My beautiful cousin, Jenny, asked if we could do a conceptual shoot inspired by Bridgette Bardot and Ophelia. After doing this shoot, I would be happy shooting women the rest of my days as these two iconic legends.
Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot is a French former actress, singer and fashion model, who later became an animal rights activist. She was one of the best known sex symbols of the 1950s and 1960s and was widely referred to by her initials. Jenny’s make-up was certainly Bardot-like with the great heavy dark eyeliner, but as we discovered, the Bardot poses are ALL about the attitude and camera angles. I printed out many images and pasted some of them to the wall to inspire and direct both of us.
Ophelia is a fictional character in the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. She is a young noblewoman of Denmark, the daughter of Polonius, sister of Laertes, and potential wife of Prince Hamlet. Jenny was particularly interested in the paintings of John William Waterhouse. We used ‘Gather Ye Rosebuds’ and Ophelia for inspiration. I have emerged from this shoot a full-blown John Waterhouse fan and would love to recreate more of his work. There are so many paintings that I love and didn’t know he was the artist. I would like to recreate more of his Ophelia works and his incredible painting Circe Invidiosa.
In the last Ophelia image I used water from Cape Cod, butterfly bushes from my backyard, and Jenny who was a trooper and laid “dead” on my studio floor until we got the shot.