19 Jan COCO | A Whimsical Shoot For La Petite
COCO, a story for monthly kids fashion magazine La Petite, could be straight out of a fairy tale. The slick and whimsical photographs were taken by Travys Owen, with styling and art direction by Anna Verloren van Themaat and Diana Asherson-Lemmer on hair and make-up. The concept for the shoot was born out of Anna’s interest in the disconnect and lack of interaction between children staying in cities and wild animals. “We are so far removed from nature,” she says, “and there is no real relationship between wild animals and kids staying in developed communities. I was wondering what it would look like if we did a modern version of something that was quite possible in the past.”
It was important that the scenarios presented in the images be real and not comped, and pulling this off required extensive production and prep. “It took over a month to plan and get everything to materialise,” Anna explains. “It was a challenge to find the right kind of kids, animals and wranglers. Each animal had its own wrangler on the day of the shoot, to take proper care of it and to assist us in getting the shots we needed.” Prior to the shoot, each child was paired with the animal who suited them best. “Once we knew which animals and kids we were going to use, we could consider a palette and style. I wanted it to be futuristic with some hints of vintage” – this mix between two worlds represents the mood of the original idea.
“On the day of the shoot it was interesting to see how the children and the animals responded to one another. Super chilled and interested,” Anna tells us. “Siena, the girl with the python, thought it not proper that the snake didn’t have a name. In the end she called him James.”Anna describes those involved with the shoot as the dream team for the job as her, Travys and Diana seemed to share the same aesthetic values and each of them really maxed out their skill set to make it happen. “The final series of photographs turned out exactly as I hoped it would,” says Anna, “It’s so exciting when that happens.”