As part of my ongoing and forever lasting photographic ‘Lyrics Project’, where I take images representing lyrics that have been important to me, I undertook this photo shoot. The lyric in this regard was “Anastasia Screamed In Vain” from the Rolling Stone’s “Sympathy for the Devil”. I am not a huge Stones fan but think this track is amazing and was big for me way back when.
Anyway, to me, (and this is all that matters really) the lyric refers briefly to Anastasia Nikolaevich (Romanov) of the Russian Royal Family who along with the rest of her family was ordered to the basement of their exiled home and executed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. Not a cheery story but Anastasia subsequently became a bit of a legend:- a) because she was young at 17 and considered beautiful and b) because there was much speculation that she and her younger brother had survived the attack. There were many rumours and women claiming her identity but the whole sorry tale was only finally proven in 2007 when her and her brother’s remains were positively DNA tested.
So, the idea for the shoot was to take a literal approach and twist the tale into a more modern way. I therefore asked the wonderful model Helen Diaz to sit for me and ‘act out’ this somewhat testing assignment.
We shot in an empty room and the processing is deliberate to try to give the image an overall stark but engaging feel. This image isn’t the one finally used (as Helen isn’t screaming) but it is my favourite of the session and to me has a troubling feel to it as a stand alone image. The image used is available to view on my website if you are so inclined http://www.squashimagery.com/_photo_12409463.html
Needless to say, Helen was an absolute pro, is totally mental (no, really) and is gorgeous looking and to work with. No question I will be hoping to work with her again soon (if she’ll have me back)!