The Dark Side of Fairy Tales

What is it about fairy tales that make them so damn appealing? There is the obvious psychological jurgun of using them as a way to escape your own reality but what about when fairy tales become dark and gruesome and far more unsettling than reality itself already is? Some of my favorite photographers of all time are fantasy driven creators who bring a hauntingly intoxicating and enchanting twist to the all too over-played Disney fairy tale. When Tim Walker and Kristen McMenamy collaborate there is something completely untapped and poetically raw about their work. Their mermaid on land series had me searching for breath as each image tugged at my heart strings and strung a melancholic chord. 

Henry Fuseli, The Nightmare

Henry Fuseli, The Nightmare

Laura Makabresku

Laura Makabresku

The same thing goes for Polish based photographer Laura Makabresku.

Some of you may already be aware of this atmospheric artist who creates solemnly striking fairy tales with the click of her camera. Often accompanying her photos with actual fairy tales that she writes there is always death or loss in some way or another involved in them. I have never been a suicidal person nor do I support anything like that in any way shape or form I can't help but get lost in Makabresku's imagery. Each frame is like a Romantic painting pulling references from mystic symbols, surreal aesthetics, eroticism and death. 


My photographs are like screenshots from beautiful but cruel fairy tales. Their narrations are not straight. Images that appear are more like feelings that come during a lecture of an old folk-based story – full of witchcrafts and retributions. The structure of my works is similar to the structure of a dream where natural tendencies of collecting and organizing impulses and motivations coincide with irrational clashes of objects and feelings. Isolation and wounds are closed into patterns, uneasy and artificial orders – visual spells created in order to divide beastillness from humanity and dreams from horror."

- Laura Makabresku

"Laura Makabresku condenses the fairy tale into a frame. One stage on which everything plays out. There is a heroine existing between the worlds. Beautiful and dark. Her sexuality fluctuates between girlish erotic fantasy and the extreme instincts of nature. In a childish way she is fascinated by death. Her land is inhabited by animals, monsters, people in animal masks, objects—all of them of equal status. The world’s orders tangle together. Death in this land is liberating, a kind of good dream into which we tumble, searching for eternity, and which exists within us as constellations painted on the heroine’s body. The motifs and scenes are repeated. Themes are repeated obsessively. It all exists outside of time, everywhere and nowhere, never and always, in the seventy-seventh land. And eternity is just as cruel as death."

From curatorial text by Magdalena Kownacka "The moon is for adults only“

All photos are the property of Laura Makabresku 

Fauna {Behind The Scenes}

What do you do when you know a girl who's face literally intoxicates you to a point of madness? Photograph her over and over again but of course....Last weekend I had the pleasure of being the photographer for a beautiful spring editorial featuring none other than my go to girl, Samayah Jaramillo. The day was beyond gorgeous (I swear the weather know's when I'm going to be doing a photo shoot) and the team was absolutely incredible making this one of the most effortless shoot's I've ever done. Working in Samayah's quaint apartment and local neighborhood playground we banged out 5 looks in only a few hours and I won't lie, these are some of my favorite images I've ever taken of someone else. So so excited to share them with you all but in the meantime take a look at some behind the scenes I snapped in-between looks. Crossing my fingers and toes that the weather is just as nice this weekend. 

Yes we shot on a playground and yes it was awesome. 

Polaroids with Elena Karma

It was a lovely sunny day in the dead of winter in Washington Heights and three girls were ready to take on the town, or at least their local supermarket. My dear friend and sensuous model Samayah Jaramillo and I let passion and fury take over as we grabbed lettuce leaves and radishes, jumped inside of shopping carts and climbed light posts to get the shot's that were running through our heads. The most adorable Russian I ever did meet (possibly the only adorable Russian I've ever met) Elena Karma was there to capture the temporal moments with the flash of her Polaroid camera. The results are the beginning of a story that embarks upon the moment that I began to unleash the over flowing joy and elated-ness that has been boiling inside for far too long with my partner in crime by my side. This is only the beginning people, there will soon be much more to come. 

To see more of Elena's work click here or to see more of Samayah's click here