Behind: A Weighted Blossom

June 22, 2018

 A photographic debate on mimesis and anti-mimesis.

Written by Therese Niedbala

"This was my first photo project where I actually saw myself as an artist, rather than a creative person with a camera. Chelli and I came together with a concept, a still life of a flower arrangement paired with a portrait imitating the arrangement with her product. Chelli provided the flowers, the space, product, and the creative freedom for me to challenge my artistic behavior. The difference in this project among my past projects was that I was fully focused on the process rather than the final product. Each step of the process, brainstorming, planning, directing, photographing, editing, presenting, was a new challenge to me and I wanted to spend time in each, making sure I was learning something new about the creation process and how I create.

(above: Carolyn of Youth & Yarrow helping Chelli select flowers for the shoot)

(above: Chelli setting up a floral arrangement)

(above: Sketches of initial model set-up ideas by Therese)

(above: Coffee meeting to sort through photos to begin forming diptychs)

"The concept evolved and grew through each step. It began with an idea to celebrate spring themes and do something a little different, and by the end it took on new meanings it picked up during post-editing. Each step was so fun because I played so much with the possibilities of each stage, and Chelli kept me focused and challenged by adding her ideas and visions."

(above: moments behind the scenes of the floral shoot)

"We shot the flower arrangements prior to the portraits, with the intention to arrange the models similar to the flowers. Only three of the portraits that were intentionally directed to recreate a flower arrangement ended up becoming a final diptych. The other four paired themselves during post, when during the shoot we had no intention certain portraits would relate more to the arrangements than the purposefully posed images."

(above: behind the scenes of the model shoot)

"Over the weeks I edited, a quote bounced around in my mind, “Life imitates art more often than art imitates life.” I couldn’t remember that it was Wilde who said this, so after some research I came upon the debate between Aristotle’s mimesis and Wilde’s anti-mimesis philosophies. I felt like the idea of art and life imitating each other strongly related to our concept. Reflecting more, I wondered if I expressed myself and what I am learning about the world through the imagery and process, or if the imagery and process gave me lessons to take back into my daily life. Hence: A photographic debate on mimesis and anti-mimesis."

See the full Lookbook here


Words by Chelli:


Models: @beanieboamah & @calfoster_

Photographed & Edited: @thereseniedbala

Creative Direction: @shopchc & @thereseniedbala

Special Thanks: @youthandyarrow

Words: @chellilook

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Blog

CHC + Winifred Grace

May 15, 2019

Every so often, I get the pleasure of working with a local shop to create a capsule collection of leather goods for their customer. This time, I collaborated with Winifred Grace, a lovely boutique tucked away in the West Edgewater/Andersonville neighborhood.

View full article →

Two of Five : The Column Tote

May 10, 2019

female model with leather tote bag

Week 2 of 5 in the month of May, brings us the Column Tote!

During this month, I'll be releasing a new design each week to my email base, exclusively. 

View full article →

Five in the Fifth

May 08, 2019

female model walking with a taupe leather crossbody bag

In the mood for something new?! Me too.

If you have signed up for emails, you are all set!

I value those who have decided to stay in the loop so I'm doing a series of small-batch, fresh designs for the month of May; one per week!

You will preview them through IG & FB but only able to access them through a shop-able emailed link. 

View full article →