STYGIAN by Tracey Hughes
Bernard Gueit Studios creates ‘STYGIAN’ collection with Tracey Hughes.
…a photographer’s insight into a creative shoot…
When a hair collection is released we read or hear about the creative process behind the hair, yet rarely do we receive an insight into the creativity of the person behind the lens.
Recently, Bernard Gueit of Melbourne’s Bernard Gueit Studios collaborated on a collection shoot – STYGIAN - with globally renowned educator and professional speaker, Tracey Hughes.
According to Tracey, STYGIAN conjures up a dark forbidden abyss that you, the viewer, are encouraged to delve into. The exquisite spiritual balance of simplicity is haunted by anti-utopia inspired by an elaborate blend of culture, pure technique and social reality.
For Bernard, this was a chance to consider mythology and history, and how that would impact the eventual shoot.
"When Tracey suggested that her new collection is to be titled “Stygian” my thought process went into overload. Drawing from Greek mythology of the River Styx in the underworld of Hades I immediately knew that it had to be shot in black and white but playing artfully with light,” says Bernard.
Bernard began his creative process, working to frame with lighting the dark & mysterious atmosphere. He wanted his set to go against the myth and lore of what a possible futuristic Hades would be.
“It is a dream when two creatives come together,” says Bernard, “Tracey’s priority is to showcase her creations and mine is to give the creation a lease of life that not only captures the design of her aesthetic but also tell the story behind the creations.”
Styling, makeup and model choice all play a pivotal part in achieving the best from the seed of an idea. Working closely with his team and Tracey, Bernard selects not only the right model but also the perfect wardrobe and makeup to help strengthen the inspiration.
“With stark images and clean lines - the hair - which is the hero of the story will come into sharp focus. My approach was to frame the subjects in light but maintain depth, mood and tone in the shadows,” says Bernard, “I used a single light and several reflectors and deflectors to illuminate and highlight the strength of Tracey’s creation and her vision to capture ‘dark light,”
On the day of the shoot Bernard’s calm ability to coax the best of the model and frame her in flattering light to highlight all of Tracey’s hard work is what makes his vision so compelling.
According to Bernard, “Trust in each other’s ability is crucial in a creative collaborative relationship, and as a photographer, it’s my role to offer suggestions on what will perfectly capture the image, giving the client/artist another voice for their creative expression. It really is an all-engaging collaboration if done correctly - from the start of the concept to roundtable discussions to the minute details during post-production to the eventual shots.”
“Never rest on your past laurels,” chuckles Bernard, “you’ll find it is always the little things that you have to pay close attention to, to breathe life into any vision.”
STYGIAN presents a fusion of cutting techniques, incorporating classic methods with angles and curves that are tailored with an editorial approach to add a subtle distortion in textures to become futuristic and fresh.
Color that is divided by segments of light creates a complex framework of depth in dark and light shadows.
STYGIAN is an illusion of dark, ethereal beauty.
Hair: Tracey Hughes
Photography: Bernard Gueit Studios
Makeup: Emma Jane Miller
Stylist: Carlos Mangubat