleep with the window open over a deserted field. The lockdown brought lot of nostalgia in my life, and photography, when I have the chance to work, helps me connect with the present, pushing the past away for a little while.

A few weeks ago, I met and photographed a lovely model based in Oxford, Tobi. We walked around Oxford University parks, and discovered a magic hidden spot I had never seen before, where tall, emerald grass was bowing to the wind, under whispering trees. Can you imagine, as I do looking at the photographs, a fairy moving from beam to beam, in a white long dress?

Model: Tobi Stevens

©2020 Flavia Catena

Tobi_FlaviaCatena_20riTobi_FlaviaCatena_18riTobi_FlaviaCatena_21riTobi_FlaviaCatena_23riTobi_FlaviaCatena_14riTobi_FlaviaCatena_02riTobi_FlaviaCatena_04riTobi_FlaviaCatena_05riTobi_FlaviaCatena_06riTobi_FlaviaCatena_08riTobi_FlaviaCatena_riTobi_FlaviaCatena_12ri

 

Lost in the ’70s

“For there is no friend like a sister
In calm or stormy weather;
To cheer one on the tedious way,
To fetch one if one goes astray,
To lift one if one totters down,
To strengthen whilst one stands”, Christina Rossetti

Photos taken in collaboration with Danielle and Nicole, two twins with a passion for vintage – in particular for the ’70s – and a very great sense of style indeed! Don’t miss to have a look at their online shop (https://www.depop.com/betty_berry), you’ll find incredible clothes and you’ll start thinking what to add to your wardrobe!

A special thanks goes also to the hair and make up artist Daisy Oldershaw and to Bianca Elgar (accessories and home designer) for allowing me to use her house for the photoshoot.

©2018 Flavia Catena

danielle&nicole_flaviacatena_01ridanielle&nicole_flaviacatena_02ridanielle&nicole_flaviacatena_05ridanielle&nicole_flaviacatena_07ridanielle&nicole_flaviacatena_08ridanielle&nicole_flaviacatena_09ridanielle&nicole_flaviacatena_10ridanielle&nicole_flaviacatena_21ridanielle&nicole_flaviacatena_20ridanielle&nicole_flaviacatena_23ridanielle&nicole_flaviacatena_24ridanielle&nicole_flaviacatena_11ridanielle&nicole_flaviacatena_12ridanielle&nicole_flaviacatena_13ridanielle&nicole_flaviacatena_14ridanielle&nicole_flaviacatena_16ridanielle&nicole_flaviacatena_17ridanielle&nicole_flaviacatena_18ri

Beate – A Christmas photo-shoot

“Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.” In Memoriam A. H. H., Alfred, Lord Tennyson

A Christmas photo-shoot done in collaboration with Bianca Elgar, with the beautiful Beate Howitt.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

DSC_5448riDSC_5522riDSC_5577roDSC_5591riDSC_5630riDSC_5714riDSC_5734riDSC_5756riDSC_5774riDSC_5825riDSC_5836ri

 

Thomas Page’s portraits

Another dancer, another great artist I had the pleasure to have in front of my camera: Thomas Page. He is also a choreographer and you will be amazed by some of his work and project. I suggest you to follow him at http://www.thomaspagedances.com. In the meantime, here is an anticipation of his talent!

©2018 Flavia Catena

DSC_2396riDSC_2316riDSC_2309riDSC_2462riDSC_2466riDSC_2488riDSC_2421riDSC_2412riDSC_2559riDSC_2595riDSC_2540riDSC_1361riDSC_1415riDSC_1306riDSC_1255riDSC_1445ri

Exotic elegance

“Shall we die together

my lover whispers-

evening fireflies’’ Masajo Suzuki

Model: Amy Hunter; Stylist: Tia Oguri; Hair and make up: Daisy Oldershaw

©2018 Flavia Catena

Kimono_FlaviaCatena_01Kimono_FlaviaCatena_08Kimono_FlaviaCatena_03riKimono_FlaviaCatena_10Kimono_FlaviaCatena_13riKimono_FlaviaCatena_14Kimono_FlaviaCatena_18Kimono_FlaviaCatena_19Kimono_FlaviaCatena_23Kimono_FlaviaCatena_24Kimono_FlaviaCatena_26Kimono_FlaviaCatena_29Kimono_FlaviaCatena_27riKimono_FlaviaCatena_30ri

 

Social Impact Careers Conference

When I am not taking portraits, or dreaming to travel around the world writing about its people and wonders, I am more than happy to cover events and conferences like the one I had photographed last May at the Said Business School, in Oxford. The Social Impact Careers Conference was indeed a great event that gathered together both students and professionals to talk, share, build networks, think about the future in a positive light. I have definitively learned so much, although simply hidden behind a camera.

