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hannah shepherd

    Creativity Corner Creative Projects

    the making of the ‘colourliving’ website

    May 1, 2012

    When i first played with the idea for the website, i knew i did not want to have photography of interior settings. I wanted something that reflected my curious, slightly eccentric and playful personality.

    Having always been a fan of Slinkachu little people street art and miniatures in general, the plan was hatched. Now what to do and, more importantly, how to do it? I looked around for some sort of figures or figurines i could use, inspired by the work of sloane tanen. I quickly realised i was taking on too much so scrapped that idea and decided against figures.

    I started researching online and lo and behold i came across the world of dolls houses and miniatures. Go figure, it’s a whole world in itself. My first stop was at a dolls house exhibition in alexandra palace. As luck wanted it and following my very astute nose, i came across a young woman who seemed rather out of place there as the average age was 50+. She had her own little stand amongst her mothers’ chris much larger stand. There was something about her and i hovered around for a while before approaching hannah. ‘Hi, i’m not really here to buy dolls house miniatures or anything of the sorts, i’m thinking of creating some miniature scenes to photograph for my upcoming website, i uttered.’ ‘Err, i haven’t worked anything out yet, but just wanted to get an idea of what is around and your stuff is really beautiful.’ Hannah’s work was different. It was smart and had panache. I’m sure both hannah and chris thought i was bonkers but they entertained my eccentricity.

    Hannah and chris told me they were next exhibiting at the kensington dollshouse festival in london and so i went with a little more of an idea what i was looking for. There’s a summer and winter festival and the next one is actually in a couple of weeks. I couldn’t believe my eyes. The place is a haven for anyone interested in high quality miniatures and, oh, be prepared to part with some serious cash. So, there i was, a sort of shopping list in hand, ready to go wild for a couple of hours amongst some serious dolls houses collectors and connoisseurs. I bought some stuff, but most of the props i wanted for the photography i commissioned from hannah, who works in the product design department of the university of bristol. A huge thank you to hannah, whose input in the brainstorming of the ideas was invaluable.

    The website was a labour of love for me and although i absolutely missed the point of shooting miniatures (it doesn’t show, hence why i wrote this post) i still feel it reflects the essence of what i tried to achieve. I hope you enjoy the visual diary……….

    First off was the concept for the website.

    Then came the sketches for the individual miniature scenes.

    Now, I needed a lot of props. Some would be items I needed to commission, some would serve as a background. Let’s start with those. I was lucky that i had bought moma’s modern playhouse in magma a few weeks before. Somehow i knew, one day, it would come in use.

    Next are some of my own artworks that i used as backgrounds props.

    Here are some props i found online.

    The details on the iphone and macbook are incredible, right?

    The eames lounge chair and footstool and salvador dali’s lip shaped sofa are from the kensington dollshouse festival. Did you spot the cute hat stand?

    The next lot is some of the stuff i commissioned hannah to make exclusively for the website. Isn’t she super talented?

    Finally, here is a selection of the photographs used for the website.

    There you have it. Months and months of work. I still don’t know how to photograph miniatures but no doubt would have done a better job if i came across tilt-shift photography earlier. Alternatively, next time i just ask the lovely james balston for advise. What are friends for?