We’ve all been in this situation before: get home after a long day. You’re too tired to do anything productive and the last bits of adrenaline in your system don’t allow you to sleep so you turn the TV on hoping to find just the right low budget, mind numbing cable show to softly lull you to sleep. Fortunately for me, one night that didn’t happen.
Instead of finding that lackluster show, I happened across Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette and was completely captivated. The story was enthralling, the cinematography and directing beautiful, but what got me the most was how little has changed since that time. There are still royalty in our culture today and though, on the surface, their lives may seem prodigious in actuality their lives are less than enviable.
It was then that I got the idea for this project. I saw Marie Antoinette as the basis of the modern celebrity, so I put her in our world. Let her and some friends experience the trappings of our society. The result was similar to what Marie experienced in her own time: overindulgence and tragedy.
I shot the project in several stages over the course of roughly 9 months. I put models in lavish gowns and makeup that was pale, yet bright. The pictures in sequence show how a simple night on the town can be corrupted by the vices of our society.
To represent those vices I wanted to find something simple that can also be transformed by excessiveness, much like the characters in my project. As I studied more about the life of Marie Antoinette I found the perfect solution: when asked about the poverty and famine of her people, Marie allegedly answered,
“Let them eat cake.”
Joseph Prezioso is not your ordinary photographer. For starters, he began his career in photography as a teenager. By the time he was 16 he was shooting for newspapers as a stringer, and he joined the staff of The Independent Newspaper Company as a photojournalist at the age of 17. Soon after, Joseph enrolled at Salem State College to study Communications. I had the privilege of meeting Joseph during his time at Salem State. His talent as a photographer and filmmaker set him apart from his peers. He was always willing to engage in discussions on a wide range of topics, from technology to politics to fashion and beyond. Upon graduation he opened his own studio and began a successful wedding photography business. In 2008 he was selected as one of the top wedding photographers in the New England by ‘The Knot Best of Weddings’ magazine. His brides gush over the beautiful images that Joseph can capture. He captures people as they live, connecting with their emotions through his lens.
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