Whilst working as a photographer for a vintage clothing brand in London I was fascinated by the energy on the fashion photoshoot. There was always so much excitement and anticipation, feelings that something wonderful was about to collaboratively be created. I couldn’t quite grasp or put into words the energy that flowed between myself and the model, and all the unspoken cues that led to the evolving movement and pose through our gestures, expressions and moods that were both projected and absorbed. It was a fluid experience which continually evolved through the highs of excitement on capturing a captivating image and the lows of something not working, it was an exhausting experience for everyone. So much energy filled the room and all the people within it. I wanted to go on a journey to seek out what this energy was that consumed us all on the fashion photoshoot, which was 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 through somaesthetics, the project ‘Affective Energy’ represents the relationship between model and photographer, and the moods they 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 experience as an almost transcendental process, an intense relationship that is not something sexual per say but related to the soul. The way models discuss their affective experiences and embodying of the garments through bodily sensations to inform their moves and projected affect feels somewhat romantic.
Performing as model, photographer and fashion image viewer, the act was an all-encompassing one. I present the projects style as ‘painting’ with colour, fabric, and light capturing the affective energy through abstract photography. Using aesthetically stimulating colours and hues I embodied the garments I chose, feeling them, moving with them. It was an organic sensation-based journey between myself and the fabrics, I planned and envisaged the outcome as the author, selecting the colour and garments with intent but allowed myself to be directed by their flow on the day and subject. Each image was then selected as the author and fashion image viewer.
The visuals begin with the curtains opening and the model looking up toward the light shining down upon her, her stage and audience are ready for the performance. The series then flows through colours, tones and movement to aesthetically arouse the viewer, emulating the intense affective relationships present on the photoshoot, and all the energies flowing through them all. There is a flow from darkness to lightness insinuating a journey towards a sort of enlightenment as the model navigates the affective energy and giving their whole selves, maybe even their souls, to the fashion photoshoot. The story ends with the curtain drawn.