2020 Fashion work

We are finally close to the end of this surreal, destabilising and stressful year. I won’t repeat how these past months have affected my work or personal life, but I simply want to share some fashion images I had the joy and fortune to create before the second wave of the pandemic prevented me again from shooting. Let me also wish you a 2021 full of the happiness, the health, the strength this year has stolen from your life. Let the hope fill your heart always!

©2020 Flavia Catena

From TOFT Winter Collection with model Dene Moore

From Kintsugi Clothing collection with egyptologist and Oxford university professor Elizabeth Frood

From I’mdividual 2020 Clothing collection with model Martina Sukupova

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

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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Portraits in Oxford and London

“Hope” is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops – at all
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.” Emily Dickinson, Hope is the thing with feathers

Here are a few portraits taken at the end of last year to some beautiful and talented girls I worked with in Oxford and London, focusing on natural beauty and candid moments.

Alisa
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Odella
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Agnessa
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Silence

The world, these days, is so loud, rushed, caothic! I was thinking about it this morning, still curled up in bed, and suddely I remembered the day when I was travelling to Etna – the Sicilian volcano – with my parents, and the moment we went out of the car for a few minutes to admire the landscape. No one was around, not a human being, not an animal. Birds were not chirping as there were not trees or bushes. The silent, in that black, desert space, was so perfect, so complete, that it seemed like Earth itself has stopped spinning. I could hear my own breath like when underwater; each of my little steps was echoing. I almost feared like, by just being there, I was destroying the harmony of the place. And so, for a moment, I stopped moving, I stopped breathing, and I became part of that marvel.

I was away from the blog for very long, I know! The truth is that I have been feeling the urgent need to keep myself hidden in my own little world; I have been looking for that perfect silence both outside and inside of me. Does this feeling ever touch you as well?

Sharing now some of my most recent favourite photos, I wish you a Merry Christams and Happy New Year!

©2019 Flavia Catena

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Model: Jade Van Kooten

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Model: Dovile C.

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Model: Lauren Walker

On Renaissance and daily melancholy

“Il mio segreto è una memoria che agisce a volte per terribilità. Isolata, immobile, sul punto di scattare, sto al centro di correnti vorticose che girano a spirali in questa stanza dove i miei cento orologi sgranano battiti diversi in diversi timbri. Se alzo il capo li vedo fiammeggiare, e ad ogni tocco di fuoco corrisponde un’immagine. Sempre sono trascinata fuori di me dalla tempesta di vivere. Che cosa è il tempo, e perché deve considerarsi passato? Fino a quando viviamo esiste un solo tempo, il presente. Una forza struggente mi prende alle viscere: costruttiva o devastatrice non mi è dato di sapere; è senza regola, almeno apparente.” Rinascimento privato, Maria Bellonci

Images from last spring photo-shoot with the lovely Leonie as model and the talented Meg Wakefield as make up artist.

©2019 Flavia Catena

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Jen – Natural beauty portraits

I haven’t post in a while, as busy with work first and then happily distracted by the sun, the blue sky, and the sea! I have been in Berlin for a few days, and in Italy for two weeks. I still can’t believe holidays are finished already! Could summer repeat itself again and again?

I have so many photos still unpublished, so I will start from a test done at the end of last spring. Jen was stunning without make up; I feel her natural beauty and bright personality really stand out from every image we took! Do you agree with me?

Model: Jen White

©2019 Flavia Catena

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Freckles and flowers

The purity of youth, the candid beauty of flowers, and the perfection of the painted freckles make this beauty shoot one of my favourite work so far! Thanks a lot to my team, to the talented make up artist Micaela Congia, to the great hair stylist Giulia Piras and to the sweet model Bella Ford, from M+P Models, for helping me taking these honest, natural and romantic images!

©2019 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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