Whilst working as a photographer for a vintage clothing brand in London I was fascinated by the energy of the fashion photoshoot. There was always so much excitement, anticipation and a feeling that something wonderful was about to be collaboratively created. I couldn’t quite grasp or put into words the energy that flowed between myself and the model. All the unspoken cues that led to the evolving movement and pose through our gestures, expressions and body language, both projected and absorbed. It was a fluid experience which continually progressed through the highs of capturing a captivating image and the lows of something not working, it was an exhausting experience for everyone present. I wanted to go on a journey to seek out what this energy was that consumed us all and that was at the core of my Final Major Project.
Through the theory of affect – feeling states such as mood and emotion – and the body’s sensory perception, the project ‘Affective Energy’ represents the relationships of the fashion photoshoot, the moods that people transmit and translate through the body as a site of communication, and the navigation of energies that flow through the room. The visuals convey the process as an almost transcendental experience, an intense relationship that is not something sexual per se but maybe related to their souls. The way models discuss their affective experiences and their embodiment of garments through bodily sensation that then informs their moves and projected affect, feels somewhat romantic.
The project is a celebration of the fashion model and I present the imagery as ‘painting’ with colour, fabric, and light to capture affective energy through abstract photography. Performing solo and experiencing all three groups, the subject, the author and the viewer, the act was an all-encompassing one. Using aesthetically stimulating colours and hues I embodied the garments I chose, feeling them, moving with them. It was an organic sensation-based experience between me and the fabrics. I planned and envisaged the outcome as the author, with carefully selected clothing, but also allowed myself to be directed through the fabric’s feeling and flow.
The final visuals tell a story, the story of the model and the flowing affective energies throughout the fashion photoshoot. It begins with the curtains opening and the model looking up toward the light shining down upon her, with the audience ready for the performance to commence. Using colour to aesthetically arouse the viewer and movement to echo the intense relationships present on the shoot, the visuals capture affective energy. Through a narrative of darkness to light the images insinuate a journey towards a sort of enlightenment as the model navigates the affective flows, giving their whole self, maybe even their soul, to the fashion photoshoot. The performance then begins to draw to an end, the curtains close, and the model’s story of the fashion photoshoot ends.
I hope you enjoy the show.