Lately Fred has been doing a number of portraits of people using the antique large format camera, and I've been helping with some set/hair/make-up here and there. We wanted to do a conceptual maternity portrait of Brandi, and when she mentioned that she was setting up the baby's room and deciding on colours, etc., I came up with a visual for "nesting".
Fred and I visited our local community garden, where we "un" dumped a large selection of branch trimmings to bring back to the studio so I could create the nest.
It didn't actually take that long to build the human-sized nest in our studio, and it was strangely attractive to me, like some kind of natural art installation.
Then I had an inspiration to see what it would look like with a Man Ray feel. So I gathered up all the odd little toys I've collected over the years, creepy little composition doll, Fred's vintage teddy, etc., and wove them into the nest. I really liked the effect, it added to the interest of the nest as art exhibit, but in the end I felt it drew too much attention from the subject - Brandi - so I took them away.
When Brandi showed up, she slipped into the shift I had created for her, I pinned up her hair and Fred was ready with film-holders loaded and a controlled natural light set ready. Brandi stepped in, Fred refined her posing and the captures were made. Timeless.
And finally, partly in fun, I put the "Human Nest Kit", on Craigslist, hoping someone would want to come and take it off my hands of make some other use of these cool branches. They're really quite lovely, but Fred says they have to go. Sigh.