When trips to Goodwill produced more ’80s ceramics than I realistically had room for in my home, there was only one thing to do: photograph them! But snapping pics with my digital camera wasn’t quite what I had in mind.
For this photo shoot, I called on friend and photographer Ben Aqua–I’d long admired his talent for capturing the essence of people in their unique spaces. Not only does his low-key, warm demeanor instantly put a person at ease, but he has this magical way of encouraging individual creativity, seeing people at their best, and capturing that essence on film. Once I knew Ben was on board, the fun really began!For starters, during his initial scoping session/viewing of my ceramics in all of their glory, Ben encouraged me to play up the colors and lines of the ’80s Deco-style vases by….buying more vases! It was the artist’s equivalent of a doctor’s prescription to shop. Suddenly my husband’s “Where are we going to find the space for that?” turned into “So you’re going back to Goodwill for bigger vases, right?” Ben, I will forever be grateful.
Knowing that I’d want to be in the picture with my collectibles, I decided that the photo would be used as my bio shot for Mirror80’s About page. Yes, this was going to be fun! For details on the artwork and floral arrangement used in the photo shoot, click here. For a closer look at the Southwestern-style dress I donned for the shoot (and several other Forever21 tribal favorites), click here.
The centerpieces of the shoot were the ceramics (of course), a 1980s Southwestern-style art piece by Scott Nellis, and an over-the-top floral arrangement. I decided to display the ceramics on the metal shelving in our living room, and it soon became clear that lining the back interior walls of the shelves in art paper would help the vases and swans pop. I also created two ripped paper art pieces to fill the walls on each side of the shelf.
To top it off, my husband brought his office lamp into the vignette. It’s not expensive or ’80s, but it has a certain 1980s glam vibe that was the perfect finishing touch.
The shoot was an amazing experience! Ben helped me to get over my stage fright, as did my hubby, who put on some of my favorite music to lighten the mood. The real challenge was making sure I wasn’t blocking the bulk of my ceramic collectibles, which were the inspiration for this photo shoot.
And the results….Isn’t Ben’s white-out effect super ’80s? And boy, does it make the colors come alive (see below)!:
To see which photo from the shoot was chosen for Mirror80’s “About” page, click here.
A special thanks to Ben Aqua (this wouldn’t have happened without you, Friend), and to my awesome husband Todd, who painstakingly helped me deconstruct our living room to accompany the equivalent of an ’80s berry bliss art installation!
Stay tuned for next week’s companion piece to this post, which will take a closer look at the shelf arrangement from the shoot and present several versions of the display to match your level of ’80s enthusiasm…
Chatranga Ranasingha says
Waaah… That dress style brings back sooo many memories of those days… :'-( Although… I think a polaroid would give a much more 80's feel… 😀 Something with today's cams…
I like how the colors matches each other, from the painting to the flower arrangement and down to the vases and swans. Great inspiration! 🙂
Kate. Stop. You are bloody gorgeous and your vase collection is sick!!!! I’ve gottah find me some japanese motif styled ones like you have on the floor in the first shot. <3
Thank you, Heather ; – ) Those Japanese-motif vases come from Savers and Goodwill. I’m a big fan of your thrifting technique–hit at least 3 places on each outing. I practice that rule as well, and it rarely leaves me empty-handed.