©2018 Flavia Catena

SocialImpactCareers_01riSocialImpactCareers_03riSocialImpactCareers_04riSocialImpactCareers_05riSocialImpactCareers_06riSocialImpactCareers_07riSocialImpactCareers_08riSocialImpactCareers_10riSocialImpactCareers_14riSocialImpactCareers_15riSocialImpactCareers_17riSocialImpactCareers_19riSocialImpactCareers_22riSocialImpactCareers_23riSocialImpactCareers_25riSocialImpactCareers_27riSocialImpactCareers_33riSocialImpactCareers_35riSocialImpactCareers_38riSocialImpactCareers_45riSocialImpactCareers_46riSocialImpactCareers_49riSocialImpactCareers_51riSocialImpactCareers_56riSocialImpactCareers_58riSocialImpactCareers_59riSocialImpactCareers_61riSocialImpactCareers_62riSocialImpactCareers_63riSocialImpactCareers_65riSocialImpactCareers_66riSocialImpactCareers_70riSocialImpactCareers_73riSocialImpactCareers_74riSocialImpactCareers_79riSocialImpactCareers_80riSocialImpactCareers_81riSocialImpactCareers_85riSocialImpactCareers_86riSocialImpactCareers_90riSocialImpactCareers_94riSocialImpactCareers_95riSocialImpactCareers_96riSocialImpactCareers_98riSocialImpactCareers_102riSocialImpactCareers_105riSocialImpactCareers_109riSocialImpactCareers_110riSocialImpactCareers_118ri

The forest girl

A rainy enchanted forest, a misty horizon, and a girl, white delicate skin and red cheeks, who walks wearing an embroidered cape and a long magic dress where flowers bloom around gold yarns. I see silent dreams follow her steps.

Model: Harriet Russell / Stylist: Tia Oguri / Make up artist: Daisy Oldershaw / Designer: Daisy Miller

©2018 Flavia Catena

Harriet_FlaviaC_01riHarriet_FlaviaC_07riHarriet_FlaviaC_08riHarriet_FlaviaC_13riHarriet_FlaviaC_14riHarriet_FlaviaC_15riHarriet_FlaviaC_20riHarriet_FlaviaC_17riHarriet_FlaviaC_21riHarriet_FlaviaC_24riHarriet_FlaviaC_25riHarriet_FlaviaC_26riHarriet_FlaviaC_27riHarriet_FlaviaC_29riHarriet_FlaviaC_30riHarriet_FlaviaC_23riHarriet_FlaviaC_32ri

 

Mao and Kalissi

“Before a Cat will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is needed, like a dish of cream;
And you might now and then supply
Some caviare, or Strassburg Pie,
Some potted grouse, or salmon paste —
He’s sure to have his personal taste.
(I know a Cat, who makes a habit
Of eating nothing else but rabbit,
And when he’s finished, licks his paws
So’s not to waste the onion sauce.)
A Cat’s entitled to expect
These evidences of respect.
And so in time you reach your aim,
And finally call him by his name.” T.S. Eliot, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

Curious, sweet, adorable, Mao and Kalissi (one is a siamese/ragdoll cat, and the other one a bengal) are some of the most friendly cats I have met while working on this project so far. It was lovely to spend some time with them and her mum Manna, and I believe these photos below speak for themselves about how we enjoyed each others company!

©2018 Flavia Catena

DSC_4235riDSC_4225riDSC_4288riDSC_4293riDSC_4205riDSC_4209riDSC_4238riDSC_4244riDSC_4237riDSC_4177riDSC_4168riDSC_4303riDSC_4305riDSC_4351ri

Big cat and Little cat

“If a fish is the movement of water embodied, given shape, then cat is a diagram and pattern of suble air.” Doris Lessing, On Cats

 

DSC_3518ri

Today I am happy to introduce you to these beauties: Big cat and Little cat (but they are called in many other different ways!). Harriet, the lady they love so much and from whom they are loved, rescued them years ago – they were living in very bad conditions with their previous owner – and gave them a beautiful home with a garden, in Oxford. Here I got the chance to meet the two, and to watch them happily sunbathing, playing behind the bushes and licking their lips waiting for dinner to be served. Such amazing animals are a joy for the eyes and the heart!

©2018 Flavia Catena

DSC_3437riDSC_3443riDSC_3445riDSC_3491ri.jpgDSC_3448riDSC_3430riDSC_3471riDSC_3472riDSC_3510riDSC_3496riDSC_3502ri

Love come from rescued cats – Margot, Jerry and Monty

“What greater gift than the love of a cat?”, wrote Charles Dickens, and I truly believe it is hard to find something more special than an affectionate cat. Especially rescued cats can share so much love with their owners that you can feel it as soon as you meet them.
This happened also last week, when I visited Kelly and her two beautiful furry children, Margot and Jerry. They have been together for ten years now, and the three have a very special way to communicate to one another. While Margot is curious but a bit cautious, Jerry is more independent and definitively not interested in photography! It was lovely to see them play and at some point fight – in a gentle funny way – together, and follow their human mum even with a simple look, as to say: “we are waiting for you!”.
CatsAndTheirHumans_12CatsAndTheirHumans_13DSC_2644DSC_2646DSC_2655CatsAndTheirHumans_14
Monty is an adorable twelve years old cat that Karen lovingly took from the street after he was abandoned from his previous owners. He is a very shy but gentle cat, with beautiful yellow eyes and a total black fur. He loves his human mum very much and he makes this clear kissing her and spending almost his entire day by her side. Unfortunately he was not confident enough in front of the camera to show me his unique way to say: “I love you!”. After all, precious things must be kept a bit secret to remain special.
DSC_2694DSC_2691DSC_2695DSC_2704CatsAndTheirHumans_15CatsAndTheirHumans_16CatsAndTheirHumans_17
A huge thanks to Kelly and Karen to share with me these sweet moments!
©2018 Flavia Catena