Not only outwardly gorgeous, but inwardly stunning. She performs with natural ease and is captivating to watch \ Michaela Burger
07 May 2012
Shooting with The Genie
 Over a year ago I had the pleasure of working with a well-known Victorian based photographer Greg Desiatov who wanted to collaborate to create some fantasy images. Greg had already worked with some well-known burlesque artists and the process of how he came to create such unique images intrigued me. We started the process without meeting, emailing each other reference images of characters and settings that inspired the idea for the shoot.

When I arrived to his Dandenong Studio he has nick-named 'The Sandpit' because it is full of fun things to play with; costumes, wigs, props, crazy furniture, and cool antiques, I realized I was in the hub of a pure creative.

Greg's process of creating really meshed well with mine, despite having a general idea of the image we wanted to create, I had brought along different costuming options and accessories. We had the idea of a winter goddess. As we started to shoot we started playing with different ideas and communicating different visions away from the ice queen brief. In a blank white studio, Greg told me I was an empress and asked me to look out over an imaginary cliff edge down to my fleet of vessels bringing in gold and foreign luxuries to my country of rule. As the wind (industrial floor fan) blew my toga and I stood barefooted on the warm soil of the cliff edge, I could see the big ships rolling in and I gazed at them with pride as if it were a normal day for me. In the styling process, I had brought along some golden leaves and golden rope. We used them to bring the Grecian touches to my outfit. 
 For the second image I wore a white fringe-cut plunge-neck halter dress that was given to me by an ex-showgirl and a long white chiffon train. In my hair, the golden leaves were replaced with a white embroidered lace appliqué from a remnants store. 

We had set out to try for the ice queen again, but when I stepped back into the studio, Greg and I started to bounce our imaginations off each other. I was no longer the ice queen; before we knew it I was propped up on a big white studio box on my new pal 'Kevin the Polar Bear'. For a while I was portraying a snow princess on a trek through a blizzard saddled up on Kevin in armor, looking back as some suspicious characters were following me on snow beasts. However, I soon fell in love with my new pal Kevin, we had become companions on the trek and I couldn't help but give him a reassuring pat and sink my hands into his soft furry coat and give him a big hug. Within a second, the following beasts and the blizzard had disappeared we had stopped to enjoy each other’s company on a great big icicle.

As you can see I'm not the only one with a wild imagination; our first shoot together was complete. It wasn't until a few days later that I received the happy snaps from my adventures with Greg and as you can see above the creative process doesn't stop in the studio. I asked Greg, how do you do it? Apparently he just looks through the raw images until one of them jumps out and commands it's setting to come to life. It sounds simple, but it's his natural talent and ability to envision a life for the original capture beyond it's raw state into something completely new and magical that makes it all happen. It is for his talent that I nick-named him 'The Genie'; there's isn't anything you can wish for that he can't make happen, except the one genie rule - he can't make someone fall in love with you. Yes, my favorite Disney cartoon is Aladdin ;)
Looking at the final images, I noticed my fleet had disappeared and the cliff too and in replacement I was staring down a python with the Trojan Horse looking over my shoulder. As a teen I had played a Siren in a play based on the Iliad and had very fond memories of the journey so I felt right at home with the final image. Kevin was still around in the second image to my delight and I was grateful to have evidence of my adventures with The Genie - Greg Desiatov.

Greg and I have continued to collaborate on various styles and concepts including pin up and self-styled creations like our latest image above 'The Artist'.

Check out more of Greg's work here:

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What you say

myk \ 26 Mar 2012
Great shots... nice back story too.
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