Art is the passion of the soul. It forms from a reflection of what one person sees or feels and takes its audience to a moment created just for them – it truly is in the eyes of the beholder – yet it inspires all of us and for me one of the greatest inspirations when planning a wedding comes from artists who create stories through photographs. One of the worlds leading contemporary romantic photographers, Viona Ielegems takes her audience through dreamscapes of a neo-romantic world and captivates us as we walk through her visual storytelling. She retells the stories of goddesses and magical worlds and enchants us with her reflections of those tales; introducing spectacular Brides in magical worlds.
This is where fairytales come to life! Start believing in childhood stories because here you will meet all kinds of magical creatures in a world that you’ve wished so hard to exist.
I am inspired by her visual compositions not only because of their extreme beauty but because she has an innate ability to draw you into her shot and keep you looking at the picture. Creating fairytale icons, Viona inexplicably recreates her own version of these characters and brings them to life through her exquisite selection of costumes, make up artists, models and post production perfection. My favourite example is that of legendary russian snow maiden, Snegùrochka (featured image).
She is one of worlds leading photographers in the gothic scene and her photography is capturing hearts world wide. Exploring the fantasy worlds of Steampunk, Baroque, Gothic, Pagan and fairytale imagination becomes real. She is also the creator of the largest Victorian Picnic in the world, about to take place this May.
Give in to the possibility that life in fairytales, still exists and be inspired.
Interview with Viona Ielegems:
Viona, you are such an inspiration to me. When I chanced upon your work through google I was incredibly overwhelmed by what I saw and at the same time humbled by your creativity.
What began your passion for photography?
I studied contemporary art in high school, the focus was on drawing, painting and installations. Every week we had some hours photography as optional subject. I really liked those lessons, the dark room and developing your own photos, it was just fascinating. After graduation I decided to go for photography all the way and follow in my fathers footsteps. He had been photography teacher for years and motivated me throughout my studies. It was only after my studies that I clearly understood what direction my photography would take me.
Who are you greatest influences/inspiration?
I am inspired by old legends and fairytales and how old masters interpreted those in paintings and classical art. I could say that the pre-raphaelite art movement is one of my favourites.
When creating a shoot, what is the most important part?
It’s most important to bring together the right team of people (model, hair&make-up artist, stylist/designer, assistant,…) and to have a good preparation: know what you want to achieve.
It mentions on your website that you have many years experience as a fairytale photographer – can you explain exactly what that is?
Many photographers work in specific fields or the art, for example: fashion, advertising, reportage,.. My photographs are inspired by characters from old folk tales and fairytales, I do not fit in any category of regular photography, that’s why I describe myself as a “fairytale photographer”. It’s my intention to let people dream again, to create a fantasy come true.
Your costumes are impeccable. How do you go about creating an idea for a costume? Is it from something you see or an idea?
Every time it’s different. Sometimes I find a piece of beautiful fabric and get inspired by that, sometimes I have something specific in mind and try to find the right fabric and accessories to complete this idea… But I mostly work on a series of costumes from a certain style-period, make some gowns and then change into another style. Like this I’ve made a series of Tudor-inspired costumes, then changed to Biedermeier-style and now I am very much into Italian renaissance.
The cover picture is absolute stunning. What was the inspiration behind that shot?
It’s a typical winter shot. There was snow all over the place and I got to work with this stunning Russian-looking costume. I ever wanted to do a shoot inspired by the legendary russian snow maiden, Snegùrochka. I wanted a very pale model with white hair, so we had our model travel from Paris to our place in East-Germany for this shoot.
Everything was the way I wished for to complete my idea for Snegùrochka.
Inspiring your wedding
It’s world class photographers like Viona who are the perfect foundation for you to plan you wedding. Look at the details, the costumes, the colours, the textures and recreate your own version for your wedding. Be inspired! I still am!!
For more of Viona’s exceptional contemporary photography
check out her stunning imagery on her website at viona-art.com, and maybe you too could join her at the next Gala Nocturnal! I’m already packed!
Thank you Viona! You are my inspiration!