Lighting Has A Charm All Its Own
I was asked to shoot a few still life’s to accompany the article “Pure Candy Never Hurt Anyone.” The article references two books — one, The Blue Stocking Cookbook, is an Atlanta-area cookbook, and the other, Her Book, an interesting amalgamation of dated recipes, rules of formal etiquette, women’s exercises, and domestic advice. Both books were published more than eighty years ago. There’s something about the titles in Her Book, e.g, “Lighting Has a Charm All Its Own,” “Keep That Loveliness He Married You For,” or the title in the photograph pictured here “It Took More Than Mother’s Advice To Convince Me,” that reminds me of the somewhat oddly candid, unwieldy, yet perfectly poetic titles scattered throughout Southern writer Flannery O’Connor’s fiction.
Old books and magazines, film clips, ads — any glimpse into how culture was approached years ago –fascinates me. For the photos for this article I wanted to capture the essence of nostalgia. I decided on a kind of dappled light look. I shot the whole thing in studio, using studio strobes modified with blackwrap, essentially forming something similar to snoots. I used a large soft box as a backlight. Along with the books I used a few period props. I arranged everything a couple of different ways — moving the lights to highlight particular parts of the frame. I think I achieved my goal.