Where to begin, when it comes to the talents of these two extraordinary people? – Aaron Nace and Rosie Hardy are, quite simply put, Photographers. Though actually, I think I should say bloody amazing photographers, or perhaps even, Photographic Artists, as “Art” its closer to the mark, to what they do…
I first stumbled upon the work of Aaron Nace completely at random, via an intriguingly entitled photograph, “I was born cool, and for that I make no apologies'” of a man (himself) sitting in a chair with a potted plant on his lap, oh, and did I mention apart from said hat, he’s absolutely ‘starkers’? Well, I guess that explains the plant…
The first few photographs of Rosie Hardy‘s that I saw were from her fairytale series and they are insanely creative interpretations of classic fairytales; including a stunning shot of Alice taking a final/fatal leap in, “Alice’s Final Delusion“, to a pocket-sized Thumbelina snuggled-up, asleep, in a packet of cigarette’s in “Thumbelina’s Stunted Growth” to a harrowing-junkie-version of sleeping beauty “Sleeping Beauty’s Other Needles” or a rather sleezy take on Puss in Boots in, “Puss in Boots’ Job on the Side” – I was only going to name one or two, but get carried away, in fact I’d like nothing better than to list them all… but this is just a taster of Rosie’s work:
The photographs that Rosie has taken, around her local area, perhaps say on a hilltop, you’ve got to remember, includes lugging her gear, equipment and props, up that steep hill, setting up her shot and posing, often in some truly awful weather conditions and more often than not, in a gorgeous, but flimsy, outfit and occasionally, bare-footed too, wow,. brave girl.
Rosie and Aaron are each, without a shadow of a doubt, excellent photographers, but their “art” really does transcend beyond this, the post-production that each painstakingly does, is as uniquely different as their photographic styles, but each individual leans towards a number of props, themes, styles or techniques, such as: the gorgeous rough textures Rosie uses, or say her playful use of origami planes or a rather fetching clowns wig she’s mightily fond of:
Aaron’s expert Photoshop skills are absolutely stunning (and for all the naysayers, I’m categorically NOT overstating this…) [I will update this info, as and when I’ve got a response from the man himself, and of course, I hope, permissions, to include some examples of his photos and amazing Photoshop skills,. though you can also nip over to the Aaron and Rosie blog, and see some great ‘before’ and ‘after’ examples and some fantastic tutorials, each explaining how they achieved a certain look or effect…]
One entire section of photographs Aaron has are as a homage to other artists/photographers that he admires and some are truly jaw-droppingly amazing. Aaron “as” or “in the style of” a Van Gogh, Dali, Klimt, Andy Warhol, Thierry Le Goues, Anne Geddes and Bansky… to name but a few… The shot that really stands out in this series, for me, is Aaron’s take on “that” National Geographic Cover, entitled “The Eyes of Aaron“, based on Steve McCurry’s “Afghan Girl” (June 1985 issue.)
But what truly amazes me, is, well, all of it, the set-up time, the detailed planning, the lighting techniques and the post-production – all of this – all of this is what makes both Aaron Nace and Rosie Hardy “tick” – I swear, when you read a posting for an image and it states that it took a hours and hours to set up the shot, or that he/she has carried a packload of equipment into the woods at 1am, just to discover they had forgotten something and have had to pack it all away, go home, retrieve the missing item, and, well, do it all over again, yikes!,. that’s dedication for you.
OK if its not yet clear, why these two hugely talented people are getting lumped in together here, let me explain the reason, well, its because they are a couple, (to explain a little further, Rosie is British, Aaron is American and are separated by quite a distance!) but, they often work together – even when miles apart – at which point, they collaboratively work on a final piece whereby, they each take “their” section. The results are stunning. Sometimes you’re totally unaware, that they weren’t physically together at the time, such as the aptly, titled “I had to find you, tell you I need you”, a shot whereby each is on his/her side of a partition wall:
What Aaron and Rosie share, is a love and dedication of photography, of ideas, creativity, never-ending enthusiasm, a love of highly skilled post-production work and as well as a love for one another (OK I know that last bit is a tad cute, but, really, they are without a doubt simply the cutest couple you’ll ever read about online…) and part of their love for all these things includes sharing their photography via Flickr.
For those who don’t know, Flickr is a Yahoo!-based photographic community and amongst other things, is a place for photographers (anyone from absolute beginners-to-pro’s) to “exhibit” their work, perhaps participate in a specific niché group or join in some lively discussions… ….or as it so happens, like for these two, fall in love…
…and when, on the odd occasions, their separate lives do actually, physically, collide, everyone who follows them on Flickr, sends them lots of well-wishes, and though everyone gushes over every development of this relationship, I cannot help, but think, with shots like these, its us that’s being spoilt: (I guess it doesn’t exactly hurt that they are both absolutely gorgeous!!)
I’d love to ask Aaron and Rosie a few questions about their photography, methods of working and plans for the future and to hopefully make more people aware of them and champion their work, heck I’d shout it from the rooftops if I thought it’d help…
KIT: Can I firstly begin by asking each of you to outline how your love of photography began? – and if you were each interested in the artwork/post-production side of it from the outset or if that’s something that grew, in tandem, with the complexity of your ideas?
Rosie:…I’ve always loved looking at pictures, in magazines and online, and one day while looking at some artists’ photos that I really badly wanted to make images that were as beautiful as theirs, and thats when I started to consider photography as a hobby. I suck at drawing and painting, but I can just about handle a camera, so I decided to get a point and shoot and start practicing! Post production began as just something I spent 5 minutes on, but now I have realized just how far you can go with it. I love editing and photography equally now 🙂
KIT: Can you tell me a little bit about what you do for a living? (ie.if photography isn’t currently the ‘day job’… / …Rosie, how much longer have you left at School?
Rosie:…I have 3months left at school! I am so excited to leave, right now I just feel frustrated because it takes up all my time. Most of my income comes from photoshoots I do at weekends, usually of bands and friends of friends etc. Online exposure hasn’t really altered my income very much, I make about £5 profit per print that I sell personally so not that much really. Hopefully when I leave school I’ll be able to go out and shoot a lot more.
KIT: Considering all the things going on, in each of your lives, how on earth do you make time for such complicated set-ups that also require extra work during post production? – in particular I am thinking of the 365,. (a photo-a-day challenge)
Rosie:… For me, photography is just higher up on my list of priorities than most other things. If it’s between taking a photo and going out for a night out… photography wins. I’ve pretty much been left with not much of a social life, I suck at handing in homework in time and I’ve dropped two of my four a-levels to make more time for photography. I’m addicted.
KIT: If you had to choose ONE current favourite shot you’ve each taken (or that each other has taken) which would it be and why?
Rosie:… I really, really love the one of me and Aaron in the lake, in the mist. It was so much fun to shoot, and I really like the way it came out. I love creepy, misty, haunting pictures and the shot came out looking like the idea i had in my head, which is rare.
KIT: What happens next?
Rosie:…I finish school, get myself together and hopefully move to America to start shooting other people, for companies etc. I hope to become satisfied with the quality of my work by the end of the year and once I am I’m going to start sending my portfolio out and hopefully get some real good jobs on my list. With Aaron by my side, I think that pretty much sums up my ideal life.
I’d recommend you all join Yahoo! / Flickr, you can also check out their blog.
~ photos © Rosie Hardy, shown with kind permissions 🙂