This amazing shoot from D'ARCY BENINCOSA is in the most incredible building - I mean those walls! I want them in my house... although somehow I don't think they'd have quite the same appeal after vacuuming up chipped paint for the tenth time! D'Arcy's work is so elegant and refined, it's always a thrill to have it grace our pages.
Since D'ARCY tells us about the shoot so well I'm going to hand you straight over to her: "When I first received an email from a Russian company asking me to host a workshop in a country called Abkhazia, I thought it was a spam email. I asked my friend who spoke Russian to check out the email and she told me it was a real request, I began to get excited. I confess I had to go to a map and look up where Abkhazia was, and when I saw it so small in such a big world, I knew I wanted to go.
When you arrive in the country, it's unlike anything you'll ever experience. There are empty palaces sitting and rotting because of the war that was fought there 25 years ago. It's a war that never got air time in the rest of the world, so most people do not know this place even exists. It used to be a very wealthy and luxurious place. A small country that borders the black sea, vacation homes the size of hotels pepper the coast line. Now they all sit empty. For the first day of my workshop (and probably the first film photography workshop taught by an American in that country), we wandered into this magnificent building. We were able to create magic. The magic of the language of film, a language that needs no translation (though I love and adored my translator who was with me every step of the way).
As a photographer shooting in beautiful locations around the world, you get used to a lot of rules. Don't touch this. Don't go there. That's off limits. Don't move that. I get used to the restrictions. It was the most freeing experience to step back in time to a world that was so new to me, to gain understanding of a war and a people I had never heard of, to be in this empty home that once held so many people and parties and elegance and wealth. To have no one putting restrictions on where I could go and what I could photograph.
This day. This shoot. This collaboration with an amazing dream team (there was a flower shortage in Russia so the florist brought all the buds in her packed suitcase!). We all worked so hard together to bring this shoot into fruition.
This workshop kicked off my worldwide tour of THE PATH workshops. This June, with Kate, we will be in France learning, growing, and creating together. Please join us. http://thepathworkshops.com."