Anyone immersed in the creative industry (i.e. wedding photographer, hair stylist, makeup artist, designer, etc…) is bound to feel pressure at some point to live up to unrealistic standards. In fact, this may be true of any industry, especially ones that heavily revolve around social media. When everything is so staged and perfected all the time, it has the byproduct of making people feel inadequate and depressed. I don’t believe this is directly intentional, however, but just happens when everyone strives to put their best foot forward.
I’ve always gravitated towards keeping things as simple and natural as possible, whatever that means. So when model Anastasiia Putkova put it out there that she wanted to do a no-makeup shoot, it naturally caught my attention. This may seem ironic because us photographers often talk about the importance of getting your hair and makeup professionally done. Yes, you probably will look more polished, but by what standard is it better or more beautiful?
The no-makeup idea immediately got me thinking up a story of a girl going back to nature and finding beauty in the most ordinary of things. As rudimentary as sticks and twigs. She sheds all the glitz and glam she relies on to derive a sense of self worth and reflects on who she is without those things. In doing so, she creates a beautiful bouquet made up of just that– sticks and twigs. (Read more about Anastasiia’s take on the shoot here)
Of course since this is just a story, we enlisted the talent of Mary Ellen from steelcut Flower Co, who masterminded the stunning bouquet. It was made up of completely foraged elements without a single bloom. While each element by itself is ordinary, strategically placed together, they make an impactful statement.
Is there such thing as a balance between real/natural vs. done up/glamorous? How real and natural does something have to be in order to be considered authentic?