Martha – Natural beauty portraits

“I do believe in simplicity. It is astonishing as well as sad, how many trivial affairs even the wisest thinks he must attend to in a day; how singular an affair he thinks he must omit. When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem, he first frees the equation of all incumbrances, and reduces it to its simplest terms. So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real. Probe the earth to see where your main roots run.” Henry David Thoreau

It was all about natural beauty, soft light raining from a dark cloudy sky, and relaxed and interesting conversations, the photo-shoot done with the beautiful Martha. And now that I look at the images again, and share them with you, I like to believe that I perhaps managed to capture what’s inside all our hearts, in this still difficult year: a bit of hope. Do you agree?

Model: Martha Grace @marthagracesc

©2020 Flavia Catena

Portraits of Bethan

I still have mixed feelings about planning and working on personal projects, being the earthquake that is shaking the world (of course the present pandemic) a threat we have not learned how to deal with yet. Because of this and because I was luckily busy with commissions, I organised very few test shoots this autumn so far. The one I am sharing with you is the first done after over a month away from the camera (excluding when I used it as a tourist in Italy), with the idea to capture portraits that could look as natural as possible. Editing was also kept at its minimum and the model was barely wearing any make up. I believe that, especially in a time like this, simplicity, honesty, even in photography, is what we need more.

Model: Bethan Ellis

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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Rue

“There was something awesome in the thought of the solitary mortal standing by the open window and summoning in from the gloom outside the spirits of the nether world.” Arthur Conan Doyle

A few portraits of the beautiful Rue for D1Models. Make up by the talented Micaela Congia.

©2018 Flavia Catena

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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

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Esther

A selection of photos from a test shoot done with the lovely Esther Ajie and the make up artist Ryn Zhan. We had so much fun and enjoyed a very warm spring day in the beautiful Holland Park!

©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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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

 

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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

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Cats and their humans – Becky and Lexi

More than one year ago, I decided to start a portrait project about cats and their female owners, being a cat lover myself, and also strongly believing in that sometimes saving bond between humans and pets. I took the first portraits, and then, overwhelmed by commissions, work, and other projects, I had to stop. But I was still looking forward to going back to that series of mine, and now it seems the time has come!

Last week I visited Becky Paton, a very talented artist who makes and successfully exhibits beautiful mosaics (please, have a look at her Instagram page @beckypatonmosaics). She lives with her family in the countryside just outside Oxford, and has a sweet and gorgeous cat named Lexi. He – yes, Lexi is actually a male cat, but the vet found this out too late for his name to be changed, as he really liked it! – was adopted by the family while he was still a fluffy little kitty. Now he is a four years old beautiful feline who loves to cuddle up next to his human mum at night, but also exploring the fields following his hunting instincts. I could see he was just impatient to go out and enjoy the sun, on the day we took the photographs. But I thank him and Becky for posing in front of my camera and sharing with me a bit of their happiness!

©2018 Flavia Catena

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