Please imagine the scene …
A month ago I’m staying in a cheap hotel somewhere up north for a voxpop-style corporate shoot the next day.  I wander on down to the only open restaurant late at night, and awkwardly order a meal for one.
I check my iPhone as I wait for my meal, and my inbox flags up as having a message from Kirsty Mitchell.  Oh dear.  I know this message is going to change my whole evening and result in a lack of sleep!

Kirsty nervously shows me a preview of ‘currently unnamed yellow headdress photo’ from Wonderland, of which I filmed the behind-the-scenes a few months back.
I look at the image (Kirsty profusely apologises for how bad it will look on a small iPhone!  She’s funny like that).
I spit my hot and sour soup over the Chinese restaurant table.  I’m blown away.

Let me explain this better.

I speak to Kirsty almost every day of the year as she spills her heart and mind out, frantically telling me ideas and proposed workflows for her Wonderland images.  The days and nights before the actual images are taken, she literally has no sleep as she’s manically organising timings, costume detail, props, location, make-up trials.  I’ve said this over and over again, but I genuinely have never met anyone like her.  Her enthusiasm and dedication for each image are on another level, and she’ll even stress about individual pixel colour (I kid you not).  So from the moment I met her, I was in awe.
It’s been an honour to collaborate (and that’s definitely the right word here – we spend hours/days/months talking film shots and music choices, having long discussions about even the Vimeo startup images!).

So, back to why I was spitting out the hot and sour soup.
Knowing all the hard work Kirsty (and Elbie, her other-half MUA) puts into each image, and seeing her direct a model on the shoot, then hearing about the post-production and endless test-prints … well I looked at ‘yellow headdress’ and my heart leapt.  It had completely and utterly exceeded my expectations.  Kirsty’s image was almost godly.

‘Yellow headdress’ became ‘Gaia, The Birth Of An End’, and within the last 3 days of posting her image (and my behind-the-scenes photos and film), the whole thing has gone viral (inc. features from Colossal, PetaPixel, SLRLounge, FStoppers, DIYPhotography and more).

To read an indepth background, and to see more great pictures, Kirsty’s blog has it all!

Please do gaze into the image above … and see the behind-the-scene photos below … and then watch the film.

P.S. Upcoming Wonderland images are just around the corner, watch this space!!


  1. I am so thrilled at the reaction to the film. I have spent two days trying to reply to all the emails and press requests coming in, everyone as been so deeply moved by how you’ve captured everything. I’m so lucky you got in touch, this has taken Wonderland to a whole new level and I am so deeply grateful x

  2. Richard, your coverage of the make of this image is inspirational! Great work! The image? What else can one say? Just thrilling!!!

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