Where do I even begin? Once upon a time there was a painting. And I fell in love with so many aspects of it, that I just couldn’t shake it from my soul. It’s funny because only recently have I started to delve into my obsession with Ophelia inspired art. Hands down my favorite is Millais’ Ophelia painting that I had the thrill of seeing in person this spring on a recent trip to London’s Tate Britain. I was stunned into uncharacteristic silence as I stood back and took it all in. It was… perfect. Breathtaking and moody. That in the din of the crowd I could feel myself transported into that cold river with her, and was mesmerized by her lifeless expression was just amazing to me. See, these days we are absolutely inundated with imagery. Battered by it, really. Nothing wows us anymore. We have collectively ‘seen it all.’ But not this. This was something overwhelming for me, and it left a mark.
Flash forward to two conversations with two of my favorite creatives come friends, Tony and DD. When I met Tony years back we had a conversation about doing an Ophelia inspired shoot in my river. We were animated and excited, and couldn’t wait to get it on the books. Years passed, and then here I am standing with Miss DD in London looking at this painting. DD agreed. We had to just do it.
I can’t explain how I felt yesterday as I shot this. Overwhelmed in a way I haven’t been in years. Elated. Crazy. Almost undone. I was supported and inspired in a way that was made to be all about my vision, yet a completely collaborative experience at the same time. It felt surreal and amazing.
I think I experienced the ‘runner’s high’ of shooting and man, I can’t wait to feel this way again.
What this solidified to me was the need to make time for my personal projects again. Projects that are about what no one else wants but me. Sounds totally selfish, yes. But freeing. No expectations. No limits to what I can try. No where to go but up, in my mind.
Thank you to everyone who has supported my vision and encouraged it. Thank you to Elisabeth, who I have not even met, for making this amazing dress for our shoot, your vision was perfect! Miss Lena. What can I say? You knocked this shoot out of the park!! JImmmaaaayyyyy I can’t wait to see how you saw this shoot, your vision never ceases to amaze me!
DD, Tony. There are no words.
floral: Tony Palmieri of Datura A Modern Garden
beauty: DD Nickel
fashion: Elisabeth Palatiello
talent: Miss Lena
video: Jim Altieri’s Vintage Cinema
crowd control, Dorito bringer: Susannah
papparazzi: Anna Briggs, Julie Morawski and Jasmine Balgobin
wine runner: Dave Ten Eyck
instagrammer: Georgie Pickelpuss