ophelia inspired editorial shoot

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.


Our Crew:

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
























  1. holy crap. thank you for sharing your vision with us. i wish i could have been there to experience this shoot in person! well done, friend. lovely + beautiful + inspired + eerie + wonderful xx

  2. Shannon says:

    Stunning, Carla. So beautiful.

  3. dd says:

    I can’t tell you how happy I am this came together so effortlessly and beautifully with so many talented, inspired people! This is art, my friend!

  4. Marj says:

    You and your team are amazing and so is your backyard. However, the way you know how to put it all together is beyond comprehension. This work is stunning. Smithsonian please wake up and notice what you should have on display. I LOVE IT!

  5. Julie says:

    Carla, these images are so moving, thoughtful, and filled with beauty. I’m so glad you dreamed a dream and brought it to life. I’m so proud to have been a part of the day, thank you, as always, for inspiring me. Team Ophelia, beautiful, beautiful job. xo

  6. ralph macchio says:

    carla, i felt so happy to be here to see this unfold. i am proud of you for pushing yourself and fulfilling a dream, how inspiring. i am in love with the darkness and mystery of this shoot! its only the beginning my friend! hurray for personal projects! xoxo

  7. Anthony says:

    Such an exciting and inspiring post!

  8. Carla!!! These photos are beautiful and haunting and sadly sweet and generally amazing! They are such an inspiration to go out and get creative for myself. gorgeous. absolutely. gorgeous.

  9. Dawn says:

    Carla, these are beautiful! Truly.

  10. Belinda says:

    Carla, there is so much truth in these photos. They speak of your passion and your true creativity. Keep doing these personal projects. You love to do them and we love to gazing upon the final images. Win Win!! You are truly an amazing artist. xoxo

  11. Rango says:

    Amazing shoot, love each and every picture in this gallery. I sooo wish I was apart of this project. Great job everyone

  12. Sue says:

    Wait until the curator from the Tate Britain get’s ahold of these. Stunning and passionate – a new and fresh way to view a classic. wow…

  13. Rebecca Earl says:

    Hauntingly beautiful, Carla.
    A whole show in itself/herself!

  14. Gayle King says:

    I was overwhelmed just reading the post before seeing the images. Then the images…. what can I say, they are beautiful!

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