Elizabeth by Alisa

@elzabethparker by @alisawelby 

The idea behind this series of images came from a university project I had been working on at the time. I read a book titled 'In Praise of Shadows' by Junichiro Tanizaki, where the writer explained in depth the comparisons between the traditional Japanese aesthetic and Western culture, particularly on the Japanese concept of 'wabi-sabi', known as an embracing and acceptance of imperfection, impermanence and incompleteness. Comparisons of light with darkness are used to contrast western and Asian culture throughout the book. The west is presented as harsh, glamorous and bright, whilst ancient oriental art and literature is seen to represent a beautiful appreciation for shadow and subtlety.

This concept influenced the ideas behind this series of images, where I photographed a close friend and flatmate of mine in my bedroom using low light to produce a beautiful and delicate warmth of shadows and orange glows across each image. As someone who is Japanese myself, I have always been obsessed with this idea of 'wabi-sabi' and have tried to incorporate such delicate aspects into my work and lifestyle, learning to embrace natural forms over artificiality. For this shoot, I had literally knocked on my flatmates door and woken her up one Sunday morning, dragging her out of bed and into my room. The spontaneity of this shoot enhances my idea of representing the very natural and beautiful form of the female body, with no make up and no glamorous studio location.


I would say that a lot of my other work also follows a very similar style, capturing the world in a very delicate and subtle form. A lot of my work tends to follow a very nostalgic and dream-like feel, especially my personal work where I have captured myself and my friends throughout our everyday lives and travels. 


I first got into photography at around age 10, with the influence of my father who loved photography and owned a bunch of digital and analogue cameras. He introduced me into using 35mm film and since then I have barely gone back to digital. My most successful shoots always tend to be when shooting people I am personally close to and have a connection with, people who are comfortable around me. I find that it is so important to get to know somebody personally before shooting, to really capture them in their rawest and most honest form. Once you form that connection,  and I feel that the model is comfortable, the two of you can really relax and enjoy yourselves.