Four years ago today, local art student Ffion Thomas brought a paper snake to the studio to be photographed.
It was a beautiful work of art that she had created for a university assignment entirely out of folded pieces of paper.
Ffion wanted to show the shape and form of her creation and the way in which it would fold and coil and follow undulating contours in much the same manner as a real live snake.
Clearly, a simple studio “product shot” against a plain background wasn’t going to cut it and the snake was far too fragile to risk a breezy or damp environmental setting out of doors.
I was struck by the way it looked so realistic when being held and had in mind the stereotypical image of a belly dancer with a snake wrapped around her body and arms, and Ffion said she had a fellow student who would be happy to pose. A quick search on Google Images came up with plenty of examples and ideas for poses but the typical belly dancer’s working clothes were too ornate and would be distracting. We also needed an image devoid of razzmatazz, theatrics and erotica.
In the end we decided on a simple classic pose – think Venus De Milo but with arms – and agreed the outfit would need to be as plain and unobtrusive as possible. In the event, Ffion’s friend was happy to pose naked allowing us to produce this professional looking shot in which the body acted as the perfect setting to show off the shape, form and textures of the paper snake.