The Guidance of Stray Souls © Kirsty Mitchell

The Guidance of Stray Souls © Kirsty Mitchell

If ever there has been an artist who puts everything she has into her craft, then that artist is Kirsty Mitchell. The UK-based photographer, who recently became an Internet sensation, is becoming increasingly popular thanks to her mind-blowing, surreal photography. Her images are all inspired by stories that her mother told her when she was a child, re-imagined and captured by Kirsty in a portrait series that is part homage and part confession.

One look at her pictures and it is clear that Mitchell knows her way around a camera. However, what is truly impressive about Mitchell’s work is that each individual detail that is captured isn’t created in post production, but instead is stitched, glued, placed, or laced together by hand. Drawing from her costume design and production experience, Mitchell spends months preparing for each set, adjusting lighting, placing props and finally, positioning perfectly painted models for a storybook-tale-inspired photograph that boggles the mind.

Detail of The Queen’s Armada © Kirsty Mitchell

Detail of The Queen’s Armada © Kirsty Mitchell

Mitchell has been producing these photographs as an homage to her mother, who passed away in 2008. What began as a way to vocalize her feelings and thoughts evolved relatively quickly into an all-consuming job. Five years later, the photographic series, known as Wonderland, encompasses a whopping 69 images and continues to garnish much international praise and attention. In July of this year,  Mitchell was named Nikon UK’s Ambassador of Fine Art Photography and was featured in Italian Vogue and Poland’s Harper’s Bazaar. Her work has also been making the rounds on Reddit and Tumblr. Most recently, Mitchell announced that she has teamed up with FX to produce a documentary on the behind-the-scenes process of the final installments of the Wonderland series; the first of which, titled Gaia, The Birth Of An End,  was recently released on the FX Vimeo channel and explains why the series is coming to a close.

This installment focuses on the process behind the shot below, from the creation of the costumes to the actual shooting, and could quite possibly be the most jaw-dropping behind-the-scenes video ever taken. Watching it will give you a new understanding of what it means to have attention to detail and what it takes to produce magazine-quality photographs that make people really stop and stare.Kirsty Mitchell - Gaia

Because Mitchell is, understandably, very protective of her work, we decided not to post too many of her images. Instead, we urge you to head over to her website and view the entire series; check out the coverage of her work featured either on Colossal or PetaPixel (where you will also find links to a previous article); or visit Mitchell’s Flickr page. Before you go, however, we suggest you watch the BTS video. The five-minute film will give you an understanding of Mitchell’s work and make you look at each photo in a completely different way.

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Category: Art