A self portrait series in which I imagine the ancient Greek and Roman God(desses) trapped in their modern homes, due to a global pandemic, naturally.
I wanted to incorporate my son into each of the images – in this one, his tricycle (which he actually just recently outgrew) rests on the floor in the background. My dress is a queen size bed sheet, the plant is plastic, but the water is real.
This project evolved from an idea I had for a series with clients. My original idea was to photograph mothers of newborns in glamorous outfits and ballgowns, doing the everyday tasks associated with newborns; feeding, cleaning, diaper changes, etc. I particularly was interested in photographing the task that the mothers disliked the most to create a juxtaposition between the glamorous outfits and the extremely non-glamorous task.
In this one, my son is represented by the baby monitor on the nightstand next to the bed. I actually took this image during his naptime and he was babbling loudly over the monitor. In the first few takes I was wearing pajamas instead of a robe, but feedback from a few photographer friends was that it wasn’t obvious what was going on – so I switched to the robe. I had to reapply the face mask at that point, but had run out and used yogurt instead (color changed in post.)
Unfortunately covid hit shortly after I had the idea, and with the inability to go into client’s homes, I shelved the idea for a later time. I did always think I would call that project “Domestic Goddesses,” and at some point I started thinking about it in more of a “play on words” scenario and thought it would be fun to play up the Goddess aspect – and so the current iteration of Domestic Goddesses was born.
A “world’s best mom” mug and daycare-created handprint incorporate my son in this image. I had a hard time posing this one, and couldn’t quite get the arm/hand positioning to my liking. I took so many photos that I had to use a funnel to pour the wine back into the bottle so I could continue doing takes.
I do think I’d still like to do the original series at some point, and will likely rename it to something related to “glamorous tasks.”
Buy prints here.
In this one, I incorporated my son by having his bath toys ride the waves around me. I actually hung them from the ceiling with tape and fishing wire, so they really were floating there next to me.
(witchcraft and magic)
In this one, I incorporated my son by having a small stuffed dog next to me – dogs are one of Hecate’s symbols, so it seemed appropriate. I was a little nervous leading up to this one because I knew I would be holding a knife up – in the dark – wearing a long lace gown and intense makeup. Thankfully no one noticed (or didn’t care) and the police never showed up.
In this one, I incorporated my son by using his tricycle as a footrest, and framing the image with his outdoor play area behind me. The sun reflector is an amazon box wrapped in tin foil, the drink is lemonade (slightly color corrected), and the lyre was a photoshop add-in. I couldn’t find my bikini bottoms so had to wear a pair of black underwear instead!
(beauty and love)
This was the first one where I didn’t incorporate anything of my son’s – instead I did a very loose interpretation of Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” using the laundry basket as the clam shell, and two tulle ball gowns from my client closet as the ocean spray.
(flies and fly swatting)
I took this photo around 7am, with a large softbox since the sun was coming up behind me. My dress is a cut up trash bag – hilariously the Amazon delivery guy drove by while I was setting up.
(goddess of victory)
This was probably one of the easiest images to capture. It took me a while to get the “TV” lighting right – I originally had my softbox placed too low – but after I got the lighting right, I was able to get the photo I wanted in one take. The boxes are video games, and there’s a gold crown of laurel on top of them. The toys on my right belong to my son. The photos on the wall in the background are by my good friend Emily Bien.
(goddess of rainbows)
Iris was one of the more fun ones to plan – I bought a bunch of crystal prisms to hang in the window, and while they ended up not showing much in the photo, I have them hanging in my office now and absolutely love them. The headphones are an old set that belong to my husband – they’re taped to the front of my phone b/c the jack isn’t the right size.
I created a video tutorial for Hello Storyteller using this image – the tutorial walks through the steps of setting up for a self portrait image on Sony cameras using the Camrote app.