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STYLE

P

hotographer Megan Rizzo finds

inspiration in the simplest things. Seeing a

beautiful tree, for example, on her drive to

her studio every morning, sparked the idea for her latest

portrait series created around the seasons. And it all began

with autumn. When Rizzo saw her tree and its changing

leaves scattered on the ground she didn’t just admire it and keep

going, she knocked on the door of the house and asked if she

could collect a bucketful of the leaves. The owners were only too

happy to oblige and she was soon testing a few portraits on her

leaf-strewn floor, creating works for her own satisfaction. She

won a few awards for her efforts and people started asking her if

they could be in the picture.

By the next autumn Rizzo was shooting her ‘Goddesses of

the Seasons’, hand-picking leaves fresh for every shoot. No

two backgrounds or costumes are the same and Rizzo styles all

her own shoots. She admits she’s quite a collector – she’s been

collecting costumes from all over the world for more than 20

years. She has circus jackets found during a holiday in New

York, a wedding dress from the 1980s that has ‘starred’ in her

Winter shoots, embellished with leaves painted white or lace

added; there’s an opera coat, lingerie and evening dresses from

the 1950s and dresses found in op shops. She makes all the

headdresses, paints different backgrounds and created a multi-

coloured flower wall for her Summer backdrop.

Before every shoot there’s a discussion with the subject about

what colours they like and ideas about their ‘look’ then the shoot

is a full-day affair with hair and makeup, styling, champagne

and chocolates, light lunch and the photo shoot. For Rizzo, the

editing process afterwards can take 10 hours for a single image

to create a print that is a work of art. “When women come in

they are often terrified, unsure and nervous, but they leave with

a completely different energy. They feel on top of the world, like

the most beautiful woman ever created. That’s what I love about

what I do, you’re actually having an effect and it’s long lasting

because they have the prints to take away.”

autumn

glow

12

| BNE March/April 2017